Hello all, we're back with another good interview this week with one of the funniest Halo YouTubers right now, a member of our Forge Group, and a friend of mine: Zandril. I could go on about how Zandril is known on a number of different Halo sites and things like that but I fanboyed enough in this interview. So enjoy the followup with Zandril 3 years later:
DD: "Alright Zan so it's been almost 3 years since we last did an interview. Back then you were still a recognized name and you had a lot of success with Halo 4 competitive Forge maps and your Map Marker Pack. You've had ZannyVids forever but things really popped this year with Halo 5. What do you think contributed to that?"
ZAN: "Well, I don't really think I had a lot of success back in the Halo 4 days. I was relatively known around some forums but that was because I hosted regular testing lobbies and usually left feedback for maps. I'd say I was only slightly successful getting my name out there. The YT channel and the Map Marker Pack definitely helped.
As for my channel getting more traffic with Halo 5, I think a big factor for that happening is because I made tons of map features when forge got released. People wanted to see cool forge maps and I made good quality videos showcasing them. Although I had to change things up a bit when interest in Halo 5's forge lessened. I couldn't just make good quality videos. There had to be something that set me apart from the other channels.
And that's how my channel is getting decent attention until now. I kept on featuring good maps but I started including jokes and comedy sections in my videos. Anyone who watches my videos would notice this in most map features. People seem to like them "
DD: "Comedy is big in the ZannyVids, that's a fact. There's always at least 2 or more parts in all your videos where I laugh out loud. The editing and jokes are really amusing and make your videos interesting to watch. Even simple map features get turned into funny videos. So how can people keep up with your current lobbies and activities?"
ZAN: "To stay updated with my custom games lobbies, people can follow my lobby thread here. I post there some hours before I host a lobby. My regulars, friends, and subscribers also sometimes post jokes or comments about the lobby there.
I also make lobby announcements and random updates on my Twitter."
DD: "Glad we got that plug in there! Your video, Forge YouTubers, was an amazing piece. Your biggest fanboy (this is me) may even call it art. What inspired the creation of the video?"
ZAN: "Ok, first of all (in high pitched, teasing voice) FANBOY
I made that Forge YouTubers video purely because I wanted to do some light teasing to the people in it and to also publicize certain inside jokes like Stigma. Each YouTuber featured in that video had something about their channel I wanted to tease them about. iSpiteful had his pack opening videos. Ducain has his Halo Vanguards disaster. Sean (Forge Labs) had his habit of saying specific buzzwords, etc
I was also kinda inspired to "roast" Halo channels and figures because of my friend, Yeti. He made teasing videos of Forge Labs, Spiteful, RUL, etc long before I made the Forge YouTubers video. I don't think I would have gotten the idea of making that video were it not for Yeti's YouTube content."
DD: "Fanboy? Please, call me Dandril. The video is hilarious like I said and as for Yeti, I gotta say my favorite video of his is Forgegate.exe. So quotable and so funny (and so handsome). You're always working on testing other Forgers maps and featuring them. Do you have any Forge projects of your own that you've been working on since Boarding Pass?"
Those failed projects actually led me to a realization. It was that I'm kinda bored of making core maps. I made a lot of them back in Halo 4 but I'm a complete Infection kid now.
I have plans for some original Infection maps though. I'm hoping I can make them when Forge comes to PC which would allow me to forge in school during my 5 hour breaks. Fun.
DD: "You've become infected by Infection then you would say? No? Ok I'll go die after this interview.
Anyway, I remember always seeing multiple submissions here from you for core maps back in Halo 4 and I even got to see Weekend at Warden's in its early stages. You definitely still have the talent but even as someone who wasn't huge on Infection before, I gotta say 343 has stepped it up in this one. Forgers definitely have too. Speaking of Infection though, can you to tell us about a certain gametype you have been testing on some maps?"
ZAN: "Ah yes. For the past couple months, I've been working with PA1NTS on testing the official Last Stand BETA. Some of you may recognize Last Stand as a gametype that is in Halo 4 Flood Matchmaking. To those unfamiliar with Last Stand, it's basically an Infection gametype where the humans can't jump but the Infected can. Of course, there's more to it than that but that's the basic gist of it. Here's the old Last Stand announcement video THFE made a while back.
Anyway, there's currently 3 Last Stand maps (that I know of) that are more or less final. I'm keeping an eye on 3 others that are under development/testing. I think once there's 5 or 6 ready maps, I'll make a Last Stand announcement video."
DD: "Having played Last Stand in one of your lobbies before, I have to say it's really fun on the right maps. PA1NTS has always been into Forge and is a good Forger at that. Are there any Forger's works that you really admire in Halo 5?"
ZAN: "Well I know a lot of great maps and great forgers so I can't really just pick one. But off the top of my head some of my current favorites would be
- Littlemonk 5's and CaptainDireWolf's minigames. I admire both of them for making good, fun, and ORIGINAL minigames
DD: "Awesome! I'm so glad I've gotten to play on most of the maps you listed and I hope the readers check them out! A lot of Forger's maps have been coming in through your submission forums here on-site. Do you feel like this is an easier way to receive maps than your previous method?"
ZAN: "I certainly do. For one thing, using a forum for my submissions page makes it easier for me to interact with the people who submit maps to me. It's easier to leave feedback and give any suggestions I might have. It's also easier to view the submissions and understand the main idea of maps because people are more free to talk about it and include screenshots.
I also like that the forums allow me to pin the submission threads of maps I featured. It's nice street cred for the forger to have his thread pinned and it also allows others to view the discussion in the threads and maybe learn a thing or two."
DD: "Awesome well we're really glad to host your submissions here! It's been a blast testing some of the latest submissions in your lobbies and meeting some of the map makers. As a Forge YouTuber, I know you're friends with Sean of ForgeLabs, Comedy Aerosol, Pyschoduck, and many others but are there any other Forge YouTubers you hope to work with in the future?"
ZAN: "Well I'm pretty curious of what it would be like if I collaborated with RecklessRi1ey and Ducain23. I've only talked to them a few times so I'm not that great friends with them but they seem like they'd be cool to do something with. And something about me is that I'm usually pretty open to collaborating with smaller forge channels.
I enjoy helping people get subscribers because
then they'll be in my service forever until death. no one endorsed or collabed with me when I was a smaller channel and I understand how annoying it can be to have such slow growth. It's also a good way to establish multiple connections around the community. Plus, it means more people will say nice things about me when I eventually die of lung cancer."
DD: "That last answer was pretty much the definition of ZannyVids. Key points: philanthropic, started from the bottom now you're here, connections around the Halo Community, a need for sympathy and memorial when dead/jokes about dying from a horrible disease. Honestly, golden answer. Let's wrap it up then Zan: Do you have any words for rising Forgers/YouTubers in the Halo scene?"
ZAN: "1. Keep doing what you're doing. The Forge communty isn't all that big and the more people participate and share maps, the happier we'll all be.
2. Try to have something in your channel that sets you apart from others. You don't want to be a discount Forge Labs or discount iSpiteful. Give people a reason to subscribe to you. For my case, I have memes and offensive jokes in my channel.
3. If you want your stuff to get more attention, don't just sit around and complain. Do something about it. If you're a forger, join lobbies and stuff and get your name out there. Get feedback, take it like a man, and get gud."
That's it for me and Zandril's interview, thank you everyone who took the time to read. Check out the Spotlight featuring Zan in the Announcements!