After Action Reports > Digital Gaming AARs

Why do people do AARs?

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Beyond the fame, glory, babes and ducats that come from doing an AAR, why do people do them?

If you have never done an AAR it takes a lot of time and work.  You have to:
a] Play the game
b] Make screen shots
c] Annotate the screen shots (if you care to have your readers understand your work)
d] Write up what is happening.

It takes me about 6x times longer to write up an AAR as it did to play.  This is a minimum amount - it is probably more like 10x.

I'm leaving out video AARs which I find to be almost 100% horrible.  People don't write a script, they ramble a lot, and they have no structure.  I taught outreach marketing classes on video for 30 years and I spent 6 hours outside the class for every one hour in the studio - minimum.  I wrote detailed scrips, had my background material ready to roll, etc....  The quality level of most video AARs is so horrible that I find them unwatchable.  One of the very few exceptions is the work by Seth Skorkowsky who is not really doing AARs but is doing reviews.  But he does do some "how to" stuff on running RPGs that is also really good.

While you are doing this you could be doing something else - like playing another game.

For those of you who do AARs I'm interested in why you do them.  You can PM me, or I could PM everyone who did a decent AAR and bug them.

[Sorry you can make the researcher retire but you can't make them stop wondering why things happen the way they do].

Sir Slash:
I would do one to try to make people think I am really smart. And good at the game, not telling them I lost the same battle 5 times already.

Mainly I only do them when I think my nieces and/or fellow Grogs would like to see them. That's especially true in multiplayer games, as that way I can give other people an opportunity to shine.  O0

For example, I was suuuuuuuuuper annoyed that four out of my final five 'films' for the Fire in the Grogs Too match, were corrupted in the video (not the audio oddly), because I wanted to be able to show NVA-Dave and even VC-Larry (Arizona Tank here on the forum) coming back to win it all against Rich and myself. Dave's surge for the win was epic: he had come back from literally only one point of score, one base on the board (and maybe a few specs), to lead the way for his team to win. I hate not being able to show that!

(Though notably, not enough to reconstruct my notes about the moves during the final ten or fifteen turns from the Vassal save files, yet...  ::) )

Sometimes, for the print AARs, I have an idea for a story (like in the Survive Harder or PanzOrc Corpz series), which I'm basically generating and writing out. And that can amount to showing off myself.  :coolsmiley:

Mostly though I'm trying to show of other people, whether giving some attention to the game and its devs, or to my multi-player opponents, or providing a demo look; or just because my nieces might like to play the game but can't for various reasons. I'm running a hotseat game of Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic right now (with one of the standard unofficial patch-mod upgrades), which I worked hard to figure out how to import snapshots of the nieces as the portraits, so that even though I'm the one playing the game they'd think it was fun that the game and its developing story are about them. I'm making plans to try a Paradox run for them, too, later this year, starting from the CKII mod "When the World Stopped Making Sense" (set shortly after the fall of Rome) through HOI 4. (And maybe into Stellaris although I can't understand how that would make sense.) "They" would be a set of composite characters starting out as the Catholic princess inheritor of a small kingdom on the northwest coast of Africa -- a former Roman Imperial outpost -- which happens to be that area south of the Atlas mountains where "The Eye of the Sahara" is: arguably the best current guess for the location of the historical Atlantis!

A lot of YouTubers confuse AAR with let's plays.  They pride themselves on providing live commentary to games they're showcasing rather than tell a narrative on the events that occurred in game.

I used to do AARs in written form on gaming forums.  My main reason for doing them at the time was strictly for my own immersion and entertainment.  The story behind the campaign played against a human opponent was much more entertaining to me then actually playing the game.  I would imagine myself to be an everyday citizen reading the daily newspaper on current events.  It was fun!  But it was also a lot of work and I ultimately gave up on doing AARs.

W8taminute & Jason Pratt - thanks for sharing.


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