Growth and Learning From It

Lately, I’m happy to say, I’ve been enjoying some surprising and very welcome growth on my Twitter and Twitch channels inparticular. Twitter recently eclipsed 300 followers that I have tricked welcomed into my life. Twitch recently hit 155, of which I’m very proud of and I can’t wait to see you all on the stream each time I start one up. 

Even YouTube has seen a surprising kind of growth. Recently, my channel hit 600 views. It sounds incredible to me to know that some people are watching me that much. But even crazier is that one video recently hit 50 views. A few months ago, I felt like I was struggling for even 10 views on a single video!

Point is, I’m encountering some magnificent growth in being a streamer and I want to thank you all for your support. It truly means everything. And yet behind this success are a lot of questions. It boils down to “How can I keep this up?” And I don’t really have an effective, immediate answer. It feels as though all I can do for the time being is keep streaming like I have been doing. But something about that feels stagnant.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time I’ve tried to brainstorm what my next move is going to be. I feel like once you become stagnant, it’s a very difficult thing to get out of. Thinking of ways to change and evolve early on, in my mind, is the best thing to do to avoid it. Recently I’ve been looking into adding art to my channels in order to create some unity, and that may in rice more people to look my way, but what happens once they’re in the channel? And so its occurred to me that it doesn’t truly matter if I have overlays or a green screen or what have you.  What people should be coming to the various channels for are me or the game.  

Does that mean I need to change? Maybe, talking more about, let’s say how much aiming for limbs versus torsos in Dead Space gives the player a heightened urgency and danger might help. But then it may not matter. After all, I’ve had great growth by simply being myself, welcoming people to the stream and concentrating on simply having a good time. And yet here and now as I write this I find myself thinking that both are the correct ways. 

So, perhaps instead of thinking of the growth I’ve had as a sign that I’m ready for a new way of doing things is outlandish and premature. A stream is an evolution. One streamer I consider a good friend started with under 100 viewers on Twitch. And today he has amassed just over 1,400 viewers on YouTube Gaming. Without ever telling it to me, Paacreek has shown me that making a better stream is a step-by-step process that takes a lot of time to perfect. And once you think it’s perfected, you keep finding way to do more for your viewers and supporters. They are what got you where you are, have been, and will be. And the easiest way to do that is to just be yourself. And believe me, Paacreek is himself in every stream he puts out. 

In my aspirations to be a better streamer, I may have to change how I react to things or change how I interact with viewers. But I still have to be me. Thank you once more, to everyone that has followed so far, and I truly hope there’s many more where you all came from. I also want to take this opportunity to say that for some of you even though you have followed me only very recently, I feel like you’ve welcomed me with nothing but open arms. If you ask Gary, it’s not the easiest thing to do, so thank you. 

If you want to check out the newly self-appointed White Girl of YouTube Gaming, here is Paacreek’s YT channel and his Twitter account.

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Looking Back -Jedis and Outcasts

I remember the lead-up to this game pretty fondly. That wallpaper image of Kyle Katarn dragging his lightsaber through a wall was my desktop wallpaper for some time even before the game came out. I distinctly recall showing it to my Dad (bear in mind that I was 14 when the game came out) and asking him if he thought it was cool or not.

In true to himself fashion, my Dad simply stated that it seemed like a “grossly inappropriate use of a lightsaber.” But what does it matter? IT’S COOL! My teenage mind was pretty easy to please. But Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast was a game that I fell head over heels for.

But that also was how I felt while playing the game. In it, you continue the story of Kyle Katarn, former Imperial soldier, turned mercenary, turned Jedi, turned mercenary again. Katarn has given up his Jedi abilities out of fear of going to the Dark Side and with his pilot more-than-a-friend Jan Ors to investigate some disturbances on the planet of Kejim. What unfolds is plenty of excuses to shoot stormtroopers, bounty hunters, and more along with some of the best lightsaber-based gameplay this side of Yavin.

But aside the combat were some, at the time, ingenious force powers. You had your normal powers like Push, Pull, Speed, Jump, and Lightsaber Throw, all of which were considered neutral abilities by the game. But the one power I had the most fun with was Mind Trick, a Light Side ability.

With Mind Trick, you could get an enemy to leap off to his doom, and others would get disoriented or believe they heard a noise. At the time, it was a revelation to me to have an ability change depending on the current situation. But the one thing that the game will be remembered for best to me are the lightsaber mechanics.

Jedi04

You could do a lot with the saber, especially once you mixed Force Jump into the mix. The game allowed you to enter a Saber Lock with enemies (where the sabers clash and there’s a struggle), or you could perform a slash as you are flipping the air off of the nearby wall. It was combat that felt truly fluid and caught the energetic style of the prequel saber fights.

But the one thing I recall not liking, especially after the rich and branching story of Dark Forces II, was the linear story and forgettable villain. The main villain was Desann, who, as far as I can tell, wanted Jedi to be strong. But, he felt those that didn’t match his definition were to be killed. As such, he didn’t last long as an apprentice under Luke Skywalker. But after that it was unclear what his motivation was. Could’ve been power for power’s sake, but it never seemed like he had any grand designs or plans. To me, the story fell a lot flatter then the build up Dark Forces II had.

Dark Forces II had a bigger reliance on guns, but it had very distinctive enemy Dark Jedi, and a story that would change based on your actions and chosen Force abilities. It also crafted a story that made Kyle Katarn’s destiny deeply intertwined with the Jedi throughout his family’s past.

Point is though, if you want a fantastic game where you are a Jedi and you feel disappointed by Battlefront, this game (and Dark Forces II) should be at the top of your list.

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces IIGOG.com (Windows only), Steam (Windows only)

Jedi Knight II: Jedi OutcastGOG.com (Windows only), Steam (Windows and Mac OS X)