This might be a function of my age and what was available when I was growing up, dear reader, but I really miss the days where the best way to get information about a game was from a website like GameFAQs (I’m sure other guide websites were out there, but this is the one I used). The best guides had extremely thorough walkthroughs and info/stats tables, told you everything you needed to know, and usually had some epic ASCII art titles to boot.
Aside: It didn’t occur to me until I just went to try and find some cool ASCII art to take a pic of for this post that text-to-ASCII-art generators are a thing, and were probably a thing back then too. I thought each title was painstakingly crafted with precise spacebar usage! Naive much.
These days (you know it’s gonna be good when someone starts a paragraph with ‘these days’) people making guides primarily make videos, and I understand why. As well as telling the information, creators can show it, too. It’s much easier to record a clip demonstrating something and narrate than it is to clearly write a guide that conveys the same information.
However, written guides are easier to search through, they go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, they don’t stop midway through to show you an advert, they don’t have annoying music or sounds that clutter up the in-game sounds or whatever else you’re trying to listen to, and they are easier to access alongside a game if your computer isn’t super powerful.
This is definitely something I can do. I think written guides with accompanying pictures, plenty of internal links, and a reliable source are something there’s still space for out there. I am probably going to start on some Hollow Knight guides. I know there’s a Wiki, but it’s a bit lacking in detail compared to what I have in mind, and it’s a game I truly know well so can feel confident in my ability to create this kind of content for it. The other game I know that well is probably Stardew Valley, but the Stardew Valley Wiki is exceptionally good. Plus hopefully, when Silksong releases, anyone who hasn’t played Hollow Knight yet will do so because of all the hype, and whatever I can do to help them enjoy my favourite game is worth doing. Besides, practice makes perfect!
What do you all think? Are you a lover of the video guide, more interested in a text document, or are very granular wikis your thing? Let me know in the comments and if you love video guides, let me know why.