- Also, derp derp, herp derp [hurp durp]. (Used as an inarticulate response to a foolish or awkward comment, action, or person). I can’t believe I just did that – derp.
These past 3 months of streaming have been full of derp. I want to share them with you so that you can laugh along with me, and hopefully learn something. I’d also be lying if this wasn’t a benefit for myself as well – forcing myself to look back and reconsider what worked well and what flopped.
Some of my biggest Derps
I was a bit too trusting – and I let grief happen.
I have a semi-public Minecraft server that anyone in my community can play in (all you need to do is follow my twitch channel, and I’ll add you to the whitelist). It is not your normal Minecraft server in that most of it is in Adventure mode – meaning people can’t really do the basic minecraft stuff (break blocks, and place blocks) but it’s full of different games. Racing games, jumping games, bow-and-arrow games, etc. It’s meant for doing multi-player events.
But recently I’ve discovered I can create “creative zones” which allows people to build structures in creative mode (they can place whatever they want without having to mine it). The first few days I did this, it went beautifully, but, open something up to the public long enough, and someone bad is bound to get in. Someone came to the server, and near the end of the night, placed tons of TNT and basically erased nearly 2 hours of collective building between many people…
It was a frustrating moment for all – and even more so for me because I could have prevented it. There are server-side minecraft mods that will actually allow you to “undo” recent actions in the world. I had failed to install this plugin and it was a bit of a blow to the community.
Lesson Learned: If you ever want to have a semi-public server, make sure you have a way to protect against (or undo) grief. It only takes a few minutes to set up and is worth it simply for peace of mind. If you’re doing minecraft – check out core protect.
I Over-committed to Craziness
Early on, I tried to do something gimmicky – in hopes that novelty would get people to talk about the stream and bring in new people. I decided to do an entire stream while using the Deckard Cain voice – all while playing Diablo II. I can’t quite call it a fail stream – but it was most certainly a waste. People love impressions, and my Deckard Cain voice is often requested, but if you do anything for more than 10 minutes, it can get old VERY quick. On top of that, it’s a big challenge for yourself (and sometimes a strain on your voice). When all was said and done, I got no new followers, and some eye-rolls from existing members of the community…
Lesson Learned: People are there to chill with you – if you want to do impersonations, or things very different from your norm, do them only for a short time and stop before they get stale.
I Changed Things Up Too Much
While I’ve been playing Minecraft for every stream (except for the 1 Diablo II stream, and a bonus stream where I played Katamari Damacy) I have been terribly inconsistent in what Mod Packs (essentially a new game built on top of Minecraft). So – people who followed me because I played something like MadPack 2, might not come back if I switched to Sky Factory 2 or my other pack. On Fridays I play “Vanilla” Minecraft (Minecraft without any modifications) which allows anyone to play – which has been a nice boost to followers, but it took me a while to really figure out the right balance and get that going.
Lesson Learned: Do one thing for a few streams in a row. You can change things up as time goes on, but if every stream is something new, it will be harder to get/keep your audience.
I Tried to Hard
I have a nice little community, but I’ve often treated it as if it were larger than it really were. Early on, I decided I was going to resurrect my old game – BoredomVille – with a few twists as a way for my community to be able to play games together. I had lots of fun building it, and bringing it back, but when I look at how much time I spent – I can not justify the efforts. I would have been much better doing anything else.
I also created a bunch of things to support the stream, such as a game called “Monkey Do” that allowed the community to make suggestions for silly things for me to do, then I would have to race against the clock to get things done. I didn’t spend too much time building the game, but, out of the 5 or so times I tried to play the game, we only had enough suggestions to do it 3 times, and only 1 time was it really fun for both the community and myself. But – I was able to extract the value out of the game, and create a newer (simpler) game called “Make My Day.” It works like a lottery, and lets people in the community join. One random person is picked as a winner and they get to make 1 request. So far, this has been a pretty good success.
Lesson Learned: Do things small and quickly, and if they work, make them bigger. I tried to go big first, and it was a waste of time.
I still have a bunch of derping to go – both in game and with the stream itself. In fact, a week or so ago, I pressed the “record” button instead of “start streaming” and spent 20 minutes not actually streaming. Thankfully I had a good laugh over it. But, for anyone looking to start streaming – hopefully you can learn from my lessons and not make the same mistakes.