How to record gameplay footage

April 11, 2017 No Comments

(This post is primarily intended for those invited to playtest my games– but you might also find this information useful if you’re looking into simple recording software yourself. Enjoy!)

Recording gameplay footage creates the most useful information for me, while keeping the workload for you low, aside from actually testing the game. It can be a bit tricky to set up, so here’s how it works.

Please do a test run of your recording program to make sure it works and is set up correctly! Thanks!

Method A: Windows 10 Game Recordings

You can only use this on Windows 10, but you won’t have to install extra software if it works.

Step 1: Press [Windows] + [G] to open the game bar. Tick ‘this is a game’ if necessary.

Step 2: Tick ‘Record microphone’ in case you want to do so. Press the red circle to start the recording. Once the timer appears, the recording has started. Recordings will last an hour with the default settings, select the cogwheel if you want to change this.

Step 3: Open the game bar and press the red circle again to stop the recording. You will get a notification that leads to the Xbox app, but it will also be saved in your Video library, in a folder called ‘Recordings’.

This method is sadly prone to poorly-explained error messages, so if this doesn’t work, you’ll need to install another tool to help record footage.

Method B: Record with OBS

OBS is a well-known used tool to record and even stream game footage! It’s a bit more complicated to set up but it works like a charm.

Step 1: Download OBS. Go to this page, scroll down to downloads, and pick the ‘OBS-Studio-18.0.1-Small-Installer.exe‘ version for Windows.

Step 2: Install OBS. This is a fairly straightforward progress and looks a lot like other installers. Once you’ve installed it, launch the program. You’ll get to this screen:

Step 3: Click the + under ‘Sources’, and add either a ‘Display Capture’, which records your entire screen, or ‘Window Capture’, which¬†only records a specific application or game.

Step 4: Make sure to scale the display or window you’re recording properly in the preview, like this (watch the half-transparent mouse cursor):

Step 5: Make sure your audio and microphone are working correctly and toggled on as desired. If the top green line moves when your computer makes sound, and the bottom one when you make sound, it’s set up correctly.

Step 6: Click on ‘Start Recording’ (NOT ‘Start Streaming’) to, well, start recording! A timer on the bottom will start running, that’s your confirmation it’s running. Once you’re done, select the same button (now saying ‘Stop recording’) to save the file.

Your footage will be saved in your video library! If it doesn’t, check the settings to see where it has saved them: Settings > Output > Recording > Recording Path.

Reducing the file size (do this before recording!)

It’s realistic for half an hour of recorded footage to be 500 MB or larger. This is okay, but if you have a subpar internet connection it could take ages to upload.

Here are some steps you could take to reduce the quality of the video to have smaller file sizes:

If you change any of these settings, make sure to make a test recording to make sure it still works after your changes.

You’ve recorded footage! Now how do you get it to me?

For < 25MB files

Is your video file under 25 MB? Great– then you can just mail it to me and you’ll be done!

Many mail programs won’t let you send files of 25mb or larger. In that case, look into one of the following alternatives.

For < 2GB files

Use WeTransfer to throw across files of up to 2GB! You can either mail it to me directly, or generate a link that you can send me some other way. Very convenient for video files!

For files of any (realistic) size

Thanks, and good luck with testing!