How long have you been creating gaming content?

I started creating gaming videos on YouTube in 2009 and have been ramping up my production quality as well as quantity ever since!

Why are many of your guide videos so long?

Without giving a full dissertation, I strongly believe that when producing guide content that is meant to assist the viewer in learning about a topic, that guide should be as in-depth as informative as possible.  Accuracy and detail are paramount to delivering a quality product, and video guides that typically lack one or both of these qualities are far inferior and often in fact provide misinformation to the consumer.

What is the typical process when creating a video?

Most viewers know my content from my guide videos, so I’ll outline that particular process:

1. Determine what I want to make a guide about.  Usually this is pretty straight forward and obvious (such as a World of Warcraft raid boss).  [Time: N/A]

2. Record the appropriate footage for the guide.  In most cases this is a by-product of playing the game and pressing the record button when needed.  [Time: ~15 minutes a night]

3. Write a basic outline or synopsis of what the guide will entail.  Like preparing for a speech on a topic you already know well, I typically just just write down the broad topics I plan to cover and order them as appropriate to serve the video. [Time: 15 minutes]

4. Splice the footage and record commentary.  This is the bread and butter of the entire process and is where I determine specifically what details and points I’m trying to convey in this particular guide.  Generally this process involves finding a clip of footage that matches the next topic to discuss, then playing that back while I record voice-over on top of it discussing how to manage what is happening on screen.

Since my guide content focuses on in-depth topics and is therefore delivered in a more narrative way rather than a very chopped up and edited fashion, this voice-over process requires many “retakes” for any given section of the video until I get it right.  On average, for every minute of final produced footage I have in a guide video, it requires around five minutes of video and voice-over editing during this step to create. [Time: 1 – 5 hours]

5. Edit the footage and add opening title cards or end credits as necessary.  This process is fairly simple but in addition to adding extra “menu” features and such to the final video, it is where I can go back and watch/listen to what I’ve made so far and adjust things if needed or re-record a section where something was off.  [Time: 15 – 60 minutes]

6. Render!  While this process doesn’t require any manual effort on my part, unfortunately the processing power required is enough that it prevents all but the most basic activity on my computer during the rendering period.  Unless speed is vital, typically rendering is queued up for the day and I allow it to be performed overnight.  [Time: ~1 hour per average-length video]

7. Verify the video rendered properly then upload (as a hidden/private video).  Similar to rendering, uploading requires very little personal interaction but does suck up a lot of bandwidth so again, overnight is ideal whenever possible.  [Time: ~2 hours per average-length video]

8. Create annotations.  I use many spreadsheets to manage all the relationships between videos since otherwise it would require a great deal of manual effort for every single video in a particular series.  For example, take something like Siege of Orgrimmar for World of Warcraft — 6 videos per boss per difficulty, 2 difficulties, and 14 bosses means just for that raid zone in World of Warcraft that’s 168 videos!  Needless to say, organizing annotations to link all the appropriate videos together is a daunting process so I try to streamline the process as much as possible.  [Time: ~30 minutes]

9. Add video meta data.  This typically just involves editing the basic information about the video — such as the title, description, and tags — to make sure these match the content appropriately and relay any appropriate information to the viewer.  This is also typically when assigning “thumbnail” images is performed, though often creating said images is a process I perform separately to speed things up so I have the images ready to go for any given video.  [Time: 5 minutes, plus 1-2 hours overhead for initial image creation of a “set” of videos.]

9. Final verification and publishing!  One last look over the uploaded product to verify the video uploaded correctly and that all annotations and meta data are accurate.  If all looks good, the video gets published and is available for public viewing (or in some cases is scheduled for automatic release at a later date).  [Time: Average video length just to re-watch it.]

10. Create social media links and website posts.  The last step of course is to let others know about the video.  [Time: 15-30 minutes]

What settings do you use when rendering videos?

  • Video Codec: H.264 as .mp4
  • Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Framerate: 30 FPS progressive
  • Bitrate: 10Mbps (action-heavy footage) or 4Mbps (slow-action footage), VBR, 1 pass
  • Audio Codec: AAC 192kbps, 48 kHz, Stereo

What applications do you use to create videos?

What addon is X in your World of Warcraft interface?

While it doesn’t tell you specifically which addon you might be referring to, if you know roughly what type of addon it is you’re looking at but just need the name, you can find my current addon list information at the following wiki page:

What UI do you use in World of Warcraft?

I do not use a “package” UI but instead prefer to use individual addons to create my own ideal layout and configuration.  Again, you can find more information about my UI on the wiki:

What guild do you play with in World of Warcraft?

I play with the wonderful people of Vox Immortalis on Hyjal-US and have been the guild leader of that group since the game’s release in late 2004!