Details on who I is!: Ahoy Reddit! My name is Sean! I grew up playing StarCraft: BroodWar competitively (1998 to 2010ish) and wound up starting a SC strategy show called the Day[9] Daily. The show eventually grew into a full time business making gaming video content and flying all'round to events like BlizzCon, MLG, ESL, DreamHack etc! From there I met the wonderful people over at Geek and Sundry where they kindly invited me to host the delightful Spellslingers, a show where I play Magic: The Gathering w/ my nerd friends!

Season 2 of Spellslingers has just come out and can be viewed here! When I'm not making videos or hosting things, I am a full time designer over at Artillery Games making a fancy shmancy RTS called Atlas in the browser that, as far as I can tell, is powered by Prothean technology.

I'd love to answer any such questions you might have about Magic, gaming, game design, life, food, being a streamer/YouTuber, or Manfred.

My unphotoshopped Proof: https://twitter.com/day9tv/status/497472556962570240

[edit]

Holy god so many questions! I'm going to try to stay a bit longer than another 90 minutes to spam out more. Time to test my WPM

[edit]

I'm going to stop at 4pm PDT! We were scheduled to and at 3pm PDT, but what the hell. Reddit operates exclusively on upvotetime

[edit]

Screw it, 4:30 and still going strong. Afternoon work can wait until tonight! Mwahah!

[edit]

Ok, I'm pooped. I've been answering questions for about 4 hours now! I'll do one more and then I'm OFF! Hope you enjoyed the AMA. I answered quite a few questions by sorting through "new," so there are a good chunk of sizeable answers lurking in there. Feel free to adjust them sortings to track it all down! Thank you all so much for the kind words too. Most of the time, I don't exactly get one-on-one time with people. I spend most of my time at work or playing a game, so it's really delightful for me to read all the nice things from each of you <3. Always remember to be kind for no reason and to laugh way too much. Now go play games and be merry <3.

Comments: 2117 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

deezol709 karma

Hello Day[9]!

First off, I just want to thank you for everything you have done for the E-sports community. I was introduced to you by your emotional 100th daily and have been hooked ever since. Your fun and instructional commentary has been my main inspiration to pursue my own hobby of live streaming.

My question(s) for you is: What are your thoughts on the recent changes occurring at Twitch.tv? Are you concerned at all about the future of live streaming?

Thank you for doing this AMA, Day!

zngelday9997 karma

Frankly, I'm not terribly concerned yet.

Once upon a time, we showed an initial prototype of Atlas to a playtest group. We'd only been working on the game for a few months and one of the playtesters asked, "why did you choose to remove patrol?" I had to explain to him that we simply hadn't added it yet, not that it was a deliberate scheme.

It's pretty easy to view a company like Twitch as a huge megacorp that is slamming down an infallible, thoroughly deliberate system. But, if you look at what's happening, most things going wrong w/ Twitch muting cannot possibly be deliberate/intentional - for example, Valve's International VODs have muted chunks because it played music owned by Valve. Also, artists are claiming they don't want their music silenced on streams, that they are happy to have streamers broadcasting it. Honestly, I cannot possibly imagine a world where Twitch deliberately wants all of this to happen.

So, when I take a step back, I see a very complex, big system has only been around for 24 hours (as of me writing this). I'm not going to get overly freaked out because technology companies have historically fixed huge stuff like this quickly. It's totally clear that all the accidental muting/false positives are bad and the system still needs improvement. However, I'll just wait patiently for a bit before I get too worked up. Twitch are pretty good at listening and fixing stuff.

Lilgherkin214 karma

I love how tactful you are in this response. It makes me smile.

zngelday9867 karma

I try not to get overly emotional and hissy about stuff. I like to give people/situations the benefit of the doubt. Then, when everything gets resolved, I have a renewed surge of happiness - a better relationship with whomever/whatever was going wrong AND everything being resolved. Plus, if things remain a problem, it's pretty easy to confront someone in a non shitty way.

Being a blunt asshole might feel good in the moment. Hell, it gives an immediate rush of self righteousness and adrenaline. Your brain can convince you that it's AWESOME to do! But, it happens at the expense of someone else (which I don't like) and is pretty emotionally wearing int he long run. If I want a rush of adrenaline, I'll just go play some StarCraft

lb_bugged100 karma

Get with the times Sean! The Internet is all about making snap judgements!

Note: this post intended to be sarcastic

zngelday9188 karma

You monsteR

MetastableToChaos625 karma

Hey Sean, how'd your game go?

zngelday9627 karma

I won and lost, in a way. You know.

arabidopsis473 karma

Hey Sean!

What is your secret to always laughing, being nice, and generally not being a dick?

Where you ever the opposite? What made you change, and how did you not slip back in that old self?

Also, when will you play Wil in Magic on Spell Slingers?!

zngelday92828 karma

If you surf through some of my old posts on forums, you'll see an angry little kid. I'm super embarrassed sometimes when I see the sorts of things I used to do. Gaaaaagh.

But, I've always wanted to be nice. I like to be nice and to help out. But how does one "work" on being nice? Here's my routine:

When I wake up in the morning, I think about all the people I'm going to talk to and interact with that day. I think of how a conversation might go so I have an expectation, and I try to think of how I WANT to come across in that interaction. I think of all the things that people could be frustrated at me about, how they might say it to me, and how I can make that experience NICE for the other person. I literally rehearse in my head various situations until it sounds right.

Suppose I'm going into a performance review with a boss later that day and I think he might be angry at my recent work. I'll try to rehearse exactly what I want to say to make the experience nice for HIM. How would I posture my body language? What words would I use? How would I repair this situation? After a while of talking to myself, some possible ideas don't "feel right" and others feel really good.

The feeling I look for is one of calm and relief. Ever gotten into an argument with someone in your head? Feel your face getting hot and your heartrate increasing? That's bad. Don't say those in real life. I always feel a little mental "click" when I've thought of the right thing to say. It feels warm and I feel like it'll be nice for the other person.

At the end of a day, I'll reflect on how those interactions went. In particular, I'll reflect first on the ones that felt off - the ones where I felt a bit hot in the face. How could I have said something differently? How could I have communicated more calmly to this person? How could I have helped this person feel more involved? I just continue to reflect until I feel that "click."

Most importantly, I take time every few days to think about all the rather mundane, dry, utterly forgetful moments and conversations throughout the day. That I think is the real trick. It's so easy to "feel fine" during a conversation and to be unaware if it's negatively affecting anyone. That's where I've found little habits I do that may be offputting, like looking away from someone as they tell a joke, laughing into the distance. Fuck that, if I'm gonna laugh, I now try to look RIGHT at the person so they FEEL my enjoyment.

After years of reflecting, adjusting, rehearsing, you just become more cheerful and happy. It took a hell of a lot of work and reflection, and I'm sure I grate on people and get snippy, but it's something I think a lot about.

I worry about someone having a struggle in a day, and I say the one thing that pushes it into a "bad day." Everyone has immense struggles in the own life and I don't want to add to it. I want it to be better!

Eraas395 karma

What is your favorite unexpected moment from your stream?

zngelday91535 karma

DEFINITELY "THE ROPE." For any who don't know the story -- I was streaming Amnesia: The Dark Descent over a few days around Halloween. I had committed to beating the entire thing on stream, but I got a bit stuck towards the end.

So, I broke my usual rule of asking the chat for advice. I told them to let me suffer in the very first episode, to never help me through any tough stuff NO MATTER WHAT. Naturally, I'm glancing over at chat and saying, "What now? What do I do?"

People began to spam. 17,000 people began to spam. "You forgot the ROPE!" "UGGGH How does Day[9] miss everything?" "THE ROPPEEEE." Even the penis/hitler spamming Twitch trolls cowered before the coordination of nearly twenty thousand eye rolling nerds.

I slowly backtrack my way to the torture room to look for the rope. Sweat is trickling down my forehead. My heartrate is increasing. The physiological reaction is not from fear. It's from embarrassment at being unable to find a rope item in a tiny room with not many items in the first place. After a while, I look up at the chat and say, "Guys... there's no rope in here..."

17,000 people then informed me that there was never a rope. "That's why you don't ask the chat for help," they said. And so I went back to cluelessly bumping around until I eventually beat the game.

And now a few million people never stop reminding me not to forget the rope Kappa.

n3onfx379 karma

Does Manfred travel with you? If not, how does he cope with being alone all that time?

zngelday9748 karma

I'm not gonna lie, I'm terrified to bring that bunny anywhere unsafe. I still feel sad when I think about Bunny, the original bunny I lost at WCG 2005 because I was angry and left in a hurry. I think little sentimental things like stuffed animals are important, and as a 28 year old man, I'm more than happy to be protective of them <3.

jiraka372 karma

What do you think about the decline in popularity of SC2?

zngelday9751 karma

I think some of it is expected given how hard it is for a new player to step in and learn. It's fairly punishing to play for 15 minutes and lose to a single mistake.

That said, I grew up playing BW, the game that nobody cared too much about. And yet, the community that loved the competitive scene were AMAZING! Teamliquid.net has always been my second home. I wouldn't trade anything for my time growing up obsessed with BroodWar. And you know what? My enjoyment never had anything to do w/ the popularity of the game

I feel similarly about SC2. No rise or fall in popularity will change how much I enjoy examining strategy or seeing people do cool moves. If I really like something, I trust that.

FlukyS151 karma

Well the business model has caused issues too. Like to get playing multiplayer you have to buy 2 expansions which a lot of people don't consider value for money.

zngelday9315 karma

Free to play games definitely have a MUCH wider top of the funnel. That certainly will reduce the number of incommers

imran7332 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized tasteless's or 1 horse-sized artosis?

zngelday91895 karma

I would rather fight 1 horse-sized Artosis because I fought and successfully defeated one every year at WCG for 10 years.

xMrBlonde318 karma

Hey Day9,

what do you think of Super Smash Bros Melee and their competitive scene?

zngelday9598 karma

I absolutely LOVE watching Super Smash Brothers.

If you've ever watched the Olympics, you'll often get that feeling of "oooh shit! How the hell does he do that!" Smash gives me that same kind of visceral, physiologically amazement. I cannot believe they are doing all the stuff they are doing so consistently.

I also love how the combos and game slowly change as the health percentages get high. Instead of the combos and maneuvers being strictly muscle memory, therre's a terrific amount of judgment involved at all points.

I'm thrilled to see it continuing to gain popularity. I watch it on Twitch frequently <3

Samwisely103 karma

Ever thought about joining up with some of Smash's more prominent community members (Prog, D1, Scar, Toph, TK, HBox, Mango, some of the PM team, etc) to either commentate, or simply have a round table discussion? With your experience in eSports, and Smash's growing popularity, I know I'd find your input to be interesting.

zngelday9456 karma

I find commentary in games that I don't know well to be extremely difficult. I feel constantly like I'm disrespecting the game by not being on point. I spend a considerable number of hours studying StarCraft to make sure I'm not full of shit or unable to explain why a certain pro is so clever with what he's doing.

That said, I'd love to have a round table discussion w/ em :D. It's always a blast to chat to people with similar experiences.

el-prog651 karma

sup

zngelday9266 karma

Let us round table some time :>

Hilariousgamer274 karma

When will you marry Felicity?

zngelday9765 karma

If she ever cuts out her bullshit then MAYBE

takuyafire197 karma

How the hell do you manage to work on a game and still pull off daily shows every week?

zngelday9499 karma

I have a ridiculous work ethic. I work longer hours on harder projects than most people I've ever met. Frankly, that's the only real secret to my success. Whenever I'm interested in something, I grind my way through it at a very quick pace simply because I'm devoting so many hours to it every day.

That said, I do find the working to be very energizing. It feels possible to put in those long hours because it feels so much like playing to me. Some weeks, I do get extremely tired and become mostly non functional. Those are the ones where I'll blob it up during the day, do a show, and then resume blobbing in the evening. But, mostly, I just work lots :).

My current schedule is 10am to 9pm 2 days a week, 10am to 1030pm 2 days a week, 11 to 7 one day a week, and another 2 hours on Sunday nights (playtest). So, that's about ~60 hours on a light week. On heavier weeks, I'm working all weekend at an event as well. That generally amounts to three 14-16 hour days (Fri/Sat/Sun).

At least I didn't work as much as I did in 2011/2012. I worked at events ~20-30 weekends a year. That's unhealthy though. Don't do that.

LingFunBy191 karma

Day[9],

First I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this AMA, I know you are a very busy man and we all appreciate it, so i'll cut right to the chase.

  • In regards to your new game codenamed Project Atlas, what are the biggest goals you are striving to reach in terms of gameplay?

  • Will this game have a macro/micro balanced system, similar to Brood War?

  • Are you basing your game OFF OF what brood war was (and still is)?

  • Will this game reward players who are capable of multi task AS WELL AS phenomenal unit control? (as in, No deathballs allowed!)

  • Is there a specific theme in the game? (Midievel, Space, modern armies, etc?)

  • Do you intend to create the game around being an E-sport? Some of the best games are happy little accidents- Melee, Brood war, they were never intended to be competitive games but they seemed to work out great because they were well-designed games and not E-sport intended games.

  • Lastly, and a little unrelated, will we see a return to SC2 content in the Day[9] daily? It seems your passion for the game has waned, understandably so. the game is not what it used to be and really doesn't compare to a game like broodwar (My own opinion, which I stand by even as an avid sc2 player) but a lot of your fans got into you BECAUSE of SC2; are we to be left without content on SC2 in the future as you pursue other things?

I trust it goes without saying I am a huge fan, and your attitude of being relentlessly positive has changed my views on life and the way I go through my days, so thank you very much for that <3

zngelday9247 karma

My pleasure! This is a nice break from the normal daily routine :)

  • The biggest goal with Atlas is to have lots of interaction. In traditional RTS games, a match is often decided in one big, climactic final engagement. But, I find battling/microing/positioning to be incredibly fun. So, how do you encourage people to get their scared butts out there and battle away? Frankly, it's a pain in the ass, but I think we're making progress. We have a respawn system where you get partial refunds for your dead units and that seems to be making players less scared to fight.
  • I'd describe it as more micro focused, with resourcing/macro being more of a strategic/tactical decision - how do I take certain resources in order to get a certain kind of unit? It will not be macro in the sense of "go back to your base and spam your buildings every 20 seconds"
  • Atlas is influenced by almost every game you've ever heard me talk about haha xD. Even ones that have nothing to do with RTS games! I'm sure there's a good chunk of BW inspiration in there, but I'll let you tell me when it's released :).
  • I sure hope so! I'd like multitasking to feel like a "stretch goal" rather than a requirement, that if you're good enough at multitasking you can do more, but that it's not frustrating as all hell if you're slow.
  • Our Art Director has compelled me to use my 5th amendment rights. Mwahahaha
  • I'd LOVE for it to be an eSports, but as a developer you don't get to choose whether a game is an eSports. That's up to the community. Given my competitive background, I'll absolutely be trying to pump as much strategic and interesting mechanical depth as I can! I love that sort of thing and I'm sure it'll show through in some ways to the game.
  • I don't think there's ever a way that I won't be into StarCraft. It shaped who I am and I still watch every day. Right now, the Naxxramas expansions are coming out so I'm hopelessly addicted to them. There'll def be more SC2 upcoming :).

Thanks for the cheer regarding the positivity! Yahoo! Hooray for being cheerful!

doroco175 karma

Can you do more Day9 story times?

zngelday9299 karma

Yes! They are very very hard to do, so I have to spend a while thinking of them. I try to steer away from stuff I've already talked about on shows too, but maybe I should go back on that. I do enjoy the act of storytelling oodles<3

Razvee169 karma

What is your favorite non-traditional swear word?

zngelday9482 karma

Buttshit

craaaft161 karma

I have some questions regarding your undergraduate degree in mathematics.

  • What was your favourite and what was your least favourite lecture?
  • Did you consider doing MSc (or even phd and get into research) in math?
  • What do you think about the state of math regarding open problems and the community itself?
  • How did math at university affect your life?

Thanks for doing what you do <3 You are a big motivation for many people.

zngelday9278 karma

Thanks for the kind words <3333

  • My favorite has always been combinatorics. In some forms of math, there are rigorous, clear explanations that don't feel sexy. For example, induction never felt too satisfying. I want to know WHY, not just THAT it seems to work! I always felt "clever" with combinatorics. By the same token, real analysis clicked for me. I could sometimes get the answer but I never felt like I understood what was going on.
  • I don't think I'll ever do math research or pursue a degree. I so much enjoy the constraints of working in a real business environment. How do can be creative with deadlines? With limited technology? With limited funds? Working as an entrepreneur or at a startup always felt like playing a StarCraft game in real life.
  • I'm not actually sure I know enough about this to comment!
  • I LOOOVED Math at Harvey Mudd. The teachers were so incredibly supportive. It never felt like "me vs the professor." It always felt like "me AND the professor vs the work." The degree shaped my entire view on collaboration, that being right is not as important as working with, communicating to, and helping other people.

<3333

Scoutski143 karma

Hi Sean!

Just wanted to say thanks for everything you do and that your happiness is infectious and you are a gift to the SC2 community (well and now more than that)

My question is How long do you want to continue streaming and what do you see yourself doing in the next 5-10 years?

Thanks!

zngelday9211 karma

Thank you so much for the comment about cheer! Sometimes, it's hard to get that sort of feedback because most of what I see is just a viewer number. I'm talking alone in a room after all, so it's nice to hear my devotion to cheer has had a good impact :). I have shitty days and bad things happen, but I try to commit to exuding a good attitude every day (though I fumble sometimes lol).

I think I'll always wanted to do streaming/broadcasting because I absolutely LOVE trying to articulate complex ideas. Explaining a math problem, strategy, thought about design etc gives me a deep pleasure. And, everyone in the stream chat is always so engaged and awesome. I really really love that experience.

I think that in the next 5-10 years I'll slowly shift away from doing event based work and focus more on game design. The design of games has always been a huge interest, and Artillery has given me the chance to make it an active passion. I'm smitten <3

Ireniicus129 karma

hi Sean, big fan. Who is the best player you have beaten in a SC2 WoL/and Hots ladder match when you were on one of your anonymous accounts? Which races were you playing?

zngelday9517 karma

༼ つ ◕_◕༽つ I'm proud to say that I took a number of games off |l|ll||l|l|ll with Protoss ༼ つ ◕_◕༽つ

Ringoesish125 karma

Hi Sean,

You often take pride in the fact that you are a positive person, and you've given us all lots of experienced perspective when it comes to how to stay positive even when things aren't so great. Over the past year your tips have been massively helpful in reshaping my ideas about how to be the person I would like to be.

My question to you would be: what do you think the potential power of optimism and positivity is on a interpersonal, productive, and innovative level rather than on just a personal happiness level?

zngelday9343 karma

You know, I have rent on autopay, but it's the utilities that I forgot to pay. I was 6 days late and was fined $5. Rats.

zngelday9436 karma

OH dammit I replied to the wrong one.

zngelday9266 karma

To answer this question 4real:

I think a big part to being cheerful and positive is the ability to focus, to focus clearly and sharply on a moments notice. Suppose I'm having a bad day - got into a minor car accident, rough day at work, didn't sleep well last night - and now it's time to do a show. I'm not going to take the negatives from the day and project them to an audience of happy, pleasant people. So, I learned to focus, to temporarily give myself a 90 minute break from that stress, and to actually enjoy the show.

That practiced focus has been instrumental in working on a task or just enjoying an activity. Suppose I have a billion different things to worry about, but I have to crack a tough design problem at work. That focus can help tremendously to experience that problem, to experience the now, to really be there in the work rather than stuck in my own head. I've also found in the last few years that I can focus more on conversations and interacting with people. It helps me feel more connected and involved. I've made closer friendships which has been really nice <3.

Plus, it just feels rewarding to be nice. At a chemical level, I think I feel better.

JiltWithKicker112 karma

Sean, your lack of love for blue cards/decks is well documented in "Spellslingers," but do you have a favorite color to play in Magic? Do you have any specific cards in either Constructed or Limited play that you would consider your favorite to play with?

zngelday9210 karma

I like green and black! I enjoy the aesthetics of both in terms of art and gameplay. I love huge powerful dudes, and that self sacrifice that defines black. I don't know why, but I always feel so clever when I pay life to do something, or sacrifice one of my own creatures to help another one. It feels really nice :D. For instance, I really loved Brian Kibler's BG aggro deck from 2012

CenabisBene307 karma

"I love huge powerful dudes." - Day9 2014

zngelday9372 karma

Especially if they smear euphemisms all over their sweaty bodies.

Sockso101 karma

Dear Day[9]

Would you rather play Chopin well or speak French well?

zngelday9222 karma

I would rather play Chopin! Are you kidding me? I LOVE Chopin! I've always wanted to be able to play his Opus 23 No 1 Ballad! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F63MSrdYx5w I mean LISTEN to that! Isn't that amazing? I tend to listen to a ton of IDM/electronic music with odd timbre or sound construction. That's a piece that uses ONE instrument and it has the impact of a full orchestra. Screw french man give me shopin I'll just translate.google.com it every day

BlaHq90 karma

What would be you fantasy SC2 dream team?(6 players min.)

zngelday9216 karma

  • Stephano for his ability to be good whenever needed
  • Jaedong for his relentless work ethic and clever Zerg styles
  • Polt for being charming and teddy bear like IRL, but deadly in game
  • Flash for being the Proleague animal I've always known him to be
  • Rain for embodying slow n' steady play
  • And BISU because I BELIEVE

GimbleB90 karma

In Starcraft 2 I noticed that the earlier I made a mistake, the more punished I would be for it. Is this something you're keeping in mind while working at Artillery? Or is this something that is inherent to the RTS genre?

zngelday9174 karma

We talk about this all the time. Our goal with Atlas is to do the opposite - that early game mistakes only cause a minor setback or, even better, only provide a temporary window of opportunity for the enemy. The later you are in the game, the more punished you should be for a big mistake. This is in line with the recent blog post I wrote about creating a story arc in a multiplayer game. I want that "gaaah fuck we lost" moment to happen MUCH later in the game.

Tetragrammaton87 karma

Hi Day[9]! I’m an indie game developer, currently working on an Oculus Rift game. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on VR. Do you think it has lasting potential, or is it more of a gimmick? How much do you think it will catch on after a consumer release? Do you think streamers and YTers will take to it?

By the way, I’ve watched every Funday Monday, and I’m really enjoying Mostly Walking! I like Starcraft, but I really appreciate that you’re branching out. :)

zngelday9200 karma

I think the hardest part with any new technology is trying to determine the most appropriate game for the structure. When a new technology comes out, folks tend to look at it through the lens of the past. For example, when mobile came out, tons of people were wondering about "whether an FPS can be made properly" in this new format. Instead, we found a huge spike in games that worked great for touch input, games that were a bit new and different compared to those of the past.

So, when I look at Oculus, I'm sure there are ways that they can enhance existing genres and games (ie Alien: Isolation I'm very excited to experience). But, I'm more excited to see what NEW comes out of Oculus. What's a game that ONLY makes sense in VR and nowhere else? That's when the REAL juicy stuff occurs

Sockso78 karma

Dear Day9, If you could have one x-men power, what would it be?

zngelday9142 karma

I sometimes fantasize about being able to instill immense fear in other people! I exercise patience at virtually every frustrating opportunity because I value kindness very very highly. But, sometimes I get that fantasy of just FREAKING someone out with a glance for just 5 seconds.

God that's something isn't it. I can't fantasize about being a wicked badass for more than FIVE SECONDS. Even the fantasy has everything calming down after that. Hmm...

littlekosh77 karma

[removed]

zngelday9147 karma

You know, I have rent on autopay, but it's the utilities that I forgot to pay. I was 6 days late and was fined $5. Rats.

MrPudge73 karma

Do you check out the Dota scene?

zngelday9186 karma

Yes!

I've been watching zai play a ton lately and I love his play AND taste in music. One of my best friends plays Dota 2 all the time and I call him when I want to watch streams so he can educate me. Slowly, but surely, I'm increasing the number of vs bot games I play. One day I'll graduate to my first legit 5v5 game and disappoint everyone on the team.

ShadowFlame1173 karma

Are we going to see you casting non-North American SC2 events any time soon?

zngelday9159 karma

I think it might take a while. I have a fear of flying that's gotten worse in the last few years. Traveling internationally is very hard on my body - exhaustion, lack of sleep, time zone changes, and tons of heart pounding adrenaline from a 12 hour flight. That said, every event I've done overseas has been an amazing memory. Particularly the Iron Squid II event in Paris, France. Nothing makes an event like a passionate, wild group of hardcore fans. And the French fans are next level.

Viva la France!

TheMagicDrake66 karma

What do you consider to be the next big thing in eSports?

zngelday9182 karma

Audience participation at the gameplay level. I'm thinking something like Hunger Games for eSports. That's a bit BS since it's an unfair playing field, but how do you balance a 1 v 10,000? That would be something beautiful to see. I have literally nothing concrete of value to add beyond that, just a thought haha xD

DeGozaruNyan116 karma

Reminds me of those maps in a tournament back in WoL (Red Bull?) where the audience voted for events/disasters and BAM! mooving minerals, Nukes every where, vortexes... man those where fun games :D

zngelday9197 karma

I designed those! :D

HobsMan55 karma

Hey Day9, what is your favorite item at Chipotle? Thanks for doing this AMA!

zngelday9146 karma

Double wrapped chicken burrito, white rice, black beans, mild, sour cream, cheese, guacamole. Then, the key ingredient, the smoked chipotle tobasco sauce by the napkins and straws. That's the cherry that defines the cake.

DuBlooNz48 karma

If starcraft had never existed what do you think you would be doing with your life right now?

zngelday9150 karma

I'd probably be more timid, scared of risk and failure, work less hard, and never know what it means to push myself.

seriouslynotmyfault47 karma

Dear Day[9]:

Love your show. I channel the power of the duck at work all the time!

My question: what's your favorite non-game related activity?

<333

zngelday9100 karma

I really enjoy comic books. Not so much the traditional superhero stuff (although I do own a good chunk of those), but more the very out there, clever pieces that you wuoldn't see on TV, Movies, or Games. Lets take Chew for instance, a comic about a man that can gains psychic impressions from eating various foods. And then winds up cannibalizing people to solve murder cases. Where the hell else would you get to experience something like that than comics?

Some of my favorites: Y: The Last Man, Chew, Bone, Invincible, Walking Dead, Akira, Sailor Twain

Hobiz47 karma

Hey Sean! I remember watching your Day[9] dailies 4 years ago and it’s exciting to see video games get so popular and your career expand so much. My question is who has been your favorite person to work with?

Also thanks for helping me be a better gamer!

zngelday9143 karma

My favorite person to work with is Eric Burkhart, my co-partner in crime at Day[9]TV. I do tons of the front end work with the on camera hosting and whatnot, but he handles so much of the back end stuff - running AHGL, helping plan, setting up technology, and generally being a bad ass.

Most importantly, he's incredibly supportive. Ever had a really hard day and you ask for support from a friend, but it doesn't go well because he doesn't know you? Suppose you play a team game, and your ally keeps making a consistent mistake. You try to help, but he doesn't listen and loses it for you again and again. You try to vent to your friend but he doesn't get it. He doesn't play the game, so he can't relate to your pain.

Eric really knows me and helps prop me up on the bad days. Doing live shows and being in the public eye is very wearing. Eric knows the games I play, the things I care about, how our business works, when to be concerned for me and tell me to stop working, and when to encourage me to push forward. I feel deeply reassured knowing that, no matter what's going on, Eric knows me and knows what to say to have my back. I was the best man at his wedding and couldn't ask for a better partner and friend. I've learned that working as a team is just as much about support and friendship as it is about hard work.

WHiT3R4bBiT113 karma

<3 Sean you're my favorite person to work with too

zngelday964 karma

<3

SilentViolins46 karma

Hey Sean, as an experienced Magic player, I really love watching your Spellslingers series simply because you do so many things right.

While you and your guests don't always showcase the right play, your attention to detail regarding the rules, your presentation, and overall cool demeanor makes your series far and away the most accessible, approachable, and enjoyable out of all the material I've seen out there. Just wanted to say hats off to you for that.

Now that you're in the Community Cup(congrats, btw), will you be preparing with the rest of the team to take down the Wizards employees?

Also, how would you describe your experience in the Pro Tour? What is your general opinion of professional Magic?

zngelday976 karma

Oh my god thank you SO much for saying that!!! I'm always slightly self conscious about playing Magic: The Gathering publicly. There can be such an incredible amount of stuff to keep track of in a single game, but missing one feels different than in a real time game. If I forgot to build an SCV, well then I just build it 5 seconds late. But, in MTG, if you miss it, it's GONE. FOREVER. YOU MESSED UP. It feels like remembering to put on a tie, nice shirt, jacket, underwear, slacks but forgetting the socks and shoes. Now I've shown up to the interview barefoot. So, allow me to say that it means a LOT that you took the time to compliment me in such a specific fashion <3.

For the Community Cup, I'm not going to play any different than I do in spellslingers. I'm gonna try hard, for sure, but primarily I'm excited to have a blast. Perhaps the most unsung glory of MTG is the social aspect - going to an FNM and having a fun chat w/ the person across the table from you. Being an incredibly hard working guy, most Fridays I'm just too tired to go out, so I watch TV or play games. I don't get many opportunities to have real face-to-face magic. At the Community Cup, it's gonna be an absolute BLAST to sit across from the people whose game I love so much.

Oh, I'm also a huge Mark Rosewater fanboy. I adore his Drive to Work Podcast and his Making Magic Articles. He's the game designer I look up to most, and I hope to able to lead and communicate as well as he can one day. I will corner him for autographs when I'm up North.

The Pro Tour was both warm and terrifying. I made a misplay in my first match game 3 that caused the loss (I had him at lethal and mistapped a land). Also, if you watched the games of mine that were streamed on the main stage, I made a few misplays that, naturally, brought some heat on twitterverse along the lines of, "Why is he here?" I was just a community invite, there to have a good time, but I still felt bad because I don't want to be disrespectful to the game or its players. It takes such an incredible amount of knowledge and skill to qualify for a Pro Tour, and here I am, some random guy, making dumb mistakes up on the main stage.

But, I had the most wonderful turnaround in my last 3 matches. I was sitting next to some top pros, all of whom were also 1-2, many of whom I'd watched on the pro tour for years. But, none were disrespectful or dismissive of me. They were cheerful, talkative, and surprisingly inclusive. I talked a bit sheepishly about my misplay on stage, to which another pro said, "Dude, I hate it when that happens. I've made so many misplays up there. Here's one of my worst." He goes on to tell a story of his misplay and how it got him eliminated, and how months later he won a pro tour stop, and how all of my experience is utterly normal. Though I was nothing but a tryhard, he talked to me with encouragement and courtesy.

So, though I went bust in 1-5, I had a blast in my last three rounds just chatting and playing Magic.

I_ruin_nice_things45 karma

Sean,

You were the first real gaming personality I looked up to when I started playing SC2 several years ago. I was a long-time RTS gamer but had fallen out of the loop and your clarity and explanation of mechanics and strategy really helped me (re)grow as a player. Thank you for that.

My question for you is: eSports is absolutely dominated by younger players. You rarely see anyone over the ages of 25-26 on professional teams. Do you think this will remain the norm or do you foresee leagues of veteran (older) gamers breaking out into the mainstream at some point?

Bonus question: It is incredibly difficult to get into eSports besides streaming, and even then it is difficult to attain a following. What advice would you give one of those older players if they were interested in trying to break into the eSports scene given the overabundance of talent?

zngelday971 karma

Thanks for the kind words! Glad you've enjoyed da showz <3 :D. They will likely never stop lol.

  1. Regarding the youngness - I think the biggest problem is purely a cultural one. Take soccer (football), for instance. There are many players who continue well into their 30s successfully, players who can say "I've played soccer my whole life!" Most game genres haven't even been around that long, so it's unclear what an "older player" means. Certainly reaction time dwindles as you get older, but I have a feeling that in 20-30 years, we may have some much older, successful players in a variety of games.

  2. Regarding bonus question - Frankly, you just have to be better than everyone else. No secret here. Work harder to be better in some way. If you want to be a great streamer, you have to learn to be able to play competently, talk to the audience, and read stream chat at the same time (If you've ever watched my Friday Day Off streams, I don't do this well. Someone like MANvsGAME does this astoundingly well). If you want to funny, study comedians and practice practice practice and learn how to do this on air. If you want to be good, devote 30+ hours a week to becoming better. If you already work a full time job, learn to work 70 hours a week, 40 at work and 30 at your gaming. Effort is the biggest gating factor. Only once the effort is there can you begin to ask questions about best practices or interesting techniques.

agmcleod43 karma

Hello!

  1. At artillery how are you guys finding HTML5 & the web in general? Is it still living up to your expectations?

  2. You seem to be providing overall game design direction at Artillery, but do you work on production or behaviours in the game as well? I know game designers often script actual game functionality for example.

zngelday976 karma

  1. HTML5 and web stuff is way more amazing than I would have ever thought. I initially assumed everything was going to be simple, slow 2d sprite graphics, but the game runs and feels like a native app. The engineers at Artillery are some of the best in the valley, so any problem we've encountered they've been able to tackle thus far.

  2. I largely do design work yes, but I have freedom to do any scripting or coding that I so please. I'm much slower than the engineers here because, as I said, they are all absolute badasses. However, my background coding makes for much smoother conversations - we can have a qualitative talk about how steering or pathfinding should feel and then together turn it into a concrete implementation idea.

Shiawasena43 karma

Dear Day [9],

As a young lad who is currently battling depression, do you feel like video games are a good escape tool?

zngelday9112 karma

The best part about games, especially competitive games, is that they aren't an escape. They are another aspect of YOU. I struggled in high school with self loathing and depression, but when I played Broodwar, I focused intensely on the game. During those years, I wasn't escaping in Broodwar. I was the player. I played a style suited to me, using plays that were my own. I studied better players and the lessons I learned were my learnings. I built a city of strategy in my mind and added to it every single day.

It all clicked when I went to my first live tournament. I was the same self doubtful, struggling high schooler, but these people I'd only known online respected me. And I felt it.

If you are gaming, you are no doubt accomplishing something and socializing with like minded people. You should be proud of yourself <3

Rekkre40 karma

So, did you die in that car crash?

zngelday9132 karma

I am answering this AMA while driving. It's only a matter of time now.

galloots40 karma

Hey Day[9]! First off, Thanks so much for everything you do for the SC2 community! Now for my ridiculous question!

Have you ever thought about hosting your very own Starcraft 2 Tournament?

zngelday9104 karma

I have and do!

Currently, we operate the [After Hours Gaming League](www.ahgl.tv), a for fun league where members of major corporations play in a team vs team format for fun and charity!

Also, in 2012, Day[9]TV was running most of the Red Bull Gaming events. So, Orlando, Austin, and Seattle were us! It was pretty fun, but immensely time consuming :D. I prefer doing the hosting and content side as tournament production is just hard. Soooooo so so so so hard. I have tremendous respect for companies like ESL that pull it off so effortlessly.

creamyturtle39 karma

how long is your penis, in millimeters?

zngelday9214 karma

9.

Oh wait.

Oh God.

DAMN YOU METRIC SYSTEM NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

MoarSpartan38 karma

Hello Day[9],

I'm an aspiring game designer and I'm doing a lot of researches on esports in general and spectator sports elements. I saw a great video on IdeaChannel about Esports maybe having the potential to become "the next big spectator sport".

In your opinion, 1- Do you see Esports becoming as big or bigger than regular sports in a foreseeable future, and if yes, 2- What's missing to get there ?

Thanks !

zngelday985 karma

As long as the games are fun and accessible to get into, I can't see eSports doing anything but growing from here on out. Once you learn one game, it's fairly quick to pick up other games. I'm an RTS player at heart, but positioning in CS:GO makes quick sense if you see it from a top-down perspective. If everyone can get into just one game, I think it's only a matter of time before everyone is involved in one way or another. I give it 20-30 years tops.

I think the true magic of eSports is the thin barrier between player and watcher. If I'm watching American football and I see a sick play, it's hard for me to go do it. I have to coordinate 20+ people to go to a field, don body armor, and then try the play out. But, if I watch a sweet combo from a pair of heroes in Dota 2, I can quickly hop online and try it out myself within minutes. Most Americans don't regularly play football, but I'm certain a huge chunk of viewers of The International play Dota 2.

Abstruse36 karma

I've been clean of Magic: The Gathering for over a decade (I've been paying long enough that paying $20 for a Time Walk was laughably overpriced), but your show is sorely tempting me to get back in.

However, I liked more casual play, while it seems like community since around the early 2000s has been almost exclusively hyper-competitive tournament-focused. It's no longer, "Hey, want to play a game?" and now "Hey, I need to test my Mill-lockdown against your Overrun deck before the regionals. Are you using this internet build or that one?"

What would you recommend for me to get back into the game and have fun with it rather than get into that it's-all-about-winning culture CCGs have?

Question two: How to you choose guests for your show?

zngelday963 karma

Q1 - Friday Night Magic is where it's at. I LOVE doing drafts at FNMs because nobody is there to take anything too seriously. People love to try out random, crazy ideas and it's a very nice, social environment. Most importantly, I only have to show up w/ myself! I don't need a prebuilt deck or anything like that. Over time, you build up a collection to and you can go to those same FNMs and battle w/ your fancy standard deck for funzies.

Q2: Geek & Sundry does all the hard stuff. They should be the ones given all the credit for how amazing that show is. I just do my best to do the hosting duties! That said, we typically have a handful of phone chats with suggestions and mostly me saying, "oh that'd be awesome! ok sure!" G&S are really great folk

bdover2836 karma

How much Korean soon tofu soup have you eaten in the last two weeks?

zngelday972 karma

In the last 10 days, I'm at 7 of the 10 haha :D. Fortunately, that's just for dinner :). That stuff is SO GOOD OMG!!!!

silverius35 karma

How many games are in your Steam library and how many of them have you actually played?

zngelday957 karma

Probably 200? And I've played probably 150? I've been cutting through them at a much higher pace in recent years!! :D

noisyturtle34 karma

Does the term 'e-sports' bother you in any way? If you were to replace the wording with something more fitting, what would you replace it with?

zngelday989 karma

It's funny you bring that up. In the early 2000s, there was a fairly big debate about what the "correct word" should be. I personally have always said "competitive gaming" and "competitive gamer" vs "eSports" and "eSports athlete." Nowadays, I'm very happy with the word eSports because it's largely shed the negative connotations from gaming. It sounds big and ambitious, like there's a huge impressive scene that you should respect. In America, the word "gamer" has all this random associated garbage because media keeps bringing up "the dangers of gaming" despite the vast bulk of it being unsupported conjecture.

To answer succinctly, I think eSports is great. You'll probably hear me saying competitive gaming though. Old habits die hard xD.

arathrix28 karma

Hello Sean, Just finished watching your HS playthrough of the military quarter! I've got these questions: 1. considering that you are a game designer at artillery now, do you plan on migrating to game design fully after you stop streaming (PLEASE DON'T :( ). 2. Also, do you think that the Video game industry today is overly crowded with aspiring game designers because of the accessibility of resources and self publishing? Thanks for doing an AMA and btw youre awesome (say hi to manfred)

zngelday963 karma

Hah! I'm already full time at artillery! I work from ~10am to 5 on artillery stuffs, then 5 to ~830 on show content. Twice a week are playtests from 830 to 1030pm. If I need to do more, I just take more time to do it xD.

I do think there's a certain amount of overcrowdedness, but I think that's a good thing. Humans are fundamentally terrible at predicting what's going to be fun, which is why playtesting and iterating is so important to the success of a game. In the same vein, with so many people flooding into gaming, there's more potential for beautiful innovation and clever ideas that would've never been explored previously for being "too risky." Unfortunately, the downside is that not everybody can be paid. But, I still think the cream will rise to the top (is that the saying?)

For instance, my old roommate Asher made PuzzleJuice and 18 months later Threes! The games play very differently, and yet were both #1 best selling iOS games. Self publishing and accessible tools like Unity allowed him to do this. And, he has the talent and skill to maintain and grow that success.

OrangeNova25 karma

Hey I met you twice in Toronto, Ontario and you were entirely awesome!(I was the guy with the Giant poster at NASL3 and drew the Carrier sign at WCS3 finals)

Question: How do you feel about the lack of graveyard play in Hearthstone?

zngelday943 karma

HELLO AGAIN! I look forward to hearing again that your carrier has arrived (I had to)

I feel great about the current status of Hearthstone. I think they created the perfect first set of cards to set the tone of the game and establish the basic mechanics. I think there's plenty of space to add extra fancy, complex mechanics such as graveyard interaction. There's so much extra screen space on the sides and the experience is so nice to play already, a little bit of extra information to track wouldn't be a problem imo.

Vagnarok23 karma

Hey Day[J], First off, let me just say that you've had a profound impact on me. I was going through a rough spot over the past 3 years or so, and you've been a tremendous inspiration for me to turn my life around. You've taught me a lot about dedication and work ethic, through both your work, your words, and a few stories about Will Smith. I've really taken it to heart. I lay each brick in my life as perfectly as it can be laid, and someday I hope to have an incredible wall to step back and see. For that bit of guidance and so many others, thank you. You're doing something incredible, and please don't ever stop doing what you love.

This brings me to my question: How have you stayed so intensely focused for so long? There are some days where I just don't have the will to work, and I just don't get anything done. How do you make the Daily seem like a fresh project that excites you, even though you've been doing it for years?

zngelday930 karma

<3333 Glad to hear it's been helpful! And Will Smith is the man! I wanna grow up and be just like him. He laughs at everything (I think I have that part nailed).

Whenever something loses interest for me, I have a certain amount of time that I'll "push myself" to see if I get re-interested. For instance, suppose that I'm trying to get into a random activity like wood carving. I'd probably commit 40-50 hours to the activity - Something like 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday for a month. Nothing too extreme, just the period between lunch and dinner. If I don't like it? No big deal, I've just lost a single month. On to the next thing that seems cool.

With StarCraft, I've been playing RTS games for countless hours every week for 16 years. I have so much knowledge that I'm deeply aware of how much I dont know. It's that lack of knowledge that really excites me, where I already have this comfort with strategy and I'm adding something new to the collection. There are definitely those days where I think, "God, I REALLY don't want to do a show." Hell, I've had a month where I felt like every show sucked and I couldn't figure out anything new, even though I knew it was out there. But, another 40-50 hours of effort was all it took for me to get back rolling again.

Also, I am watching BroodWar literally RIGHT NOW haha xD

osduu23 karma

What is your secret to not eat too much Pizza and othre junk-food since you spend lot time on computer?

zngelday9163 karma

My secret is that I am literally eating pizza right now.

bluesyren22 karma

Hello Day[9] I play Magic, that's about it. I follow you because you're easy on the eye.

My question - I'm pretty sure I'm about as short sighted as you are, judging by the way your eyes look in glasses (mine being the same) so Lasik - worth it or not?

zngelday949 karma

I had PRK surgery on my right eye (still waiting to do the left one -- they do it one eye at a time) and it's been pretty awesome! My eye doesn't suffer from dryness w/ contacts all the time. However, I have astigmatism so there's a slight blur in my PRK eye. The left one I still use a contact with astigmatism correction and that's crystal clear. I still really need to go to a doctor to figure out if there's something I could/should do about that. I have no opinion I think is what I'm saying. Man this is a bad answer LOL

Ajido22 karma

Hi Sean!

When I met you last year in NYC at some eSports Summit, we talked about you wanting to write a book in the future. Have you given any more thought about setting aside the time for this project, or do you feel you should let more time pass to have more interesting things to write about? Would the book be biographical or would you be more interested in creative/fictional writing?

Thanks for the AMA!

My favorite picture I took with you

zngelday941 karma

My friend Tristan and I continue to talk every week about his writing projects, only increasing my yearn to write something of my own one day. I think it will be a long and slow process to get that started because I'm absolutely smitten working on Atlas for now.

I think if I were to write, here's what would happen - I'd come up with a very serious, very dark fantasy or scifi type premise. I'd work on it for a while, all the while being a very super serious person. But, then I'd get sick of taking things seriously and rewrite it all with a strong sense of silliness and humor. And it would be better for it.

In my 30s I'll probably begin to learn the craft of writing and kick into something in my 40s! That sounds awesome!

Graay19 karma

Are you following Proleague? SKT or KT?

zngelday960 karma

SKT baby!

funjaband18 karma

What is your favorite thing you learned in the past week?

zngelday941 karma

My favorite thing came from studying the design of Dota 2, what the exact numbers are behind the gold reward of various activities. It's set up so elegantly to reward the player for doing stuff they want to do! I was so excited by this research that I'm going to write a blog about it over at Artillery in a few weeks :D

tehsbe16 karma

What is your favorite Magic format? What is your favorite deck to play in that format?

zngelday948 karma

My favorite format is straight up drafts. In particular, I love any way in which I can do some ridiculous ramp type deck and run far more fatties than is reasonable in a standard draft. I giggle like a malicious little gremlin as I play another 6/6. Straight Timmy mode lemme tell ya

Gropiuss12 karma

Big fan. Thank you for doing this AMA.

You have been doing live broadcasts for what seems like forever. What is it that you like about live? What do you dislike about live? Why not just offline videos like Youtube?

zngelday927 karma

The big thing I love about live is the pressure - you have to nail it THIS time, no redos. Also, it's great to be able to have a clear start and end point. With traditional video editing, I don't feel like you finish. You just stop.

I suppose the thing I dislike is the lack of control over my mood. Some days, I'll have more energy, or be in a funny mood, or be in a quiet mood, or be more interested in strategy, or want to tell stories instead of talk about gameplay. It's immensely hard to resist that, so I've learned to just "roll with it" and present whatever mood I'm in. The show must go on.

The problem is that most folk will overly extrapolate "big changes" based upon a couple of shows they've seen. For instance, JohnnyViewer tunes in to two episodes in January and sees me being extremely analytical. He tunes in to another episode in March and sees me being mostly goofy and not too deep. JohnnyViewer then concludes I am deliberately abandoning analysis in favor of goofiness, and sends me an email asking, "Why I don't do serious analysis anymore."

It's an odd thing to have very little control in that position.

Duganmaster10 karma

Hey man! HUGE fan, and I barely even play SC2. I just love your personality.

So my question is, for a while I've been wanting to make a show similar in nature to yours. A daily analysis show, but just for League of Legends instead. It baffles me that no one else has done it for LoL yet so I thought, fuck it, I might as well, right? Travis did the same with SotL which obviously was made as a sort of homage to state of the game. I wanted to ask, would you be alright with me using and applying your show format to another game? I wouldn't really feel right doing it unless you were cool with it.

zngelday920 karma

Hah! Feel no need to ask for permission :>. Daily strategy shows on games are not a space I own, just something hard to do. You may be discouraged, but hang in there! Find what you dislike about your own presentation and attack it full force. Improvement comes from self criticism and work ethic. Turn those self critiques into action! YEAH! Duganmaster fightiiiing~!~!!!

rotanasai10 karma

OH MY GOD IT'S DAY9! I have two questions. One: Will you be casting the RedBull Championship in DC this September? And two: How have you made the transition from going to college as a student to being able to make money as a caster and such. I mean... I feel like that career might start out a bit slow and I was wondering what kind of side jobs you had to do in order to keep doing what you love. Thanks and you're awesome!

zngelday913 karma

I will VERY BE AT THE RED BULL CHAMPIONSHIPS YEAAAH!!!! Come hi5 me!

When Day[9]TV started, I was a full time graduate student at the USC Interactive Media and Games Division. I was doing 5 shows a week, building an indie platformer game to submit to the Independent Games Festival, working on educational research math games for young students as part of graduate research, and doing assorted other classwork.

So, if you have a full time job, I'm certain you can begin building an eSports project on the side! You just gotta commit!

Raymatt9 karma

Do you enjoy playing rhythm based games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band?

zngelday917 karma

I have played Beatmania IIDX almost as long as I've played Broodwar. I can beat a couple level 12 anothers on hard random too! If you watch any of my broadcasts, you'll frequently see me tapping. That game is exactly why. If I ever buy a house, I want a huge gaming room with a full IIDX cabinet. I will turn it up to max and click all damn day! Yeah!

Fiercegore5 karma

Marvel, or DC?

zngelday943 karma

Image