September 2018 - Weekly Update #7

Hey everyone! This update will cover the last couple of weeks in the Republic, and some plans I have going forward for the rest of the month and beyond.

First off, I want to address something I haven’t talked too much about, but have briefly mentioned in my monthly Senate Meetings in Discord. Around the time we hit the one year anniversary for Republic Of Play, I completely ran out of savings. That would’ve been the month I closed it all down, was it not for a close family member stepping in and offering to help me continue for a while. 

While this has given me extended time, the challenge ahead became even greater, as a housemate of mine moved out, effectively increasing my rent. With increased costs and a firm deadline to reach sustainability in place, I needed to refocus and think hard about how I could grow the channel, while still making it something I wanted to pursue as a career.

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The first step was moving into the room my housemate previously occupied. My setup is now fully in place there for the passed two weeks, and as a result I’m able to dedicate much more time to both videos and streaming. I can no longer be interrupted, and I can record my voice and generally make noise at any time of the day without affecting anyone else.

The next step for the refocus is to establish “Pillar” games. These are the games that re-occur regularly on the channel and support the channel over time. The first “Pillar” games are “Total War” (the Franchise as a whole), “Stellaris” and “Imperator: ROME” To a certain degree, these were already there, but now they will be placed front and centre on the channel in the form of playlists and discord, and I’ll be going back to them much more regularly with game updates, trailer analysis and update/diary breakdowns.

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I’ve been pivoting towards this for the last few weeks, to see how it would do, taking longer amounts of time to make each video, and so far it’s been going very well. The pillar games have been performing about 91% better on average for views when considering the last two months of videos dealing with either a pillar game or a different game. So as a result, I’ll be doing more of what works, and less of what doesn’t. 

What does this mean for exploring new / recently released games? They’ll be more of a focus on my Twitch channel, and the biggest releases will still get reviews. Typically, all the games on my “Top Anticipated Strategy Games” lists will get reviews, but smaller titles, will just be for Twitch, and maybe a gameplay video if I find an interesting spin on it.

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So that’s it for the update part of this Blog about what’s changing (and essentially already has changed) going forward. Please let me know what you think about it in comments / discord.

As for a weekly recap, as mentioned I spent a long time on two individual videos, about a week each in fact. The first was a video for Divide Et Impera recapping all the major features of the mod. This video performed extremely well, thanks in large part to the mod team posting it, and a few other YouTubers posting it around on social media, and a decent reddit presence. People seemed to really like it. 

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The second video then focused on the Major Overhaul coming to Stellaris in the near future. This was a complicated topic, and took a very long time for me to work out and break down, then I also experimented with new After Effects techniques I learned to create a nice scene to explore. This video has also done very well, very early on and is in large part a thanks to the Stellaris reddit community for embracing it. 

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On the twitch front, the war with JackieFish continues constantly in what is basically the most enjoyable campaign of all time. As well as that, I jumped into Steel Division a bit since the second game just got announced and really really enjoyed it. Also, for my birthday, I played a little bit of the Last of Us, and for fun, we might just do that every Sunday until that game is done. This took a little bit of setup to get a PS4 working with my stream, but I’m happy with the results.

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The channel growth, both on Twitch and YouTube have been incredible. Thanks to a few Twitch Senators of ours, they’ve been going on subscriber gifting spree’s practically doubling our Twitch Subscriber count to over 200 now! Of course, during September on Twitch, you can continue a gifted sub for just $1 which is encouraging a lot of gifting and continuations which I’m extremely grateful for. 

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As well as that, SPARTANVI has made new icons for us which look excellent and people have had a lot of fun using them so far! On YouTube, we broke 40,000 subscribers and just passed 41,000 as of writing. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. These numbers are great, and hopefully they continue to rise over the next few months, with the plans in place to double down on our core pillar games and hit a few key games along the way too.

Either way, let me know what you think of the changes, the content in general, as your feedback has helped shape the channel in it’s current state today, and it’s stronger than ever.