Carla Olson and Fraser Linton are a couple that play and stream games together on their YouTube channel Couplecade. They are both visual artists, and hope that their artistic nature provides a somewhat different perspective when they stream games.
Full disclosure – Fraser and I have and will likely always work together. I first met him in school, watching over his shoulder as he played Minecraft. I guess there's a history of me watching him play video games.
Before you check out this interview I suggest you watch Couplecade's Christmas Special so you can see just how adorable these two people are together.
Ryan Troock: Do you do much preparation before starting recording, or is it very much an “as it happens” process?
Fraser Linton: For the most part we tend to just wing it; I like to think of it like looking at a menu in a restaurant. Often you don’t really know what you feel like until the time comes. That’s not to say there aren’t those times where we really like to premeditate what we are going to be recording, there are those times we know a certain game will generate good banter.
Carla Olson: Yeah, I agree. Things tend to work out the best when we play a game that we are interested in for that particular moment. We also have to keep in mind the long series that we are recording at the time. We have to plan our time according to what needs to be done first. If the backlog for one long series is running low, we need to address that game first.
Ryan Troock: How do the two of you decide what games you’re going to play? Does what’s currently popular ever trump what you’d actually like to play?
Carla Olson: Sometimes popular games trump, but it’s mostly the games that are new to release. It’s a little harder to jump into a popular game that’s already been established by a lot of Let’s Players and get the views we want. Mostly, we just look at what we are feeling like at the time. We have started making lists of what to play so we are not totally clueless when we want to record.
Fraser Linton: There have been times where it’s proven to be a big problem, do we opt for a game that’s just about to be or has just been released? Or jump right into something we already know and love? Especially when we were first starting out the answer was always the new game, but now that we have become much more comfortable with streaming and established a small audience we tend to reach for whatever appeals to us over anything else. I think this more than anything makes for good recording.
Ryan Troock: Is your approach to playing a scary game any different from other games that you play?
Fraser Linton: Maybe only for Carla, haha. It seems like she really needs to mentally prepare and amp herself up as I’m sure you’ve noticed there is some pretty good reactions from her.
Carla Olson: Oh yeah. Haha! I have to really prepare myself when we are about to record something scary. It normally has to be daytime when we record because I’m afraid I’ll have nightmares if we do it too late. I’m such a wuss to scary things and I get too into it to take things lightly. Fraser can brush it off no sweat but I have a very overactive imagination late at night, haha. To prepare physically, I usually have to have a blanket wrapped around me. It sounds really stressful but it’s worth it to get to the end of the game.
Ryan Troock: I really like the visual treatment of your channel and how that seeps into the videos through your tone and the music you choose – can you talk a little about where that look came from?
Carla Olson: Very interesting question. I think the overall aesthetic we were trying to achieve was the best representation of our relationship and what we wanted to share. We are not overly cutesy or romantic on camera, we just wanted to have a channel that reflected a chill environment to hang out in. I chose the style of our caricatures based on a style of drawing that I had done a couple times before. Fraser seemed to really like it and we went with that. It also helped that I drew a picture of us together in that style months before creating Couplecade.
Fraser Linton: It really was all about coming across more goofy and lovable rather than romantic, we thought that being romantic would be quick to turn people away from the channel. I know I wouldn’t like to watch a couple being incredibly sentimental with one another on YouTube. It’s TOO personal, we really wanted to create an environment where we make the viewer feel like they are just hanging out with friends playing games. We think the branding for the channel and how we carry ourselves on social media really does reflect that.