Even if you’ve only dipped a toe into the addictive voxel game that is Minecraft, you’re bound to know who the MindCrack group is. We sat down with the founder of the Mindcrack group, TGN Partner GuudeBoulderfist, and asked him a veritable butt-ton of questions about all things Minecraft…and some things not! Read on to peer into the inner workings of, well, a pretty awesome duude:
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. On my channel the focus is Gaming, but the content has always been more about me sharing my experiences in life with my audience. It started as an outlet for me to just talk, just solo content, me and the audience; it was almost like some kind of self therapy. Then along the way I found a great group of other YouTubers that make up the group I started known as Mindcrack and we all create a ton of content together as well as on our own.
Q. What is the video you created, that you are most proud of? Why?
A. This is a hard one, I have over 3000 videos on my channel and there are a lot of series that come to mind that are big favorites of mine. If I had to pick a single video out of all the series I have done I think the one that sticks out is an episode of Feed the Beast on the Mindcrack server. Almost a month of working on programming a system to automatically sort items in minecraft and keep a tally in an external MySQL database I was able to share my work with the world. Even though it was mostly just a lot of code to show off it felt really good to show a working idea after so much time spent on it.
Q. What is your favorite video game of all time? Why?
A. I am going to be torn on this one between Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy 7. Both have brought me more hours of entertainment that most games I have played combined.
Q. What’s your favorite YouTube trending video right now?
A. The Songified version of Regardless of the Scoreboard – Scoreboard by Apollos Hester – Songify This!
Q. How did you get started on YouTube? What was your inspiration for starting a channel?
A.There was a character in the TV show Treme played by John Goodman that did a vlog series in the show on YouTube. At the time I really identified with his character in the show and was in a slump in my real life and needed a hobby to occupy my time and my mind. The talking ended up being really therapeutic for me in the end.
Q.What is your favorite video capture program? Audio capture?
A. I am stubborn and simple. I use FRAPS for audio and video, I have heard the praises of DXTory and the separate audio tracks sounds nice, but for some reason my PC doesn’t like it so I haven’t made the switch.
Q. If you were to become an video game character for a day, who would it be? Why? What would you do?
A. Who: Mario
Do: The Princess
Q. Walk us through your typical work day. How do you allocate your time between playing games, video creation and building your community?
A. My typical day is almost the same 7 days a week with the exception of 1 family day each week:
11am : wake up, read e-mails, skype, twitter
12pm : depending if there is anything urgent from the night I deal with that, if not I generally still have something from the previous day that still needs editing and rendering and I work on that.
2pm : Normally around this time is when our group recording sessions start depending on day of the week, like if it is Monday this will be Garry’s Mod. If there is no group session I start working on single player content. This almost always continues until right around 8pm. My wife will normally bring me dinner if it is a group session day, if it is single player I take a break to eat with the family.
7:30 or 8pm : Time for bedtime ritual with my daugther, bath time, teeth brushing, bedtime stories etc. Depending on how early I am available we try to fit in 30 mins of gaming, that happens about twice a week.
9pm : Daughter is in bed and asleep by this point, so I go back to recording, I normally will spend a bit of time catching back up with social media, skype, etc for a bit before making a lot of noise so she doesn’t hear me screaming at the other end of the house to some horror game or something, This generally goes on until sometime between 12am – 3am, depending on the night and then I edit my videos and start rendering stuff.
12 to 3am : by this point my wife is always asleep, she normally passes out same time as my daughter and I wake her up when I am done recording. While my videos render my wife and I spend some time together, normally watch some tv or something until around 5-6am then go to bed, my daughter is up around 7-8am but my wife gets up with her and I sleep til 11 and start it all over again.
Q. What is your greatest YOLO moment?
A. Deciding to have a child.
Q. For aspiring gaming YouTubers, what is your best advice for success? What are the top things to avoid doing?
A. I think it is always important to be yourself, this is true not just with YouTube, but in general. I think my approach to this is different than someone that decides today “I am going to be a YouTuber”. For me I started this as a hobby and I try to always keep that aspect alive, it gets harder the more business stuff that gets injected into all of this. I think if you start to treat this like a job it changes your outlook on the content you are creating and puts way more pressure on you to produce constantly than is good for creating genuine, great, content.
Q. Any shout outs for your community?
A. All of them. Mindcrack is a great place, obviously all my fellow Mindcrackers, but the community as a whole is what makes this such a great experience. From the people that make great drawings to the more obscure fanart that isn’t exactly what you would expect. Constantly knowing that when you put out something new there is the whole community there waiting tell you exactly what they thought about it, sometimes even bad. It is great.
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 only play stuff I want to play, sometimes that means I might be playing something that no one knows they want to watch it without giving it a shot so the views are low compared to something that everyone knows like Minecraft. I think if you are going to do this for a long time you are going to have to stay true to yourself or you won’t make it.
Q. What prompted you to start the Mindcrack Group? How do you become a “Mindcracker”?
A. I just happened to name my Single Player series Mindcrack when I first started my channel. Eventually when Minecraft expanded to multiplayer so did my series. As the group grew we defined what being a Mindcracker was together.
There is no set way to become a Mindcracker these days, in the past we held competitions and stuff like that, now we mainly only add people we have gotten to know and enjoy spending time with and want to play games with.
Q. The world the Mindcrackers have created is incredibly impressive (we especially like the giant gumball machine). Do you have any advice for other Minecraft players looking to jump into, or create, an expansive world like yours?
A. We have some great builders and all around creative people in Mindcrack, I think being surrounded by such talented people it drives all of us to be that much better. As for advise to others, find something in the game that inspires your creativity and run with it, not just minecraft or even just games, with everything you do.
Q. How does Space Engineers differ from Minecraft? Which one do you enjoy playing more?
A. Space Engineers reminds me a lot of modded minecraft. Minecraft is a pretty simple game at its core, that is what makes it so approachable to all ages. Space Engineers has a more technical aspect to it like you find in Minecraft mods. I really enjoy both games, I think it is hard to compare the two in terms of “which I like more” as they both are enjoyable and great games.
Q. You’re currently playing many games that require longer videos on YouTube (Minecraft, Space Engineers, Sims 4, Gary’s Mod, among others) to show off. How do you feel about longer videos? Do you think shorter videos have a better chance at success, or is more time the way to go?
A. Shorter exciting videos are without a doubt the best way to captivate the largest group of people. I guess it really depends on how you define success and what you are trying to achieve. I think if you primary goal is to get as much attention as quick as possible across the widest audience you will be best served with short content that people can consume quickly and either subscribe or move on. I am creating the content that fits my personality and my own goals. I love entertaining people and sharing games with them that I enjoy playing and my style of commentary and humor fit longer form videos.
Q. We’d imagine your average gaming session is a bit longer than the “norm” due to the games you like the play. How much time do you like to have before you can sit down for a good gaming session? Or do you sit down when you feel like and play in shorter bursts?
A. It is normally very long sessions, but it differs with the game, something like Mario Kart normally only takes us about 2 hours to do. Every part of my day is on a calendar to keep track of who I am recording with that day as well as everything else I need to get done for the day. There are a lot of behind the scenes Mindcrack business type stuff that can eat into the day as well.
Q. What is your favorite structure that you’ve built so far (in any game)?
A. Back in season 2 of Mindcrack for my 200th episode I built this giant wheat farm on the server with the help of all the guys. This thing was massive and it took us MONTHS to clear out the area and put it all together. Just planting the seeds for the harvest took over an hour to do. When it finally came time to hit the button to harvest all the wheat, I press it and completely kill every on the server’s PC trying to render all this wheat getting washed down at us, then the server crashed, it was pretty great. The other that comes to mind is in last season of Mindcrack I built a monument to our UHC games that included a statue of every mindcracker that plays on the server now as well as any that have played UHC in the past. Each Mindcracker joined me to build their statue and we talked about how they got on the server. In the end the build didn’t get finished to the point I wanted but the series of videos with the other guys is one of my favorites on my channel.
Thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with us and answer our questions! Do you have more questions for Guude? Well, you can ask him yourself on the 24-hour TGN ExtraLife livestream, taking place this Saturday, October 25th. He’ll be in the Vancouver studio streaming live, so don’t miss it!