Charming and Open is a blogging collaboration organized by Ian at Adventure Rules. Ask him a question and he’ll reply to it in a blog post. In exchange, he’ll ask you a question to answer on your blog. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, head over to Adventure Rules and shoot Ian a question! He wrote an amazing response to my question about his content creator bucket list, which you should check out here:
His question for me is:
“What is something about your hobby as a content creator now that you really enjoy that either wasn’t possible or wasn’t something you thought you’d be interested in when you started out? Put another way, what is a new enjoyment that you have discovered about your hobby since you started blogging?”
Thank you for the question(s), Ian! When I read it back, I saw two unique questions that have their own sets of answers. I will rephrase and answer both. Let’s get it!
What are some aspects of content creation that I enjoy now that weren’t possible when I started?
Being an educational resource for entry-level fighting game players
I started In Third Person just before I started my climb up the fighting game mountain. Notorious for being one of the toughest genres of games to learn, it didn’t help that most of the guides online were created with advanced players in mind. For example, it’s easy to find a Street Fighter IV Rufus combo guide that will tell you to combo his dive kick into standing light kick. But in order to even make that seemingly-simplistic two-hit combo work, you already had to know that the dive kick has to hit below the waist, has a timing window of one frame (or 1/60th of a second), and know exactly where that one frame window is in the sequence in order to press his standing light kick at the right moment. Oh, and it helps to know you can expand the window to two frames by performing a technique known by the community as a “Priority Link” or “Plink” where you “piano roll” standing medium kick into light kick, tricking the game in such a way that it expands the timing window by 1/60th of a second. Don’t blame you if your brain melted after reading all of those qualifiers, let alone being able to comprehend it and use that knowledge to actually perform that two-hit combo.
Most of the resources I would find completely ignored the prerequisite knowledge required to make these advanced tactics work. As I got better as a player and developed a better grasp of those foundational concepts, I documented them all within a series of posts called The Universal Fighting Game Guide. The goal was to share this knowledge to beginner and intermediate players in a way that made sense to me as I was going through the learning process. Not only that, but I wanted to format the posts in such a way that made the knowledge useful for whatever fighting game you were playing. For instance, the particulars of how a game’s combo system works will vary from game-to-game, but if you understand what a cancel combo is, you can identify and execute them in any fighting game that uses them (which is just about all of them).
The Universal Fighting Game Guide has found life in a way that is beyond anything I would have imagined. Years after the fact, it’s generated over 100,000 views, is shared regularly online as a valuable resource, has been built upon by others who have given me credit and ripped off by others who didn’t. I see you. Nevertheless, if the guides are helping to grow the fighting game community by providing a resource that helps entry-level players improve, then mission accomplished.
Raising $2,000+ for charity since 2018
Gaming-centric fundraisers and live streaming have grown to become a potent combo for positive change in our society. Both of these concepts were in their infancy when In Third Person launched in 2009. Though video content was something I’ve wanted to explore very early on, the thought of me having the technology for live streaming and then using that platform to make this kind of impact on the world was well beyond my grasp at the time.
Even if I had the idea a decade ago, I didn’t have the means and I certainly didn’t have the knowledge. Everything I’ve done as a creator acted as a stepping stone towards making this happen. Seeing it manifest as a fundraising campaign that has made a real difference in the lives of children in need is truly a beautiful thing. Hoping to continue building on this success for the foreseeable future!
What are some aspects of content creation that I enjoy now that I wasn’t interested in when I started?
Creating a quality live stream
My vision for what In Third Person video content would be was…very different. The initial goal was to create short videos for every game I was playing in the style of Giant Bomb’s Quick Looks. Play for a few minutes, ramble overtop of my gameplay, then move onto the next one. These videos would appear as standalone posts on the site, as well as act as supporting material for other written posts.
Even when I began moving into the realm of live streaming, my approach didn’t change. I was just doing Quick Look style videos live with the mentality that I was some sort of gaming journalist, offering you an educational service. Most of these streams were under an hour, weren’t promoted at all, and didn’t take advantage of the medium’s biggest strengths: human connection and interactivity.
You can view a static video at any time. However, live stream viewers carve time out of their busy schedules to be a part of those interactions with the streamer and with the chat in real time. That feeling of connectivity when being personally acknowledged by the streamer is profound. Even if you’re lurking, a compelling stream can make you feel like you’re enjoying the company of friends you’ve known forever.
This impact isn’t lost on me as the streamer. Each time I go live, I’m opening my door for friends old and new from around the world to enjoy each other’s company. Being able to make new friends, catch up on the lives of “old” friends, geek out about subjects we are passionate about, and building a rapport with one another is more compelling to me than whatever happened in any Tetris 99 match. I hope you enjoy my company as much as I enjoy yours!
After sorting out my initial technical issues and reaching Twitch Affiliate status, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of creating the type of stream that facilitates human connection and interactivity. Every aspect of the stream factors into that equation, from being able to maintain a steady frame rate, to actively showing my face through a webcam, to decorating my gaming room with artifacts you may find interesting, to programming my Stream Deck to blast the air horn to signify the start of the show. All of that goes towards creating more human moments that bring us together, from sharing travel stories, to laughing over the ridiculous items being sold on Wish, to celebrating relationship goals, to consoling one another when things get serious.
I had no idea that my ventures into video content would take me here. However, I’m glad that it did. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of gathering with friends old and new in a live stream. Will continue to do what I can to further build out this experience and hopefully grow this community into something special!