"Eh. Good enough."

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, any time I’m trying to create something, I tend to look at it after the fact and see things that I’m just not entirely satisfied with, aspects that could’ve been improved upon, etc.

However, it’s incredibly unrealistic to expect every single thing you make to flow perfectly, look perfect, sound perfect, and enrich people’s lives in a deep meaningful way. That ain’t the standard, and likely never will be for very good reason.

But that means, at some point, you have to decide “Yep. This isn’t perfect but it’s good enough.

So, how do you decide what “good enough” is for your work, and what kind of compromises if any have you had to make to reach that?

I have a terrible tendency, at least when it comes to the games I develop, to very quickly reach a “content complete” state (e.g. everything I originally thought of is finished and functional) and then release it as soon as possible, only to circle back around days, weeks, or even months later and begin filling in the blanks I didn’t deal with originally as sort of a “special edition.”

I take it as a pure tradeoff of effort vs. reward. If the improvement I’m going to get isn’t worth the amount of time, energy, or aggravation it will take to fix the problem, then I live with it. This includes sometimes completely scrapping a work product and starting from scratch. Shame they won’t let me do that with the 3.5 million line code base at work, but for LPs, it’s a pretty good metric.

This is the very reason I can’t bring myself to watch my Maui Mallard LP.

As for when ‘good enough’ is ‘good enough,’ that usually comes when it’s time to do my final audio mix; because I’m almost never satisfied on the first attempt. (Even when I run it through my usual routine of mixing.) I always have to tweak it, and after so long I just go, “Fuck it, Render it.”

On the other parts of LPing, not really? Anytime I have something in mind that I want to do, I usually plan it out before executing it. I mean, I’m sure there were some bits that sounded funny/cool in my head, but didn’t come out as they intended, but I rarely think about, “Is this good enough?” The only instances where I either had to compromise or cut something were when I wanted to do a sorta ‘TV opening’ for the second to last video of my Volgarr the Viking LP and when I wanted to do a spoof toy commercial for my Brave Fencer Musashi LP.

For the Volgarr TV opening, I went as far as making a ‘TV cut’ of the ending theme, and I listened to it a lot while I was planning it out in my head. Like, “Opening shot would be the stone circle. Camera trucks in towards the tower silhouette, then it fades out to the actual tower, etc. etc.” The problem I ran into was that I couldn’t draw any of this stuff on-model let alone animate it, and using the in-game sprites would just look like pixel soup; so I had to cut that video entirely.

For the Toy commercial spoof, I intended to render a bunch of the toy models and tween them around with a really cheesy narration, but I opted to not go through with it because I didn’t think I could pull off the narration bit. And if that falls flat the whole joke falls flat. So, I made a compromise to just make an intro sequence that looks like the beginning of an amateur youtube video. Which I think turned out just fine.

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“Finished” is a far more realistic goal than “perfect.” And “finished well enough” is more realistic than “finished perfectly.” It’s a good way to approach writing and drawing, too, and allows you to do more of the stuff you want, instead of agonizing over trying to make one thing that’s beyond reproach.

As for what qualifies as “good enough” for my LP videos, it’s basically, “Is this watchable? Listenable? Readable and spelled correctly? Translated true to context? Are my comments clear and concise? Is this a thing I really want to joke about?”

Once I had to compromise for some text I skipped past too quickly in a video by posting a transcript for easier reading. Luckily the text was optional, so it wasn’t too much of a screw-up. There was also that time I completely threw a stealth section on purpose, because I knew I couldn’t do it. Plus, it gave me an excuse to add silly music.

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For me, I sometimes struggle with the opposite problem. I’m an impatient person by nature and sometimes I have to really fight myself to slow down and take my time with something to make sure it’s good. Luckily I LP with my pal @shawiniganhandshake and she generally knows how to wrangle me into being careful. Not that we haven’t had a few mishaps!

I’m pretty sure I’ve stressed cried during each and every LP where I’m in the drivers seat (AKA being the one who’s recording the gameplay footage and ‘hosting’ the game). We LP’d Return of the Phantom and I’m pretty sure in Part 2 alone we had to restart about 3 or 4 times because I kept freaking out that the commentary wasn’t flowing well enough.

So for me having a partner like @GenghisKait helps keep me a bit grounded. She gets me to calm down and help me figure out what stuff is actually important/should be focused on. And she’s also good at listening to my feedback when she’s in the drivers seat and I feel like we could add/do something better in the LP. Usually when that comes up we discuss the feedback and come to some sort of agreement about whether it would be a good idea or if the LP would be okay without it.

I think @Nidoking put it well, it’s effort vs reward. Will me doing something different actually make for a better LP, and if so, am I reasonably able to do that thing in the timeframe I have?

And if I don’t do that thing, will the LP be passable? Or will it be a mess? Obviously if it’s a mess it’s probably better to put the LP on standby until a time comes when you can dedicate more attention to solving those problems.