RuneScape's bridge to IRL content: meet Rendi

Billy Carney
November 22, 2020

RuneScape's bridge to IRL content: meet Rendi

Billy Carney

September 2, 2020

Rendi is an Old School RuneScape player, truth seeker, and adventurer. Originally an OSRS content creator, Rendi now creates diversified content - largely focusing on his eccentric, real-life escapades. He has amassed a loyal following of 102K YouTube subscribers. You can check out his channel here.

So, looking back on your channel you’ve made videos for 8 years. In the past few months, clearly your content strategy has shifted. Can you talk a bit about the history of your channel, and what people should expect from you in the future?  

I have actually been creating RuneScape content on this channel since 2006, but I never had the time to take it seriously until just last year. I recently purged my channel of over 80 videos, which might be why it shows only 8 years of history, but previously in my years on YouTube I just made maybe 2 odd-off PK [player-vs.-player] videos a year. I realistically consider myself as starting YouTube in early 2019 because I realized I finally had the financial ability and time to start making content full-time. My friend Spellsey had explained to me at the time that the YouTube related video algorithm picks up on the RuneScape category very easily for channels that were already monetized. Since I had this old channel with 4,000 subscribers already monetized, I decided to try my hand at it.

I can’t say what to expect from my channel in the future. I am a bit discouraged at the moment because I took miraculous success from making these In-real-life/RuneScape hybrid videos where I am featured maybe 75% of the time, and RuneScape is featured 25% of the time. I have always wanted to transition to IRL videos. In fact, I had attempted to do this two years ago on a separate channel before switching to this channel full-time. In the last few months I had finally thought that now was the time to transition my channel by just cutting out that 25% RuneScape factor, and that I could easily retain a decent-sized audience doing so since I had so much success. But it seems like it might not be the time, once again.  

The problem with IRL is that the algorithm does not work nearly as well in your favor, and even if I spend 100 hours making a video, it’s likely only going to be seen by maybe 10K people. I am looking at maybe three options for the future of my channel: returning to RuneScape/IRL hybrid videos, discontinuing uploading to YouTube altogether and switching to another media outlet, or continuing to push hardest into the market for unique IRL YouTube content. It is just not worth it financially for me to continue putting 100+ hours into videos that only get 10K views. So I will have to see how this goes.

How do you come up with ideas for your new videos?

Coming up with ideas is probably the easiest and most enjoyable part of the process for me. I have around five timelines and scripts written out that I have yet to use. I usually just create the basis of these video ideas on my own while sitting around, but also sometimes it sure helps to have the benefit of a comment section full of them. I also take my ideas to several Discord channels, and preview parts of my videos with them before uploading to make sure that others think it’s a decent concept. I usually consult with maybe 10-20 people in three different Discords before uploading or fully creating a video.

You touched on this before, but can you give us a little more detail on how long do your videos take to make?

I would say honestly my videos, on average, for the entire process take around 100 hours to make. Sometimes this is a little more and sometimes a little less. For IRL content I find myself working on the concept for maybe 15 hours, scripting for around five hours, filming for around 25, editing for around 40, and putting together the bits and pieces in between like travel/prop search for maybe 10 hours. For my RuneScape videos it was a little different of a format. I would work on the concept for around 10 hours, do experimental testing for maybe 20, then grind for around 30-60, and the editing would take around 30 hours.

How many tries did the level three fire cape take you?

The level 3 fire cape took me only two tries. I failed the first attempt shielding the very first 180 on wave 15 because I forgot to restore my prayer back to 1 from 0, but I somehow managed the second time with 0 failures on all 180s. I spent over 30 hours just practicing shield tick eating on a main prior to even going in on my first attempt, and I had experience already doing the level four combat fire cape which helped a lot. The level three combat fire cape run took me around 40-50 hours on the successful attempt.

What’s the mental prep that goes into doing an Inferno at BWWs? Between the looks you get and noise, how do you focus?

Honestly, it was easy once I got into the zone. I had a pair of headphones on me nearly the entire time. Most of these IRL based challenges don’t seem like challenges at all to me, despite getting more views than some of the ones I spent tons more effort and time on. The crazy thing is though, I was actually diagnosed with social anxiety throughout my childhood, and this was the very first time ever exposing myself in public in a ridiculous manner. I have always been afraid to do something like that, and I am an extremely introverted in person.

So, the anxiety definitely hit the second I walked into BWW. But having my friends around me paired with the mass amounts of alcohol I could honestly cope with it all pretty easily. “Rendi STOP self-medicating!”

So, during the challenge, how many Bud Lights did you have, and what’s the most you think you could have while beating Zuk in a controlled environment?  

Once again, the social anxiety played into the role of this, and unfortunately, and I had way too much to drink. I would say I had around 13 drinks. I think that’s hitting or close to the barrier on the most I could have consumed and defeated Zuk on an account like that.

Here’s another hilarious fact: I spent over a month learning inferno on a main long ago, and I swore myself off alcohol to concentrate during the whole learning process. One night I got so angry at a Zuk death that I literally pulled out the beer for the first time in a month and got my first ever inferno cape that next attempt. Even though alcohol is BAD, I feel like it calms my nerves and mind, helping with my constant overcompensation. I go into that “I don’t give a f*** let’s just do it, let’s take a risk” mode.

Have you had any video ideas where you stopped yourself and went, “Wait, that’s too crazy”?

I have had one, but it ended up leading me to uploading something even crazier. Honestly, I have maybe had a lot more video ideas that I held back on in the past because I didn’t want to release an RS bug that might benefit me in the future.

What do you think the future of old school RuneScape looks like?

I think the future of PvP is looking grim but that has been the case for a while. I don’t believe there’s any way to fix it at this point given the way the game is currently designed. Jagex has already tried countless times. I also fear that more and more updates will carelessly be put into the game without careful testing beforehand. This has been a huge trend lately, and it is likely due to the combination of them pumping out updates and having a high turnover rate of employees.

The unique pieces of knowledge of one person who left the company are not properly handed over to the new person that took their job. This has been evident with near-identical bugs repeatedly popping up throughout the game. For the game overall though, I feel like the growth is pretty much stagnant, and it will not be increasing in the long run. The idea of attracting new players is too far gone to start now, and I feel like the older player base will slowly decline. With that said, I believe that Jagex will be able to hold themselves up on this older generation of players for decades before the game finally flops.

What do you do when you’re not playing RuneScape?

I actually haven’t played RuneScape in over a month. Currently though, I work on nearly everything involved with the process of making IRL videos (which still takes a load of time). I haven’t had much time to do anything recreationally over the last two years since starting this channel, other than maybe taking out my girlfriend for dinner once or twice a week. Sometimes though I will watch a show on Hulu or Netflix. I did recently enjoy re-watching Avatar on Netflix, and I am now watching the Legend of Korra for the first time.

What’s a misconception about you?

There are a lot. Most come from the part of my audience that isn’t tuned in on my sarcasm or understand that a lot of what I’m doing in my videos is acting (even the RuneScape videos).

I’ve also gotten “He is so monotone, and he is probably this way because he is just a robot and is so good at the game with no real-life social cues.” I make myself this way on purpose because the point is, I hate overreactions, and I enjoy throwing in monotone, dry humor throughout my videos to fit the vibe. I also portray myself as a robot for comedic effect since I’m often doing robotic activity in game. I’m emulating a bit of the Nathan Fielder vibe.

Some people online say I’m crazy or losing my mind. I go into an insane act for some of the skits I do, but the purpose is to give audio/visual cues to the audience that I’m joking. Others say that I’m way out there/have a big ego. If you were to meet me in person you’d see I’m actually extremely quiet and pretty awkward. Sometimes I act up the inflated ego vibe in my videos, but it’s just that, an act. There isn’t an anti-hero in the RuneScape community, and it fits the vibe of some of my videos.

Lastly, I think another big conception is that I make loads of money off my videos. YouTube pays very little for the amount of work I put in. If I was in this for the money my focus would be on Twitch and I would be pumping out as many generic videos as possible. I have to sacrifice views to pursue what I enjoy doing most – making IRL videos.

Rendi, it's been a pleasure. Thank you again for your time.

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