Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! Consider this a resolution of sorts, a declaration of my intention to take things a bit more seriously, and to really focus on what makes me happy in my life and this whole Terminally Nerdy venture. This is going to be a VERY LONG READ as I am going over a lot of changes, information, and updates. And a bit of history of how I got to this point.
When I started Terminally Nerdy, I didn’t really have a clear focus. At first, I was going to be a Vlogger, talking about Music, Movies, Books, Games, and all that jazz. My first few videos on Youtube are a perfect example of this, and they show my limited knowledge at what I was doing and my limited budget and equipment. I think the first four were actually shot using a Samsung S3 cell Phone propped up with a block of craft foam. No. Really.
Then I created the Tabletop RPG 101 series in a single evening. I got the idea in my head, went home, and recorded it. I don’t really know what prompted the idea either. But I did it. And that got me some notice, with people telling me I should focus more on Tabletop as I was really good at it. So, that is what I did. For a while anyway. I did videos and reviews on tabletop products and topics. Eventually I started dabbling in live streaming video games, specifically at the time on Youtube. A lot of it was that WWE fake wrestling show I ran, a couple of games, just random stuff really. And I took it WAY too serious and it started to affect me.
And eventually, I got frustrated with my distinct lack of growth on Youtube compared to other “dnd” youtubers, and I could not figure out why. Plus, the sheer amount of effort the videos were taking, creating one a week, was driving me mad. So I stopped, and got myself a website and started writing. This website, point of fact. That happened in November 2017. Fast forward to now, and I am dabbling in writing, youtube videos, and streaming on twitch. I have put all three aspects of my creative drives together into one unified “Terminally Nerdy” brand as it were. And then I decided to focus on Roleplaying Games in general, both video games and tabletop. I had found my Niche, as it were. Only took, what, 2 years?
Mind you, I also have a very good idea of why I had a lack of growth as you can see from my Golden Rule post a few weeks ago. I was still not getting any real notice on any of these platforms, when compared to my growth on Twitter (the only social media I have) and that is because I was burying my own work, my own posts and blogs and videos under an avalanche of retweets. And people kept telling me “Oh you are so nice, and a great community builder, and look at how successful you are!” and yes, I am successful on Twitter. But because of my actions? I was ONLY successful there. Because I was my own worst enemy.
None of my twitter success translates to any of my other “creations” and point of fact, people felt the need to tell me I should be happy being the Community Guy, that the Community NEEDS me to do the things I was doing. The majority of my followers on twitter don’t actually see me as a creator in my own right, and that is my fault. And by doing the things I have been doing on twitter….I have been neglecting my own worth. I had created my own reputation as a guy who didn’t make things, but rather as someone who helped OTHERS make things and helped OTHERS get noticed.
I was focusing on everyone else, with little to no focus on myself. It’s a realization that hit me a few weeks ago, which is what prompted the Golden Rule post among other considerations. And so, with a New Year upon us, it’s time for things to change.
I am going to change how I approach Twitter, for one. I have to. Social media as a whole was hurting me, in a lot of ways. The changes will be subtle, but I am changing how I approach it. My patrons and myself know exactly what my plans are, going forward, but be aware that there WILL be change, and it may not be things people like. I have to consider my work and my goals first and foremost, and I have not been doing that till now. Others have warned me, and you know, they were right, and I am sorry if you ever warned me and I blew you off. Seriously. You were right, and I was a moron. I have now learned.
Further, a lot of my focus as of late, and something I really enjoy and have always enjoyed, even more then Tabletop, are video games. But I am specific in that, generally, I like RPGs and Story Driven games. I am not a guy who plays the newest Madden, or Call of Duty, or Fortnite. I am the guy who dives into things like Mass Effect, Pathfinder Kingmaker, Betrayal at Krondor, and Visual Novels / CYOA games. If I had to rank my interests, Video Games (RPGs) are #1, and Tabletop would be #2. And my focus is going to reflect that. I had already previously mentioned in my last State of the Nerd for December that I was burnt out on running games with a level of complexity equal to or higher than 5th Ed. Those games don’t mesh with my fast and loose style. And, admittedly, if I wanted just quick and constant views, I would just write about 5th Ed DND a whole bunch. No joke, it generates views on my site nearly constantly. My most viewed post is my Divine Soul Sorcerer post, and the ones behind that are all the class breakdowns I did. If all I wanted were views from Google (where 90% of my traffic comes from) I would just write more Pathology articles.
But frankly, I only like to do those when inspiration hits me. Reviews, while handy to the creators themselves are something that takes a lot of time to do and I don’t really enjoy doing it for Tabletop stuff I have found. So with this in mind I took down my Review Request page. Instead, I will reach out if I want to review something. I have also closed my DMs on twitter for a similar reason. I will not be accepting unsolicited review requests, and unless I reach out and ask for it, I will not accept them. If I have previously worked with you in the past you can feel free to contact me, but don’t be surprised if I turn you down. Everyone else? If you want me to look at something you can ask but I may very well say no. Also, if you previously sent me something to review, tabletop wise, I will do my best to get to it eventually. Most 5E stuff, due to my lack of interest, is going to be on indefinite hold. Anything not 5E, well, it will be when the mood strikes me. For example, I will be doing stuff involving the Gallant Knight Games Tiny D6 books (which they were kind enough to send me) at some point.
So expect more video game reviews, more video game focused stuff, with the occasional tabletop post as the mood strikes me. Also, there will be more streams, or at least hopefully more consistent streams. I talked to my wife, and she has agreed that I can stream at least once a week even if she is off work. I enjoy streaming a great deal, it lets me interact with people as I play a game, giving my thoughts and answering questions about it. There will also be tabletop streams on occasion, either One Shots involving my Patrons, or hopefully the Pugmire game (that is up in the air due to my wife and I trying to sort out some personal stuff in our life but its in the works).
To support the greater focus on video game reviews and streams, I am adding two new Patreon tiers. These are specifically focused on my streams and video game reviews. Here are the full details of my new Patreon Tiers and new stuff coming from there, taken directly from my Patreon Page (which you should check out by the way, if you want to support me! Just click the link right there OR in my sidebar). You can read all the details there too. The current $1 tier remains unchanged and these only add to that. For current patrons, you will need to manually go in and update your pledge to have the new reward.
The $5 Tier: Stream Supporter – For those of you who are interested in helping me with my streaming and want a more interactive option then just hanging out in them, you can become a Stream Supporter. What do you get at this level?
- All the $1 Tier Benefits
- Ability to Nominate the next game that I will stream, and then potentially discuss on the Terminally Nerdy Game Club stream (see below)
- Discord Title: Stream Supporter (in addition to the normal title you get from the $1+ Tier)
The $30 Tier: Stream Sponsor (LIMITED TO 1 PATRON AT A TIME) – This is going to be the most complicated level of support, and its limited to only one person at a time currently, although this MAY change in the future. This tier is for the person who really wants me to stream a specific game. How does this work and what do you get for your $30 a month?
- All the Tier $1 Benefits
- Ability to potentially join in a Round Table discussion for the “Terminally Nerdy Game Club” stream (see below)
- Discord Title: Stream Sponsor (in addition to the normal title you get from the $1+ Tier. You will always have this Title once you Sponsor at least 1 Stream)
- Sponsor one stream a month for 3 hours, for me to play the RPG Video Game of your choice, permitting I am capable of playing it. Please see full details below.
Now to explain how this (The Sponsor Tier) works in more detail. For your $30 a month, you get to choose a single game that I will play AT LEAST once a month, for 3 hours total. It must be a Story Driven / RPG Video game, and I must be able to play it on my PC AND STREAM IT. It must be story driven with a ending, and must not have a monthly fee. I can run Emulators on my PC from the Atari 2600 up to the PS1 pretty well, and my PC specs are as follows: i7-4770k 3.5 CPU, 16gb DDR3 Ram, and GTX 970 GPU. For every month you maintain your pledge I will play at least 3 hours of the chosen game on my twitch channel until I finish the MAIN STORY of it. I do not promise a 100% run, nor do I promise more than 1 stream per month. However, if I enjoy the game I may very well play it more than once a month, or for longer, or do things like side quests and exploration. I may or may not review the game as well, that is my decision. You are basically paying me $10 an hour to play a game for you for 3 hours and archive it on my youtube for everyone to enjoy in VOD form.
Now, once I complete the game’s main story, I will remove this tier for a week, and then repost it as a new tier. I will ask that you not pledge again for at least one month (And I will be keeping a log of sponsors) so that others who might want to sponsor a game have a chance to do so. Also, if at any point you stop or cancel your pledge, I will stop playing the game and someone else can jump in at the level and take over.
Please make sure to contact me via message here, discord, or twitter to verify that the game you want me to play is both something I would consider an RPG as well as something I can play and Stream BEFORE YOU PLEDGE. Once you pledge you will be charged for the $30 for your first month. Also by checking with me I can let you know if I already own the game, and if not, how long it might take me to get ahold of it for the streaming. I have a large library of Steam Games you can search through if you want as well.
Finally, please be aware that if I have already done a Review or Impressions post/video about the game, or have streamed it to completion specifically as Terminally Nerdy, it will not be eligible for Sponsorship. Things I did prior to being Terminally Nerdy CAN get another go around, but otherwise each game only gets a single story run with me. A list of current games that are no longer able to be Sponsored is as follows and will be kept up to date on my Patreon Page. This will also include unreleased reviews or impressions so bear that in mind and will link to the relevant posts / reviews / playlists so you can watch them if you are so inclined. You can also consider these examples of the sort of things I create and the sort of stuff you are supporting as well as what I would consider reviewing. And yes, I consider some Visual Novels to be RPGs in a way (they are choose your own adventure books!)
Completed Games ineligible for Sponsorship as of January 2019:
- Soul Worker (Unreleased)
- Path of Exile (Unreleased)
- Kingdoms of Amalur
- Call of Cthulhu (2018)
- Legend of Mana
- VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
- Gleaner Heights
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
The Terminally Nerdy Game Club: What on earth is this?
To help create some more interaction between myself and my patrons, I came up with this idea. First and foremost, when I call for them, my Stream Supporter patrons will be asked to nominate a game (an RPG Video Game) for me to play. They will contact me directly by the method listed in the announcement post on Patreon. After 2 weeks, I will choose 2 to 3 of these nominations and create a Poll for both my Twitch Subscribers and EVERY Patron to vote on. After 2 weeks, I will see which game won the vote, and THAT game will be the focus of my streams outside of the Stream Sponsors game. I will play this game to completion just like I would the Stream Sponsor one, however once I am done I will then organize a Round Table discussion stream
This discussion stream will be held on my schedule, and generally within 2 weeks of me announcing it. The person whose nomination won will have a promised spot if they wish, and then 3-4 other Patrons of the Supporter Tier or Sponsor Tier can sign up to be on the Round Table. Then we will all get on Stream via Discord, and have a talk about our experiences either watching OR playing the game using my usual review format (Visuals, Audio, Story, Gameplay). I may also do a traditional review.
I also might take the audio from these Roundtables and create a podcast, but that is currently up in the air. In essence: the $5 folks nominate games they wanna see me play. I pick 2-3 nominations, and every patron gets to vote. I play the winner to story completion. Then the nominee winner and 3-4 other Patrons of the Supporter OR Sponsor level can ask to join in on a Roundtable discussion stream. Also spots for this will be first come first serve and no camera is required, just a Mic and Discord access.
These tiers are already live as of January 1st, so hopefully by the time Non Patrons read this you will be able to access them. Patrons, of course, will have read this / had access to it for a while now I imagine. Both tiers also have titles associated with them for my discord, and any Twitch Subscriber who joins my discord will gain the Stream Supporter title. Also, I am updating all my Patron discord titles, but that is only something my Patrons need to know about. If you want to join in, well, pledge on My Patreon!
Oh, and one other major change to Patreon. I have turned on Charge Up Front. This means that you will be billed the instant you pledge, rather then at the 1st of the next month. I have had a few people in the past pledge then cancel before getting charged. I am putting a stop to that. Further, if you have not noticed, I added Google Adsense to my site. I blocked most of the naughty ads, but if you see something unpleasant please let me know. I am doing this because if I can get the ads to pay for the site, that lifts a burden off me that might otherwise cause me annoyance. If you have Adblock you shouldnt see anything, and thats fine if you wanna to do that. Multiple revenue streams are always better then one.
Another change, and this is a big one: I will now be open to LIMITED Collaborations. You will need to work around my schedule. I was always against this due to my hectic life but I realized, yet again, this was hurting me way more than I expected. Networking, after all, is an important aspect of the creative world, and while I have been good at making friends, I have not really collaborated. This is going to have to change.
Consider, however, my focus on video games more than Tabletop and while I will accept pitches, I still cannot promise I will be available for them. This is, again, an experiment to see if I can manage this. My work comes first, always. You can tag me on twitter if you have a collab idea and I will respond/message you there further if I am interested. If you are coming to me, then you must be willing to work around my hectic schedule. Obviously if I come to you then I am totally willing to work around your schedule.
This entire Terminally Nerdy endeavor has been a learning experience. I have had growing pains. I have had to learn, the hard way, how things work and who my friends and supporters are, and what mistakes I have made and how to fix them. It’s not an easy path, and frankly my naivety about a lot of things has hurt me till now. However, it’s not too late to fix the issues I have found, to correct the mistakes, and to keep creating and building myself up. I am so much more than any one thing, and I need to remember to care for myself, my creations, and my work. If I am not a fan of my own stuff, then I cannot expect anyone else to be. If I am not willing to promote my own work, to talk about it, then I cannot expect anyone else to do so. I have to be my own loudest voice.
I am Clay. I am Terminally Nerdy. And this year is my year. Time to get out there and kick some ass. It’s a New Year, and it’s time for a New Nerd.
And I hope you will join me as I continue to grow, evolve, learn, and hopefully, entertain and inform. Stay Nerdy, and again, Happy New Year.