Would you pay for the pleasure?

If you didn’t enjoy doing something, I guess you wouldn’t do it – apart from things that you have to do for a variety of reasons. Although I spend a lot of time writing blog posts and preparing for streaming and radio shows, I do enjoy doing it. However, one thing which is always nice to have, as well as the satisfaction of streaming, running a radio station and blog, is that feeling that you have given something to someone else. This usual comes in the form of viewers, listeners and general ratings. However, within Twitch there is a partnered programme which allows people to actually pay for the pleasure of being part of the community which the streamer creates. But I can’t seem to get my head round this idea of paying for what I do…why? Well that is the topic of this week’s blog post.

Do you have a lucky number? Hang on, in your experience there might be no such thing as luck – so let me rephrase – do you have a number you like or is special for you? I have two – 7 and 13! They are both odd, prime, and often disliked by others. I think I probably like these two numbers because they share characteristics of myself! – can I be prime? (starts to count my factors). When I am streaming or doing my radio shows, you have a counter that tells you how many listeners/viewers you have. It is interesting that on my channels, it appears to be always close to my first favourite number and sometimes closer to my second, although very rarely into double figures. Streaming and presenting on the radio gets easier, I think, when you know you are talking to someone or when there is interaction. In order to promote viewers/listens I have, recently, been looking at how to increase my viewers/listeners. As well as currently completing an ‘Improve your broadcasting skills’ course, I have been looking at how people promote engagement with their channels through the use of benefits and tiers from subscriptions. Now, let’s face the facts here, with my usual six viewers – which I am so grateful for! – I’m not going to be able to reach partnership status on Twitch – so I started to look at other avenues, including GameWisp. However, when looking at the benefits for each tier, I started to wonder why on earth people would pay for them on my channel…

  • Play with me.. – One of the early tier benefits is that, if you have paid the subscription, you are allowed to play in the game with the streamer. One of the characteristics of many streamers is their ability to play the game efficiently with some degree of expertise. I’m the sort of person that, if you watched me playing any game, you would be thinking – OMG! he cant play! Indeed, one of my reasons for streaming is to make people feel better about themselves. If you think you are bad, then come along and watch me play – you will instantly feel better about your style and playing style. My style has been called ‘unorthodox’ which is probably a very good description. Because of this, I don’t think I would dare ask people to pay to play with me in the game. I actually rely on people helping me in the games so I don’t want to stop this by putting them off by charging them – maybe I should pay them the subscription charge in order to help me!
  • VIP Access – Another benefit for subscribing via the GameWisp site, is that the subscribers get some sort of VIP access. This could be related to having access to TeamSpeak or a specific game server. I do have a Mumble server that came with my Minecraft server and I have been using Discord a lot recently – but I can’t imagine that people would pay to actually be able to chat with me – rather than just typing. As for the VIP access to my Minecraft server I can not actually get people to join and play without charging them, I’m sure that paying for the privilege is only going to complicate this more rather than helping the situation. I can see this working for the ‘popular’ people and/or servers, but for small fry streamers like myself, I can’t see it really being an option. There is the added benefit of getting early access to videos on Youtube. Well – I do wonder how many of my 7-13 views would pay to see the video earlier than the release…any?

  • And finally…

  • Extra Waffles and Giveaways – One of the reasons I am looking at some kind of system that generates money for my streams etc is two fold. Initially I want to do some giveaways for my viewers. They are extremely dedicated and come back week after week to support my stream and help me play. It would be great to actually do some giveaways to give them something back. Rather than just doing the odd one, it would be great to do one every week but this is an added cost! As well as this, there appears to be a growing cost for everything I do and, although I understand that I should personally finance this, having some kind of income to support the projects would be beneficial. This is when there appears to be a ‘Catch22’ situation. I do have a currency on my channel and Minecraft server but, at the moment, it has no purpose. The idea was for the viewers/followers to be able to use the points to enter giveaways – but in order for this to happen I need some sort of invest to finance the prizes. I’ve implemented some associate programmes but these have been, so far, less than successful. I would never expect people to pay for a benefit which has no purpose. For example – if you are paying for extra currency you would expect to have a purpose or an added advantage of having more ‘waffles’.

  • I have come to a conclusion while writing this blog – I need to actually reverse the subscription process. Instead of people subscribing to me, I should be paying them to support my channel! This is definitely a new concept but one which would appear to be more suitable for my channel/station. I don’t actually subscribe to any channel at the moment, I did once, mainly because I enjoyed watching the streamer and he just got his ‘button’ and he needed the support. Maybe, there are people out there that would see me trying to succeed and support me in a similar way. For me, the greatest support I could actually hope for at the moment is people coming along and watching and listening to what I am doing – if you are reading/listening to this, then thanks for your support 🙂 there is no cheque in the post for you, but you do have my thanks. Einstein once said something which matches my view about my streaming/radio shows. I take the liberty to alter it slightly, but the meaning is still the same. Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. You should see my deodorant bill at the moment!

    You can keep up to date with my content by following me on Twitch, Twitter and Facebook. If you are interested in joining or playing Minecraft, then you can join the server and website here. Of course any subscribers to my YouTube channel are always appreciated.

    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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