Well, I created my Twitch account around February 2013 to watch a friend stream some games that he wanted to share. Then one night I decided that I wanted to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent and a couple of friends wanted to watch so I tried to stream it for them. Since then I started streaming on and off on Twitch, until February 2018, which was when I started to take streaming a bit more serious.
What do you enjoy most about streaming and how do you keep yourself motivated?
Hmm… There’s a lot that I enjoy about streaming, like sharing my experience from the games that I play with everyone, talking to the community, and being able to be goofy while trying to make everyone’s day a little better. I’ll be honest though, keeping me motivated is difficult. Apart from streaming part time, I also work part-time as a barista at a restaurant and it can be very exhausting. There are days when I don’t feel motivated to stream, so what I do is I try and get as much rest as I can to be able to stream the next day.
You stream mostly GTA V RP (roleplaying). For those not familiar, could you explain how that is different from regular GTA V?
If you’ve ever done D&D or have heard of DayZ or Arma RP then it’s basically the same, just on the GTA V platform. There’s an application called FiveM which allows people to join roleplay servers (as well as other types of servers) provided from various communities, such as The Family RP, NoPixel, Twitch Rp, Darkside Rp, etc. Roleplaying is when you create a character with either a simple background story or an intricate story, then you interact with other players and their characters and basically do some improvisation all while trying to continue/adding to your character’s story.
Have you always enjoyed acting and coming up with interesting characters and stories?
To be honest, I never thought I’d roleplay or act and make characters with stories. But since I started roleplaying last year around June 2017 I’ve been hooked. It was hard at first since I was so new to roleplaying. But I decided to just try and enjoy the game, and as time passed I felt more comfortable with making new characters and new stories. There are times when I seem to have reached a dead end on a character and don’t know what to do with them, but it helps taking time off from that character and to try something different, or to think about the possibilities to get motivated into pushing that character’s story further.
Is the storyline ever planned or is everything improvised?
I believe it’s all preference. You can create a character with no background story at all and try to improvise along the way as you roleplay and interact with others, or you can create a simple story for your character before you start playing as them. For example, I have a character named Kimberly Reid, who is an 18-year-old runaway with an abusive past. She ran away from home around December 5, 2017, and then later met another runaway teen called Riley Maddox, played by the astonishing one and only, Soleficent. They both traveled all the way to the city of Los Santos. The creation of both those characters was planned out of character, which is common, but as we started roleplaying as them on the server, we have improvised according to our interactions with other characters on the server. You could say that almost everything is improvised.
The GTA V RP streaming community has grown fast in recent years and now has a large audience. What do you think is the greatest appeal for those watching?
I think the greatest appeal for the viewers is the real-time interaction that they get with the streamers behind the characters. They get to see all the improvised goodness, talk about the possibilities of the choices they might need to make and see the streamer’s reactions to something they may not have seen coming. It’s like watching a live show but without the “In the next episode…” hints. No one knows what might happen at any time because literally, anything can happen. Your character may have just won a gang war but then gets ran over by an AI while they’re crossing the street to go to the bank, and BAM, they’re dead. Obviously, it’s up to the player’s choice if they want to perma (permanently kill off the character), so that may not be the case. Buuuut, as I said, you never know.
Do you ever find your characters slip into your real life or vice versa? Do you include portions of your own personality into your characters as well?
I rarely slip into my characters in real life and vice versa. I think the only times I let it slip is when I’m playing different games or chatting with friends on discord and I’ll just randomly talk as one of my characters just for the fun of it. So my first ever roleplay character, Jessi Vara, had a lot of my own actual personality. As time went by and I played that character, her personality and characteristics would change or develop. I made her like me because she was my first character and it was the first time I had ever roleplayed. I figured it would be easier to play a character that had a similar personality like me, and it worked out. The more I played as her, I got more comfortable roleplaying and eventually created more characters. Most of my characters do have at least one similar trait as me in real life. And the most common one that everyone notices is the derp trait. For some reason, I just tend to do derpy things unintentionally.
What other games would be interesting for RP? Do you have any specific worlds or games that you would love to see an RP version of?
There are a lot of games that are interesting for RP. Apart from GTA V, you also have ARK: Survival Evolved, Conan Exiles, Rust, and many more. To be honest you can play any game that has multiplayer and try to get a group of friends together and roleplay! I’d love to see Red Dead Redemption 2 have a roleplay version of it. And I’m looking forward to Fallout 76 for potential roleplay. There’s also a specific game called Identity that is still in the process of being made, and it’s a specific game made just for roleplay.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone new to streaming?
My biggest piece of advice for someone new to streaming would have to be to find a game they enjoy playing that also helps their community grow. Make sure to not get burnt out from that game, try to schedule a different game to play in between, but always have a main game to play. Try to connect to your viewers by asking how their day is. Chatting with them while streaming will help you get to know the people who take their time watching you stream. Appreciate your viewers, but remember that doesn’t mean you owe them anything! Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t want to do. Try to stay positive and don’t be discouraged if you don’t have viewers in the beginning. And my final, most important piece of advice I have is to take care of your health, both mental and physical. Take short breaks when doing long streams, stretch, and take some days off if you’re feeling exhausted.
Photo and latte art by Jessi
If you could only play two games for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
That’s just preposterous! I can’t play just two games for my entire life. I’d go mad!
Let’s say there was a 2-day power outage and you couldn’t stream or get online. What would you do for fun?
If there was a power outage for a week, I’d probably freak out for like, the first two days. Then I’d get out of my cave and go to the beach and pretend to be a bum. I’m just kidding. I’d spend time with my family. Go watch a movie… or two… or three. I’d also try to paint or draw some stuff. Oh, and definitely get lots of sleep!