(Frequently) Asked Questions, mostly related to my Let's Play videos I post on my YouTube channel. Read this page before asking me questions on my videos or channel, thank you!
Note the numerous "Will You Play X" questions and there's also some common (non-question) comments and my answers to them at the end of the page.
Frequently Asked QuestionsPeople post the same questions again and again on my videos. I love comments, I love reading them and I like to reply to as many as I can, but answering the same questions over and over again is waste of both my and your time - and it's time away from other comments. Thus, in this page I've posted the most Frequently Asked Questions on my videos or channel, and my answers to them.
- Where are you from?
- I have a question, how can I contact you?
- When you will upload next video
- What are your PC specs?
- What microphone you use for recording
- What program you use to record the game
- How much did your PC cost?
- What inspired you to start making YouTube videos?
- Why is there a "Mildly violent or disturbing" (or "Strong language", "Minimal covering", "Mild sexual situations" etc.) message at the beginning of the video?
- Why a video is age restricted?
- How did you come up with your "name" / gamertag Zemalf?
- Where did you learn to speak English
- How do you edit / process / encode the videos?
- How can you play with such a slow pace and so patiently?
- How can you post long videos when most videos in YouTube are only 15 minutes long?
- How fast is your Internet and how long does it take for you to upload videos?
- Why you speak so quietly / Why do you whisper?
- Are you a YouTube partner?
- Do you make money with your videos?
- Do you accept financial support / game gifts?
The "Will You Play
- Will you play more Warband? Will you play M&B 2?
- Will play more Skyrim?
- Will you play Fallout: New Vegas?
- Will you play WarZ?
- Will you play more Total War?
- Will you play DayZ (the Game, "Standalone")?
- Will you play Dark Souls 2?
- Will you play more FTL: Faster Than Light?
- Will you do a let's play of (insert game here)? / Please play X!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am Finnish and live in Finland.
You can learn more about me and my let's plays here: http://zemalf.blogspot.com/p/lets-play.html
Q: I have a question, how can I contact you?
A: Check the instructions on the contact -page, or if the question is short/fast, ask me via Twitter (@Zemalf).
(Of course game-/LP-related questions can and should be posted on the corresponding video on the playlist and not sent to me privately)
Q: When you will upload next video?
A: The schedule is always in my channel sidebar and the "Let's Play" -page here in the blog (ABOUT-link in channel sidebar). Here's the quick links:
Q: What are your PC specs?
A: Zemalf's PC Specs
- CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K OC@4.0GHz (Sometimes 4.4GHz)
- CPU Cooling: Air (Noctua NH-D14)
- Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1)
- Video Card: NVidia GTX 590 (ASUS)
- Memory: 16GB
- Power: Corsair HX1050
- SSD (OS + Games): 240GB (2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB in RAID0)
- Hard Drive (Storage): 2TB WD Caviar Black
- Mouse: Logitech G400 mouse
- Keyboard: SteelSeries 6Gv2 Mechanical Keyboard
- Headset: Creative HS-800 Fatal1ty Gaming Headset
- Monitor: ASUS 24" VE247H
- External HDD: 2TB USB 3.0
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
I also have an older gaming laptop, which I started let's playing with and still play with, but rarely record anymore: ASUS G73JW gaming laptop, Core i7-740QM 1.73GHz, 6GB, GTX460M, Windows 7 64-bit.
Q: What microphone you have?
A: Zemalf's Recording Gear:
- Mic: Beyerdynamic M 99
- Pop-filter: T.BONE MS 200
- Pre-Amp: M-Audio Fast Track C400
- Mic Stand: K&M 210/2 BLACK
My choice to get this mic was heavily influenced by the Ultimate Podcast Mic Shootout by RecordingHacks.com where the M99 was one of the winning microphones and I liked the audio samples.
My headset / mic (in use on older videos) is the Creative HS-800 Fatal1ty Gaming Headset. After getting the new mic (above) I only use the headphones (and plan to some better, higher quality ones).
Note! For more affordable external mic for let's plays or podcasting, look for a quality USB mic like Blue Yeti. Pop-filter and a stand are good investments for quality and utility.
Q: What program you use to record the game / pick up your voice?
A:Nowadays, I use Dxtory for most LPs. Dxtory is powerful (e.g. it records game audio and commentary to separate tracks), but also somewhat complex.
I used to use Fraps (Record in 'Full Size' and 30FPS) for everything. Fraps is an awesome & simple program and something I'd recommend for someone starting out. For example, the whole Warband LP (Violet's Tale) was recorded with Fraps.
For livestreaming (My Twitch.tv Channel), I use XSplit.
For desktop recording, I use Camtasia Studio 8, which is costly at ~280€ ($370), but I use it for non-gaming things too. It's the best program there is for recording tutorials, presentations and other desktop activity.
Dxtory costs ¥3,600 JPY (~$36 or ~€28). Fraps costs €29.95 (~$38). XSplit costs $99 a year (with discounts for the longer terms).
Q: How much did your PC cost? (NEW)
A: The rig costed quite a bit (Exported things aren't exactly cheap in Finland). I bought the parts separately and then got it put together... The i7-2600K processor was over €300 at the time (late 2011), the GPU (GTX590) costed €500-600, with the casing, power supply, HDD and SSD drives, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc and it all added up to about €2500 (~over $3000).
Q: What inspired you to start making YouTube videos?
A: Short answer: Watching let's play videos of other gamers and wanting to share my love for gaming and my experience in various games through gameplay and commentary. For my longer and more detailed answer on video, click the link and listen to the Subscriber Special Q&A Answers at 0:42.
Q: Why is there a "Mildly violent or disturbing" (or "Strong language", "Minimal covering", "Mild sexual situations" etc.) message at the beginning of the video?
A: It's a "Viewer Discretion Is Advised" warning (e.g. for children) that YouTube displays for rated content. YouTube has started requiring that I rate the videos I upload and I try to rate them as accurately as I can to follow the rules of YouTube.
"When a partner uploads a show or movie that does not have an official content rating (i.e. MPAA or TV rating), YouTube asks that the content owner rate any mature content in these five categories: Language, Nudity, Sexual Situations, Violence and Drug Use." - See: YouTube Content Ratings
Q: Why a video is age restricted?
A: This is only a temporary problem with brand new videos. In general, my videos aren't age restricted to 18. It happens when a video has no rating, or actually - YouTube fails to apply the rating I set, thinks it has none and restricts it.
Thus - if you run to age restriction on a new video, you probably just need to wait a minute and refresh the video. If there'll ever be a video that is on purpose age restricted, I will tell about it.
Q: How did you come up with your "name" / gamertag Zemalf?
A: Originally Zemalf was a character I created when playing Nahlakh (RPG, 1995). I explain the full story here: How did you come up with your character names. If you want my answer on video, click the link and listen to Samyoul Online's YouTube Spotlight / Interview of TheZemalf (me) at 01:36.
Q: Where did you learn to speak English
A: School, TV, games, self-study. In Finnish schools almost everyone study English, starting from the 3rd grade (9-10 year old). Plus, English TV programs are rarely dubbed in Finland, but subtitled instead, which helps to adapt the language much better. And of course playing computer games since the age of 8 which were all English made me want to learn even more and I played through games with a dictionary until I knew all the words.
Q: How do you edit / process / encode the videos?
A: For encoding to x264 AVI I use VirtualDub. Codecs: K-Lite Mega Pack, or separately: H-264 VFW-version + AC-3 ACM.
I process the audio for my videos using Audacity. I process my commentary with Noise Removal and Normalize. I rarely touch the game audio (sometimes +/- gain, if it's too loud/quiet).
I rarely edit, but if I do, I just make quick clips in VirtualDub or use Windows Movie Maker (I don't know own any commercial software like Adobe Premier or Sony Vegas).
I've also processed some vids to WebM (the "native" format of YouTube) with StaxRip, but I don't use it anymore.
Q: How can you play with such a slow pace and so patiently?
A: That's just how I am. I enjoy the journey more than getting to the end as fast as possible, so I take my time and play it slow. For my longer and more detailed answer on video, click the link and listen to the Subscriber Special Q&A - Answers at 08:48.
Q: How can you post long videos when most videos in YouTube are only 15 minutes long?
A: (slightly outdated question, but when I started in early 2011, this question popped up a lot, so I left the answer here...) I assume YouTube removed the 15 minute limit from me, because I have some older WoW videos that receive good number of views still, plus I haven't had any copyright or such issues with my channel.
Nowadays, I believe it's possible to verify your channel via cellphone number and get to post long videos that way, even with a brand new channel
Q: How fast is your Internet and how long does it take for you to upload videos?
A: At the moment my Internet speed is 24/1Mbps (the fastest available in the area where I live). The files I upload are usually between 500MB and 2GB, occasional files over 2GB too. Speedtest usually gives me upload speed of 0.85Mbps or so. My upload times to YouTube are between 1-5 hours on average. Some longer, higher quality videos (e.g. an two hour 1080p video) have taken as much as 24 hours.
Upload time depends on the file size of the video, which again depends on the encoding settings (how much the video is compressed). With my current settings, the ~30 minute 720p videos are 500MB on average and with my Internet speed (0.85Mbps upspeed) it takes about 2 hours to upload. Full HD 1080p videos are about 2GB per 30 minutes, which takes about 6 hours.
Q: Why you speak so quietly / Why do you whisper?
A: When recording my earlier videos, I didn't have a fancy mic and I don't yell/scream on my videos (at least not too often), so my videos can have lower audio levels than some other let's player might have. By adjusting the system volume of your machine accordingly and using headphones I don't have trouble hearing myself in the videos. I rarely speak quietly or whisper on purpose, but I know I mumble at times, because I'm so deep in my thoughts that I forget to consciously "speak aloud" - that's just how I am.
Q: Are you a YouTube partner?
A: Yes, via TGN. My channel is "partnered" and I have all the partner features, but my channel was accepted as a partner via TGN. I personally couldn't get my channel partnered because YouTube Partner Program is not available in Finland.
Q: Do you make money with your videos?
A: I get some money via the ads on my videos yes. Not very much thou, so my 9-5 day job pays the bills. If you're interested in supporting me (and perhaps get cheaper games while at it), check the Support Me -page for details.
Q: Do you accept financial support / game gifts?
A: Yes. You can support my let's plays in various ways. You can, for example, send me money via PayPal, buy games via GameFanShop or use my affiliate links when shopping at Amazon. Click here to find out more.
You can gift me a game via Steam (my Steam wishlist) or via GOG.com (GOG doesn't have a public wishlist, so contact me before getting the gift). I can't promise I let's play, record or livestream the gifted games (I might, but I can't promise I will).
The "Will You Play..." Questions
List of games I know I'll play: Read Future Let's Plays in my 'let's play' -page on the blog.
Q: Will you do more let's plays of Mount & Blade: Warband (Or with mods Floris/Brytenwalda/Prophecy of Pendor/1257 AD/Sword of Damocles: Warlords/Insert M&B Mod Here)?
A: I will let's play Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord when its released (release date unknown at the moment, guessing somewhere in 2013). I have no plans to let's play Warband at the moment, but I might if M&B2 takes a long time (don't get your hopes up thou, since I have a lot of games I want to play and only so much time).
Q: Will Play Skyrim/Dawnguard/Dragonborn (and/or continue Skyrim Roleplay with another series/character)?
A: Yes, but I can't promise when yet, because I don't know if I have time for it. When I play Skyrim, I'll do the Main Quest with a new character (most likely sneaky hunter/archer type) and then possibly continue with Dragonborn DLC.
Q: Will you play Fallout: New Vegas (after Fallout 3)?
A: Yes. As to when that'll be - I don't know yet. First Fallout 3 needs to end and then I need to have time for F:NV.
Q: Will you play WarZ?
A: Never. They (Hammerpoint Interactive, the developer) could've done it right, with honesty and integrity, but they fucked it up - royally - when it comes to public relations and treating their customers, and they haven't shown signs to improve, so it's a lost cause. They've lost my respect and I don't want to support them, so I don't touch their game. (I'd be OK with taking the idea of DayZ and building on it, but the way they've treated people, their paying customers, not giving refunds, etc. is unacceptable. If you don't know what I'm talking about start with The WarZ controvery explanation and timeline at Reddit)
Q: Will you play more Total War
A: In short: Yes. After getting started with Medieval 2, I'm likely to keep playing Total War games, including, but not limited to M2TW, Shogun 2, Rome and Rome 2
Q: Will you play DayZ? (the game, standalone)
A: Yes. I will play DayZ the game, standalone, as soon as it's out. Until then I'll play DayZ mod for ArmA 2 when I feel like it.
Q: Will you play Dark Souls 2?
Q: Will you play more FTL: Faster Than Light?
A: FTL is listed in the "Episodic LPs" in the Let's Play -page here in the blog: http://zemalf.blogspot.com/p/lets-play.html#episodic, which means "new videos if and only if I've made any."
Q: Will you do a let's play of (insert game here)? / Please play X!
A: Read Future Let's Plays in my 'let's play' -page on the blog.
Common Non-Question Comments and My Answers to Them
Do this! / Do that!
A: Learn to ask nicely instead of barking orders. I don't beck and call. Suggestions and ideas are fine, but if you expect me to do what you want and play the way you want, I'm not your man.
I play games the way I'd be playing anyway, the way I'd play them myself. I don't do or change anything in my videos to make them "less boring" or because someone asks - that's why I call it "honest gameplay".
Upload more of this.
A: No need to ask more, new vids come or won't come as announced in the schedule.
Don't upload that.
A: Thanks for the feedback, but I play and upload what I want. If you don't feel like watching, that's cool, hopefully something else I play and upload is more to your liking.
A: While I appreciate you taking the time to comment (so fast too!), commenting "first" or leaving other similar useless comments are pretty damn close to spam, so don't do it - it's stupid and lame anyway. Why don't you say something else instead? Everyone still sees you were the first (and they still don't care). See my comment policy.