During a panel at LunarCon, Frosty had the opportunity to discuss the various aspects of Final Fantasy XIV video making with two of the community’s beloved YouTube creators. This digest follows MogTalk: Episode 236, featuring JoCat, a YouTuber known for his infamous ‘crap’ video game guides, and Denmo, a popular FFXIV YouTuber who creates innovative dance videos throughout the game.
Headed by Shenpai, LunarCon is an in-game FFXIV convention that prioritizes creating a friendly, memorable event for all in the community to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. The convention hosted numerous events, including musical performances, speaker panels, and an artist alley.
FrostyTV: Jo, when did you get into FFXIV? [4:06]
JoCat: It’s a long story that I’ll cut short. I was watching someone play a little bit of 5.3 and because of the fact that I’m watching a stream and can’t just skip the dialogue like I normally would, I thought “Wait a minute… this dialogue is actually good.” [4:10]
FrostyTV: I’ve been watching a lot of new players come in and go through the story and thinking “Man, this stuff is really good.” I don’t remember it being that good. I remember it being a hurdle that I had to go through when I first got into it. I previously played World of Warcraft, where you could read the text if you wanted to and then go fetch a couple of weeds or something before coming back. Here, you have a cutscene about why these weeds are important and why you need to go pick them up. [4:30]
JoCat started his content creation journey making comedy videos. His popular series include ‘crap’ video game guides for Monster Hunter, Dungeons & Dragons, and now, FFXIV. On the other hand, Denmo’s content creation has solely been focused on making fun videos for the FFXIV community.
FrostyTV: When did you actually start making videos? [8:13]
JoCat: Early summer 2018 is when I started. There was a large period of time where I was still in college but had nothing going on during the summer. I was in my apartment and decided to make a stupid video about Monster Hunter because it was coming out on PC. All of my friends were going to play, so I decided to make this crap guide because regular guides are boring to watch. I essentially made that video for my friends, but it blew up. I was incredibly lucky with timing, because Monster Hunter World was the break into the mainstream for the series, and I did videos on DND when Critical Role was starting their second campaign. Now, I’m making FFXIV videos as a massive wave of people are joining in. I need to go buy a lottery ticket or something. [8:29]
FrostyTV: Denmo, you’ve done all of your content mostly around FFXIV. When did you start making these videos? [10:20]
Denmo: Before I started making videos, I was posting stupid comic strips on the forums to make people laugh. I then figured out how to get Sony Vegas to work and from there, it snowballed. I made one of my first videos when I finally got the Magitek mount in A Realm Reborn and another silly music video when they first added the Manderville dance. I started dancing in random places and annoying the crap out of my neighbors, and it blew up somehow. From day one, it was just me trying to have fun and make people laugh. [10:30]
A big part of FFXIV content creation involves the use of video editing software, a skill many YouTubers wish to hone.
FrostyTV: I want to discuss the venture of going into video editing and using video editing software for the first time. When I first touched Adobe Premiere, I remember thinking “What the hell is even going on?” Nothing made sense to me. How did you guys figure that out? [11:51]
Denmo: For me, I’d mostly use Google anytime I had a problem that I couldn’t figure out. There’s usually one or two tutorial videos that cover each topic, but sometimes you have to get really specific or creative with what you search. I’m mostly self taught through YouTube tutorials. [12:18]
JoCat: Every now and then, I’ll look up a tutorial for a specific thing, but I started out through practice. I first used Windows Movie Maker, where you have one video track and one audio track and can’t cut them up or use fade ins or fade outs. I even made an animation in Windows Movie Maker where I drew each individual frame, laid them out, and squished them to last a certain amount of time because I couldn’t tween them. If you want something to move across the screen, you can easily do that in other programs, but I had none of that fancy stuff. [13:18]
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FrostyTV: Jo, when you started making your FFXIV videos, the community took to it immediately. How did you feel about that? Did you talk to the community at all? [19:19]
JoCat: Yes. It made me very happy because I did more research on these videos compared to the DND guides. These are the first videos where I actually have people proofread and fact check my guides because there’s a lot to playing these jobs and the game. I want to make sure I don’t give the wrong information. That’s not to say that sometimes I don’t purposely give wrong information as a joke, but a lot of people are watching these guides and consuming them. [19:35]
FrostyTV: I would say there’s an art to knowing what to make a joke about and what to be serious about, so those watching with no clue about what’s going on can easily decipher the content. [20:46]
To ensure that information presented in his videos is correct and consistent, JoCat has friends well versed in FFXIV check his scripts before the recording process. Denmo also relies on his friends and community for his videos, albeit in a different way.
FrostyTV: Denmo gets 50-80 people involved in his videos sometimes, and I have no clue how he coordinates that and recruits those involved. [22:21]
Denmo: It’s a process. Mostly, I use a lot of Excel spreadsheets to schedule when people are available. My road trip video took about three months of planning, and I laid out everything I needed from those involved. I had people sign up as videographers to go out and film specific shots for a music video. I try to involve as many people as I can. [22:31]
JoCat: Do you ever have to call the shooting because the in-game weather is bad? [24:26]
Denmo: Yeah, there’s times where I have to wait around and visit websites that keep track of the weather. Some trackers will tell you the exact weather times at least a day in advance, so I try to schedule around that time. If the weather is bad, we just sit around until the next weather cycles through. [24:30]
FrostyTV: When I watch your videos, I think “How does this guy do it?! The game looks good, but I’ve never seen it look this good.” I’ve never had my videos sync up so well with music. I use Adobe and put two effects on there and when I export, it crashes. I can’t imagine all the effects you have to put into your videos. [25:40]
Common issues many content creators run into throughout their work is burnout and lack of motivation. This is certainly true for FFXIV creators, who must continuously find innovative ideas for their next video in Eorzea.
FrostyTV: When you are making a video and near the end of it, how do you keep your inspiration and motivation, especially when you’re tired and exhausted? [31:07]
Denmo: I’m very picky about what I work on, and if at any point I feel like it’s a bad idea, I either don’t start on it or rework it. When you’re working on huge projects, you have many people involved, which helps with that motivation. If it’s just a silly joke, I don’t stress over it. If the video delivers the joke, it’s done for me. [31:32]
FrostyTV: Have you ever started a video and got halfway through before throwing it away? [34:11]
JoCat: All the time, and I deal with that by asking myself a few questions. How important to me is that this video is good? If the answer is not so much, then I just let myself be lazy. If the answer is a lot, then I give myself more time. Quality is important to me. In the future, if it’s not up to my standard of quality, I’m going to regret it and wish I took that extra time. As content creators, we never want to let our audience down. I don’t want to make them wait too long, but they also don’t see what we don’t release or how close we are to finishing a project. If I don’t want to work on something anymore and I’m not feeling it, I’ll just finish up and release it. [34:16]
Denmo: I don’t start videos that I know I’m probably not going to be interested in or finish. I’ll write scripts and try to hash it out in my brain, but if I don’t have a clear vision in my head, then it probably won’t materialize easily. [36:37]
The trio then moved on to discussing some of the issues unique to FFXIV content creation.
FrostyTV: What are some of the biggest hurdles you have run into while making videos for FFXIV? [49:51]
Denmo: When I started making videos, there wasn’t a Group Pose feature. Trying to get screenshots back then was difficult. In general, the camera is tricky to work with at times. It’s not the worst, but I wish there was a free-flying camera I could use. Group Pose is challenging in itself, because it has many limitations. It did open up a bunch of possibilities, but at the same time, you can’t move while you’re in it and can’t fix other players’ emotes. [50:16]
JoCat: It’s amazing what you can do with video editing. As far as FFXIV goes, I echo everything Denmo said. On a general video making note, the biggest hurdle I’ve found is coming to the reality that there’s always the possibility that no one will watch or care about what you make. You have to be okay with that. You can have viral video after viral video, but at some point, you’ll have one that’s going to bomb. It’s like streaming on Twitch and expecting anyone to watch. You can be upset, but you have to know what you’re getting into. [53:19]
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FrostyTV: Do you gain inspiration from watching content outside of your own? If so, what content inspires you? [58:33]
Denmo: For me, it’s movies and music videos in general. I also get inspired by editing. There’s some great editors out there. [58:41]
JoCat: Same here. I get inspiration from videos, not about the same topic but more so on the presentation. If I see someone make a cool edit or transition, I might steal that. I also have drawn inspiration from video structure. [59:22]
Both Denmo and JoCat shared a fond sentiment of seeing other content creators draw inspiration from their work.
JoCat: I’m totally down with someone ripping off my format because it creates competition. If they do it better than me, I can see what they did better and improve upon that. If your favorite content creator inspires you, don’t make a total ripoff. Tweak the aspect that inspires you a bit. If people are reasonable, they generally aren’t too upset if you make something similar to them as long as it’s on a different topic or you throw your own spin on it. [1:05:07]
FFXIV has strict guidelines on making and sharing content revolving around the MMO, including requiring players to leave a watermark on screenshots taken in game.
FrostyTV: What are the rules for making content for FFXIV? [1:08:42]
Denmo: I don’t have the specifics right in front of me, but the general understanding is that Square Enix has a strict policy when it comes to content creation. Whether they act on that policy or not is a grey area, but they can act on it. It’s scary to think about because that would mean that about 75-90% of the content you see is actually invalid. Square Enix could have it removed if they wanted to. They mostly care about how the game is presented. You have to credit FFXIV with every piece of media that you make. The developers will not publicly acknowledge your videos if you don’t, because it puts them in a hazardous place with their legal team. I’ve talked with Koji Fox twice, and each time he said he loved my videos. [1:08:49]
Both Frosty and Denmo have also had the pleasure of meeting Yoshida and discussing their content creation with him. Earlier this year, Frosty interviewed Yoshida and asked questions about Delubrum Reginae, upcoming raid content, and more. While at Fan Fast, Yoshida acknowledged the Lalafell march hosted by Denmo, praising the event and his video editing skills.
Near the end of the show, Frosty asked both guests if they had anything else they’d like to talk about in terms of FFXIV content creation. Denmo explained that he’d like to see an update to the game’s Duty Recorder function, which is unfortunately only available for a select few fights. On the other hand, JoCat would like to see more lore videos from FFXIV content creators.
MogTalk is a weekly podcast airing every Saturday at 5PM ET on twitch.tv/Frosty_TV. The show is entirely focused on bringing the community together to discuss topics of interest regarding FFXIV, including patch notes, game mechanics, and raid insights. Mogtalk Digests are now available thanks to Patreon supporters! If you are interested in supporting all of the content MogTalk has to offer, please visit our Patreon page.