How to record gameplay footage

April 11, 2017

(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!