Quick-Fire Community Questions: Jordan van Andel (JorRaptor)
For this round of Quick-Fire Community Questions, we invited Youtuber and Assassin's Creed community member Jordan van Andel, better known as JorRaptor.
Col: Hi there Jordan, thank you for joining us today! Please could you let us know a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Assassins Creed community.
Jor: Hey Colum, thanks for having me! I would say that I am still relatively new to the Assassin’s Creed community, because I only really started to be more active since the launch of Assassin’s Creed Origins. That game really reignited my love for the series thanks to the new combat, RPG elements & setting. I am lucky enough to visit many gaming events where I met a few of the people that I spoke with online, that has been a blast.
I am from the Netherlands myself, have a journalism degree & am now doing my YouTube-channel full time.
Col: When did you first create your channel, and how does your content now differ to back then?
Jor: The starting date you will find in my about section is November 2014. When I started I really covered everything: Nintendo, PlayStation, PC games; just all the gaming news. I worked at IGN Benelux (the Dutch version of IGN) for quite some time & am just passionate about the whole gaming industry.
I learned that that is not the best approach for a YouTube channel though. You can better focus on doing a few things really well, instead of trying to cover everything. With the launch of Horizon Zero Dawn I discovered my love for making tips and tricks & covering games post launch. This also seemed to work, because I came the place to be for Horizon Zero Dawn. I now try to use the same tactic for other games I am really passionate about like Assassin’s Creed.
Col: You recently hit 400,000 subscribers which is a huge achievement. How would you describe your journey so far?
Jor: I think that after the launch of Horizon Zero Dawn & Assassin’s Creed Origins I really found my groove & I have been trying to improve that style of content since. One big part was bringing freelancers in to help me out. I now have 3 editors who edit one video per week and Dennis who is focused on the comments under my video, Reddit for the current game we cover & helps me with recording footage. The channel has become way more than a one man show & I really couldn’t provide the same quality I am doing now without their help.
I also like how apart from the update & tips videos, I am still able to make prediction videos & share my reaction on the recent news. This was mostly the content I did before extensively covering games & it’s cool to see that people still tune in to watch that side of the channel too.
Col: How long does a video generally take to put together, and is much research required?
Jor: It really depends on the video of course, but to make it simple: I think there are 2 types of videos for me. News videos that have to be quick because they are about news that just broke. Recently the PlayStation 5 controller was revealed and that video took me a little more than 2 hours to make. It of course varies per news item, but usually you want to have them up as fast as possible while still preserving the quality.
The other types of videos are scheduled ahead of time like tips for a new game or a roundup of recent rumors about the new Assassin’s Creed. These videos can easily take 7+ hours. I use twitter a lot and when I see an interesting news story I save it in a doc that I can go back to later. Then I write the script, look up extra information & then it’s time to record the audio. After that is done I either edit it myself or send all the info to an editor so he or she can work on it.
Col: Do you set yourself targets, and how many videos do you aim to release a week?
Jor: My aim has been from the start to make one video per day, so 7 per week. Although right now YouTube really rewards quality and interesting topics, so if a video is not done on time & could use more time then I delay it. The extra time can really make the difference.
This was a journey though, I first felt bad if I didn’t upload a day or would quickly put something together just to have a video that day. Luckily I am over that and the value of a quality video over 2 bad ones is super noticeable.
Col: Have you had many opportunities such as event invitations / early access from video game companies due to your channel?
Jor: Yes for sure & I am really happy about that. It helps that the Dutch gaming industry is relatively small & I already knew a lot of them thanks to my work at IGN Benelux & the Radio Station 538. When my channel grew bigger companies started to notice that too, although I got to give a shoutout to Ubisoft NL for letting me play Assassin’s Creed Origins at Gamescom when I still had around the 30.000 subscribers.
Col: What do your family and friends think of your channel, and who is your biggest supporter?
Jor: For some of my family members it’s all very foreign: “so how do you make money?” But they are curious about it, even though the content on the channel will not be for them hehe. My grandpa is always very supportive and sometimes leaves comments on social media platforms that many other people of his age don’t even know about. No but overall my girlfriend must be the biggest supporter & actually gives some great advice for someone who is not into games at all (apart from The Sims though)
Col: What advice do you have for people who want to start a channel on YouTube?
Jor: First of all just start, that is one of the hardest parts: get yourself out there and not care about what other people might think. You will be bad for sure, but that is with everything and you only get better by practicing.
Apart from that I would say: make the content you want to make and are passionate about, but also content that other people want to see. Make sure that there is a big enough audience & that you can provide something that people are looking for.
Col: What does a typical day for yourself consist of?
Jor: I usually start with a nice cup of tea and do some small things like answering emails or checking social media. After that I try to focus on the video for that day. I will check twitter now and then (probably a little too much) and try to get the video done for an editor or that I can edit it myself. The afternoon is always different, there might be big news that I want to cover, I remember going to the gym before they were all closed, on monday & thursday there is a stream on Twitch.tv/jorraptor (shameless plug), sometimes I cook & in the evening I either do some extra work, play a game or watch a tv show with my girlfriend.
Col: Other than the AC series, which games do you cover on your channel?
Jor: Very similar games actually, so big single player or sometimes co-op adventures that are mostly in an open world and have some sort of RPG element: God of War, Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, Far Cry, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, Sekiro, Borderlands & more that I am likely forgetting hehe.
Col: Which Assassin's Creed game did you play first, and is it your favourite?
Jor: The first Assassin’s Creed back in 2007. I actually bought a PlayStation 3 to play that game and Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction. While repetitive at times, I did enjoy it & really hope Ubisoft gives it a proper remake treatment. Not Assassin’s Creed 3 style, but more like what Square Enix & Capcom have been doing with their franchises. I can totally see a future where we get a brand new RPG AC every 2-3 years and then in between that a big remake of an older game. So all AC fans have something to look forward to.
Assassin’s Creed 1 is btw not my favorite, Assassin’s Creed Origins is, followed closely by Odyssey.
Col: Do you have much Assassin's Creed merchandise? If so, what is your favourite item?
Jor: Yes, but Ubisoft send me some of it to be honest. I have that massive way too expensive Spartan statue that is scaring everyone who passes by my house & other statues from the recent games. I also still have an Assassin’s Creed Odyssey helmet they gave away at E3. And recently got Assassin’s Creed displate posters that add a lot to my studio.
Col: Where would be your dream setting for an AC game?
Jor: Asia, especially now with the RPG elements. Imagine the weapons and armor pieces we would be able to collect. I totally think they will do it at some point, maybe after this viking game. Luckily we got Ghost of Tsushima in the meantime though that already highlights how a cool an Assassin’s Creed game in this setting would be.
Col: Are there any cut features from the series you would like to see return in the next installment?
Jor: Maybe not really a cut feature, but I liked how cinematic the Assassin’s Creed games were. Now though, especially with Odyssey, we didn’t get a lot of these cutscenes that help tell the story and showcase the setting in an awesome way. Most of the dialogue was done with regular conversations that sometimes didn’t have the same impact. If you want to make the games bigger Ubisoft, then please also add more cutscenes and not only at the beginning and the end of the game.
I also want to see multiplayer return, especially because of the new combat system I think both PVP and infiltrating forts together could be a ton of fun. It’s going to happen one day, but I think we will have to wait a few more years.
Col: Where do you personally think the series is heading to next, and are you excited for the future of Assassin's Creed?
Jor: It’s 99.9% going to be Vikings & after watching the tv show with the same name I am actually really hyped for that setting. It really has these unique characteristics in the way they dress and live, and also a big focus on Mythology that I think helped the previous two games a lot too. And of course knowing that it will be made by the Assassin’s Creed Origins and Black Flag team is already enough reason to be excited.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Jordan for joining us for another round of Quick-Fire Community Questions!
You can find him on:
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