We began live streaming on Twitch in August 2018. It’s been a little over a year and while we haven’t been the best with our schedule, we’ve done a lot of live streams in the past 12 months. We aim to live stream three days a week – one together and each do a solo stream. When we first started, a friend asked me, while I was doing a solo live stream, “What does each of you bring to the table when you stream?” What makes our solo streams different? What makes our streams together click? I didn’t have an answer. We were new to streaming and we’re both so similar to one another, I had no idea what to say. Well, a whole year later, we finally figured out the answer to that question.
We work really well together, hence why we started doing this blog and streaming with one another. Trying to figure out our personal strengths when it comes to streaming threw us for a bit of a loop. Talking about it more in-depth the other night, after about a year’s worth of streaming under our belts, it became a little clearer. For one thing, while our taste in video games is similar, our play styles aren’t. My streams tend to be ones that focus on some story elements, games that I want to complete and share the journey with those in the chat.
We do work really well together. It’s fun to bounce ideas and conversations off one another while we stream. We do have a difference in opinion once in a while too. I think, when the question was first asked, I said we chose to do our stream schedule the way it is because of time. We wanted to stream a few times a week, but both of us doing three streams a week was unrealistically due to work and other life obligations. For the most part, we’re each able to commit to two streams a week. Through our solo streams, as Kris said, we realized we have totally different play styles. She always focuses on beating the game while I tend to play more “ongoing” games. I don’t 100% games, but I do try to collect as much as I can during my play through. I do my best to make certain games last.
Yes, Rachel is the collector while I’m more invested in the stories and characters. We both enjoy exploring in games but for different reasons. Mine is to find secrets that have to do with the adventure, while Rachel generally enjoys getting as much money as possible, haha! Case in point was when we did our joint Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures streams. Rachel was focused on the Force Gems — which, technically, wasn’t money in the game, but the essence was the same — while I wanted to move the plot along. Both of our play styles were necessary for continuing the game.
I also wanted the Force Gems because there was a small competition between multiplayer to see who got the most. So, my competitive side definitely came out for that. Anyway, we came to this conclusion the other day when we were trying to figure out our stream schedule for the following month. I noticed Kris’s game are plot-based and have a solid end goal. For example, Super Mario RPG. Most of the games I’m playing are ongoing. For example, The Sims 4. I’m doing the 100 Baby Challenge at the moment, but it’s a longer goal and even when that’s complete, there’s so much more to do in that game. Kris played through Donkey Kong Country and I started Animal Crossing. We have vastly different goals when it comes to “completing” a game or simply playing a game for the long run.
And, while we have similar taste in games, the genres that we prefer do vary. During joint streams, Rachel always beats me in the races in Mario Kart Deluxe 8 and I do better during the platforming levels of New Super Mario World Deluxe. Super Smash Bros. is a toss-up, a cross between luck and skill, while our early Nuzlocke adventures had me at the helm talking to the NPCs in the RPG and Rachel wanting to just see what Pokemon we can collect in each route. Our About Me page has mini bios with some fictional game stats but, honestly, they’re pretty close to home.
I find it amazing that streaming – and even the blog as well – has made us realize so many things about ourselves and each other. We often have a hard time coming up with post ideas, especially debate topics, because we have such similar tastes and opinions when it comes to certain video games and gaming in general. Though we do not “play” the games in the same way even if we may interpret certain plots in the same way and have a similar meaning to them, if that makes sense. And it makes me wonder, how we each got to play games the way we do? Is it a player-one, player-two thing? Just our personalities? I don’t know.
That’s a fascinating topic in and of itself. Do our play and stream styles come from a nature or nurture standpoint? I grew up playing games like Super Mario RPG and Ocarina of Time, while I believe one of Rachel’s first games was Diddy Kong Racing when she could first pick up a controller. While I don’t believe you understood what was going on, Rachel, you enjoyed zooming around, eluding Dad and me, while collecting all the pretty balloons, haha!
When I was younger, I gravitated toward games that I thought were “easy.” I loved watching you play Zelda, but the bosses and puzzles intimidated me. I wanted to stick with Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, and casual games like Pokemon. Of course, all those games aren’t too plot-based. In Mario Kart, you work to unlock new race tracks, karts, and characters. Smash is similar. Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all. I remember playing Gold & Silver and trying so hard to do just that – catch them all. I also didn’t talk to people either. I just went through the motions and you needed to tell me which people to talk to so I could get certain HMs to progress the game.
Which is interesting to think about, as you don’t seem to mind puzzle games now, but I suppose many of those tend to rely on collecting and unlocking more items and levels, which is on par for you. As for me, talking to the NPCs and exploring the areas to dig deep in the games’ stories are what I’m all about. With that said, our streams tend to benefit from our play styles. With Rachel’s excitement with collecting, that energy follows her into her streams and allows her to be so engaged with the chat and her personal goal with the games. While I do well with the chat, I’m interested in bringing the topics around to deeper questions about the games themselves, maybe gaming news that we’ve heard recently and what that may mean for how we play games. During joint streams, I play off of Rachel’s energy but I also tend to focus on the gameplay, especially during single-player games we may be streaming.
The puzzles, as I move up through the levels, give me a good sense of accomplishment and I feel like I’m making progress, which is a similar feeling that collecting things makes me feel. Because yeah, I do enjoy puzzle games now even if I’m terrible at them. Also, “energy” is a good word to describe the way I stream. I love engaging with the chat about the game I’m playing and also general chit-chat, but I also get super distracted. I either lose my place in the chat because I’m focusing on the game or I screw up in the game because I’m too busy reading chat or responding to something. My brain can’t do both.
Your energy is something I want to try to mimic during my solo streams, haha! Granted, when streaming together, it works great. Your energy and my focus on the gameplay keeps both the chat and the game moving, which hopefully creates entertaining streams. As we keep streaming, both together and on our own, I bet we’ll mold our own entertainment brand. We’ll see what another year of streaming brings!