You Are More Than Just a Number

You Are More Than Just a Number

You are more than just a number.  Whether you have 0 subscribers and are starting out, or you’re a seasoned creator with 20 million, you are not defined by your number of viewers.  To round off the week I thought I’d discuss a common concern among content creators in YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Instagram, and any platform involving followers or subscribers.  Over the past two months I’ve seen people give up on their channels of all different sizes from 10,000 to 800,000 for different reasons.  Some of these reasons involved family, career changes, or personal reasons, but other times it was because that content creator wasn’t getting the views or exposure they once were.  They feel unimportant or irrelevant.  I think some content creators are too focused on views and subscriber numbers.  They try to grab attention the wrong ways, follow fads, and as a result lose their identity.  By chasing a number that isn’t guaranteed to result within a specific time frame, that content creator becomes frustrated and burns out.

When you feel frustrated with lack of growth, focus on two things.  First go back to why you wanted to do content creation in the first place.  If you’re hating what you’re doing and you feel like you’re missing a part of yourself, re-evaluate, re-brand, and return to your roots.  Never lose sight of who you are and why you wanted to become a YouTuber, Livestreamer, filmmaker, or game developer.  The one thing that all content creators share in common is our desire to create, express ourselves, and entertain.  I doubt the reason you started your path to being a content creator was so you could say “I’ve reached a million subscribers!”

Second, try to push yourself creatively and think outside the box.  Rather than doing what everyone else is doing, learn something and apply that to your next video or livestream.  Keep practicing and honing your craft.  There is more content available than what a single person can consume in their lifetime.  This means, there is something out there for everyone.  If people like what you have to offer as a content creator and you’re different, they’ll subscribe and support you in your creative endeavors.  So keep your chin up, be proud of your identity, and keep producing.

5 Things I’m excited for in Classic World of Warcraft

5 Things I’m excited for in Classic World of Warcraft

5 Features I’m excited for in Classic World of Warcraft

I have a secret.  I LOVE World of Warcraft and have been playing it for 10+ years.  So when World of Warcraft announced that they’re getting close to releasing the classic version of World of Warcraft, I was psyched.  I thought to myself “finally a chance to go back to the original game.”  While I love World of Warcraft and appreciate how it is streamlined and user-friendly to new players, I felt a part of the adventure disappeared.  A part of the nostalgia, and magic of the game disappeared when certain features such as world flying was introduced. Certain areas also felt devoid of players when people could cue for Dungeons and Battlegrounds from capital cities and go out on adventures.

Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft Classic is launching from patch 1.12.  You might be asking what does that include exactly?  To simplify the list of features included, I took my top 5 for PvP and listed them here.

  1. Battlegrounds! Classic Alterac Valley, Warsong gulch, Arathi Basin.  Who is up for killing that center boss?
  2. World PvP features in Silithus and The Eastern Plaguelands.
  3. Thunderfury Blessed Blade of the Windseeker could be equipped in either hand.
  4. Raids up to Naxxramas and you got your classic 40-man raids
  5. Old school Southshore vs. Tarren Mill Battles!

What are you most excited for?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

Friday The 13th Single-Player Challenges Review

Friday The 13th Single-Player Challenges Review

Friday The 13th Single-Player Challenges Bring Players back to Camp

“and so they found the whole camp murdered.  Their throats were slit, and their skulls were crushed…. Fine don’t believe me.  But it happened right around here…. They say her son Jason came back to get his revenge.  He still lurks the woods to this day.”

And so the stories go about the legend of Jason Voorhees and Camp Blood.  We’ve all heard these stories growing up about a masked man or lunatic wandering the woods and preying on the lives of campers.  We’ve seen this in television, and bonfire stories, but now we get to live it in Friday The 13th’s Single-Player Challenges.  Whereas the NES version placed players in the role of the helpless camp counselor, in this game players take on the role of the infamous hockey masked killer.

Overview

To help prepare players for the role of Jason in online multiplayer, Friday the 13th The Game has introduced 10 single-player challenges.  You must be stealthy, deadly, and creative as you murder your way across iconic locations from the movie franchise.  Each challenge has three skull objectives and several side missions players can complete to earn additional experience points.

Skull objectives are the same in each challenge.

  1. No survivors / Kill all counselors
  2. Undetected / Kill all counselors without being seen (this includes not having your corpses discovered)
  3. Reach a certain number of EXP

In order to clear the challenge and unlock the next, you have to complete 2/3 skull objectives in a playthrough of the challenge.  If you only earn one skull, you will fail the challenge. To assist the player, side missions provide clues as to how players can increase their chances of earning the XP skull.  These missions include for example: stabbing a counselor multiple times with a kitchen knife, or killing a counselor while he’s on a smoke break.  Keep in mind though that in most cases it is impossible to complete every single side objective in a single playthrough.  This is because side objectives may involve killing the same counselor in a variety of ways.  The only person we know who could survive that kind of torture is Mr. Body himself (ah good old Clue).

What is enjoyable about the single-player challenges 

What kept me playing the single-player challenges for around 6-7 hours straight was the variety in which you could defeat the counselors but also utilize the “stalk points”.  Across each level there are certain “stalk points” that enable the camera to shift from a 3rd person to a 1st person perspective.  If you look at it carefully, you’ll notice the camera slowly pans from left to right and it felt very similar to the original Friday the 13th film where viewers watched from the killer’s POV when stalking victims.  In the challenge mode, stalk points enabled the player to see when important counselors were moving to objective locations, enabled them to plan their attack, and immersed players into the world of Friday the 13th .

The cut scenes caused by completing side missions provided more entertainment since instead of relying on the usual kills players could use at any point in time through shift grabbing, we were rewarded by waiting and attacking counselors at the right moment to engage a unique cinematic.  After seeing all of this, it was that I then realized this is where the game shines the most, the nostalgia factor.

Ever since the NES game players have wanted a chance to return to Camp Crystal Lake, but in a more spooky setting that was honorable to the films.  As of today, Friday the 13th The Game not only provides a fun multiplayer experience where you can choose to be the hunted or the hunter, but it ties back into the film series that fans enjoy.  I can confirm after playing all 10 challenges that there are certain kills and moments in the game that are taken directly from the films, thus completing the nostalgia circle fans have been craving for years.

To summarize what makes this experience so entertaining is the little things.  From the stalk points, planning your attack, homage to the films, and Harry Manfredini’s stinger that plays when you grab counselors, you get the Jason experience that feeds your nostalgia.  Thanks to all of these features in the single-player challenges, even if you don’t have a stable internet connection or if you’re timid to try the multiplayer experience, you can find your own piece of Crystal Lake and return to camp.

What I’d like to see / What could be improved 

Granted since this just released two days ago, there are some bugs in the game such as Chad being able to see through walls, and toilets not being available to do a swirly kill.  But that’s just me being picky.  (Note, if you keep getting caught by Chad in the second challenge despite having several rooms separating you, morph behind the barn so you’re out of his range and then kill him last by sneaking up on him.)

What I noticed is that a lot of the maps felt like a tribute to the Friday the 13th films from parts 1-5.  So I’m hoping although this could be a push, to see more challenges in connection to the 2nd half of the film franchise (Manhattan, Jason X, New Blood, Hell, Jason lives, etc.)   I understand the Grendel map is still in development, so I’m hoping for additional challenges later on in a year or two.

Before I say this last bit, let me say that game development is extremely hard so I understand the difficulty with combining path finding, animation, and coding all into one seamless experience under constraints.  There were moments in the game where I wish I had a second chance to attack a particular counselor.  Often times during the single-player challenges especially in challenge 7, I felt rushed keeping track of all the counselors moving from towards the bathroom and the kitchen, and that if I missed just one moment, it would prevent me from getting the kill that would’ve otherwise gotten me the XP skull.  I would then have to reset the challenge since there was a time limit as well and I knew at that point completing the challenge was impossible unless I start over.  However, I understand that these are challenges, and it’s a part of the game.  After all, it’s hard being a masked murderer in the woods.

I plan to do another playthrough of the single-player challenges now that I have a bit more experience and I’d like to try out different Jasons.  If you have a favorite challenge (no spoilers if possible) let me know in the comments below.

The Jet Program and You.  What’s next?  Mad-Eye’s Tip of the week

The Jet Program and You. What’s next? Mad-Eye’s Tip of the week

Achievement Unlocked

Hello everyone!  I know it’s been awhile since we last had a chat, but I’m excited to share some updates with you.  I’m pleased to announce that I finally finished my long-term project of writing a book, and The Jet Program and You is now published on amazon!  Hooray!  Achievement Unlocked!  (somebody cue the Final Fantasy 7 victory theme music).  While my new book has no relation to gaming or game development, it’s an important topic to me because I lived in Japan for three years and have studied the language for almost 10 years.   This book marks the end of a long chapter in my life.  That doesn’t mean I’m quitting Japanese or anything, it’s just that I’m switching my mindset as I pursue a creative career in the gaming industry.  Of course you already know this story if you’ve been reading the blog since day one, but that’s why I wrote the book.  I wanted to provide some closure and try to help people who are wanting to teach or work in Japan.  If you’re curious about the book you can see it on amazon.com.

So now what? 

With the book finished, I’ve regained an additional 4 to 5 hours of my day.  The book took up a lot of my time, but now I can focus on the other projects I was working on and give you all an idea of what to expect.

Blog Content:

  1. Updating all of the Friday The 13th Guides
  2. Journey Updates 
  3. Philosophy of a Gamer / Unique Posts
  4. Game Reviews 
  5. Mad-Eye’s Tip of the week videos and more 
Updating all of the Friday the 13th Guides

I feel that with the latest update that is about to launch, Gun Media and Illfonic are finally launching the full game they’ve wanted players to enjoy. New counselors and Jasons have been introduced and some game mechanics have been altered as well, so you can expect to see a major overhaul in the Friday the 13th section of this site.

Journey Updates 

PAX East was a real eye opener for me with regards to knowledge and opportunities.  I learned so much as I spoke with Community managers, YouTubers, Twitch streamers, Bloggers, Writers, Podcasters, Developers and more.  I plan to share some of the lessons I learned as I debrief from PAX East and share some awesome photos I took as well.

Philosophy of a Gamer 

Whenever I play games with friends online, we tend to have philosophical discussions you’d often hear in a podcast.  While I’m not in the position yet to make a weekly podcast, I thought I would start sharing some thoughts about the current gaming industry and what it means to be a gamer in 2018 via blog posts.

Game Reviews 

As I’ve said before, it’s time for me to expand my gaming palate and play a variety of games.  I’ll first provide an initial impression after playing the first few hours and then I’ll write a more comprehensive review with clips to emphasize points.

Mad-Eye’s Tip of the week and more 

Mad-Eye’s tip of the week for Friday the 13th will be making a return and I’ll be returning to a few old series and finishing some new ones.  Since game development and training myself in content creator skills is my main focus at the moment, my first goal is to get familiar with posting videos three times a week.  Once I get that 3x a week schedule locked in place, I will focus on getting faster with editing and inserting effects within my time constraints.

See you in a bit!

PAX East 2018 – What’s Your Story?

PAX East 2018 – What’s Your Story?

ID Badge?  – Check

Business cards?  – Check

Hand sanitizer?  – Check

Mentally prepared? – ummmm work in progress

It’s that time of the year again, PAX East.  For the next four days all faces of the gaming industry will be present for a chaotic gathering of fun, mayhem, info sharing, and celebration.  Within this storm you have game developers showing their latest projects, media getting the big scoop on AAA and indie titles, content creators searching for the next game to cover and getting access keys, aspiring game developers hoping to network with people in the industry, merchants selling amazing game-related products and fans jumping for joy to shop, game, compete for prizes, hang out and make their own story at PAX.  That’s what I love most about PAX East, the stories.  Everyone who attends PAX has a story to tell and they have a goal they want to accomplish.  When you thousands of these people together in one room, anything can happen.  I don’t want to sound dramatic, but lives can change.  People have networked and had contacts hire them later all thanks to a 10-minute conversation at the event.  So that’s the theme of this post.  What’s your story?

My story or goal is that I’m searching for knowledge, opportunities, and new contacts.  I’m attending PAX East not just as a creator, but also as someone trying to get a job in the industry.  If you read my last post, I finally took a big step towards switching careers into the gaming industry by landing a teaching game development job at Digital Media Academy.  I’m really excited for the opportunity to teach children the fundamentals of Unity and C#, but it’s only temporary.  So I have to think to myself, “What’s next?”  The goal of my two-year experiment is to try and land something permanent and do content creation on the side.   I’m at a turning point.  I have one year left to get a permanent job in the creative industry, but I feel stuck as an aspiring developer.  Should I be learning Unreal and C++ in preparation for my next job?  Do I try to make a sale on steam?  Do I attempt to volunteer at a company and work for free and then pray they hire me after a six-month test?  What should I put in my portfolio?  These questions and more are what I hope to find answers to at PAX through the wide variety of info panels that feature developers, artists, producers, entrepreneurs, and famous content creators.

Meanwhile as a content creator I hope to accomplish a few goals:

  • Network with fellow content creators and get their opinions on the industry.
  • Find a new strategy for uploading content.
  • Find new games to play that my audience will enjoy while allowing me to diversify and expand the channel.
  • Interview some game companies (already got one scheduled ^_-)

I’ve always wanted to livestream, but after doing research and seeing this happen to two acquaintances of mine, livestreaming daily for hours on end destroyed their computers.  From talking to several livestreamers, it appears that having two pcs operating while you livestream is the ideal scenario without putting your computer at risk.  My problem is that I need my computer for contract work, game development, and video production and I can’t afford a second computer just yet.  So my question is what do you do when you can’t livestream?  Would you post longplay style videos or short episodic videos on your YouTube channel?  As of now I’ve been trying to make highly edited videos that involve a linear story, but while I’m trying to edit just one episode, you have dozens of other creators just uploading a non-edited two-hour video that soaks up a lot of the potential viewership for that one game.  By the time I reach episode three of a let’s play series, a new game has already come out and audiences’ attention has shifted.  I’m hoping for a little more of a strategic direction when I upload videos.  I want to provide a variety of content on the channel, and the blog, but at what point does the desire to finish a game quickly and just upload it kill into the creative process of video editing and providing a different approach to the game?

This is my story for attending PAX and what I hope to get out of it.  What’s your story?  Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience(s) of PAX East. 

1-Year Checkup.  Enter Year 2 Day 1

1-Year Checkup. Enter Year 2 Day 1

1-year checkup mark and an announcement

Today is the 1-year anniversary of when I quit my job and decided to pursue a career in the video game industry.  I remember my first day of adventure networking, checking out games, and covering the Friday the 13th: The Game news updates announced at PAX East.  Fast forward to 2018 and within one year I networked with game developers and producers, advertised a few games on the YouTube channel, played games with streamers in front of an audience of over 1,000 people, wrote an e-book, made my second game and posted it on my website, almost hit 3,000 subscribers on the YouTube page, learned intermediate video editing and game development skills, and best of all… landed my first job in the gaming industry.

My original goal in this journey was to start my own business or join a company related to gaming.  I can finally announce that I will be teaching game development to high school students this summer at Digital Media Academy located at Harvard University.  I’m really excited to work with the next generation of game developers and see what we can make within a short time.  To prepare for the lessons I’m teaching certain concepts to family and friends to see if they can follow and make their own game.  If possible, I would love to upload some tutorial videos as well for the public and my students, but I’m ironing out the production quality before I do so.

I would consider my 2018 goal of landing a job in the industry a success, and with that I need to revise my goals.  By the end of my 2nd year, March 7th 2019, I hope to have landed a corporate job in the gaming industry and be able to continue YouTube after hours.  To achieve this goal I’m switching up my daily schedule a bit to accommodate freelance work, online courses, YouTube content creation, and working on my portfolio.

One major thing I would like to fix

Putting out more videos on YouTube and just practicing with speed.  One of the strengths of the channel is that I always try to post videos that have a unique idea or topic. But while I’m waiting for an idea, the industry is changing and I miss out on a lot of games.  Livestreaming is becoming the norm and developers want the help of streamers to market their games.  Sadly, I can’t livestream yet, but to practice finding my voice and commentary I will be posting lets plays with a face cam.  I will post theory videos and tip videos, but only when I have a good idea I know will help others and generate a conversation.  Until those ideas come though, I hope to provide more variety and branch out to other games through lets plays.

Wish me luck!