Kotaku Did Me A Solid

by Hank Thompson on November 13, 2014

The popular gaming website, Kotaku, posted and wrote about a couple videos I made using the headline ‘Violent Shadow Of Mordor Montages Are Tragic, Pretty.’

The game has a photo mode, which lets you pause the action, move a camera around and snap cool screenshots. Instead of taking stills, I screen-recorded the camera motion at very slow speeds and then edited the footage to music. I must have screwed up because people seem to like it. Writer Yannick LeJacq wrote, “The most creative I’ve seen is using the photo editor to create surprisingly moving short films.”

Over the five days since Kotaku’s post, the first video went from around 300 views to over 20,000. The second has close to 7,000. Those aren’t bad numbers for a YouTube channel with a paltry 357 subscribers, which was at an even more paltry 310 just a few days ago.

It’s rewarding to see something you do mostly in the dark with very little notice not only get some attention, but also get nice things written, like (remarking on how gross the game can be): “Turning it into something beautiful is a matter of ingenuity and craft, which this murder-filled montage demonstrate masterfully:”

Masterfully? I use the phrase ‘obsessive over detail to the detriment of my health and well-being’ but I’ll take it!

Here’s a screenshot from analytics of the first update.

Mordor Analytics 1


That giant spike dwarfs ANY of our previous peaks for daily views. By a TON. Won’t be long and the channel will cross the 100K view mark, which is a lot, but it’s also not, yet as anything that started at zero, each milestone means something at the moment, from the 1st subscriber (which is the guy I sit next to at work) to the 1 millionth subscriber.

Gaming is HUGE on YouTube. Many of the top performing channels are gaming channels, netting millions in revenue and billions of monthly views. Turns out people like watching other people do stuff, even if that stuff is play video games. And why not? It’s storytelling. Entertainment. Something to do between birth and death. As a professional YouTube guy (I have TWO — count ‘em: TWO — certifications) I figured why not combine something I’ve done my whole life (video games) with something else I’ve done my whole life (say stupid shit out loud) and see what happens. It’s a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun.

Here’s a trailer I made that explains what we’re all about:

Mostly, the channel is commentary. Think: Mystery Science Theater but with video games. I do it with a friend who isn’t a comedian so our dynamic works well with me as the insane person with boundary issues and him as a healthy normal guy who gets uncomfortable but is too polite to call the police when I cross the line. We also do guides, advice and just plain fun, silly or cool videos, like these Mordor things. Here’s a third one I didn’t finish until after their post:

If you like watching some asshole yell at video games, then head over to SuckProfessor and subscribe and lets do this!

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