Mazdax605 UltraDork
11/30/16 2:12 p.m.

Hey guys,

Because I'm a luddite, and you guys know everything, I am here to ask you a few things about recording video game play. My 14 year old son when asked what he wanted for Christmas said he wanted a cord so that he could record himself playing video games. I asked him what it was called as I don't know E36 M3 about video games since the days of the NES and Mega Man. He doesn't know what it is called either. I spoke with a friend at work whos son is around the same age, and does that sort of stuff for fun. He said they bought him a thing called an Elgato. I looked them up, and it seems that is a decent way of doing this, but it isn't cheap, and is sure more than just a cord. My friend at work mentioned they got this thing two years ago, and quickly realized the computer he was using was not up to the task of doing the editing that the kid wanted to do. So it was $500 for the Elgato(the one I found is cheaper, but maybe not the same), plus $1k more probably to build a new desktop computer so the thing would work. I really don't want to go down that road, but my guess is his $200 laptop from Christmas last year, that I think is infected with a virus won't cut it.

Please talk to me like I'm 5 years old as I really don't know E36 M3 about computers, or even recording video games. I don't even understand why you would want to do that, but both my boys watch Youtubers(I guess that's a thing now) all the time playing games on the computer. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



RevRico Dork
11/30/16 2:19 p.m.

No, that laptop is probably not up to the task.

If it's pc games, FRAP is the program to look for, it's user friendly, fairly resource free, and does a great job recording whatever you want it to.

If it's console videogames... I'm looking for something to do that myself.

SilverFleet UberDork
11/30/16 2:26 p.m.

From what I understand, you need A LOT of expensive stuff to be able to successfully record gameplay footage. I think one of the ingredients is the XRGB Framemeister.

This thing.

Those upscale the old-school games' output so it looks "right", especially when using modern displays. They are also $400+.

Old school game YouTube personality MetalJesus did a video a while back detailing how to make decent YouTube videos:

captdownshift GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/30/16 2:30 p.m.

I wish that I had drawn upon my college experiences and had to foresight to realize that once recreational marijuana became legalized in more places that watching video games would become a thing and that I had worked on developing twitch or a similar video game focused livestream site devoting to video game content.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/16 3:22 p.m.
aircooled MegaDork
11/30/16 3:31 p.m.

This topic was covered on the Techguy show (basically what is said above):

bigdaddylee82 SuperDork
11/30/16 3:34 p.m.

PC gaming has a lot of cheap/free options. I used Fraps back in the day, I was unemployed and got really good at Diablo II LOD, I made some videos, put them on youtube, and people actually watched them.

Now if you've got a modern-ish graphics card there should be a recording function available with the driver suite. Heck I've got a 6 year old laptop with a dedicated ATI card, last time I updated the drivers (from ATI) even it got some software included for recording.

Now on a console I'm not so sure. I know a a lot of the games, on the Xbox at least, have recording built in, but other than watching an epic wreck on Forza, I've never had a use for it.

Mazdax605 UltraDork
11/30/16 3:38 p.m.

I should have been clearer. He wants to record himself playing console games.

Jay UltraDork
11/30/16 4:26 p.m.

What kind of consoles? Are you talking modern stuff with HDMI or older ones with component/composite/s-video?

Mazdax605 UltraDork
11/30/16 4:44 p.m.

Xbox 360, wii u.

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
11/30/16 4:54 p.m.

I did this directly from our tv using a video camera. The rca cable that came with the camera to the video output of the tv and hit record. Video has a digital output, saved file to computer using a format that the video editor could use, might have been .mov but it's been years.

Rusnak_322 Dork
11/30/16 8:07 p.m.

No idea how to help you, but my two kids (6 and 9 years old) are on their tablets watching people play games right now. They also asked about doing the same. I got my girl a nice laptop last Christmas to play games on.

red_stapler Dork
11/30/16 10:15 p.m.
mndsm MegaDork
11/30/16 10:50 p.m.

You can use built in software on xb1 to record, and some consoles do support a software called twitch, which enables live streaming and some recording. I don't know about previous generation stuff though. I'm old school, I recorded nes runs via vcr....

novaderrik UltimaDork
12/1/16 2:58 a.m.

Run the signal thru a vcr.. they still sell blank tapes at Wal Mart...

1988RedT2 PowerDork
12/1/16 7:54 a.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: I did this directly from our tv using a video camera. The rca cable that came with the camera to the video output of the tv and hit record. Video has a digital output, saved file to computer using a format that the video editor could use, might have been .mov but it's been years.

I was going to suggest something like this, but I figured the techno-snobs would lambaste me for it. Tripod mount the camera, set the zoom to fill the frame, and voila! Digital video recording. Cheaper than a $500. doothingie, since almost everyone has a digital video camera of some sort or other.

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
12/1/16 7:56 a.m.

Just to be clear, I did not aim the camera at the TV, the signal comes in through the RCA cable.

1988RedT2 PowerDork
12/1/16 8:51 a.m.

In reply to EastCoastMojo:

Thank you for helping to distinguish between your method and one that is truly Stone Age! For clarity's sake, my solution is to aim the camera at the TV. My original thought was to use an old Hi8 camcorder, but the bother of converting that analog video to a digital format is somewhat cumbersome.

Rufledt UltraDork
12/1/16 12:50 p.m.

I have some friends who record console games, they say the built in recording stuff on newer consoles is a bit fiddly but usually works if you don't mind audio(mic) balance issues or record separate and mix later, but I'm not sure a 360 has built in capture. You can also buy a capture card for the computer and run it into there which allows you to use a computer capture program like fraps or whatever you want. Just be aware of the file size, fraps for example records more cleanly than something like OBS or xsplit but the file is not compressed much. I used to get 50 seconds per gigabyte at 1080p 30fps with fraps so it requires a pretty large hard drive.

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