RTX SYD 2017: Gus from Rooster Teeth Interview
Zach was fortunate enough to not only attend RTX Sydney 2017, but to interview one of the founding father’s of Rooster Teeth, Gus Sorola, to pick his brain on all the exciting things currently going on within Rooster Teeth, as well as just his general thoughts on the gaming industry at large.
RC: So, we are here with Gus Sorola from Rooster Teeth, how are you doing today?
Gus: Good, a little tired, but keeping going!
RC: So, I am going to start off with a pretty hard hitting question, which is your favourite Australian City? And why is it Melbourne?
Gus: Hmmmm that’s a very divisive question, no matter what I answer someone is going to be unhappy!
So, I think all the cities I have been to so far are: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane… I think that’s it? Yeah that might be it
I like them all for different reasons. I get a lot of shit from people because I like Adelaide and they say that is kinda slow and out in the middle of nowhere
RC: It’s relaxing,
Gus: Yeah, it’s relaxing, I like that.
I like Melbourne a lot, it has a really great art scene, it’s got a lot of great street art. Good cafes. Sydney, I feel is very metropolitan, you know, very modern city. And Brisbane is like a Bar fight. It’s crazy, it’s probably one of the craziest cities I’ve been to.
RC: So, exciting announcement, this morning you announced that RTX London will be coming in October. What was the reasoning behind choosing London for the next RTX location?
Gus: London is one of the biggest sources of traffic for our website and one of the biggest concentrations of people that watch our content. And it just made sense to go there. We did Australia first since we have good relationships with partners like Hanabee and Supanova and it was easier for us to start in Australia, but London has a bigger fanbase than even Austin, so it always made sense to put an event there.
RC: As Someone who has been heavily involved in RTX in the past, organising a number of them, how do you feel now seeing it grow to three shows across three different countries?
Gus: I am glad I am a lot less involved! I was not involved in Austin this past year, and I was only a little involved with this year’s RTX Australia and hopefully I will not be involved in RTX London! We have a really solid team that takes care of all of that stuff and it is a lot of work. I am really glad that team has been built, as if it was just be by myself, I could not do it.
RC: As someone who has been involved with RT since the start, and has been involved in a lot of the different shows and productions, is there one that stands out as being the most fun?
Gus: The podcast is fun…. I also like heroes and halfwits mostly because it is literally sitting down and playing Dungeons and Dragons, so it is probably my favourite right now, because it’s even more fun than like, let’s play content or video game content, because it is really all mental stimulation and imagination.
RC: Of the upcoming RT productions, is there one in particular you are excited for people to get to see?
Gus: Hmmm there is a series we haven’t announced yet, which I really can’t say anything about yet, it’s far off yet, probably a year away, but it’s going to be super cool.
RC: Now obviously, you are a massive gamer yourself, are there any trends in the video industry that you are either excited for or concerned about?
Gus: I am both excited for and concerned about Virtual Reality. I think it is at a point where the technology is cool, but we still don’t have a game that drives the need for adoption. Like adoption of the headsets has been really low and a lot of what we see is tech demos and people trying to figure out how to make a proper game or a proper entertainment experience but no one has figured it out yet. And I think someone needs to figure it out soon otherwise the hype will die and it won’t end up being adopted by the masses.
RC: Is there a particular VR experience you have found most engaging in what is currently available?
Gus: There is a bunch of different ones. It’s an early one, but still one of my favourites is Tilt Brush, being able to go in and draw stuff and experience that 3D environment. I think as far as games go, I think still probably the best example is Arizona sunshine. Because I think it is the first game in VR that I’ve seen where the protagonist actually has a personality and actually is a character, and some people don’t like that personality, but at least it’s something, at least it’s out there, it’s pushing towards actual gameplay.
RC: Do you have a preference between the currently available VR headsets?
Gus: I prefer the Vive I think right now…
RC: Is there a game, right now you want to champion, that you feel hasn’t been getting enough attention?
Gus: I am so far behind on games right now, I don’t have anything I am really championing. There is this game I played a while ago that. I think you can get on Steam and there is a mobile version called You Must Build a Boat which is a combination endless runner and puzzle game. It is a really good game. I played it most of the flight down here to Sydney.
RC: So, one of the most exciting things about this RTX was people getting the chance to try the Nintendo Switch, did you get a chance to play it and what are your general impressions?
Gus: Yeah, I got a chance to play it. It’s really neat! It’s interesting to me because, in some of the games you are playing a video game, but the people playing the game aren’t looking at the screen, like Quick Draw and Milk, you’re supposed to look at the person you are playing against, like they are emphasising the play aspect and less on the video and the graphics, which is a really unique approach to video games. I am excited to see if people latch on to that or if it fizzles.
RC: The other exciting thing about this RTX has been Hideo Kojima, did you get a chance to have a chat to him?
Gus: Yeah, I met him and shook his hand and spoke very briefly, he was on his way to do a test run for his panel. I had a huge fanboy moment I guess, I’ve been a fan of his work and the Metal Gear games, as early as the original Metal Gear on the NES, and it’s cool to finally meet him and host him at an event that I helped put on.
RC: What are your thoughts on Death Stranding?
Gus: I have no idea what it is… it looks really cool; the trailers are really interesting. As I said, I am a huge Metal Gear fan, and I was a fan of the lore in those games, so I am excited to see what he is cooking up.
RC: Going forward, is there something you want to spend most of your time at RT focusing on?
Gus: These days I am focusing mostly on VR. I try to think of ways to capitalise on that and best practices. So, I spend a lot of time in VR and thinking about it. So, that is where a lot of my attention these days.
RC: Ok, let’s finish off with one more divisive question, do you have a favourite Australian beer?
Gus: Oh ok, that’s a good question! I like James Boag Premium, that was one of my early favourites from when I first visited Australia. There is a guy who showed me around last year and introduced me to some smaller craft beers, and I liked Little Creatures, which I know is not that small, but also this other beer called… I think it was Dresches? No that wasn’t it… I just remember it having a red diamond logo, and it was only at one of the pubs we went to. [Author’s note: Both Gus and myself were unable to locate this mysterious beer on Google. If any readers have an idea of what it may be, don’t hesitate to let us know.]
We would like to thank Gus for taking time out of his schedule to answer the questions below, and if you are interested in checking out his work, head to Rooster Teeth’s website!