I managed to draw a modest crowd for each stream, with multiple returning viewers, so there was clearly some interest in the playthrough (or else I have a knack for streaming when there's nothing good on TV). Still, compared with the hundreds of views and couple dozen Likes my other livestream videos have received after being ported to YouTube, the metrics on my Deponia videos are a little disheartening. I'm averaging about 70 views per video, and there are no Likes after the first one.
Normally I don't focus much on the numbers—I record for fun, not fame—but these numbers indicate the least engagement I've had on any of my videos in recent memory. So, what is it about this playthrough that's less appealing to my subscribers?
1.) It's not Mega Man. I've had success with Crystalis, Space Quest, and other non-Mega Man games on the GameCola YouTube channel, which has a more eclectic assortment of videos than either of my personal channels. But Mega Man is what people look forward to seeing most when I'm not recording for GameCola. Plus, of all the non-Mega Man games to play, Deponia is not one that people get overly excited to watch, assuming they've heard of it at all.
2.) It's a blind playthrough of a game that doesn't lend itself to blind playthroughs. At least with platformers (or practically any other genre, for that matter), the action doesn't stop when you encounter a challenge you can't readily overcome. You might keep falling down the same pit or losing to the same boss, but there's usually varying degrees of success, and things might play out differently from one attempt to the next. Plus, there's the anticipation that maybe this time you'll succeed. Adventure and puzzle games, on the other hand, tend to play out more or less the same way every time, and what's fun to play may not be fun to watch. Working through a challenge in your head translates visually to waling in circles and clicking on the same few objects until you stumble on the one and only solution.
3.) The best games to play are the ones you love or the ones you hate; strong opinions make for strong commentary. I'm not passionate about Deponia, one way or the other. The story's fine. I like the art style. The music is good. There's some decent humor. The voice acting's not bad. The characters are not as compelling as they could be. The ending makes the game feel incomplete, even knowing that it's part of a trilogy. The only element I feel particularly strongly about is the gameplay, but that's a given for practically any game. Challenge design is wildly inconsistent, and the interface needs more polish. 5/10; probably wouldn't play again, but could be persuaded to. That's hardly enough fuel for 9+ hours of commentary.
4.) The timing of my livestreams was not convenient for a few subscribers who would have otherwise attended. Some folks had family dinner plans or extracurricular obligations, and I was recording far too late in the evening for all but my most insomniac European viewers to participate. The viewers I had were loyal, but there weren't as many people in the chat (or, at least, as many people completely invested in Deponia) to keep the conversation and energy going whenever I started to wane.
5.) Most video series have diminishing returns with each subsequent installment, but my playthrough of Deponia is an especially large investment: each episode on YouTube is 1-3 hours long, and the game's story and puzzles are too complex to be able to skip ahead without missing something. Unless you're along for the whole ride, you might not bother with the series at all, and the first episode is long enough that you can make that decision well before committing to a second video.
All in all, I expect this playthrough of Deponia will be remembered, if at all, as a stepping stone to better livestreaming practices. Hopefully it's been entertaining enough to justify the time spent on it, which is all I ever really ask of a video. If nothing else, I was glad to have some company while I muddled my way through another game in my backlog.