What is a timelapse?
A timelapse is a short video that shows your progress over several days, compressed into a 3-5 minute video. Here’s a good one of my last LD-game My Little Planetoid
How do you make one?
You need a timelapse-tool, which will automatically create screenshots, save them and compile then into a video. Chronolapse has proven excellent. If you have a webcam, you can also set it to capture pictures from it.
How do I make a good timelapse?
Edit your pictures!
There is no need to see you absent from the screen for 2+ hours. There is no shame cutting material or only selectively turning on the capture-program.
Put as much info in as possible
If you have 2 monitors, capture both. If you have a webcam, use it.
Keep it short + compressed
Long timelapses aren’t that interesting. Try to keep the total length under ~3 minutes. The capture-interval is vital for this too. An interval between 30 and 60 seconds works well, <30 seconds will probably result in too many pictures, and a too long video.
Preferably something that is either fun, entertaining, and/or cool.
- Everything looks super efficient!
- You can give people an idea what it’s like to create a game in 48 hours, especially non-designers.
- A timelapse makes it possible for fans (and you) to compare their workflows.
- You can see a game evolve from simple blocks to effect-laden masterpieces of joy.
- What cons?
Making notes on the screen
Some devs have a text/image-editor open, on which they write what they are doing. While it can be entertaining, I prefer to condense the material and let the pictures speak for themselves.
Streaming and timelapsing goes hand in hand. If you feel you can do a succesful stream, do it!
With this information in mind, let’s study my current timelapse of Boxy The Boxcat. What works, what doesn’t?
- Note how the video is tad too long. 2 minutes is good, 5 minutes borders on unwatchable. The song wasn’t even long enough, so I had to add a piece after 2/3 of the video.
- There is a bit at the end where the game is essentially done, but the recording keeps going, showing the submission-process. I should’ve cut it.
- Unlike my other timelapses, in this one I actually smile for a few frames. Yay positivity!
Now prepare your own for the next jam, and go play & rate Boxy the Boxcat while you’re at it