I just submitted my new video to the portal, How to be a Guitar Hero. Which brings up an important question. What do you guys think of video submissions on Newgrounds? Do they fit in at all? Should they be removed? Should their be a separate section for them?
As we know, Newgrounds is a flash only site. There's audio too of course, but meant to be used with the flash. The reason we can submit video is because flash supports embedded video. Flash, however, is not a video editor. And unlike youtube, there are some problems with this. First is the size limit. Video takes up a lot more space than vector graphics, obviously. The youtube file limit is 100MB, which is pretty excessive in my opinion, but allows for more freedom. The NG file limit is 10 MB, which is almost excessive for standard games and movies, but is barely enough for video. I had to compress my video at 130 kbps, 270 kbps less than 'normal' quality. But my video is also over eight minutes long, not exactly the norm.
Also an issue is the sound synchronization. Flash has always had issues with this, and video is no surprise. The reason it works on youtube is because the files are streamed from the server. When you submit content, you submit any kind of video file you have, youtube converts it to .flv, and streams it in the flash player. If you want to submit it as an .swf to newgrounds though, you have to embed the entire file into the .swf, which flash itself recommends against, resulting in issues like sound sync. There's probably a trick I don't know about yet, but even the classic 'stream looped silence in the background' trick didn't work this time, heh.
Anyway, there is a large pro to this- not anyone can submit a video. That's why you don't see the portal flooded with random pointless videos like you see at youtube- shit people film in a couple minutes and call it entertainment, or the mundane 'video blog' submissions from random people we probably don't care about. The extra step of converting and compressing is a turn off. If NG had a video section though I would hope that people would be strict in their blamming/saving. IE, entertainment videos are great but 'v-blog' type stuff would get blammed quick.
Is video a step in the next direction for NG? Maybe. It's a step in the next direction for me. Making games has always been my thing, with a little bit of animation thrown in there too. But I just want to entertain people, that doesn't mean it has to be with a flash game. Video is fun to make, it's more engaging than sitting in front of the computer all day and typing lines of code. Just enough to be a nice break in between making your next game or animation. I think other developers could agree :)