Stream Update (11/04)

psycheplays_stream-update

As many of you know, I’ve been streaming on Twitch.tv for a while now. I opened my account in 2013, but I only started seriously streaming last year (as proven by the fact that I streamed maybe twice in 2013, and only a handful of times in 2014). Most importantly, about a year ago I started streaming on a schedule, and I’ve been experimenting up until quite recently when I settled into my groove.

So I wanted to give a little update on how streaming was going! If this isn’t something that interests you, please feel free to skip over! ☺️

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Elite Dangerous Mayhem Event

psycheplays_elite-dangerous-mayhem

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Elite: Dangerous fans, you’ll know that there’s a little event going on right now called CQC Mayhem, or alternatively just Mayhem for short. This event is packed full of challenges, streams, and most importantly MAYHEM! Cough. I’m sorry, that was cheesy.

Anyway, all of these activities are taking place on the 1.4 stress test server, and to celebrate I will be streaming some CQC this evening with three immensely talented pilots and streamers: KateClick, G33kGrrly_Gaming and RheaAyase (the latter of which is a total beast in combat and definitely one to look out for!) Make sure you’re following all of them on Twitch for amazing Elite: Dangerous gameplay and also a wide variety of other games too.

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Accepting Tips/Donations as a Streamer (Blaugust #24)

psycheplays_blaugust15-day24_accepting-stream-donations

Image from FreeImages.com.
As many of you know, I have been streaming for a while now, but in the last few months or so I’ve become more committed and started following a much more consistent schedule. I stream three to four nights a week, at the same time on the same days. One of my personal favourite streaming days is Saturday, when I often do “Scaredy-Cat Saturday” where I play a horror game, preferably from start to finish like I did with both Outlast and it’s DLC Whistleblower.

This past Saturday was the first day I’d done that in a long time, and thanks to a suggestion from my friend Bren, I decided to change my follower and tip notification sounds to be horrible sound effects! My follower alert became a suspenseful music bite, and my tip notifications were tiered based on tip amount, with increasingly terrifying screams. The worst one I set quite high because honestly, I’d rather not see what my face looks like after that scream goes off while streaming!

After streaming The Evil Within for an hour or so, I’d received a tip from T who thought it’d be funny to try and scare me, and another larger one from a viewer. I was, and still am, incredibly grateful for the support, but something gnawed at me after the stream.

Being tipped felt…weird.

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Streaming as an Introvert (Blaugust #5)

psycheplays_blaugust15-day-5_streaming-as-an-introvert

Image source: FreeImages.com

I have been streaming a lot recently, and something that came up in discussion the other day was how streaming can be very tiring. I know a lot of fellow streamers experience this, and in my experience, being an introvert contributes to this feeling a lot. I’m going to talk about my experience streaming as an introvert, as well as give you some tips on how you can do it too!

I get excited to stream, because I love hanging out with the people I’ve met through Twitch. I love sharing my gaming experiences with other people, and talking to the people who hang out in my chat gives me the same joy I imagine many people experience when they go to their local pub and bump into some friends.

But even so, I get really tired and need to recharge after streaming. The longer I stream, the more exhausted I feel, but the enjoyment balances that out. It has got much better now that I’ve been streaming more regularly for the last few months, but working a full-time job where I’m around people all day long means that sometimes I would be happy to curl up in bed and just read or play a game quietly to myself without having to think too much when I get home in the evening.

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Life, the Universe & Everything (10/02)

First of all, it’s my birthday today! Since I’m off work this week, I thought what better time to post a general update about everything that’s going on in my life, gaming and all.

As you probably know, I’m playing Guild Wars 2 a lot and am working on both levelling my Mesmer and trying to unlock more Ascalonian weapon skins, since I got the longbow for my Ranger. I’ll be trying to get the greatsword for my Mesmer through grinding the PVP reward track and maybe a few explorable dungeon runs, which we started this past weekend. It’s been fun, since we’ve been playing with one of my FC mates from Final Fantasy XIV and she’s a lot of fun to play games with!

Life, the Universe & Everything: My sylvari mesmer in Guild Wars 2.

Speaking of FFXIV though, I’ve finally started working on my Artemis Animus! I was a bit behind the curve when it came to upgrading it to an Atma, and I picked up the first of nine books a few weeks ago. I never got round to finishing it, and I was surprised when I finished it today and felt a genuine sense of accomplishment that I think I’ve been missing lately! So I’ll be trying to upgrade it now, perhaps quite slowly but still, it’s something. I have no idea how to upgrade it to a Novus yet, as I never really paid much attention to it.

I know a few of you have noticed that I haven’t been streaming lately, and for that I’m sorry. I have been feeling a little nervous about it for the last few weeks for some reason, and it’s just put me off going live every time I’m about to. That mixed with the issues I had accessing Twitch last weekend just made it pretty difficult. I will be getting back into it as soon as I can, because I really miss you guys! But I just needed to get myself into the right frame of mind. In between regular streams, I will keep my Forge.gg stream up for whenever I’m playing a compatible game. It’ll tweet automatically when I go live, or if you have an account you can follow me there and see when I’m live on your sidebar. Check out Laughter’s post about Forge.gg for more information and invites to the site.

Life, the Universe & Everything: Forge.gg is a new streaming service for quick captures.

Apart from all of that, everything’s been fine! I’ve been enjoying the beginning of my week off and am thinking of starting a backlog of games I need to finish since I have some time to do that, then maybe dedicating a day every week to my backlog (thanks to Devisaidso on Twitter for the inspiration!).

Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2015!

A New Year Full of New Things

A New Year Full of New things | Christmas 2014 was lovely but it's time to move on!

I have been a very absent little blogger ever since I started my “short” hiatus in October, and I thought what better time to return to the land of blogging than on the first day of the new year? For those of you who don’t know me particularly well, Christmas is my jam. I get excited in the lead-up to the holiday, I love buying gifts for people and adding a personal touch where I can, and I especially love the excitement on Christmas morning (not to mention all the delicious food!). Christmas did pass by a little too quickly and was over before I was truly ready, but I’m going to tackle the beginning of 2015 with as much gusto as I can manage.

I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions in the traditional sense; you know what I mean — lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, stop biting nails etc. But that’s only because I know that I’m pretty bad at keeping to them! But this year I will set some goals for myself that I really aim to achieve, and I’ve kept them in the area of nerdiness!

A New Year Full of New Things | Hello 2015

Hello 2015, I am ready for you! This year, I want to accomplish more in my nerdy life, just as much as in my non-nerdy life. Here are a few of the things I intend on doing.

01. Complete more games off my list!

I have a terrible habit of not completing games, as I get sucked into other games before the end, or end up sinking so much time into my multiplayer games that I neglect the singleplayer games I still have yet to finish. So this is a list of a few of the games I’d like to at least attempt to complete:

The Witcher Series, Dishonored, Batman: Arkham Asylum & Arkham City, Borderlands 2, The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2, Mass Effect Trilogy (second & third playthroughs), Dragon Age: Inquisition (and perhaps DA2 as well), Divinity: Original Sin.

02. Read at least 25 fiction books.

I frequently fail these as, despite being a huge lover of books, I don’t make enough time for them these days. Work takes up so much of my day that when I get home I just collapse into my chair and play games for an hour or two before bed. I want to make that change, so I will aim for 25 books this year. I’m also an incredibly slow reader so 25 might actually be a bigger challenge than I realise!

03. Learn more things.

If Christmas’ session of Trivial Pursuit taught me anything, it’s that I need to learn more about a wider variety of topics! Granted, it was a 1980s version of the game from South Africa so take from that what you will! Even if I only learn more about my area of work and things that feed into that, I will feel like I’ve made an accomplishment.

04. Have at least one writing session per week, aiming for short daily sessions.

If I ever want to make something of my writing, I need to commit more time to it. To do this, I will either write once per week for a solid hour or two, with the intention of pulling that up to shorter sessions every day. Perhaps every morning before work?

05. Stream at least three times per week.

I’ve been kicking up my streaming schedule lately, and I want to keep that going. I will aim to stream at least three times a week, including my usual Saturday night horror gaming. While I primarily stream to hang out with people I’ve met through gaming and streaming, I’d love to make something of it. I don’t mean to earn money from it, I just want to feel like I’ve made an accomplishment with it, like I did when I took part in the Elite: Dangerous launch event and had over 130 people hanging out there! That felt amazing, and I’d love to do it more, even if it scared the hell out of me!

I also have some game specific goals, such as jobs to level in FFXIV and reaching Elite in Elite: Dangerous, but those are for another day and another post! Do you have any nerdy goals for 2015?

Short Hiatus (October 2014)

Short Hiatus: October 2014
Image source: WeHeartIt

I know I’ve been around very little lately, and I want to apologise for that! I have been getting back into my streaming schedule and, in turn, blogging has taken a backseat which it shouldn’t be. To anyone who still reads this, I’m very sorry, but I am taking a brief hiatus from all (read: most) things internet. This means online games (except for FC events in FFXIV), streaming, blogging and to a smaller extent social media. So I will only be in FFXIV for FC events (my FC knows this), there will be limited blogging updates and no streams, and while I’ll still be around on social media, I will be there a little less. There are a few reasons for this:

» I have so many singleplayer games I want to work on and enjoy. A lot of online games have been frustrating me lately and I want to enjoy myself, so I will be working on Dragon Age: Origins then the DLC and Dragon Age II in advance of the third game coming out.

» I need a little break from social media with all of the negativity going around in the wider gaming community, to prevent myself getting involved! And also for my own sanity.

» I will be visiting my family for a few days because I haven’t seen them in months (since before I did all that travelling a little while ago!) and I really miss them, so I need a little bit of time just to spend with them.

However, starting the week of Halloween on Monday 27th October I will be back and ready to play all the scary games! I will try to do some small scary streams (specific days will be announced on my Twitter in advance) during the week but the real event will be on Halloween itself, Friday 31st October, where I’m thinking of maybe doing either a 12-hour stream or at the very least a late-nighter starting at around 8:00PM Irish time. I will play spooky games or games with a Halloweeny theme, and will start either Alien: Isolation or The Evil Within, depending on which I’ve got my hands on!

The rest of that week, I am off work and will be able to dedicate more time to blogging and streaming, so expect to see the launch of a Minecraft server for friends and regulars, as well as some more spooky and funtimes streams during the week. I may even try to do one in costume! If I can think of a costume…

So I apologise for the brief hiatus, but I really do need a little break. I promise to be back the week leading up to Halloween though, my favourite holiday of the whole year! I hope you’ll be able to celebrate with me.

Twitch acquisition by Google/YouTube?

Is the Twitch acquisition by Google's YouTube going to go through?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, anyone who is familiar with streaming website Twitch knows that there are rumours of a Google/YouTube acquisition for $1 billion. If you’re interested in the back story, you can read the Polygon report, but here I want to talk about my personal thoughts and how this might impact streamers.

Obviously, my channel on Twitch is relatively small, with only 150+ followers so far, as I’ve only been streaming there for a short time. However I am a “Turbo” user, meaning I pay monthly in order to receive certain benefits (such as no ads, custom colours in chat and a different set of emotes) and also subscribe to two streamers on a regular basis. I also have intentions of continuing to stream there more regularly myself, and while I doubt I’ll ever have the viewerbase of some of the people I love there, I still feel it has the potential to impact me as a viewer and streamer alike.

Firstly, there are positive sides to this acquisition assuming it goes through. For example, Google is notorious for having excellent server coverage across the globe, which is something Twitch currently, unfortunately, lacks. It’s no secret that their data centres struggle from time to time with the massive population of European users, not to mention an incredibly poor experience in Oceania. With a Google acquisition, could we expect to see increased stability and better service worldwide?

A lot of streamers are pretty concerned about the bid. YouTube has notoriously not been the most supportive of its content creators recently, making it frustrating for viewers to comment on videos, hassling creators into using their real names on videos (and repeatedly prompting them to do so if they say no), and various issues with copyright claims. If these kinds of issues come to Twitch, this would make the experience of streaming and watching streams extremely frustrating and not at all user-friendly.

However, with all that said, there are just as many streamers — including those with larger viewerbases — who don’t seem at all concerned, and are patiently awaiting more information. On the plus side, the reports explain that talks are still ongoing, and nothing is settled for sure just yet. Also, there are claims that part of the discussions will be on how independent Twitch can continue to operate if they are picked up by another company, which is great. There are plenty of companies out there, especially games companies, that have managed to retain their independence despite being acquired by a bigger company. I’ll withhold too much of my judgement until we get more information, as at least for the timebeing it’s still just a rumour. We’ll see how it goes!

What are your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below!

Why I stream

WHY I STREAM: via Twitch

Many of you know that I like to stream video games on my little Twitch.tv channel. Something I’ve noticed a lot since I started is the attitude a lot of people have towards streamers, and one big question always comes up. Why do you stream?

I’ve heard people’s opinions that streamers only stream for attention, to get famous, to make money or exploit viewers, and various other interesting takes on streaming as a whole. And while the “for attention” reasoning often gets used against women who stream, regardless of how those ladies might live up to people’s various standards of “respectability,” it does get used against all streamers by certain people. Even though I don’t feel the need to justify myself to anyone, I wanted to share my reasons behind streaming, because it was a question I asked myself a lot.

There are a few reasons. Initially, I started streaming because I loved watching streams and they always encouraged me to play games. The interactions seemed so much fun that I felt like I wanted that too, and so I decided to give it a try. While I doubt I’ll ever have a viewership as big as some of the streamers I love watching and interacting with, I love talking to the people who do come along and hang out, and sharing my enjoyment with other people is something I’ve done in all things I do for years.

I also found it helped me a lot with my confidence. While I am loud and somewhat obnoxious in real life (and on camera!) I use this as a way of hiding how shy I am. I’m pretty introverted, and I am really socially awkward and lack confidence in myself. I’d heard streaming in particular helped with other people’s confidence even more than making videos or blogging etc, because it’s live and people are actively watching you play and talk. So I tried it, first without a webcam, and later with one. It has helped a lot, though I’m definitely not there yet!

WHY I STREAM: The power of friendship! (League of Legends' Teambuilder feature)
Source: League of Legends Teambuilder Announcement

But the biggest reason of all is pretty silly, but one that means a lot to me. I’ve always envied friends who had a large group of people playing the same game as them, usually World of Warcraft or another MMO, that I never really had. Most of my gaming buddies live in the US so our gaming times conflict and worse still, there’s lag to contend with and often server issues such as NA and EU being separate. Because of this, I often only play solo or occasionally with my fiancé, depending on the game. We do have one mutual friend we play with, but again, I don’t have the large group of people who play the same game.

With streaming, I feel like I can overcome this. I can have 10 – 50 people watching me and talking to me while I play a game. Sure, we’re not always in the game together (though sometimes we are!) but viewers often jump in with tips, or jokes, or just plain keep me company while I play. This is especially important to me when I’m playing horror games because I am a chicken! Having people talking to me makes it all a little less scary than it is if I play alone. I’ve made some great friends through streaming, be they other streamers or just people who happened to drop by one day and stuck around. They’re people I play games with outside of streaming, and that’s something that’s helped me feel less lonely in the gaming community.

Do I like the attention I receive? Sure, it’s nice to receive a compliment from time to time, but it’s certainly not the reason most people stream, and I think those who use it as an insult don’t realise that with the good attention comes the bad; the trolling, the flaming, and the sexist or hateful remarks. But the fun you have can often outbalance that, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Why do you stream or watch streamers?
Let me know in the comments below!

Chatting it up on The Sundering

Hanging out on The Sundering podcast, February 2014

I’m going to be hanging out with Xia, Ceraphus and Rayfyst tonight on The Sundering podcast! I’m a total noob when it comes to podcasting; I’ve never taken part before but I’ve always been interested, and these three were kind enough to invite me onto their show for some shenanigans, on the night before my birthday of all days!

We’ll be chatting about gaming current events, and apparently I’ll answer a few questions about my gaming habits as well. Feel free to come along and listen to The Sundering podcast live at 9:00pm EST (which, for all you fellow Europeans, is 2:00am GMT or 3:00am CET, sorry!) or catch up on their website later.

This is my first podcast, be gentle!

My 5-Year Plan

My fiancé has been raving for the last few weeks about the infamous “five year plan”. It’s nothing ground breaking, simply a life plan laid out for the next five years. Apparently, people with five year plans are not only more likely to achieve the goals they set for themselves, but they often achieve their goals in a much shorter period of time than they set themselves, often around the three year mark.

So I decided it was time to set my own five year plan, and start working towards it today. Before I share my own personal five year plan, I thought I’d give five simple sets to get started on yours.

01. First, make a list of all of the things you want to achieve by the end of your five years.

02. Prioritise your goals based on how important they are to you and how much you want that goal to happen.

03. Make a list of the things you could do to work towards each goal. Eg. if you want to own your own house, make a list of ways you can raise the funds or save the money.

04. Break down your goals so they fit within the five year timeframe. See my example below.

05. Put your goals up somewhere you can see them, such as by your PC, in your office, or on the kitchen fridge. Somewhere you can be reminded of them, and maybe even track your progress.

For my own five year plan, I’ve focused on writing, streaming, and a little bit on my personal situation. Below are a few of my goals I’d like to achieve in the next five years, and the things I’m going to do to try and achieve them.

My 5 Year Plan, work in progress.

It’s not perfect, and still needs a lot of work, but that’s where I’m at right now. I’m pretty damn committed to those goals, so I will be working towards them as best I can, and reviewing them at the end of each year.

What are your goals for the next five years?

Spooky Halloween stream!

You are invited to the Psyche Plays Halloween stream!

You are cordially invited to join me on Friday 1st November at approximately 9:00pm GMT (time to be confirmed) for a spooky Halloween stream! The stream will run “until late”, meaning I will basically stream until I fall asleep or all my viewers have run off to bed. I was originally planning on this being an all-nighter stream, but as I’ll be going up to visit family the next morning I’ll need to get a little bit of sleep for the journey!

Streamed Games:

» League of Legends (Harrowing skins only!)
» Diablo III
» Outlast
» Stop It, Slender!
» Don’t Starve

I may add more creepy games (Nightmare House 2 is a distinct possibility!) as the night goes on, but this is the list for now. To take part, simply go to my Twitch.tv channel, and make sure to click “Follow” if you want to receive a notification when I go live! I would love it if you’d come hang out with me! Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me your game suggestions.