The AI Nuked Itself, I Swear! – An Interview with TGN Partner Solar Gamer

If there’s one thing we love about strategy games, it’s the fact that you can just keep saying “one more turn”….and then it’s 4am and you have no idea where your night went. Solar Gamer knows that feel, as he features awesome videos about Civilization V, Kerbal Space Program, and a ton of others on his channel.  We took a moment to sit down with Solar Gamer and pick his brain about the latest strategy games, and his favorite methods of play and characters. Click that “next turn” button and let’s get started!


Q. For gamers out there that are not already familiar with your content, what is your channel all about? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A. Well, I love to play Strategy games, however, my channel isn’t limited to one genre. I play a bunch of different games varying in size and gamestyle.


Q. Do you have a favorite video (that you created)? Why?

A. My favorite video is definitely ‘Kerbal Space Program is Just Awesome’.  It is a parody of the Discovery Channel’s ‘The World is Just Awesome’. A bunch of YouTubers and I added our own taste to the song. It was a huge project and at times a bit stressful, but it came together nicely.


Q. What is your favorite video game of all time? Why?

A. Civilization V hands­ down. It’s funny, when I was younger, I hated turn­-based games. Civilization changed my mind completely. Building an empire is just really addicting!


Q. What’s your favorite YouTube trending video right now?

A. I don’t have a lot of time to browse YouTube, so I can’t necessarily answer with a current video. I do still like ‘What does the Fox say’. To me, that doesn’t get old haha.


Q. How did you get started on YouTube? What was your inspiration for starting a channel?

A. I used to watch a lot of ‘Let’s Plays’ on YouTube. Channels like Quill18 really inspired me to start my own. I wasn’t the best commentator at the start (and those videos will never be seen again ;D) but I knew that if I had fun, viewers might have fun with me.


Q. What is your favorite video capture program? Audio capture?

A. I have really only used Fraps to record gameplay. I know there is better software out there, but I never switched. I use Audacity to record my audio.


Q. If you were to become an video game character for a day, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

A. This is kind of tough. I think I would have to become a Kerbal. They may not be the longest ­living characters, but they do have a whole lot of fun. Plus, they get to see some amazing things. I have always been fascinated with space. I would really like to travel into space one day, I just hope somebody other than a Kerbal is flying me there ;D


Q. Walk us through your typical work day. How do you allocate your time between playing games, video creation and building your community?

A. Well, up until recently I was doing things whenever I needed to. Putting something out the same day it is scheduled, recording the day of, etc. I am just starting to make a daily routine that should help the consistency of content. I have to admit, I am a huge procrastinator, I am hoping to turn that all around now.


Q. What is your greatest YOLO moment?

A. I am currently 20 years old, so I don’t necessarily think I have experienced a YOLO moment yet haha. When the time comes, I will be sure to tell TGN first! XD


Q. For aspiring gaming YouTubers, what is your best advice for success? What are the top things to avoid doing?

A. The best advice I could give is to have fun with your commentary. If you are having fun, viewers will be drawn to that. Another thing I recommend is a consistent schedule. This is mainly for your own purposes, it makes things a little easier to plan around a busy lifestyle. The number one thing to avoid is being rude to your viewers. They are just as crucial to a channel’s success as the commentator is.


Q. Any shout outs for your community?

A. I really want to thank everyone that has taken time out of their lives to watch my content. Without you, I would be a crazy person screaming at my computer (I still might be ;D). Thank you all so much!


Q. How do you choose which games to play on your channel? Do you go more for what’s trending or do you stick to games you love to play?

A. I need to be able to enjoy the game I am playing. If I don’t like it, I won’t play it. I am not the one to play things just because it is trending – the viewers deserve a real and true experience.


Q. So, you’ve been checking out the latest Civilization game, Civilization: Beyond Earth. How is it holding up to its predecessors?

A. I love the Civilization series, and I love the space setting. I do have to say that while this is still a very entertaining game, compared to Civilization V, it is relatively similar. Keeping something that works is great and that is what a sequel should be, but when you have a lot of the same issues and bugs as the last game, it makes it hard to call it new. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beyond Earth. I think that Firaxis will make this game awesome, it just wasn’t a strong launch.


Q. Do you like the “build your own civilization” start of Civilization: Beyond Earth, or do you prefer to choose from a pre­set nation as in previous Civilization games?

A. I like the new freedom that Beyond Earth offers with Sponsors. It definitely makes for some very interesting games. That being said, I also like choosing a specific Civilization with bonuses and unique abilities like in Civilization V. I think it works well both ways.


Q. Which affinity is your favorite to win with in Civilization: Beyond Earth? Or do you prefer global domination or contacting the alien species?

A. I am favoring the Purity affinity at the moment. I tend to favor humans in these types of games. I get attached to us as a species overcoming an alien foe or just spreading out among the stars.


Q. Do you have a particular combination of organization/vehicle that you like to use when you’re just starting a fresh Civilization: Beyond Earth game?

A. This isn’t the preferred strategy for Beyond Earth, but I do love having a large navy. Krakens are tough aliens to deal with…but they are nothing compared to a couple Dreadnoughts. ;D


Q. We’ve noticed you like to play strategy games on your channel, several Civilization games, X­COM, and Tropico 5 to name a few,­ and that you like to play them co­-op! Do you prefer playing with friends or playing solo?

A. Playing with friends is incredibly unpredictable and really fun. ;D  I really enjoy playing solo, but friends definitely make things a bit more entertaining.


Q. Which would you prefer: same room LAN party or online multiplayer from your apartment/home?

A.To be honest, I like both. I haven’t had a LAN party for a couple years, but I do enjoy them. I am, however, constantly talking with my friends online, so it is much easier to pull up a game and do it that way.


Q. What’s the craziest strategy you (or you and your friends) have ever tried?

A. I wouldn’t call this the craziest, more like the cheatiest haha. In Civilization V, my friend Adam and I would pool our resources together to essentially buy out the World Congress. We would always vote for each other as host or vote for one another’s proposals. The AI really didn’t have a chance at it.


Q. Okay, this one’s a toughie. What’s your favorite unit to play, across all the games you’ve played?

A. El Presidente all the way. No other unit (or character?) compares to El Presidente. Tropic adores him and he gets what he wants. He is everyone’s favorite dictator! The AI Nuked Itself, I Swear! – An Interview with TGN Partner Solar Gamer


Q. What’s the most ridiculous thing that an AI player has ever done to you, even if it was unsuccessful?

A. I have seen some pretty ridiculous stuff across the many Civilization V games I have played. The most ridiculous thing I have seen an AI do was nuke their own land. I have done this on numerous occasions haha, but I never expected an AI to launch a Nuclear Warhead to destroy invading forces. That’s what I call commitment to victory.


Q. This question is gonna sound so bad to anyone who’s never played Civilization games: Which nation would you remove if you had the chance?

A. I’m not sure I would remove any. Each nation has the ability to win the game any way it wants to. It is up to the player to lead them in the right direction and to build a Civilization that will stand the test of time.


And that’s the end of our turn!  Thank you so much for joining us, Solar Gamer, and answering our questions.  Be sure to check out his channel for the best strategy game coverage this side of the moon!