Interview: Max Scoville

Sarah from NoobFeed had the opportunity to speak with the very successful presenter Max Scoville, and here's what he had to say.

By Amaya, Posted 28 May 2013

Always fancied yourself to be a presenter, even better a presenter of a popular video game show? This week we here at NoobFeed had the awesome opportunity to interview Max Scoville one of the presenters of YouTube's popular video game show Destructoid. We chatted about his career in gaming, Rev 3, gaming highlights, more. And here’s what Max had to say:

Interview, Max Scoville

Sarah: For people who aren't aware about what you do tell us a little about your work with Rev 3 and Destructoid?

Max: Since 2011, I've been one of the hosts for The Destructoid Show, which Revision3 produces. I also write all of my own lines, which isn't something a lot of "talking head" type of video hosts do for themselves, and something I forget I do a lot of the time. In the 300+ episodes I've hosted, I'd say like, 95% of the stupid stuff that comes out of my mouth was actually written down beforehand. With the other 5% being unscripted rambling or something my producer added in because I forgot.

At the beginning of 2012, Revision3 launched Rev3Games as a dedicated gaming vertical and I was hired on full-time to host, write, and otherwise help produce original video game-related content, from reviewing games to Photoshopping YouTube thumbnail images. We have an extremely small team (like, 5 1/2 people small) and we're still managing to crank out a ton of really solid content.

Sarah: What was it like getting well known gamer Adam Sessler on the team?

Max: The first time I ever met Adam, he hugged me for saying that I didn't like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which made a pretty great first impression. Shortly after that, he was brought in as our editor in chief. In addition to attracting about a hundred thousand new regular viewers, he's also been really open new ideas, and overall he's just a really cool guy to be around.

Interview, Max Scoville

Sarah: You also have a new project coming up tell us about that?

Max: Just this morning, the first episode of my very own show premiered, "Max Scoville's Study Hall." The idea is, I pick a particular video game, and then recommend a pile of other pop-culture (movies, books, music, etc) that's in the same vein. It's like a hip, gritty transmedia reboot of Reading Rainbow. New episodes every Tuesday on Rev3Games.

Sarah: You guys get all kinds of gaming news coming in.. What was the weirdest one you had to report on?

Max: Pretty much anything related to the Saints Row The Third dildo bat. As far as specific news stories go, probably the time dildo bat had to be rendered less graphically for the Japanese release. When I say "less graphically" I mean they had to get rid of the clearly defined veins and ballsack. And that's in addition to the life-size replica of the dildo bat that THQ sent me.

I'd love to do a video retrospective of all the insane THQ PR stunts. In addition to the dildo bat, they also sent me a Darksiders II gravestone. It's this big heavy trophy made from marble countertop, and engraved with my name and date of birth and the day I died (which was the game's release date har har har) and I have no idea what to do with it, since it's made of goddamn stone, so I can't destroy it, and it says my name on it, so I can't throw it away.

Then there was the GDC party for Homefront, where THQ hired dudes dressed up as North Korean soldiers to herd everybody into school buses, which took us to an "undisclosed location" that was a warehouse halfway across the city from the convention center. They'd decorated the inside to look like an internment camp, and there was barbed wire and giant missiles everywhere. I think that was the same year when they staged that anti-North Korean rally and released a bunch of balloons into the San Francisco bay.

Interview, Max Scoville

Sarah: Do you find it hard to find the time to play the game you want to play rather than games that are assigned to you?

Max: Absolutely. Most of the games I review, I have to take home and play on my own time, usually over a weekend. It sounds awesome, but when I've already been sitting and staring at a screen all week at work, and then I spend half my weekend staring at a different screen, I usually want to stare at something else, like a tree or a book or a painting or a pizza. Plus, I live with my girlfriend, and she's always like "Are you done yet? Will you pay attention to me?"

Sarah: Out of all the games you reviewed which was the worst?

Max: In terms of quality, possibly Ninja Gaiden 3 or Deadlight. In terms of experience, probably Mass Effect 3. Tara and I got one review copy, to share, which arrived the Friday before the week of GDC, so I wound up playing for like thirteen hours straight that Sunday. Then, that night, there was a goddamn Earthquake at 4 AMand I woke up to that. I live on the fourth floor of a building, and my glass shower doors were banging together super loud and I thought it was the Reapers invading.

Sarah: You have done a lot of interviews for Rev3 at gaming events and conventions, is there any interview that really made you nervous?

Max: Most of them. Interviews are hard. Being good at writing about video games doesn't necessarily translate to being capable of talking to another person coherently on camera. Also, game developers are people who create miniature universes using math, and most of them aren't doing it in order to be interviewed by some goofy idiot with a microphone, they just wanna get back to making games.

I interviewed Matt Carofano, the art director for Skyrim. I had been scheduled to interview Todd Howard the game's big director who we'd been quoting on the Destructoid Show for months. I didn't know what Todd Howard looked like, so when Matt introduced himself, I was mentally like "Wait what" and completely forgot all the stuff I had planned on saying. So the first question I asked him was "How many types of fish are in the game?" 

Interview, Max Scoville

Sarah: Which event is your favorite to attend?

Max: PAX is amazing because it reminds me why I do what I do. When you're doing something for a living, no matter how fun it is, it becomes a chore sometime. A job is a job. But at PAX, I'm around everyone who's super passionate and excited about games, and they're there because they want to be there, not because it's their job. It's also really cool to meet people who watch my dumb videos, because they're wonderful, nice, friendly human beings, and every time someone asks to take a photo with me, I forget about all the mean YouTube comments I've ever read.

Sarah: Out of all the games & demos you seen at those events which one was it that made you feel that it was going to be huge and make a difference to gaming?

Max: Skyrim was definitely something else. When we've all logged a bajillion hours in it, and we've explored every nook and cranny of the map, it's easy to see the seams and be like "meh, that game is buggy, the combat sucks" but seeing a dragon show up out of goddamn nowhere for the first time? Summoning a blizzard? Setting a butterfly on fire? That was all very exciting. 

Of course, I also came into the industry pretty late into a console generation. The only hardware launches I've covered have been the Vita and the Wii U, which, let's be realistic, haven't been that great.

Sarah: Recently you reported on EA being voted worst company in America, why do you think EA gets such a hard time from the general public?

Max: The general public doesn't really care about EA's practices, and they probably think EA is cool because they're the guys who make Madden and Battlefield and The Sims. Gamers, on the other hand, are very vocal about how angry they are with EA, since they pay such close attention to the gaming industry. I think EA is a company that makes products for the sake of making money, not for the sake of pleasing customers. I think they're taking a very conservative and formulaic approach to creating games, and they also have the tendency to nickel and dime their customers with stuff like DLC, online passes, and microtransactions. I think it's disrespectful and greedy. They're not the worst company in America by a long shot, but I'm not really a fan.

Interview, Max Scoville

General gaming questions

Sarah: When you feel ill or down which game do you turn to, to make you feel better?

Max: I played through Max Payne 3 the day after coming down with really horrible food poisoning. I was all weak and dehydrated and miserable, so it was a really amazing fit. That game kind of took me by surprised how much I enjoyed it. 

When I'm depressed, I'll sometimes revisit games I loved growing up like A Link To The Past, Secret Of Evermore and old Lucasarts point-and-click adventures, specifically Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis. The Hyrule Light overworld, the marketplace in Antiqua, and the ruins in Crete are some of my favorite video game environments, and it's really nice revisiting my favorite escapist locales when I'm down in the dumps.

Sarah: What was the first gaming console you owned?

Max: I was pretty poor growing up, so the first console that was MINE was a Game Boy Pocket with a copy of Pokémon Red. But I'd fallen madly in love with my best friend's Super NES years earlier.

Sarah: If you could take credit for any game which would it be and why?

Max: I actually can take credit for a little bit of one game -- I'm in the credits for Writer Rumble, which my pal Gian's company Feel Every Yummy made. It's basically Puzzle Fighter meets Boggle. Initially, he had the little fighter guys looking like generic fighting game characters, and I suggest he make them be famous authors. So now it's got H.P. Lovecraft and Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe shooting words at each other.

I wish I could take credit for Captain Novolin, that Super Nintendo game about a Diabetes-themed superhero who ran around jumping over donuts and junk food. The bonus stage was just injecting insulin, it's a very confusing and upsetting game.

Interview, Max Scoville 

Sarah: What upcoming games are you looking forward to the most?

Max: GTA V. Destiny, even though we hardly know anything about it, in spite of all the hype. Metal Gear Solid V. Cyberpunk 2077, just based on the premise and the fact that CD Projekt Red can basically do whatever the hell they want at this point.

A big thanks to Max for taking the time to talk with us! We look forward to hearing about your upcoming projects and wish you continued success! Keep up with Max Scoville on Rev3Games, give him a like on Facebook and follow him on Twitter!

Sarah Doherty, NoobFeed

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Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): NoobFeed Editors
Genres: Artcile
Themes: Feature, Editorial, Interviews, Opinion Pieces
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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