Well, I'm happy to say that I've finally managed to reach the 5K mark for subscribers on YouTube--and it's nice that it happened just after my 100th official episode. Good timing! So, I thought it was a good time to reflect and reminisce a bit about the show.
It seems impossible that I uploaded this first video back in February 20, 2009. Over two years have passed, and I honestly am proud of how far I've come. That said, I do like the commentary on the game, which was easy for me since I'm intimately familiar it. Watching this now, I can see that I was pretty nervous in front of the camera and probably a bit too emphatic about the books. Back then, I was using Microsoft's free Windows Movie Maker and a webcam. Later on, I'd start using better cameras and software, but it took me a long time to get the lighting right. I also didn't put much effort into the background at first, though perhaps the couch and speakers give it a bit more of that "YouTube" look.
But it was still exciting times. I got lucky right off the bat to meeting some great YouTubers. If you look at the comments on that video, you see several peeps who are still with me today, including MarcusMalone--who must surely be the #1 fan and a majorly cool dude. I think the more recent comment by HardWarUK is spot-on, though--"Who would know Matt,? from this small beginning, how much of a legend you would become! :)"
It's really neat to watch the various videos and see me experimenting and gradually learning how to be a better editor. I've always been a perfectionist with this stuff, and hardly ever use the first take. Indeed, sometimes it takes me 20 or more takes to get something I'm happy with. I usually do minimal scripting and just make it up and re-shoot over and over again until it feels right. I think that really helps me feel more comfortable, because by the time I'm satisfied I've rehearsed it enough that it seems natural. I really feel strongly about not disrespecting people's time when they watch my videos. I want every minute to have some value to it.
One thing I believe is that you should take opportunities to make other people happy. That is just good karma! So I try to pretend like I'm talking to my best friends who are happy to see me and eager to see my video. At first I felt kinda silly doing that, like it was too much, but it doesn't come across that way. Besides, I figure if I can't get up enough energy to be excited about the game or person I'm interviewing, why bother? I'd like people to see that new Matt Chat in their queue and instantly feel a boost to their spirit.
Like pretty much everyone else who does this kind of work, I've dreamed about it really taking off. It's pleasant to think about what could happen if something went viral or some high-profile blog or website mentioned it. If nothing else, it'd help me get more guests and more opportunities to speak at conferences. I'm really excited this summer to be going to Colombia for the Campus Party. They're flying my wife and I there and covering all our expenses, all thanks to Matt Chat!
Frankly, though, I'm terrible at marketing. People just seem to think it's so easy, when it's not. It irritates me when people say "Hey, Matt, you should post this on reddit!" and all. The truth is, posting your own stuff on these sites is ineffective for obvious reasons. I think when people see that they're turned off almost instantly, even if it's something they might enjoy. If just half of these advice givers would actually do me that favor themselves, I know it'd be 100 times more effective! Every now and then I'll come across a forum or blog where some kind person has mentioned the show in context, and that's great. Of course, I realize that nobody owes me anything and they're doing me a huge favor just by watching the show. Really expecting anyone to go beyond that is huge, and I am just so grateful when people do. I've had a great time doing the toasts, and the money people have chipped in has allowed me to buy more games and software as needed. I don't feel like I deserve it, but it sure feels great.
So what's the future? I'm still trying to figure that out. I would like to do more funny videos, since I've always enjoyed making my own music and playing around with effects. I'd also like to travel more and perhaps interview people at conferences like the GDC. I'm also hoping to get more sophisticated with my editing, and start doing more special effects and slicker titles and such. I really get excited to think about what the future could bring if I just hang in there and keep learning and honing my techniques.
Well, anyway, just thought I'd reminisce a bit. Thanks for watching, and here's to another hundred videos!
I enjoy um, i havent watched them all, but can tell the game tastes are close to mine. I have noticed you get mentions on the bigger gaming news sites, that has to help some. Very cool and GRATZ!!!! here is to 500... I will be waiting and watching.. when you get int eh 400's I cant wait for...
you will be running out... so you can start on "what the heck where you thinking as a developer" chats!
* not that i like to admit but I do own that game... and its as bad as it looks...
First Matt Chats I saw were the John Romero sessions. Still my favorite!
I was on board since the very first Matt Chat! I've never, ever, not enjoyed or was disappointed by an episode! Every new episode was a thrill, and that thrill still persists ONE HUNDRED EPISODES LATER!!!
I've marveled at your ingenuity, spirit, and your very watchable screen presence. The first glimmer that something special was at hand was seeing, in the very first episode, that you have a very good "screen presence." Your basic character, with the cool appearance, intelligent persona, and the excellent speaking voice, was clearly the foundation for what has turned out to be a groundbreaking web series!
Most of all, though, I've marveled at your never-surrender attitude and your continual push to top yourself! There were several times I was quite worried that you were going to quit, but you didn't, and the gaming world is better for it! "Dr. Barton, your persistence has surprised even me!"
You fought your ass off for those 5000 subscribers, and have earned every one of them the hard way: by putting out an intelligent, high-quality, and entertaining show. If life was fair, you'd have a thousand times more subscribers than you do, but if you put 5000 people in one place, that's a lot of people! Heck, I'd probably pass out if I had to speak in front of such a crowd!
People are still just discovering your show and going "Wow, how long have I been missing out?!?!" Well, they've been missing out for a long time, but welcome aboard, newbies. :-)
I was considering doing a "response" video congratulating you on your 100th episode, but my health issues pretty much rule that out, so I'll just say it here: Congratulations, and thank you very much for your show! And double congratulations for surpassing the 5000 subscriber mark! I look forward to being continually amazed by what you accomplish in the future!
Thanks so much for your kind words, Clok, Carmine, and Rob! It's always a boost to my ego to see that people are enjoying the episodes and caring about it.
It's definitely true, there have been several points where I was tempted to quit. There's of course a lot of haters, and other people who probably don't mean to be insulting, but just seem to only want to talk about negative things they didn't like about an episode. It really pains me to think that I was doing that same shite to Shane back in the day, trying to bring every perceived flaw to his attention like I was doing him a favor. Man, I was just being an arrogant jackass and would do anything to go back and never post that crap. The fact that he still considers himself my friend really shows how superior he is as a person.
Looking back, I would have been very foolish to quit, since as you say, I've slowly (emphasis on slowly) but steadily built up the audience, and it does seem pretty realistic to think that it will continue to grow. People who suddenly stumble on it today have 100 episodes to get through! Holy cow. Surely at least a few of those will mention it to someone else, and so it grows. I'm also just amazed how generous people have been with the donations. It's really working out great.
BTW, I think Elizabeth would tear my heart with a spoon if she caught me playing that bikini babe game.
BTW, I think Elizabeth would tear my heart with a spoon if she caught me playing that bikini babe game.
This is one case where she is saving you from somthing horrible. Not sure if you remeber Way of the Warrior for the 3DO, at the time it was pretty cutting edge for consoles... but it was horribly animated, pixel edge hell.. and somewhat cheezy. Now move 10 years up in time... and replace the mostly male characters with females in bikinis.. dont upgrade the graphics, dont smooth out the animation... pretend computers havent increased in speed/ power... and take the cheese factor and multiply it by 100X but in a bad way.. Yes the agem looks like it was released 10 year before it was. it simply tried to cash in on the T&A side of things. one of the few games Im happy to say I .. demo'ed so to speak. it didnt last 2 days on my PC. Sad thing is i believe they have a new one comming? WIKI says they do.. i guess there is no underestimating T&A in games.
And once again gratz!!!! its amazinging to really think of 100 shows.. and the people you have been getting to speak with, amazing also. I want Peter M from Bullfrog (err lionhead)... that mans creativity is brilliant IMHO.. he has made the very BEST games in my library of games. populous, PowerMonger (under appreciated), Syndicate, DK, magic Carpet, Black & White... heck he pretty much create the THEME games with Theme Park. i would imagine he would be close to impossible to get.. and if you did.... you coudl pretty much devote a show to each game! (yes I love BULLFROG GAMES!).
Some others, people from Silicon Knights ( i dont care much about the battle with EPIC, but some of the great games they made in teh 90's), Raven (some stuff on when they did amiga games!!!!!) MUCKY FOOT, yes only 2 good games, and one bad one and several cancled.. but Urban Choas was sorta (being a bit generous here) the grandfather of the Open world games. And Startopia was a HUGELY underrated games IMHO...
I think it's only a matter of time before the show becomes a definitive and popular archive for gaming history. Youtube may not last though... who knows. So I think it's essential to keep the raw footage and edit files.
If you like Syndicate, be sure to watch my interviews with Sean Cooper.
Well done matey! Well deserved.
Well deserved! I knew back when you started, after just a few videos that you would be a hit in no time, no surprise here.