Interview with Simon and Lewis from the Yogscast
Hello I am Dave! Yognaught and I have the balls.
One of the signature catch lines you will hear as you listen to the Yogpod put together by Simon (Honeydew) and Lewis (Xephos) of the Yogscast.
I recently sent the two some questions to be answered and here are the fun and informative responses they sent back!
1. Introductions (names, little bit of background information, etc.)
Lewis: Our show is called the “Yogscast” and is broadcast via YouTube as a channel that focuses on comedic gaming commentary. The stars are myself (Xephos), and Simon (Honeydew). We’re two close pals from Britain who like playing games together on the internet. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve grown really rapidly thanks to our videos on Minecraft, which is a game that really compliments our bumbling creativity.
Simon: We’re currently getting over a million views a day, and have recently kicked off a second channel (yogscast2) where people can watch us dub over recently released amazing and awful games trailers that never make it to the public eye. We also produce an increasingly irregular podcast called The Yogpod, which is available on iTunes.
2. How did your Minecraft videos come to be?
Lewis: We started off making a Let’s Play as hundreds of people had done before. Thing is, the server was hosted locally on my computer – so anyone could randomly connect if they knew my IP. And I guess that’s what happened, because we discovered someone had started building crazy stuff, then we saw a mysterious figure, we were not alone…and everything spun out from there.
3. What goes into making the videos/podcast? Who does what?
Lewis: I do most of the work – which involves recording, editing and uploading – although Simon has recently been doing well on his own series and Hannah is having a go too. Mostly the “editing” involves going through the audio streams and tweaking the volumes to ensure it’s a comfortable listening experience.
4. How did you come up with the characters for Shadow of Israphel?
Lewis: The short answer is that we didn’t. Over time the Yogscast “crew” has grown, pulling in old friends, fans, and random people from many sources. Everything in Shadow of Israphel is created by these guys – and I guess the series is partly a kind of animated D&D adventure, and partly a way for people in our community to show off the cool stuff they’ve built! Although I’m in contact with the people behind the scenes so that we can schedule recording times etc., Simon has literally zero idea about anything, which I think is crucial to the series!
5. How does Simon come up with the voices for Shadow of Israphel?
Lewis: Simon once told me (during one of our first videos during our questing in Wrath of the Lich King) that “he just hears the voices in his head” and then they come out of his mouth – so nearly everything is done on the spot, which adds to the comedy since people’s voices can often change dramatically from week to week. Then again, he can sometimes recall specific voices with surprising accuracy!
6. How did Simon discover Minecraft?
Simon: I think it was via the Something Awful forums. I can’t remember quite when, but the game was in alpha and redstone was just put in. When I started playing Minecraft it was almost like a secret that I wanted to keep for myself, I’d pop a podcast on, escape into a new world and start digging. Lewis would wonder where I went to.
Lewis: Simon has always been a fan of simple sand-boxy games that can suck up hours of time. He is playing Fable 3 with me right now, but on his single-player he’s clocked up nearly 15 hours simply exploring the game world and digging holes (before getting stuck in a tree, eesh). His character hasn’t done a single quest but is rich enough to own half the world.
7. How did Warwick Davis, Brian Blessed, and the Queen come into the Yogpod?
Simon: They just pop in now and then for a chat – they’ve got a lot of free time, bless them. The thing is most of the celebrities we talk to on the podcast (barring her Madge), are quite unique in that they’re effectively D-list celebs, but most people of our generation know who they are, more than they would know traditional A-list celebs. I think that’s the appeal.
8. What are some mods for Minecraft that you like?
There’s some amazing stuff out there. Mo’ Creatures, Dragons, Planes, Portal – also all the multiplayer mods like Bukkit which make doors and minecarts work as intended are pretty awesome as well. Some of the texture packs like Jolicraft and GeruDoku are really fantastic too. Simon would say Painterly though – he really likes the 16-bit look.
9. Nether vs. Aether: What do you think of the production of the Aether mod?
Lewis: Hannah is so excited about this mod and can’t wait for it to be out. Hopefully it will work in SMP without too many issues otherwise she’ll be doing a video on her own as usual.
Simon: Looking forward to seeing it fully working! Also, I heard on the grapevine that Notch was adding a sky dimension. Speculation abounds!
10. Should there be more ice mobs, tools, and blocks?
Lewis: Rather than specific suggestions like this, I’d like Notch to just add what he feels like! If you want particular things in your game, there’s usually a mod or texture pack that covers you. Painterly has glacial skins for stone and tools made of carved ice and Mo’ Creatures has snow demons, so arguably you can get these additions already.
11. What are some buildings in Minecraft that you have found interesting?
Simon: Some people have built some incredible stuff. Massive-scale things like the USS Enterprise replica are so impressive when you consider the time investment. Other stuff people have built on our server has been really impressive, such as Mistral City, or the maps we’ve used for livestreams like the Granny Bacon’s funeral and the Childs Play event.
12. Should there be different types of clothing in Minecraft? For instance: coats for cold climate seeds and shorts for hotter climate seeds?
Lewis: Sounds like a good idea, if only for a fashion point of view. However, not sure how it would affect your character, plus having a custom skin below clothing might look odd. Armour pretty much does the same job anyway.
Simon: If you explore a lot you’ll be changing clothes all the time due to the different biomes you come across. Also what happens when it rains or snows? Do you then need to put wellies on and unfurl your umbrella? Although holding up a pole with metal attachments in a thunderstorm probably isn’t the best idea…
13. What do you like and dislike about Minecraft? What should be taken out, replaced, or added in?
Lewis: There really needs to be a bigger variety of creatures – both enemy and friendly – but I understand the need for caution as things can quickly get out of control. The world is beautiful and has a certain atmosphere to it when it’s empty. Having said that, Mo’ Creatures horses are incredible fun!
Simon: I asked for Jaffa Cakes, and Rhodox/Kas added them in as an option in the Painterly texture pack to replace the cookie skin, so that made me happy (but still want dragons).
14. Minecraft Beta 1.6: Notch is incorporating the ability to travel to the nether in SMP, will the Nether be used in the Shadow of Israphel series?
Lewis: Well frankly we’ve been using the Nether in SMP for ages thanks to mods like Bukkit, although it’s nice to see it fixed. Not sure if we will visit the Nether since Israphel is now out of it and has been using it merely as a means of transportation (that we have been unable to enter). Maybe when it’s fixed we’ll have to go through. Who knows!
Simon: Maybe in the future we’ll explore floating islands in the Aether!
15. What is your opinion on spider webs in Minecraft?
Lewis: The more tools we have to build cool stuff in the game world, the better.
16. What other MMORPGs do you play? Please give a description of each.
Lewis: We used to play World of Warcraft a lot. A. Lot. We dabbled in Rift for a while recently but wanted to spend more time on other games – something that’s tricky to do when you’re playing an MMO.
Simon: I’m looking forward to checking out The Secret World, a contemporary ‘real-world’ set fantasy game in which every conspiracy theory is true.
17. Skyrim. What is your opinion on the game so far?
Simon: Sometimes when I’m doing the washing up, sitting on the loo or just walking down the street on my way to buy Jaffas, I suddenly stop, stare into nothingness and go “In their tongue he is Dovahkiin… Dragonborn!”
Lewis: You can tell Notch is a fan too since he’s scheduled the official Minecraft release on the same day. I can bet you none of us will be playing Minecraft on 11/11/11.
18. How did Simon’s obsession with Jaffa cakes come about?
Lewis: You’ve clearly never tried them. 🙂
Simon: *rustling* Om nom nom nom…
For those looking for a glimpse of what goes on in the Shadow of Israphel series first check out this funny short clip a Youtube user posted.
If you want to see more action from Simon and Lewis you can view their Youtube channel here.