The Yogscast team of content creators is vast, stretching all across gaming and entertainment with reactions oozing out of their every project. What started as two gentlemen in front of a microphone became an empire, now encompassing twenty-two channels with millions of subscribers.
From that original ether rose Hannah - Yogscast Hannah to her many viewers and cohorts. She's part player, part entertainer, and partly to thank for the rise of one of Youtube's most prominent gamer channels. Plus, she's a pretty awesome interview it turns out. See for yourself as she answers a few questions about Yogscast, game choices, and Sean Bean.
1. Hannah of "Yogscast Hannah", if you could take another name for your channel, what would your choice be?
Probably either my in-game character name of Lomadia, or just keep it real with plain old Hannah.
2. Your booming network began with two people - Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane - and now hoists dozens of creators beneath your lovely drawn banners. What brought so many people into the same fold, including yourself?
Myself and a lot of Yogs were around from the start, just not in an active video making sort of way. We all started out playing World of Warcraft as a group of friends, and the videos went from there. Occasionally we made guest appearances on the Yogpod podcast or helped out with videos of boss fights - we were doing supporting roles too like editing or art - and that moved into making our own videos in response to viewers' feedback.
3. How much of the freedom you have behind the microphone/camera do you attribute to the choice of game? Do you have to reign in certain aspects for single-player experiences, or are you just focused on your viewers?
It's certainly true that a story and dialogue heavy game will allow less opportunity for my commentary, but I don't really treat games any differently depending on the level of narrative. I play what takes my fancy, so usually it fits into my style without any major changes. And at this point, most of my viewers are into the same things as me, so almost always it's something they all enjoy too.
I tend not to use my camera for most videos as I don't feel it adds anything to the game, covers some of the screen, and can be more of a distraction from the video content than an actual supporting component - plus it means I can play in my pyjamas! The only exception to this would be horror games or for when I'm livestreaming and actively holding conversations with viewers, when body language and facial expressions can play a major part.
4. At this point, your team is a source of just about every kind of entertainment out there. Between your channels, you have music, gameplay commentaries, live-streams, and just about everything this side of interpretive dance. Yours in particular is a Let's Play haven; is that what you set out to do originally or did you just kind of fall into that particular content creation?
We don't have that much sports games, so we suck at that! But seriously - I've always played the genres I play now, and always will.
I've loved stories since I was a child, and my parents nurtured that by giving me books to read and games to experience. It was a logical step to take the genres within those games that I love and share them with the world by inviting viewers to tag along. I want to be surprised, scared, entertained, sad and the rest - and often my most popular series have elements of all those emotions that viewers can also get behind. Think of it as the gaming version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I do enjoy other games like Civilization and DOTA 2, but those tend to be more casual offscreen sessions with friends or livestreaming with viewers over content for my YouTube channel.
5. You have done quite a handful of collaborations on your channel. Is this something that you would recommend to others that are looking to expand their audiences?
Yes and no - it certainly brings in a lot of fresh faces, but you have to be careful not to drown out your original style by overwhelming viewers with just collaboration content. It's nice to get friends in to play games together, but if that means isolating a part of your audience that aren't watching for that, then it can as equally damaging as rewarding.
6. You have a series with one of the best names (Stop Hannah time) where you talk to your viewers directly and update them on the channel as well life situations. How important is it to establish a good connection to your viewers speaking to them directly?
Honestly, less people watch it than my gaming stuff, so it's not that helpful sometimes in getting the word out about events or changes to usual content! I keep doing it for those who do like seeing what I'm up to, but as I'm very active on social media, including Twitter and Snapchat, I find that's a far better way for communicating with viewers en masse. Livestreams are brilliant for that too - Twitch is an excellent facility for just booting up a game and casually pootling around whilst answering questions or talking about things with the viewers in the chat.
7. If you could do a collaboration series with anyone in the world who would you pick and why?
I'd probably say something like play Civilization 6 versus Sean Bean, as he narrates the game. Or do a terrible game series with Bianca Del Rio and we could both rip those games apart!
Check out Hannah's channel, her coolly-named Twitter, and the main website of the Yoggers themselves.