This month on Tritopsgaming we had the pleasure of getting to know Youtuber and Streamer Slightly Impressive aka Griffter, some of you may know him for his in-depth World of Warcraft videos, Machinmas or his even his The Sims let’s plays. We chatted about content creation, his time during the World of Warcraft Ironman challenge and much more.
For those who are not aware of your work can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m mostly known for making comedy WoW machinimas, and then everyone sort of tolerates the fact that I also like to stream other games as well.
How did you get into Youtube?
I think it was really just a matter of being curious enough to try it. I followed the work of several YouTubers, streamers, podcasters, etc and became more and more interested in the idea of making stuff on the internet. Eventually, I just decided to go ahead and start throwing together some videos and uploading them to see what happened.
What Youtubers has inspired you to get into YouTube?
I’m sure it’s no surprise that Crendor was a big influence for me, especially his vlogs that gave a bit of a behind-the-scenes look into the life of a YouTuber, as well as the business side of things. I also was a big fan of the Legendary podcast that Josh Allen (aka Lore), Mike B (aka Fony), and Gary Gannon were doing at the time. Seeing all these people following their passions for gaming and finding a way to be creative and earn a living from it was very inspiring to me.
When first starting out did you think that your content would become so popular? at the minute you’re sitting with over 65 thousand subscribers on YouTube must feel pretty great?
I had high hopes of course, but realistically, I thought I would probably make a few videos, get no views, then lose interest and move on to something else. I was really surprised by the mostly positive reaction to those first few machinimas, and how many people started supporting what I was doing. It still doesn’t quite seem real, actually.
A lot of your Youtube content is mainly WoW/Warcraft focused. What is it about these games that made you want to make content on them?
I think it was actually more about how active the WoW playerbase is online than about the game itself. In addition to the massive built-in potential audience, there are some very powerful tools like WoW Model Viewer and Free Far Sight that have been developed by fans and made available to anyone who wants to use them, and things like that have been a huge part of why WoW machinima has grown to be what it is. Also, Blizzard was one of the first big game companies to explicitly give permission for people use their games in monetized YouTube videos. They understood the importance of supporting their fan base instead of trying to tightly control everything, and it paid off for them (and us) in a big way. Also, you know, I like playing it.
Can you tell us about how you got into Machinima?
I decided to try out machinima despite having no idea how to edit video or voice act because I knew I could write funny scripts and had a few ideas for videos that I was really excited about. I slowly taught myself how to do all the other parts though a lot of trial and error and thankfully have had a lot of help from friends who wanted to voice act in the videos. I’m still continually working on improving every part of what I do, but the scripts are still the driving force behind every machinima I make. Everything else really just exists to get the joke that’s in my head across to the viewer, and hopefully make them laugh.
What advice would you give to people looking to do work similar to Machinima?
The best advice I can give is to just start doing it. Like I said, I had no idea what I was doing when I started and have just been trying to learn and improve over time. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to carve out any kind of following, so there is no better time to start trying than now. Oh, and be prepared to Google things a lot.
You have started doing the WoW Ironman challenge, how are you getting on with it?
I love it despite being embarrassingly terrible at it. I think half the people watching are only watching to see that look on my face when I inevitably die to something stupid like getting lost and wandering into Western Plaguelands. It’s a strangely enjoyable and addictive challenge. I think I like it because it makes the leveling process feel relevant again, almost like it does when you’re leveling up your first character. The decisions you make have more weight to them when any mistake might mean you have to start all over. You are forced to pay more attention to the game than you normally would. Also, it’s an excuse to do terrible Dwarf accents in front of strangers on the internet for a couple hours every week.
The Ironman challenge seems to be becoming quite popular what classes and races would you suggest people start the challenge with?
So far, I’ve had the most luck with hunters. By “luck” I mean that it took more aggressively stupid mistakes on my part to get me killed that it did with the other classes. I’m not sure which races are technically best, but the dwarf defensive racial ability seems like a pretty good one.
The new wow expansion alpha just finished up there before Christmas, what did you think of it?
I’m loving it so far. I already had high hopes for the Demon Hunter class, but it has far exceeded my expectations for how fun it would be to play. I’ve gotten to play both specs now, and I’m pretty certain it will become my new main. I also love most of the class order halls and the artifact weapon system. There are still plenty of things that could go horribly wrong (the new follower system seems questionable, for instance), but what I’ve seen so far makes me really excited for the expansion.
Is there anything you would add or take away from the wow or its expansion?
I would really like guild halls to be implemented. I think it would be fun to have a place for your guild to meet, customize the look of, and display trophies for things like achievements and boss kills. Basically, I want garrisons with all the things they were supposed to have and without all the things people hated, like follower missions.
There has been a drop in subscriber in wow over the years, just recently Blizzard said that they wont be publishing player/subscriber counts anymore, why do you feel there has been a decline?
I think it has more to do with the game’s age than anything. Most people have been playing for so long that the game just doesn’t hold their interest like it used to. A lot of people now only play when there is a new expansion, and then quit when they get bored with that content. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but I hope Blizzard will be able to adapt to it well enough to keep the game going for a least a few more years. I don’t think the content release schedule of WoD was a particularly good way to do that, so hopefully things go better with Legion.
You also stream on twitch, was it a big change from moving from YouTube to this platform?
I was really scared to start streaming for a long time. The idea of people being able to interact with me live through the chat made me very nervous, so kept putting it off. Once I finally tried it though, I loved it right away. It turned out to be even more enjoyable than recording gameplay on my own, which I already loved to do. I was still very nervous at first, but having the viewers there to interact with actually makes it easier to be entertaining, and my viewers were incredibly supportive. Now I stream as a fun, relaxing way to spend a couple hours hanging out with the viewers and playing games.
Streaming has become pretty popular why do you think it has become so big?
I think people have liked watching other people play Video Games for as long as video games have existed, despite how ridiculous it sounds to a lot of people. When I was growing up, my little sister would watch me play Mario and Donkey Kong for hours. My friends and I would take turns watching each other play games at each other’s houses. I think a lot of gamers have memories like that, and streaming is the same kind of thing on a much bigger scale, for both the streamers and the viewers.
Within every comment section or every chat there is always a little negativity or some trolling, how do you personally deal with that?
I picture them as angry 9 year olds screaming and crying at their computer screen because they have nothing better to do and no one is paying attention to them. It works pretty well for me.
When people start out streaming one of their biggest difficulty is getting the viewers, do you have any advice for any up and coming streamers to attract the viewers?
I’m still pretty new to the whole streaming thing, and this is something I’m still trying to figure out for myself, actually. I was fortunate enough to have a following on YouTube already, so of course that has helped tremendously. The way Twitch is set up, the more viewers you have, the more easy it is to get more. This is great for established YouTubers who want to try out streaming, but I have no idea how someone would go about starting from scratch as a Twitch streamer. It probably just takes the right personality, a lot of dedication, and some dumb luck.
Is there any certain streaming or recording equipment or software you would suggest to beginners?
I use Bandicam to record game footage, Audacity to record audio, Adobe Premiere Pro CC for editing, and a Blue Yeti microphone with a shock mount and pop filter. For streaming, I use OBS and a lot of hot tea.
What up and coming plans do you have for your channels in 2016?
I really want to focus more on being involved in the WoW/gaming machinima/streaming/podcasting/fansiting world this year. I believe most people call this “the community,” but I get that confused with “going outside” where there are bears. So basically, I want to do more things like this, and look at me! I’m doing it! Yay! So thanks for asking me to do it!
What are your top 5 favourite characters in video games?
Lara Croft, Booker Dewitt, Octodad, GLaDOS, and Junkrat. Wait, would it make me a narcissist to say five of my WoW toons? Right, okay, let’s go with those first five then.
What is your fondest video game memories?
Age 5, sitting on the kitchen floor of my friend’s house, playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on his NES. Why he had a little TV with an NES in a corner of the kitchen, I’ll never know, but that was actually my first experience with video games that I can remember, so it’s a big one.
We just waved goodbye to 2015 which had a lot of great games, what were you personal favourites?
I think it might be cheating to say Overwatch since it hasn’t even come out yet, but nothing else comes close for me. I’ve only gotten to play it at Blizzcon and one beta weekend, but I love that game to a degree that seems irrational.
Is there any games in 2016 that you are looking forward to getting your hands on?
It’s definitely cheating to say Overwatch again, isn’t it? Okay, I’m excited for Rise Of The Tomb Raider to come out on PC. I did a let’s play of the first one and loved it, so I’ve been excited for the sequel for a long time.
We would like thank Griffter for taking the time to take part in the interview and wish him all the luck in future work and projects.
If you would like to know more and keep up to date with Slightly Impressive head on over to the following:
(Images: Slightly impressive socials/officials)