Tutorial Videos -- Poll

There are, as far as I can see, no YouTube tutorial videos on how to use TADS 3. (There are a few on I7, including at least one by Aaron Reed, which is far superior to the others I looked at.)

I’m not quite ready to volunteer for a T3 video project, not yet – but I think it might be worth doing, so this thread is by way of being a poll. Does anybody think some reasonably well-scripted videos would be useful to newcomers or prospective users?

The reason I thought of it … I’m not going to kvetch on this over on the Inform board, because what would be the point, but I’m starting to get the impression that, for all its popularity, Inform 7 is not being actively maintained. Looking at the Mantis bug tracker, unless I’m misinterpreting what I’m seeing, it appears nobody has been attending to newly reported I7 bugs for at least six months.

I have an opinion about that, but I’m not going to share it here. The reason I bring it up is because I’m starting to suspect that T3 is going to become more important, or that more people are going to be wanting to consider it as an authoring system, as time rolls on.

The big issue on this side of the aisle being, of course, that Workbench is a Windows-only app, it occurs to me that it might be very useful indeed to do a video (or a series) showing exactly how to set up and use T3 on the Mac by getting FrobTads and QTads, creating the source files, and so forth. It’s not actually all that hard to do this stuff, and the setup process is already documented in the Quick Start Guide, but maybe a video would help. Another video introducing the documentation might also be useful, as the complexity of the documentation may be something of a sore point with new users.

I hasten to add that of course Eric has already written tons of great tutorials! But some people like watching videos, especially if they aren’t sure yet what to download (which would include the tutorials) or whether they should even bother downloading it all, when they aren’t sure yet what they’ll be getting.

Doing screen-capture videos on MacOS is dead easy – with QuickTime, it’s basically a one-click operation. Even so, a project like this would take a few weeks to put together, so I’m not likely to tackle it unless the consensus is that there would be at least a few people (I mean, as many as eight or ten over the course of a year) who would notice the videos, watch them, and be glad that they had done so.

First question: Do you think tutorial videos would be useful? (Not just, do you think it’s a neat idea. “Useful” has a more concrete meaning.)

Second question: If so, what content do you feel would be essential in the videos?

Though I certainly do not want to talk you into this, but I definitely would be pretty interested in watching those, as I have thought about giving TADS a try myself. As I have Win7 on one of my Macs, the operation would be more on the “neat” side though. But VERY neat! As for the second question: I think your ideas are pretty much spot on.

Greetings from a fellow Reason user!

I’m not sure how easy or difficult it would be to do screen-capture video on my Windows machine, which I would need to do in order to show Workbench in action. CamStudio may do it – haven’t tried that yet. [Edit: CamStudio seems to work well enough, though it’s producing a video with a wonky frame rate.] My main idea at the moment is to assist Mac users who don’t have Boot Camp or whatever, so that they can explore T3 if they want to.

Heh. Totally off-topic, will mean nothing to the IF crowd … but I just sold a feature to Electronic Musician on using CVs in Reason, and my review of the first round of Rack Extensions is up on the Keyboard website. I’m working on reviews of PX7 and Antidote right now. The whole RE thing is pretty amazing.

Absolutely! Will check out that article on the Keyboard website. Thanks!

And back on topic: I think your original idea of getting TADS up and running on Macs is more important, yes.

In principle I think this sounds a good idea. I’m in favour of anything that helps make TADS 3 more accessible to people.

Jim’s suggestions of a video guide to setting up TADS 3 on non-Windows systems and a guide to the documentation both sound potentially useful. After that it’s a bit difficult to think what else to add. Assuming that the videos would primarily be aimed at newcomers to TADS 3 maybe a couple of videos on the absolute basics of defining a couple of rooms and simple objects, since that’s relatively easy to do in TADS 3 and might provide a relatively non-threatening introduction. I’m less sure how useful it would be to have videos trying to explain more advanced features, except perhaps by way of illustrating how to use the documentation.