Tuesday, October 16, 2007

StarCraft Interview with English Commentator Moletrap (part 3 of 3)

17. Where do you feel the future of SC English Commentaries will go from here?

Well, to really go anywhere else, Starcraft would have to become more popular in general. Most people these days, unfortunately, don't care about a game unless it has pretty graphics and what have you. What I predict is that Starcraft 2 will be incredibly popular when it comes out. SC2 will have the necessary popularity, and if a pro scene develops quickly around SC2, then English commentaries on those could be pretty successful. I think SC2 is probably Starcraft's hope for gaining more popularity. Theoretically, SC2 might not develop a pro scene, but might attract attention to the Starcraft scene instead.

18. English commentating on StarCraft is a relatively new and relatively hidden niche in the gaming world. How do most of your subscribers find you? Where are they coming from?

Most of them find me, I believe, from teamliquid.net, which is basically the most popular English language fan site for pro Starcraft. When Diggity and I started commentating, we put some posts on the forums there, and we usually put up updates when we get a new batch of videos up. I think we also get some from the Starcraft youtube group as well, a repository of starcraft related videos. We probably get a lot of fans just because Klazart was really popular, and in his absence we are a halfway decent substitute.

19. So what is your process from finding the StarCraft videos, to posting them on youtube for the world to experience?

The morning after a good game, I check teamliquid.net for any videos of the game and "torrent" them (download them). I then usually have to convert them to mp4 format from either avi or wmv. This is because I use iMovie to do my commentaries, and it won't accept either of those formats. Then, I have to import the mp4 into iMovie, which actually converts it to dv format.

Then I open up the clip and go to the iMovie feature that is designed for narration, which basically records from your mic directly onto a video file as you watch it. Then I just watch it and commentate as I go along. It is almost always one take and I usually don't pause in the middle of a "cast." Youtube doesn't allow the likes of me to have movies more than 10 minutes, so if the game is longer than that I go through and cut it into pieces for uploading. Then I have to export each section out of iMovie into a .mov file. Finally, I go into youtube and upload each section, which actually converts it to an flv file. So usually during the whole process each video sees 4 different video formats. Generally the process involves a lot of time, but most of it is waiting. Even with a pretty new computer and lots of RAM, it takes a while to import to and export from iMovie, and a 10 minute video is about 100MB, which takes a while to upload. Not counting the download, a 9 minute video would take about 2-3 hours total to get from the moment I start to the moment it is viewable online. The other day I had a 3 part video (less than half an hour of commentary) that kept having problems. I had to do 7 different exports, and the one video ended up taking about 8 hours before it was completely online. Although, most of that time I can be doing something else while my computer chugs away at something.

20. What is your favorite Star Craft strategy?

I like strategies that are, if I can use the term, ballsy. Do or die, all in types of things. This is one of the reasons players like Boxer are so great. I guess more specifically, I love massive drops. For instance, flying 10 overlords full of hydralisks and lurkers into an enemy base and literally dropping units all over the opponents buildings. I guess I would say I also like death blow strategies like this, where a player circumvents the slow economic victory in favor if going straight for the jugular.

21. Final question: who will win the next World Cyber Games?

I may have to send you another answer to this tomorrow. It depends on how the brackets turn out. If Stork plays Savior first, then Savior will probably win because Stork's Protoss versus Zerg game is the area where he is ONLY above average, and not crazy good. Savior, however, is crazy good against Protoss, and has in fact beaten Stork somewhat recently in the Proleague all-star game. However, if Hwasin faces Savior first, Hwasin has about an even chance of beating Savior. The two, in fact, split a best of 5 at 3:2 last season. Savior won that match but it was close. So if Hwasin beats Savior and then plays Stork in the final match, I would bet on Stork to beat Hwasin, even though Hwasin beat Stork in the Korean WCG Qualification tournament.

Notice I didn't even consider anyone besides these three winning. No non-Korean has ever won the Starcraft WCG. Generally the 3 Korean participants take the 1, 2, and 3 spots. I am really hoping that iNcontroL, who handily swept through the competition at the U.S. WCG qualifications, will manage to steal a third place spot this year. Could go a long way towards some recognition of U.S. players and maybe help the game get some popularity, especially with 3 of the best players in the world representing Korea this year. Usually the WCG is kindof a side thing that the pros don't pay particular attention to as long as 3 decent Koreans go and sweep it. This year some of the big names really turned their attention to it. Savior, in particular, focused on it. So this year we have the world's greatest zerg, the world's second greatest protoss, and the world's best terran player (it's a toss up between him and Iris for first, but personally I think Hwasin is a tad better). Either way it will be exciting.

The short answer, though... I'm betting on Savior.

...Thanks to Moletrap for the interview. Read more StarCraft strategies and predictictions here on Moletrap's StarCraft blog

...view Moletraps' StarCraft commentaries here

...see interview with Diggity SC here

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