Simply put, Weemcast is my YouTube channel. When I am not working, I spend a big portion of my time playing games while recording the footage for my channel. I primarily create “Let’s Play” series for various games, but I also do “First Impression” style videos, as well game development videos and more. I have a Discord Server if you want to chat with us!
2011: The Start – Epic Inventor Development Videos
In June, 2011, we began developing our very first video game Epic Inventor. One month later in July, I put up my first video from the game, a 5 second clip showing Epic Inventor’s “gathering timer” animation.
It wasn’t until another month later in August 2011, with the posting of my 7th video, that I put my voice into one. The first words spoken in that video are the same I continue to say today… “Hey everybody, Weem here…”. It was in fact a Minecraft video called Castle Point, and it was the first in many more videos to come.
2012: Video Quality, and Practice Practice Practice
The first few months of 2012 saw a lot of Epic Inventor videos being released. The game would eventually release in May and by the Summer of 2012 I shifted my focus to non-development videos. First impression (“Weem tries…”) and let’s play videos were a lot of fun, so those really started picking up. I was watching a lot of Yogscast, JesseCox and TotalBiscuit, which inspired me to focus heavily on quality – from audio, to video, my voicework and everything else in between.
As I moved through Summer, I began working with Adobe Premiere which really allowed me to not only produce my videos much more effectively, but I could also begin to include more detailed animations and annotations. Before long I was finding enjoyment in the editing process and in many cases found myself wanting to make even more videos so I had more to work with and edit.
2013: Finding My “Voice”
Near the end of 2012, I started a new let’s play “Don’t Starve” series. Before this series, the longest running series I had consisted of 13 episodes, but by early 2013 I had released 61 videos for Don’t Starve. I credit the game, and more specifically my time and experience creating videos for it, with teaching me most of what I know up to this point.
Don’t Starve also helped me discover my “voice” as it was. It essentially helped me discover that place I go to when playing/recording, where I can almost forget I’m making a video but subconsciously (for the most part) keep doing the things I need to do in order to create quality content I will want to share with others.
2013 also found me in a much more comfortable place regarding my approach to new games and my expectations of them ahead of time. It was much easier for me at this point to look at a game and know if I would be capable of creating content for it that I thought might be engaging.
At the end of 2013, the channel really saw a big growth spurt. Between November of 2013 and January 2014 the channel went from 3,700 to 6,400 subscribers, largely based on the success of the series Project Zomboid and Planet Explorers.
2014: Things Take Off!
This was a great year. The channel gained an average of 17 subscribers a day in 2014 and passed the 10,000 subscriber milestone in this period. Additionally, it crossed the 2 million view mark. Success was something I felt I had already as the goal was to simply learn how to edit videos, but by the time this year ended I thought… okay, I might be doing something right here. It was also during this year that I passed the first financial milestone of receiving checks from Youtube every month – something we get asked about a lot.
2015: Now We Take Time Off
If the goal of the channel was to make it a job, this would have been the year to put the pedal down hard – take advantage of an amazing 2014. Instead, it was a slow year. I started taking longer breaks between videos and trying to make time for more gaming (without recording), among other things. This was a big year for me as well from an educational standpoint when it comes to ethics in journalism. I had been following TotalBiscuit since starting the channel, and learned a lot about these things from him initially, but this is the year when I took a hard look at what I was doing and what I could do better. This compounded the issue of slowed output. I was taking a lot of breaks, but also not creating some videos I was otherwise doing earlier. I’ve never felt I’ve ever crossed any ethical lines, but it had me thinking enough about it that I thought it best to avoid certain situations and videos just in case.
2016: Collaboration and GangZ
2016 was a great year, and it found me doing what I could to try and get scheduled content out, but at a slower pace. 2-3 videos a week was a nice pace it seemed, but I did find myself at times putting out much more. This was also the year I was invited to the content creating group called “GangZ” playing the game “Unturned” – a new collection of Youtubers that included a few very big names, but more importantly it was a group of amazing people.
Among those in GangZ is a Youtuber named Paul Soares Jr. This made for a very interesting circle for me, and checked a major bucket list item for my channel (getting to game with him). When my channel was brand new, and simply hosting videos for Epic Inventor (a game myself and two friends developed) Paul was one of the largest channels to cover the game. Who knew I would get to join him some 5 years later!
As the year closed out, right at the end of December, the channel experienced a massive uptick in views, specifically for a brief series of videos I did on a game called ECO Global Survival. As the burst really surged, we crossed over into 2017… a very interesting start to the new year.
2017: Taking it Easy
This one could be called “2017: The ADpocalypse”. This was a horrible year for Youtube (the platform) between a slew of controversies and other problems with the platform, this was a year we saw a big push from people to move to Twitch. The Adpocalypse hammered everyone big and small, and I saw some big changes myself as well.
This was a year I found myself wishing I could just give Youtube my earnings (all of them) each month in exchange for some very basic features and a promise that other features/elements were indeed working the way they said they should (because it was clear they were not despite what they were saying).
When I first really got rolling with Youtube, the excitement of people watching and commenting on my videos was part of what kept me trying so hard, but the other part of it was that Youtube was doing cool new things, and you never knew what cool new thing you would wake up to next, or hear was coming soon. It was an exciting platform to be a part of. Maybe it is just the fact that I have been here for a while, but I do feel like it is a symptom of all the 2017 issues that this excitement has been lost. What excited me in 2017 was the idea/hope that someone would come in and say, “Look, we’ve messed a lot up… we’re cleaning house though… Youtube is about to be redefined!” or some other cheesy way of letting us know that things were going to change in a big way.
I’m still hoping for that, and waiting. In the meantime, this was the year I decided to dial things back a bit and get to some other creative endeavors that have (over these last number of years) been pushed to the side. We’ll see what happens in 2018.
We’re just getting started!