Happy New Year! – 2020 in blogging and streaming recapped

This is a scheduled post and I hope that it’s not December 32nd now as I really want 2020 to be over.

2020 has been a difficult year with Covid being an issue for the most part. At the beginning of quarantine and the lockdowns and all of that, I ended up starting to stream five days a week instead of three days. This was mainly to give people a way to relieve their anxiety and give them some entertainment and chill times. At one point, we played Amnesia and joked about the Zombie virus and how there is a fungus (similar to the virus/fungus in TLOU) that infects ants and controls them to get eaten by birds… who then spread the spores. Very interesting. We also joked about how we would fare in a zombie apocalypse… I’d try to mediate as much as possible, and I would most likely die first… yup.

At the start of 2020, I was also messing around, saying that there is always a plague in the 20s. Guess I jinxed it. Yikes.

Overall, this has been not too much of a bad year for me personally, though. While I had my fair share of panic attacks, anxieties intensifying, depressive phases, social problems, and other problems, I also had a lot of good moments, like getting a lot of traffic on my blog and hitting some bigger milestones when it came to streaming. I also managed to overcome some of those problems and learn how to deal with them. I think I even grew as a person due to some of the struggles this year, which makes me feel more confident in handling rough situations in the future better! At one point, I also joined a Stream team which wasn’t that good since I’d always compare myself to other streamers and stuff… So, I ended up leaving Wild Abandon.

The last few months of 2020 were a bit troublesome when it came to streaming, though. My internet speed was getting slower in the evenings, resulting in me dropping a ton of frames. Alas, I changed my schedule to morning streams as they seem to work a lot better for me. Numbers-wise that proved to be a good decision as well as it has lead to me meeting a lot of awesome people. I’m lucky to slowly build a community like this and I’m looking forward to growing this Crypt of mine steadily over time with more Undead joining in to enjoy games together without having to fear bigotry or toxicity.

Back to blogging: We hit a few milestones, including one year of blogging, one-hundred followers, and also my participation in both Blapril and the Blaugust Promptapalooza! The latter felt a bit off and I was certainly struggling with providing content on my blog, especially as a lot of the prompts didn’t scratch the itch too well… but we managed to get a fair share of posts out in that time and the link-backs certainly helped guide new readers to my blog, I think. At this point, hello new readers. Pleased to meet you. Even though we don’t actually meet. Uh, pleased to write you? Pleased to read you? Doesn’t really work, does it? Uhm,… I’m pleased that you’re reading my stuff. Thanks for that!

Traffic-wise, I hit over a thousand views in some of the early months with the trend increasing into later months, so that’s something that I’m really proud of. It kind of proves to me that I’m doing things right and that the topics I post about actually resonate with people. I sometimes wonder how a post will do, especially when I try out something new or when I review a game that is just coming out. Seeing the number of interactions with the post or the tweets, however, brings a smile to my face and actually helps a lot with that “posting”-anxiety that I feel at times.

“Posting”-anxiety is probably not a term that exists but what I mean by that is that kind of fear that you have before publishing anything. Similar to how my heart starts racing once I’ve hit that “go live” button in OBS, resulting in me needing about ten minutes to calm down and be my reserved self that is actually happy to be live again. It’s a bit of an issue. What if nobody shows up today? What if nobody reads my blog post? What if nobody likes the game that I’m recommending here, even though it is a great title? Will people lose faith in me as a curator?

It really isn’t that bad with blogging, but at times I just tend to overthink anything and everything, which is something I want to get better at in 2021. I want to have more faith in my blog posts and my streams, and take better care of myself & my mental health. I want to have fun with what I’m doing and enjoy it while it lasts and while I’m able to stream and blog.

Speaking of Mental Health, I’m looking forward to going to therapy again. Due to my financial situation, I wasn’t able to visit my therapist anymore and ended up having to call all of the meetings off, as I just couldn’t afford it anymore. In the same fashion, I need to eat proper food again once 2021 starts and actually take care of my needs. Showering often, going to sleep early, waking up early, getting enough rest, taking enough breaks, getting enough steps in, taking a breather every now and then. Those things are really important and while I managed to get that kinda stuff sorted for a lot of 2020, which helped a ton, I also ended up falling back into old patterns of skipping meals, staying up all night long, eating too late and hence not being able to sleep, and so on. But then again, we had that post yesterday, so uh… y’know… read that for more in-detail-stuff.

Let’s go over my blogging goals, at last:

In 2021, I wanted to familiarise myself with the Classic Editor and all of the blocks in the Gutenberg Editor. So far, I’ve only been using the Gutenberg Editor but the Classic Editor has some features that looked more than promising, as far as formatting goes. I’d also like to meddle with all the different blocks that are available in Gutenberg. I haven’t played around too much with the different galleries, as of late, and there are plenty of features that I haven’t tried at all, yet.

That’s something I want to change. I want to bring the best out of Indiecator and get the most value out of my reviews and other posts. I wanted to be more consistent with the Monster Hunter Log and the Late to the Party posts as well as the occasional Stray Sheep and Lookout Post… post… yup.

I want to try out new things and see how it goes. Something that I haven’t tried at all, yet, is uploading playthroughs to YouTube or embedding the first hour or so of gameplay into my reviews to give people a better look at the game. There is only so much that I can do as far as explaining goes… and people will have the option of watching it or not watching it. Obviously, rendering stuff is going to be a pain in the butt, as well as editing videos again… as that’s something that I haven’t done ever since I got that workshop for Magix back in 2012 or 2013… so no clue really if my knowledge is going to be good enough for other programs. I’ll look into it, starting this year.

Apart from that, I started doing digital art in Krita in late-2020 and been really enjoying doing panel art and emote art for my own stream and other people. I have yet to think about whether or not I wanna take commissions but I’ll let you know when I do. I’d love to get into animation and bring some of my emotes to life on-screen… looking forward to GIF-creation and potentially creating some animated alerts for the Stream as well.

As far as streaming goes, there are a plethora of goals that I have in mind for that:

There plenty of things that I’m working on right now and it all is a Work in Progress! So stuff changes and improves over time! Patience is key! The other day someone offered to animate things for free for people, so I messaged them if they were serious and if I could really ask them to do something for me… free of charge. As I was completely broke at the time, I was more than happy to hear that I’m able to get an ultra-awesome Stinger transition for my Stream as well as a super-duper-awesome animated “Starting Soon” screen that is in-line with my current branding. I’m really excited to implement that into my stream and once it’s out I’ll write about it again and credit the artist and all of that. Really looking forward to seeing how people react to it! I, for one, am deeply in love with it!

Aside from that there are some other goals:

  • Always say “yes”, unless uncomfortable.
  • Use Drama experience! (for entertainment, voice tone, volume, acting, etc.)
  • Educate myself on Mental Health and LGBTQIA+ related topics so that I know more about them and so that I can spread more awareness on those topics and how to handle questions on those topics.
  • Make the Stream more accessible. (Closed Captions, Content/Trigger warnings)
  • Be more positive in general about myself and towards others.
  • Work more on my emotes.
  • Be more consistent.
  • Think up more creative ideas for the Stream and the Branding.

Now, the post is already really long, as is, but let me just quickly clarify something: When I say “always say yes” then I mean that you take an opportunity in chat and turn it into something entertaining. It’s basically the backbone of improv and I want to use more of that and my Drama experience in my streaming to an extent but I don’t want to tolerate trolls, bigots or toxic people, so I won’t *always* say yes… just when it’s an opportunity. The other day, someone said something about One Direction, so I took that and said that I’m their biggest fan. Then I mentioned something stupid about how my favourite song by them is “Sucker for you” (which is obviously not by them) and how my favourite member of that band is Logan (who was in some other band as well), resulting in someone in chat really liking it. When someone comments on how I died, I’d say that I can’t die since I’m undead. All of that is merely an illusion. When I’m not good at the game, I can play it off as giving people a chance. When I am good at it, I can act as if that’s always the case with an ironic wink or whatever. There are plenty of ways to turn something boring and use it spontaneously to make it work for you and I feel like that’s something that I want to do more often.

Consistency and Quality are the backbone of streaming, so I want to up that, obviously. I want to brainstorm more on my branding which is what I do at basically any given time… Being more positive about myself and my looks and whatever is important for my mental health, so it ties into the goals from yesterday as well, but it is also important for the stream itself since a happy Magi is going to be more entertaining than a depressed Magi.

Talking about Mental Health and LGBTQIA+ related topics has been something I’ve enjoyed a lot in the past… educating myself on that is completely understandable as part of that. I want to understand what people go through and I want to be able to help. And at last, accessibility,… is tricky to deal with. There are a lot of things that I need to do but I haven’t figured them out just yet. Eventually, I’ll be happy with how accessible my stream is, but until then I’ll have to educate myself and look things up and try stuff out. Closed Captions are the first step towards that!

Either way, I hope you have a nice start to 2021. It’s definitely going to better than 2020, I think… Take care of your mental health and your needs. Take breathers whenever possible and don’t overwork yourself. Even with vaccines on the way, try to stay safe and try to not endanger too many people. I’ll probably wear my mask forever since I’m just not used to not wearing it. Do you have any resolutions for this year? Let me know!

Again, Happy New Year!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

The Stray Sheep #13 – YouTuber Appreciation, I guess: Brit, Cry, and the Cat

In today’s Stray Sheep I thought I’d talk about a few of my favourite YouTubers.

So, I used to watch Let’s Players and video game channels on YouTube since I couldn’t afford games too much and also didn’t always have the time for that. My first actual PC games were “Sonic Adventures DX Director’s Cut” and “Beyond Good And Evil”, great games at the time! Later I then also played Oblivion, Tomb Raider, Might and Magic and other games, but my first two games were those two and they left a mark behind.

And just like every kid at my age at the time, I wanted to make YouTube videos on video games, become a Let’s Player. Quite embarrassing, I know. So, when I was 14 I ended up recording videos on “Sonic Adventures DX Director’s Cut” and a game called “A Story About My Uncle” which wasn’t in its current state at the time. I played quite an early version with a few bugs here and there but I loved the game and the fact that it as well could be a CardsAgainstHumanity-card (wink wink nudge nudge).

But I dropped that for several reasons.

Mostly, it was because of me not having the most important equip. I had a shitty mic, a Windows Vista PC at the time (and later a Lenovo laptop that didn’t even run Minecraft smoothly) and also my voice was quite cringy (as I found at the time). Also, being the perfectionist that I was at the time, I ended up messing up stuff I said and just deleting the save and the whole session. Yep. I was stupid. Even with good equip, I never would have posted anything. In the end, it was more of a hobby and a dream of some sorts, to eventually do the same thing as a few of my favourite YouTubers at the time.

But I still kept watching YouTube videos on video games and I kept on reading stuff on that blog I followed (that I’ve mentioned quite often lately….yeet). And eventually, I found a channel called Cryaotic who has a great voice and produces lovely, relaxed content – and quite often on older games like Call of C’thulhu: Dark Corners of Earth. What I loved about his content was the fact that he didn’t do clickbait-y titles and clickbait-y thumbnails like other YouTubers at the time (and today) and also he was really relaxed during the whole time and quite often kept silent, unlike some people that post content where they’re constantly screaming and acting like…children, I guess.

Also, Cry does stream and also records himself while doing so and then cuts it into 40 minutes to hour-long parts sometimes, which leads to me often watching it in the evening before going to bed and which is often really amusing.

Another YouTuber I found, later on, was SplatterCatGaming who mostly covers Indie Games, which I’m quite fond of! He’s doing first impressions on most of them and while he is also quite relaxed and rather professional, I often feel like he’s spacing out and being derpy because of pressure (I guess?) which leads to him often missing stuff or him not playing that well, which is still quite fun. I really enjoy his content, but I haven’t watched his stuff in a while now since he didn’t really cover games that I liked… which is fine. You don’t always need to like everything, right?

And a while ago, I found The Spiffing Brit who’s making videos on video game exploits which often are really hilarious and I often enjoy those quite a lot. So, I watch his content quite often – also I love tea! And he promotes Yorkshire Gold quite often, which I found really lovely, indeed. He’s also using stock images in all of his videos to create comedic moments on top of other insiders like the coffee-hate, saluting to the UK-flag and praising the queen. I love it. There are also on-going things like him buying titles online if videos hit a certain threshold and it’s ridiculous. I really enjoy his content and his voice and you should probably check him out as well. It’s quite fun.

And that’s basically what I’ve been watching lately. Hope you liked this small little post. I kinda injured my fingers, I think, so I wasn’t able to type out the review I was planning to do, in time, and then I struggled with some weird WordPress-Shenanigans called “Version Conflict” and I kinda fixed it by not putting in pictures at all apart the Blaugust-B-Logo.. I tried stuff out, but it didn’t work, and then I just removed pictures and apparently that fixed it, which is fine, I guess. I’ll try putting in new pictures later once I’ve figured out what WordPress’ problem with me is.

Until then….

Cheers!

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.