Started making content:
I actually started back in 2010 with audio podcasts. I started my own podcasting network with a bunch of shows that I hosted and produced. There was a morning show I did three days a week, a weekly SWTOR show called The TORrific Podcast, a weekly RIFT podcast called Player vs. Rift, and a few others. I segued to YouTube in 2013, where I failed for 5 or so years, at making a name for myself with Lets Plays. I switched from Lets Play content to making reviews in late 2018 and haven’t looked back since.
Favorite game genre:
Favorites are always tricky for me to choose… they seem to fluctuate based on my mood and a number of other factors, but if I had to pick one genre that would be my favorite, I would probably pick “Action/Adventure”, which is basically just a copout that covers a LOT of games these days.
Again, picking favorites is a legitimate weakness of mine. Some of my all-time favorite games include all of the 8 and 16 bit Mario games, the early Mega Man X series, Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, The Witcher 3, and basically about 4 or 5 dozen more.
Systems you play:
I play games on PC mainly, but I also play and review games for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. I would cover more platforms, but consoles are expensive and I can’t justify the expense at this time
Platforms you share content:
Since I’ve been focusing solely on video game reviews, I try to not spam links to my content in TOO many places. If the review is a positive one, I might share it with the games community on Reddit, but most Reddit self-promo is usually downvoted to oblivion. I also share my content on my personal twitter, as well as the WizFish Facebook page
Recommended Content Creators:
I know a ton of talented content creators, and it’s probably impossible to list them all, but I’ll try.
- Josh Musser: Josh is my childhood best friend and one of the people I’ve known longest and trust most in my life. He’s a great friend, great father, and has a serious talent for VoiceOver. He’s always looking for VO work, and he’s built up a pretty good resume so far. So if you want affordable voice work for a game, commercial, whatever… I can’t recommend him enough.
- TheGamerTronShow: GamerTron was the only established YouTube creator that actually saw my work, saw my potential, and has stuck his neck out for me and promoted me every chance he can. He covers various gaming and industry topics on his channel and is a genuinely funny, kind, and smart guy.
- LibraScope: LibraScope makes really thoughtful gaming editorial content, covering a wide variety of topics, games, and genres. His work is more analytical in nature, and it’s actually really smart content… his understanding of game mechanics, design, and his vast experience in games of all kinds really makes his stuff shine. He’s also a great friend and a super underrated creator that deserves way more love than he gets.
An incredibly gracious guy that also shows me nothing but support and positivity. His content is probably the most similar to my own; he reviews games specifically for the consumer, much like myself, and he takes the time and cares to put together really nice reviews with good polish and writing.
I’m 31 and beautiful.
As far as a traditional day job, I don’t really have one. I still remember what it was like to work in retail middle management, and I would love to never go back. For now, I’m focusing on my reviews and building up a great portfolio of work. My fiancé’s demanding job, my step-sons unpredictable needs, all of it makes it very tricky to find an employer willing to work with all the limitations I have, so for now, I’m doing the stay-at-home-dad thing and trying my luck with YouTube Gaming Reviews.
How did you get into Content Creating?
Like I said earlier, I started with podcasting and was actually pretty successful doing that… but my fiancé at the time decided to leave me, and my life sort of fell apart. I became very dark and very unmotivated, every day was a struggle. One day, just for fun, I decided to create a YouTube channel and play video games for the world to see. This was before everyone was trying to make a living on YouTube. Anyway, long story short, through making my first few YouTube videos, I realized that I had been smiling for the first time in months and that I was actually good at it. It motivated me to keep going and I’ve basically been chasing the dream ever since.
Have you run into any obstacles when it comes to creating content? If so what did do to overcome them?
Absolutely. That’s something nobody ever seems to talk about or address… the often dark and lonely side of content creating. There’s a judgment that often follows you around, by people that just don’t understand the appeal to the games industry. Family and friends that are meant to be supporting you and your goals, scoffing at you and resenting you. Failing to understand, with no desire to lend you any credence, or even bothering to learn what it is you actually do.
Then there’s the growth thing. It’s extremely frustrating, to know that you’re good at something, and to see nobody care or notice. It’s heart-wrenching when you pour days into a video, and nobody bothers to watch, or nobody wants to share it.
As far as how you overcome these things? It’s honestly pretty much out of your control. You can’t magically make people stop resenting you, and you can’t make them want to understand or show any interest in your goals. And you can’t make people watch, like, or share your content, no matter how hard you try. The best thing, for me anyway, was to realize that I legitimately do have a talent for this, and to acknowledge that the work I do is really, really good. And then, to just keep making more of it. You sort of have to psyche yourself out mentally, and if I’m being perfectly honest, it doesn’t always work. I’m afraid there’s no perfect sound-bite answer to this question. All you can do is improve your craft, stay positive, and keep working.
One of your favorite videos you created and why?
I have 3 videos that stand out to me the most and are the ones that I’m most proud of, and I’ll list them in no particular order.
-The NieR: Automata Review, The Plague Tale Innocence Review, and the Sea of Solitude Review – These games made such an impact on me, and surprised me so much, that I really took the time to get their reviews right and really do them justice. To this day, these three videos are still among the best I’ve ever made and I’m incredibly proud of them.
What type of things do you do when it comes to creating content that makes you unique?
Something that I do that is unique, is I don’t pretend that I’m just a perfectly objective person reviewing video games. I aim to be about as objective as I need to be, but what really sets me apart, is that I actually embrace my biases and incorporate them into my reviews. I focus a lot about the experience a game gives me, about how a game makes me feel, about how it impacts me… I cover all the other basics too, but as far as something unique about my work? It’s got to be how much of myself I put into my reviews, and I don’t hide from it or shy away from it.
What do you believe has attributed to your success when it comes to Content Creating?
“Success” lol. I don’t consider myself successful at all, so I don’t really know how to answer this question. I have basically been bashing my head against a wall for almost 7 years, and only within the last few months, have I even ALMOST made the needle move. My videos get very few views, and I have very few subscribers… so successful is not the word I would use.
I will admit, that by comparison, I’m seeing more small victories now than I ever have in the past. That I’m seeing extremely small, albeit consistent growth. I’m optimistic for the first time ever, and I can’t really attribute it to anything. I’ve been making good stuff for a while, I just can’t get eyes on my content. I can try to do all the things right, I can try to make my videos as good as I can, but at the end of the day, what makes the difference for me and my success is literally a tiny bit of timing and an enormous amount of random luck.
Any tips or advice for other Creators?
Tips for other creators. You see these sorts of tips all over the internet, and they’re always really depressing things like “don’t do it for the money” or “don’t do it to become a success”… Like, what?! My first tip would be, for you to understand that everyone writing those lists, fall into one of two camps. They either made a success of themselves on YouTube and know how insanely random and difficult it is… OR, they are just like you, trying and failing, depressed about their lack of success, etc etc. I say, do it because you want to be successful. Do it, and hope that you see a paycheck someday. Do it seriously, and expect the backlash.
The tips I wish someone would have told me, are something along these lines:
- People WILL NOT support or understand you. You will be viewed as lazy, will be accused of taking advantage of people, you will be looked down on, talked about, and judged… and eventually, if you’re not careful, you’ll start to believe them. The worst thing you can do is give someone else the power to actually convince you that your own dream is a waste of your time. Those people don’t deserve your trust, and you shouldn’t let them get to you if you can help it.
- Quality content is the most important thing. Make whatever it is you do, the best it can be. You don’t need an insane budget, just make it as awesome as you can, with what you have.
- Realize that you could be trying and failing, for a long, long time. If you’re looking for a quick success story, you really may have a bad time. It does happen, but for most of us, it really doesn’t happen that way.
- Make creator friends, share their work with your audience, be genuine, be friendly, talk to people. I ignored this stuff up until about 5 months ago, and as soon as I started networking, I started growing. I’m not saying it’s a guaranteed path to success, but networking is ALWAYS important, and honestly, meeting the people I have through networking these past few months, has genuinely improved the quality of my life, as a person.
Outside of creating content for YouTube, how are you involved in the gaming industry?
Honestly, outside of reviewing games, I’m not involved at all. I’ve always played games and loved games, but I’ve never worked in the industry or been a part of anything special, really. I supposed you could say that back in my podcasting days, I contributed a little bit because I was running community podcasts WITHIN the games industry, but I’ve never been more involved in the business than I am today, and I’m barely involved even now. Not my choice lol, but these things aren’t up to me.
What is your biggest prediction for 2019 in the game’s world?
I’m not great at predictions, but I predict that Randy Pitchford will be involved in another controversy of some kind… and also that my channel will blow up and I’ll live happily ever after. Right, guys? Right?
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