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January 1, 2015

Galactic Pillow Official YouTube Channel

by Master Pillow

Since I have been severely cutting back on posts over the past few months I’ve decided to try something a bit different by setting up the official Galactic Pillow YouTube Channel. Although both current gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) have streaming/sharing video capabilities built-in I’ve really not been impressed by the overall image quality. Likewise, the screenshot feature for the PS4 results in less-than-desirable shots and the good old Xbox One doesn’t yet even have this functionality. Therefore, on a whim, I went out and got myself an Elgato Game Capture HD device so that I could kill two birds with one stone by recording high quality video and for taking much better screenshots from both consoles.

Previously, I had compiled many lower-quality videos from my past gaming sessions and have built up a treasure trove of sorts but I was never really satisfied with the low-res look of the files. As for screenshots, this is a must-have feature for me as it is just much more personal to include screencaps from my playthroughs to complement my reviews rather than to dig up official shots, some of which are undoubtedly “bullshots” with massive amounts of post-processing added to them.

Readers have asked me why I don’t post reviews of PC games and the answer is that I just prefer playing games from the comfort of my own sofa rather than sitting stuck behind my desk. I do have a decent gaming Asus laptop but my personal preference is to use a controller, be it a Dual Shock or Xbox One/360. That said I did play many indie PC games during the summer months but I haven’t had much time to pen those reviews either.

Regardless, the Elgato Game Capture HD device is easy to use and so far I’ve been pleased with the results. As such, I’ve been taking a ton of video from Bioware’s Dragon Age Inquisition, especially of the cutscenes, since they do a great job of showing the quality of the graphics as well as the fact that, for once, I’ve been able to make a decent protagonist with the in-game character creator. Previously, I’ve had awful luck crafting photogenic player characters and, though I love Bioware games in general, this is one area where the Canadian developer hasn’t exactly excelled. Anyone who has played Mass Effect will recognize that it is near impossible to create good looking avatars, especially female ones which often end up looking like some mutant troglodyte.

Nevertheless, I’ve decided that, for now, I wouldn’t be doing any player commentary or live streaming since it really isn’t “my thing” but I’ll just start off easy by uploading some of the nicer cutscenes from the various games I’ve been playing.

The world is changing and journalism is certainly no exception with the proliferation of the Internet and social media, traditional avenues of news and reviews are no longer holding as much cachet as they previously did. Nowadays, huge gaming media outlets such as IGN and Gamespot are under serious threat from other sources, primarily YouTube channels such those run by Totalbiscuit and Angry Joe which have over one million subscribers each. Companies are now wise to the fact that these channels can’t be ignored and that adapting to include them just makes total financial sense.

That said I have no grand dream of starting such a YouTube channel to help the gaming/movie masses as I just have no time or drive to do so. Besides, you really don’t want to hear me launch into a rambling diatribe about how bad Transformers Age of Extinction is or how broken an experience the Master Chief Collection is over on Xbox One. I’ll let others do that for your entertainment enjoyment.

I’m not exactly sure if people want to see the cutscenes I upload but I figure that they’ll go to waste anyways sitting on my drive so if I post them my readers can ask me whatever they want about the games instead of reading a long-winded review. Yes, I know that I can drone on for hours in some of my reviews thus, it would be a good idea for me to get an editor who can advise me what to chop as I just do a miserable job of editing my own stuff. I’m not sure how many videos I will upload or if I intend on doing it for the rest of time but we’ll see what happens.

Galactic Pillow - Ylisha Lavellan

Galactic Pillow – Dalish Elf Mage Ylisha Lavellan

Dragon Age Inquisition: The Adventures of Ylisha Lavallen

Anyways, the first batch of videos will all be focused on Dragon Age Inquisition and my Dalish Elf Inquisitor, Ylisha Lavellan, as she traverses the world of Thedas. I’ve actually already finished my playthrough on normal and am currently doing it on nightmare mode just to get that last achievement.

I’ll be posting these Dragon Age Inquisition videos in, more or less, a linear fashion in terms of game progression so be warned that there are obvious spoilers everywhere. At the same time, I’ll be posting many of the better screenshots in this blog as well to coincide with the video uploads.

If you take a quick peek at the Galactic Pillow YouTube Channel you’ll notice that some playlists are already up and are complete such as the nine part prologue which takes Ylisha from the end of the character creator right up to the Dragon Age Inquisition Title Card in Haven. So far there are more than 100 videos already in the channel so that’s a good sign!

I’m currently working on Act 1 which takes place in Haven all the way to the end of the quest, “In Your Heart Shall Burn,” and I suspect I’ll be uploading many clips over the next few days in order to finish the narrative arc. Minor Spoiler: There’s a huge decision that the Inquisitor needs to make during this arc where she needs to support only one of two factions so I’ll include the cutscenes from both choices, although I’ll only add one to the Act 1 Playlist as it makes no narrative sense to place both paths back-to-back.

Both of these paths feature completely different plotlines and I know the fanbase will be split more or less evenly as to which they prefer. If you ask me the one featuring the mages is certainly decent but the other choice of the templars actually adds a ton more backstory to the main antagonist. In the end, the best recommendation would be to choose one faction for your first playthrough and the other for subsequent campaigns.

At the same time work is proceeding on Act 2/Act 3 as well as other playlists like Judgements, Inner Circle Quests and assorted gameplay snippets.  I’ll post to this blog once each section is complete.

Although I have recorded much video I don’t have every single cutscene imaginable from the game nor do I have all the various romance options taped either. There are just too many cutscenes in the game for me to upload all of them. If you do have a request for a video from a cutscene that I have not posted you can always contact me through the blog’s associated section or leave a comment on the YouTube videos and I’ll see what I can do.

The game allow 50 saves per character on the Xbox One and though this sounds like overkill that, in fact, it isn’t enough to properly set up saves at convenient spots in order to “tape” all the relevant cutscenes without having to replay huge tracts of the game.

Also, please note that I really do mean full-cinematic cutscenes here and not just those moments when the Inquisitor speaks to someone where the camera does not transition to a more traditional style of film editing. I realize that there is a ton of relevant dialogue that takes place out of cinematic cutscenes but that is just too huge a task for me to tape/edit together if I decided to include those as well.

Before anyone asks me, if you do like the character I’ve made (Ylisha Lavellan), I’ve unfortunately not saved my slider settings anywhere so I can’t recreate her without some serious trial and error in the character creator. Besides, it’s not like I totally messed with the editor to make a completely unique look as I just fiddled and tweaked most of the default female elf settings but I still think she ended up looking pretty good.

The only tips/hints I can give that really stand out in the character creator is to use a more subdued colour scheme for makeup and to remember to turn lip gloss down to near zero. Additionally, I’ve greatly increased the size of the eyes, especially for female characters, as I found the default far too narrow.

Finally, please note that I am working on the opening Channel trailer but I have no ETA as to when it will be going up. In the meantime, I hope you have fun poking around the Channel as well as checking the regular Galactic Pillow website for new reviews, editorials and opinions about cinema, TV and video games.

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© 2014 The Galactic Pillow

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