My Last Six Months Streaming in Three Acts
My connection wasn’t initially good enough to stream. Finally when it was upgraded (FREE!) last year, I didn’t jump on it right away. I put it off for a few months because: I had other things going on, I hated the sound of my voice, and/or whatever other excuse I could come up with. When I finally did jump into streaming, I started with Total War: Arena in September of 2015.
Chapter One: Total War Arena
What an amazing ride it was. I was lucky enough to win one of two spots to participate in the Arena North America server launch event! I met Lionheart there, as well as Overkill. Meeting them was undoubtedly a big help to my stream, as I was lucky enough to be able to collaborate with them on my stream. Still, being an Arena focused streamer brought some perks of its own. I was able to participate in several closed developer events (Vercingetorix preview), I got to jump in on the developer livestream events, and was able to get the Arena community manager on my stream multiple times! I also got to meet people from around the world. Latvia, Chile, Finland – playing with viewers was a new adventure everyday. This remains one of the biggest benefits of being a streamer. It was an amazing run until Arena finished closed beta, and went down for development at the beginning of March 2016. I finished with 297 viewers and over 30,000 views! That’s like each viewer coming back more than 100 times during a 6 month span! I don’t really know how good that is, but I’m happy with it.
Chapter Two: Variety Streaming
With Arena down, I was actually a little excited to be able to pursue some other games. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well for me at first. Hitting the right game at the right time is everything in streaming. Nothing stuck for me quite as well as Arena. Playing new games means competing with all the big-name streamers. And I use competing in the loosest sense, because it wasn’t really a competition. The Division, for example, was a steady 2-3.
I want to stop here and mention that I did have a small handful that stuck with me after Arena. These viewers always kept 2 or 3 people in my channel during the “dark times”. CatGotYourKeyboard (my wife), GameTime, Crysis, and Throwback have probably spent the most time in my channel no matter what I played. I can’t thank you guys enough.
Finally I committed to another Total War title, Rome II. I started seeing some familiar faces again from the golden days of Arena. I started slowly gaining followers again, and got out of the single digits in viewers. I learned the basic Total War formula, and really enjoyed plaything through the campaign. My love of dinosaurs pulled me onto The Isle when I stumbled across it. I started gaining LOTS of followers who liked a whole other genre, and it even brought more viewers than Total War! It added a couple more die hard fans to my channel like Dino and Enderdragon. It does cause a little ‘friction’ to this day though. Total War fans hate The Isle, and The Isle Fans hate Total War. It makes swapping games a tough decision, but I just go with whatever seems more fun at the moment. Seems to be working. While I haven’t gotten back up to my Arena numbers yet, I am a lot farther ahead than when I re-started. My crowning achievement has been getting double digits while playing a DOOM campaign on opening launch weekend! It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re a small time streamer it’s the world.
Chapter Three: Collaboration
While Arena has been down, I have gotten together with Lionheart on several occasions. For those that don’t know, he has the largest Total War channel at 180,000 subscribers! We have been discussing all the development announcements from the Arena team. For someone with such a successful YouTube channel and stream, he’s been amazingly easy to get in contact with. I have also started playing SWTOR on Sundays with Shintar pretty regularly. I have read her blog for a long time, and it has been one of the biggest referral sources to my website. I’ve never been able to actually thank her properly, much less do anything with her at all. It’s been a great decision, and I have had more fun in SWTOR than I’ve had in years. Through Shintar’s blog a few years ago, I came across Ravanel Griffon and her blog. I discovered Ravanel also played ARK at the same time The Isle led me to ARK. I asked Rav to teach me the ropes on stream which eventually led to joining her private server. She’s since joined Shintar and I playing SWTOR occasionally too. I’ve even gotten to do some collaborating with HaxoTheHunter in the Arena updates, and more recently Stellaris. Collaborating with people has been the other best part of streaming. I’d love to do even more in the future.
The Memorable Moments
The part about streaming I was least prepared for has been the people. It’s been such an overwhelmingly positive and uplifting experience for me. I couldn’t ask for a better little community of viewers. Some like BigAl, Byzantine, and Invitica always stop in no matter what Im playing. One person tried to buy me a $40 game (Sorry Diocales!), but I couldn’t through no fault of said person. Two people have told me I am their favorite streamer. Three people have asked me to put up a donate button. As a relatively new streamer, it’s quite humbling. So I hope some of my regular stream viewers find this post, because I really appreciate you guys. Hanging out through games you don’t like, or getting excited about the ones you do, I am glad you are here. Thank you everyone for being here!