For our first ever Spotlight, we chose to interview Christopher Howell from Seattle, WA, USA – though you may know him as Howell2010. Read on to learn more about this avid gamer who loves chocolate milk, making YouTube videos, and “Survival-craft” games.
FEMME: So, how did you come up with your handle, Howell2010?
HOWELL: Well, I had come up with a system for screen names. I use my name and a year somewhat in the future. I started with Chris2005, then as you can see on my YouTube page, Howell2006. I’ve used Howell2010 since 2007, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be using it from now on.
F: Where did you first hear about Sandswept and The Dead Linger?
H: I’m a Yogscast fan. I follow them on YouTube and watch their videos every day. One of their videos advertised a game they made, Yogventures, and linked to their Kickstarter page. Well, I donated to them and began to look around the site because the idea of the site intrigued me. While I was looking, I came across the Kickstarter for The Dead Linger. I didn’t watch the video that was posted, but I read through the page and the idea was very awesome to me. As soon as I got my tax return, I backed what I could. I got to the Sandswept site because of one of the $25 rewards, a spiffy icon for your account on the site. Of course I wanted to claim that, so I did. My first post on the site was an inquiry about if it would work on my laptop and the rest is history. Although when I read my old posts, it feels like someone else posted them… Someone who is more intelligent.
F: What is your favorite weapon in The Dead Linger?
H: Ranged would be the .22 rifle. I love how you can switch from aiming through the scope to the iron sights. Melee would be the Katana, because Katanas are awesome.
F: What is your “survival plan” for The Dead Linger?
H: Well, I am an explorer, and I explore alone, though for the sake of the future of my YouTube channel, I will play with others. Since I mostly play alone I try to make sure that I can do everything, since I have only myself to rely on. I’m not aggressive, I’m more passive. I won’t attack someone, and if someone needs help I will help them. But if you attack me without provocation, then I will make it my mission to defeat you at least once before going on my merry way.
F: What has been your most memorable moment in The Dead Linger so far?
H: There have been a lot of memorable moments, but I have to say the one that sticks to my mind – and will always stick to my mind – is the beginning of my second TDL video. I was doing my intro, slowly panning around, and suddenly I see a running zombie 5 feet away, charging at me. That scared me so much – it was such a surprising thing. I hope to have many more moments like that in TDL.
F: What is your favorite addition/update in Build 005?
H: My favorite update so far has been the implementation of zombies only dying from headshots. It is such a simple thing, but for some reason no other zombie game in history has done it. My favorite addition has been the Katana. Because Katanas are awesome.
F: What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming patches?
H: More places to explore. I’m an explorer. I love finding new things to explore and things to look at. To me, discovering scenic vistas and interesting locations is a dream. Considering TDL’s procedural generation, I dream of the time when I’ll be able to come up over a hill no one else has ever explored, and see a city no one else has ever seen. Those moments will be treasured memories to me – just like seeing that running zombie charging at me – but hopefully less stressful.
I also hope that eventually there will be other environments in game, like arctic/tundra, desert, and jungle. Fighting zombies in an arctic base, driving to my TDL world’s version of Las Vegas, and skulking through rice paddies and jungle underbrush would be the gaming equivalent of a Polaroid moment. Also, customizable characters will be a welcome addition.
F: I know you are part of a clan. What clan, and are they recruiting?
H: I am a part of the Brotherhood of the Dead. We are currently only recruiting active members, people who will post on our Enjin Forums, and/or join our Raidcall group. Enquire on our clan page and PM xxswatelitexx if you wish to join.
F: When did you first get into gaming?
H: Practically a lifetime ago. I remember playing word and number games on Apple computers with the green and black screens. I remember playing this one platforming shooter where you played a robot, and everything was pink, white, and teal on a black background. I remember when Wolfenstein was state of the art, and when Doom had such high requirements that my brother had to play it with the screen minimized all the way down and stick his face right up against the screen to see. So yeah, I’ve played games for years.
F: What are some of your favorite games?
H: – Empire Earth 2 – I love how you can play in any era you want. Maybe if I get famous I can find a company to make a new, better Empire Earth game after the 3rd killed the franchise. Does Sandswept have any project ideas after TDL? ;)
- Mount and Blade Warband – I love how you can start your own faction, become King/Queen, and have a massive trade empire.
- Far Cry 2 & 3
- Dark Souls – I love the combat and weapons. Sure, the game is hard, but never frustrating because of controls. Plus, is there any other game that allows you to wield two 2-handed weapons at once?
- Civilization 5 – I don’t care what anyone says. This game rocks simply because of how you can’t stack armies.
- STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl & Call of Pripyat
- The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind – While Skyrim was bigger, Morrowind had more factions, weapons, and armor than Skyrim or Oblivion. Those 2 later games really disappointed me.
- ARMA 2
- And of course, TDL :)
F: What video game genre do you enjoy playing the most?
H: I like many genres. It really depends on what I’m feeling at the moment. Sometimes I like RTS, sometimes Shooters, sometimes even racing. I suppose one thing that is common though, I love Sandbox games, and “Survival-craft” games.
F: I know you make YouTube videos – can you tell me about them? When did you start making videos? What do you enjoy most about making them?
H: Well, I started making YouTube videos about a couple months before TDL was released, and I made those so that I could make good TDL videos. I started doing them because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, and I’m still not aware of any skills that I have. I saw that Yogscast was able to make a living by just playing games and making videos (they make supplemental money with other things, but the games are the point), and I thought that would be an interesting way to live. I love games and I wanted a career that didn’t get in the way of my enjoying life. I knew that I couldn’t just make videos for games that already have a bloated market, like Minecraft, because no one would find my videos. But I knew of a game with no videos about it, and that would be very interesting to watch.
Over time though, I learned just how many people were going to make TDL videos, and how many people do make them now, so I had to act quickly and intelligently. I was determined to initially set myself apart by making the first videos of TDL, and it seems I did. Over time though, it got more difficult to make the first patch notes videos, and by now I know that I have the biggest audience I will ever have just by being the first. So now I plan to be the best/most interesting. I think I’ve already gotten the public speaking part down, and it seems I have a good enough mic. So now I have to come up with something interesting, and I think I know what it is. Look out for my upcoming series once customizable characters are included!
Now, despite all the money grubbing and fame I want from this venture, I really do love making these videos. Playing games is fun, and I love sharing my fun with the world as well as advertising TDL. When I play games that aren’t recorded, I often think about commentary I would do if I was making a video at the time. I do that for TV shows and visual novels as well.
I wish I was better at editing or had a video editor so my videos would be more interesting. I’ve seen some of the other videos people have posted, and they have all this fancy editing and these cool intros. Mine seem amateurish by comparison, but I still want to make better, more interesting, and more fun videos for my fans to watch. If anyone is a video editor and likes my videos, please contact me!
F: What are some of your other hobbies outside of gaming?
H: I like guns, as in their mechanics and design. Going down to a range and watching them in action is fun too! I also enjoy writing. I do enjoy entertaining people and making them feel emotions. I also enjoy reading books, manga, and visual novels – not to be confused with comics!
F: Where is your favorite place in the world?
H: It may be cliché, but anywhere I can talk to my girlfriend. I would prefer this to be in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, but anywhere with an internet connection works for me.
F: Do you have any weird/interesting/cool talents or abilities?
H: Both of my thumbs are double jointed, and I can put either of my legs behind my head. Though after a while it starts to hurt my neck.
F: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
H: I’d like to give a shout out to everyone in my clan, to everyone in the role play I am in, and to every one of my fans – really appreciate you guys! And of course everyone at Sandswept.
F: Thanks so much, Howell! It was a blast interviewing you, and I know the rest of the community will enjoy getting to know a little bit more about you, too.
Linger on, Survivors.
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