A Return to Form
December 5, 2018 2:12 PM   Subscribe

 
Nice! I was wondering if the soul was still burning.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:23 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]


Our sweet, baby, beautiful, big boys are back, baby! I already had to stop 1 minute in before I laugh too much in public.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:24 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


was so stoked to see them back today!
posted by lazaruslong at 2:24 PM on December 5


That dang soul's been burning for two and a half years!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:26 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Y'all, I would burn this world to ashes if it meant that Monster Factory could never end.
posted by runcibleshaw at 2:37 PM on December 5 [7 favorites]


Oh, thank god. I need this in my life.

I'm a little sad about Polygon's video content lately. Brian's doing good work, but most of their recent videos seem very.... video game focused. I mean... like, in Monster Factory, the video game part is a medium for the art. The same could be said for some of the other series, particularly several of Simone's. And I like the communal live play aspect of Awful Squad and those Jackbox videos, but they haven't really replaced them with anything similar. Now they just are kinda doing journalism. Which is fine. I guess. I mean, they're a journalism site.

Bleh.
posted by Caduceus at 2:37 PM on December 5 [12 favorites]


I found out about this through the new McElroy mailing list which, in spite of what you might have heard, isn't a pyramid scheme.

It really isn't.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:40 PM on December 5 [12 favorites]


That's exactly what someone trying to sell me on a pyramid scheme would say
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:42 PM on December 5 [5 favorites]


"It takes less crackers to fill me up..." has me on the floor.
posted by runcibleshaw at 2:44 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I hadn't watched monster factory and now I have to watch all the monster factorys.

That the first random outfit on the giant pecs dude was giant boob spikes felt like an incredible coincidence, but it's soul calibur, so maybe not so much?
posted by ominous_paws at 2:46 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I hadn't watched monster factory and now I have to watch all the monster factorys.

I envy you being able to experience them for the first time.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:55 PM on December 5 [8 favorites]


Shrek and the Bunny Lady!

And I like the communal live play aspect of Awful Squad and those Jackbox videos, but they haven't really replaced them with anything similar. Now they just are kinda doing journalism. Which is fine. I guess. I mean, they're a journalism site.

Yeah - there's something the McElroys bring to the table that is both a commentary on the thing they are doing and a commentary about the thing they are doing, at the same time. While making excellent goofs. By gawd, they make me laugh harder than anything else in this current crapsack timeline we find ourselves in.

I loved Awful Squad; even when it was just 4 of them playing the game on a regular server and shooting the shit while they got themselves killed in horrible ways, often with Justin strumming the guitar and singing. I was beside myself with joy on the occasions when they actually won games. And their communal games were often incredibly funny - most often when I thought the special rule/conceit they were going for was going to be a disappointment, it turned into something magical.

Off to find any Monster Factory episodes I may have missed.
posted by nubs at 2:56 PM on December 5 [3 favorites]




OMG the random outfits! The chest hair!
posted by nubs at 3:05 PM on December 5


I hadn't watched monster factory and now I have to watch all the monster factorys.


Yes. Yes you do.

So jealous.
posted by wotsac at 3:07 PM on December 5 [3 favorites]


My god, to be able to experience the wonders and horrors of the Final Pam for the first time again...ominous_paws, you're in for a treat.
posted by yasaman at 3:19 PM on December 5 [5 favorites]


Justin’s wheezing laughter makes me so happy
posted by Countess Elena at 3:25 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I started watching, and I'm gonna save it to savor later, because honestly? I need that today.

So, I think I've seen the Final Pam at least four? five? seven? times, and one of the most recent, I was watching via rabbit with a good friend, and we realized there's an actual goddamn narrative arc here.

[probably a digression but bear with me? or flag and move on, whatever]

Long-standing joke among my McElroy-loving friends is that Griffin McElroy is The Duality of Man. Will you be wheezing with laughter over something impossibly surreal on MBMBaM or Polygon? Certainly. Will you weep your face off when he gets fucking deadass poetic in one of the later TAZ Balance episodes? Without a doubt. (Will you be charmed to pieces when he and Rachel talk on Wonderful? Deffo.)

The Final Pam is the marriage of Weird Humor Griffin and Narrative Genius Griffin. (Also, the way Griffin and Justin play off of each other is a rare and magical thing.) It's brilliant and funny and even a little spooky at the end there.

And it's a goddamn YouTube video about breaking a videogame.
posted by epersonae at 3:37 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I'm not looking at the link, I'm not even reading the comments here, I'm just popping in to say that I had started rewatching Monster Factory last week on a whim (a lot of it is still Very Funny the second time) and have decided not to see this new installment until I'm caught up. Looks like there's some binging in my near future.
posted by ardgedee at 3:40 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Just throwing in a link to Kyle Kallgren of Brows Held High fame's Yes, Monster Factory Is a Work of Art.
posted by northernish at 3:40 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Was hoping for this, but was hoping for Fallout 76. I'll take what I can get!
posted by davejay at 3:45 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I'm going to take this as a good omen about my decision to go part-time at my work well ahead of schedule. I'm going to figure out how to do something besides know way too much about a buggy, poorly designed propriatary medical records system running on an obsolete IBM backend. A new Monster Factory means things have to be looking up now.
posted by Caduceus at 4:06 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


Also one of y'all up there gave me my 5000th favorite, and boy its appropriate to my life that it's a comment about Monster Factory.
posted by Caduceus at 4:11 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I AM CRYING!
posted by Fizz at 5:19 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


“We know the gun is in there.”


LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
posted by Fizz at 5:22 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I'm a little sad about Polygon's video content lately. Brian's doing good work, but most of their recent videos seem very.... video game focused. I mean... like, in Monster Factory, the video game part is a medium for the art. The same could be said for some of the other series, particularly several of Simone's. And I like the communal live play aspect of Awful Squad and those Jackbox videos, but they haven't really replaced them with anything similar. Now they just are kinda doing journalism. Which is fine. I guess. I mean, they're a journalism site.

here's a link to a pretty sad deleted reddit post from polygon's video producer tara long explaining the change in direction on their YouTube output.
posted by JimBennett at 5:27 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Whatever metric they were using to decide that pulling those kinds of videos was a good idea is a bad metric.
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:30 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


Thank you for sharing, JimBennett. Poor Tara. I hate the internet sometimes a lot of the time.

Brian's doing great work with Unraveled. We've been enjoying that in the Caduceus household. Miss the other stuff. Glad to see Monster Factory.
posted by Caduceus at 8:01 PM on December 5


JimBennet, that link just says "could not connect to Reddit" for me. What was the gist?

I'd noticed that the Polygon videos had really lost their special oomph but I didn't know what was behind it. It happened not long after Cracked axed their videos and abruptly fired most of their staff, so my Youtube subscriptions have lost a lot of their geeky charm lately. Those videos were REALLY popular, but I guess some number-cruncher crunched some numbers and that was that. Goddamn number crunchers.

I adore all of the McElroys, but Griffin really is some kind of crazy poet. He just constantly spits out these random phrases you never forget, stuff that sounds like hilarious Urban Dictionary slang even though he just thought it up. "Blast my cache!"
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:11 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]


I guess some number-cruncher crunched some numbers and that was that.

That's basically the gist of Tara's post, too. That combined with some righteous fury at shitty people being shitty.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:03 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


If any Monster Factory fans haven't yet seen this excellent short fan animation of Final Pam, you need to rectify that immediately. It's the Best. Probably utterly nonsensical unless you've already watched at least the first Final Pam episode of Monster Factory though.
posted by yasaman at 10:30 PM on December 5 [3 favorites]


I guess some number-cruncher crunched some numbers and that was that. Goddamn number crunchers.

A quote from Tara's post:
"Those shows were cancelled because they weren’t performing well, they were actively losing us subscribers, and because they’re unsustainable with the small team we have now. We can’t keep creating niche content for the 2% of our hardcore audience who actually watches it every week, as much as we would like to."
I recall their switch from live-streaming on YT to live-streaming on Twitch was due to a quirk in the YT interface that meant they lost subscribers every time they live-streamed on YT.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:02 AM on December 6


I'm a little sad about Polygon's video content lately.

Yeah, it's a shame that they've pulled back on the kind of weird stuff that drove the growth of their channel in the first place. I love Monster Factory, but it's not super different from the kinds of humor you can find from other video game outlets. Series like SEO Play, Griffin's Amiibo Corner, Filmbreakers, and Gill and Gilbert are the things that are uniquely Polygon to me. Unraveled is great, but at this point it might be the only interesting thing the video team is producing. That deleted comment from Tara says that the shift happened because those kinds of shows "weren't performing well", but that kind of stuff is responsible for them having a fanbase in the first place. If they're not producing things that distinguish them from their competition they're not going to be able to generate fans who are loyal to their tone and voice; the videos that make a channel unique have an effect that goes far beyond their individual view counts. And, frankly, the more analytical content they've released in the last couple of months is very weak relative to the other things that are being produced in that space.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:32 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]


I guess some number-cruncher crunched some numbers and that was that.

I loved that weird and fun era of Polygon's video content. But I also felt that the YouTube numbers were low. Like really low. Low enough to leave me curious as to how they could sustain the work.

The most popular Monster Factory videos would exceed a million views, but too many of the Polygon videos' views are measured in the tens of thousands.

Compared to someone in the comedy/gaming crit sphere like Dunkey who regularly pulls 2-3 million views a video, and peaks at over 10 million views, the Polygon content just isn't that popular outside of our little circle.
posted by thecjm at 6:47 AM on December 6


unfortunately because of capitalism media companies basically have no incentive to produce shows with a devoted but niche audience right now. youtube changed their algorithms at some point and gaming content now makes a lot less money than it used to (which is why most lets players have moved over to Twitch and Patreon). it used to be possible to make a living off of YouTube if you made a few videos a week and got like, 30,000 views. that is no longer the case. supporting a whole video team at those metrics is probably impossible. whoever runs these things would rather they make generic content with a broader appeal with the hope that one or two of those videos go viral and get hundreds of thousands of views because that's where the real money is on youtube these days.

youtube has also basically done everything in its power to make it impossible to hold on to an audience. for years, the sub box would regularly just not show new videos from channels you were subscribed to. at one point youtube randomly unsubbed people from a random amount of channels. the livestream notifications were spammy, annoying, and surely lost them tons of subs. and then the mcelroys left, which i'm absolutely sure shrank their audience.

weirdly, unraveled seems to be one of the only series producing these viral videos right now and it definitely feels like the "old Polygon," but on the other hand all the generic infotainment red dead redemption videos they made got more views than any of the fun jackbox stuff ever did, so you know. this is what happens when all the media we consume is tied to the whims of a monolithic platform. you have to move in the direction the wind is blowing to stay afloat (someone is going to write a whole book about this w/r/t facebook soon, because jesus christ).

or if you're vox you could say "we don't need to make a huge profit as long as we make a profit, or hey, just break even, or hey, we could even afford to lose a bit of money if the prestige of having a cool youtube channel brings more people to the main website." but we live in an era where media companies are being pumped full of cash by fucking venture capitalists who inflate the values of the companies, then expect unrealistic and frankly insane return on their investment, then when that doesn't happen demand layoffs, budget cuts, and more layoffs before eventually just shuttering the company entirely and walking away with whatever money's left. as far as i can tell, polygon is currently in the "budget cuts" section of that cycle. hopefully things don't get too much worse.
posted by JimBennett at 6:55 AM on December 6 [4 favorites]


(all of this is also why polygon's actual website is so bland and full of clickbait trash despite literally every employee there being a smart, talented, compassionate person)
posted by JimBennett at 7:01 AM on December 6 [3 favorites]


The decline of Polygon in spite of such wonderful talent is truely depressing.

However! You can still get your dose of Simone, Allegra, Ashley, and Chelsea on The Polygon Show, gloriously weird and unfiltered. Presumably because ad returns are still buck wild for podcasts.
posted by thoroughburro at 7:08 AM on December 6 [4 favorites]


This totally explains things for me. I discovered Polygon late through old Monster Factory videos, and I was expecting something so much more than the boring site I found. Sounds like I missed the golden years.
posted by davejay at 11:13 PM on December 6


The Polygon Show is great fun and I have no idea why they don’t post it on YouTube any more. Doing so would be as close to free and zero effort for them as could be imagined.
posted by ardgedee at 8:32 PM on December 10


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