JUNE 2019 - UPDATE #11

Hi everyone – it’s been a while since I posted an update so wanted to share some of the plans I have for ROP in the next coming weeks/months.

The last few months have really been great on YouTube, the channel is growing pretty fast now and the videos have been performing better. However on Twitch, it’s been really stable since... pretty much forever. In an effort to really create some great content there and to help me grow beyond my usual audience I created an ambitious Custom Narrative for Stellaris – with unique mods, lore, races and objectives to really enhance the game.

Long story short, while we had amazing feedback, and I really enjoyed the game – we ultimately had lower or the same than our average viewers, and in total for the amount of time I put into it, and expenses that went along with it, I roughly earned about $3 per hour from the project. Not only that but I sacrificed time I should’ve otherwise put into things like my Total War: THREE KINGDOMS review, and stunted my growth on YouTube. So essentially it didn’t cover costs, it didn’t grow the audience and it hurt other parts of ROP.

The reason I’m outlining this is because I’m now going to stop organising my own multiplayer events in games, and going to experiment with less streaming to see if I can bolster my YouTube content more. It’s a really tough decision, Twitch has a very active ROP community that really contribute quite a lot to keeping it going, but I’m hoping that if I grow YouTube more, I’ll be able to afford running interesting Twitch streams beyond just let’s plays in the future.

The Changes:

So as was discussed in our Senate Meeting recently here’s the changes coming soon;

A new “Legate” role: This will act as an Events Organiser on Discord. These Legates will be in charge of making sure at least 1 organised MP game happens each month, and make sure that Senators (Patrons and Twitch Subs) get Priority for these games.  

A bigger focus on YouTube: I’ve got some catch-up content to get through and then will try cover a few newer games as well to see how it goes. More content like the videos I made for Anno, Steel Division and stuff like that.

A stronger, more welcoming Discord: I’m hoping to attract more people to our Discord – it’s the foundation of ROP in my mind and our fairly lax rules leads to people feeling unwelcome. I’m hoping to get a new moderator and to give our moderators more freedom with tackling bad behaviour.

Promoting the Community more: I rarely mention we have a Discord, or what the social media channels are or the benefits of being a Patron or Subscriber on Twitch. Expect a bit more promotion in this regard during or at the end of videos.

Twitch: I’ll be streaming less, but I will be streaming - after I figure out some scheduling with regards to videos then I’ll post the months schedule.



I’m also changing the goals on Patreon – Honestly I’m not sure what goals I can set – I’m not working towards earning X to do Y – Currently I’m very close to paying off a loan and then I’ll be using all funding to improve equipment. Almost everything I earn I put into ROP – I want to get more artwork done for emotes on Discord, for the channel in general and if I grow much bigger contract a graphic designer for a few projects I have in mind.

So that’s everything as of late! I’m hoping some MP games can be setup this month but I’m currently selecting the Legates and outlining what I need from them in order to get this up and running. Also, if you have any feedback or ideas about what you’d like to see then let me know!


How To Install Divide Et Impera

This is a quick post meant to accompany my latest video for Total War: ROME 2 - Divide Et Impera.

divide et impera.jpg

This post will show you how to install the mod.

There are two ways to install Divide Et Impera:

  • You can use Total War Center or a hosting site. 
  • You can subscribe on the Steam Workshop.

Using TWC:

Here is the link to TWC - Total War Center Download for Divide Et Impera

Place both Part 1 and Part 2 in your Total War: ROME II install folder, inside "data" something like this: 
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Total War Rome II\data

Extract the files here.

That's all you have to do. Make sure you have no other mods. Mods are all placed in the data folder, and contain both a ".png" file and a ".pack" file. Feel free to delete them. Do not delete any other ".pack files" if they don't have a ".png" with them.


Using Steam

Using Steam Workshop requires you subscribe to all 10 parts of the mod. This is the link to the collection, and you can click "Subscribe To All" to get every part. -> Divide Et Impera on Steam

Subscribing to all, will download the mods in your "Data" folder where Rome 2 is installed. If you have other mods, they may cause a conflict, so on your first install, I recommend "Unsubscribing" from all mods on Steam and going to your Data folder and deleting all the mods there. To know what is and what isn't a mod, a mod will have a ".pack" file AND a ".png" file of the same name, so delete both.

sub all.PNG

Which version should I use?

Steam Workshop is obviously easy, but the drawback with Steam Workshop, is the finicky Rome 2 launcher and the fact that if Creative Assembly update their game, and then Dresden updates the mod, there's a chance your campaign may break. If you roll back the patch, your mod will still no longer work, which is why I recommend TWC.

Using Total War Center or a hosting site, allows you to be in control of the mod. You have the 2 files for the mod and can place them where you need, or keep them as a backup. If Creative Assembly updates Rome 2, typically then you can "roll back" the update to a previous patch to keep your mod in tact.

roll back.png

References & Guides

Here's a series of discussions and guides for Divide Et Imperas features. If you have a bug or problem, post here and someone will get back to you to help usually.

Guides and Discussions Link

Partnered on Twitch & Name Change!


Just yesterday (June 1st) we got partnered on Twitch! I had been working towards this for the passed few months, and couldn't have done it without the support of the Senate and the Republic at large. 

Also couldn't have done it without the consistent help from a few streamers; LegendOfTW, Ninjahund, Nerdragefitness, ElichTV, MordredViking, AlexTheRambler, HaxoTheHunter and I'm sure more that I may be leaving out. 

This has brought with it some changes to the channel: 

  • The channel has now been renamed from "darrentotalwar" to "republicofplay
  • We can now stream in 1080p and you can choose your preferred quality.
  • We now have 10 available emotes to use, and earned the emote prefix "rop" for them.
  • We've unlocked loyalty badges and subscriber icons.
  • I get a bigger revenue share on Tier 2/Tier 3 subs and earn revenue from the ads that ran on the channel anyway.

That's pretty much it! Be sure to check http://www.therepublicofplay.com/schedule any time to see our monthly schedule.




Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I did a big update, and now seems like a good time. First off, I want to send my sincerest thanks to all who’ve supported ROP so far and especially for those on Patreon in the month of May. For the first time, we surpassed the $600 goal (and by a pretty significant amount).

This goal means the month of May is profitable right from Day 1. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but April was also profitable thanks to stream donations throughout the month, which means I’ve also hit my personal goal of having two profitable months in a row!

So I just want to say thank you. It’s not lost on me how generous of a community we have. The average patron pledges around $12 which is extremely high and a lot of them double up by subscribing on Twitch as well. When someone lowers their pledge or deletes it, they always regretfully reach out to me explaining their situation, which is incredibly humbling.

As we get more donations/pledges/subscriptions, I feel a great responsibility to make better content that’s deserving of such generosity. It actually weighs really heavily on me, as I judge my own content pretty harshly, often scrapping videos because I feel I can’t make them good enough.

Because of this I’ve been working on improving myself and my work routine; I’ve been eating better, reading more, started going to the gym and think this will lead to a clearer head and better content. It’s early days but I can already see results.

A priority now for me is working towards creating more content for both YouTube and Twitch going forward. I have a few ideas of how to do this in the short term, and some big plans for doing this in the long term. The main one in the long term is getting my own room/office space, as I currently operate out of my living room which can be invasive for the people I live with.

So that’s my next personal goal, saving and working towards getting my own space. Again, thank you to everyone who has donated so generously. I don’t expect Patreon to be that high every month (I’m just cynical in that way!) but it’s extremely motivating to see it grow every month and have such dedicated support.

And as I’ve mentioned before, to anyone that watches my videos regularly or my streams, they are the backbone of the channel and I’m very grateful for them supporting the content.

I’ll leave it at that for now, I’m always around to chat on Discord/Twitter/Patreon if anyone has questions or just wants to reach out.


My First Profit!


Hi everyone,

February has marked an important milestone for Republic of Play. It's the first month since the launch of Republic Of Play where I actually made a profit. That's right, for about six months, I was losing money each month as I worked on YouTube and Twitch full time. (I had saved enough for about six months so I cut it pretty fine!)

Each month has gotten a little better than the one before it, and in February we finally pushed out of the red and into the black! 

This is primarily because of the Senate we have. Around 100 people, give or take, put down their hard earned cash on Twitch or Patreon each month to directly support me and the channel. Not just that, but they give me constant feedback each month on Discord and through emails and messages, trying to help me figure out the best way to deliver my content and balance the different platforms. They push me to be better, to chase developers for access to games, to keep a better schedule and to communicate better. This monthly feedback process I believe has had a direct impact for steady growth month over month. 

It fluctuates depending on the month, but in March, the Senate accounted for 86% of all revenue earned for Republic Of Play. It's almost entirely fan funded.

So thank you for the incredible support over the months. It's been a big learning process for me, but I think in the last couple of months we've started to hit our stride with regular videos and streams and varied content. I also want to throw a shout-out for the other content creators that also support me, either monetarily or by throwing me a host on twitch (or any of the other forms of promo!) They've been so helpful and great mentors to talk to.

The response from developers has been incredible, with many of them thanking me for covering their games, even when it's not a totally glowing review. I really appreciate the developers, PR teams and CM's taking the time to respond and give a small channel a chance.

And of course it's not just those who drop cash who I am thankful for. There are thousands of viewers that watch every single video, leave comments and likes, tell their freinds and link my videos around the web. The support is always incredible and I literally read every single comment. 

So that's it for this little update! I'm not expecting to turn a profit every month, but it was good to finally get a win, and my next goal will be to get 2 months in a row and we'll build from there!


A Change Of Direction For Future Content


In order to help improve my channel and grow the community around it, I’ve made some changes to the planned content.

1] I will be stopping daily streams.

I haven’t been able to grow the viewership on these streams enough to justify spending three hours a day on them, plus the time it takes to make graphics and everything that goes along with it.

The viewership we do have, is strong and very generous. We actually have more subscribers than we do viewers most of the time, which has to be some sort of weird record for twitch.

2] “ROP Live” is gone, for now.

The gaming news show pulled in a decent amount of viewers, but ultimately didn’t grow. I’ll now cover news in videos on my YouTube. This will allow me to react faster to things, not having to wait a week to talk about industry news.

3] Multiplayer Friday will continue.

I love playing games with the community, and want to focus on this more. On Friday’s we’re going to group up with as many as we can and play our favourite games together on stream. These streams are now going to last longer also. I recommend joining our steam group if you want to take part.

4] Streams will happen when I have something cool to show.

With these changes, I’m only streaming one day a week, on Friday with multiplayer. However, if I’m playing a game for review, or get sent one early, then I’ll look to stream that.

This means the games will always be current and I’ll be talking about them in a review aspect, instead of just playing a random campaign of a random game.

If you tune into a ROP stream, it’ll be something worth checking out. These streams can also go on for longer too. If this is ever the case, I’ll post it to my twitter, and probably post a “Live now” type video to YouTube.

So that’s the current plan.

This also means I’ll have to change around some tiers on Patreon, as some of them relied on streams. The reason I’m doing this is because I believe I have spread myself too thin, not being able to give proper attention to either platform, and both platforms are stagnating.

If it continues this way for much longer, I’ll have no way of making content for either platform.

This is an effort from me, to retreat, close ranks and give as much attention to one platform as I can in order to grow it. While Twitch has been monetarily really strong for me (on par with YouTube if not better) ultimately, I need to focus on growth first, and I’m a stronger video producer than I am livestream personality. These changes now free up over 10hours during the week to work on videos and get them out much faster.

These changes will take effect on December 1st.

The Senate Roll - September 1st - Thank you!


So on the first of every month, I thought it'd be fun to do a roll call. This means adding up all of the names in Twitch subscribers and in Patreon at the $5 or above level. 

The support has been crazy so far, in just this week alone we've pushed Republic of Play beyond 30,000 subscribers on YouTube, sitting near 32,000 as I write this. On Twitch we've pushed through 5,000 followers and are making great strides to 6,000 with a very active viewerbase and chat - and we're just getting started.

It's only been 1 week, but already with combined income from Patreon, Twitch & YouTube I'm nearly 50% of the way to my monthly goal. I'm expecting things to slow down from the initial announcement, but either way this has been a huge start to the channel. The reddit and especially discord are buzzing with activity and it makes me proud to see members finding eachother and playing games together.

The voting starts today also, if you want head on over to the voting area to cast a vote on what games (old or new) you want to see the most of, and drop me a suggestion of one that's not on the list if you like. Any contributor at any level gets a say in it.

Remember, if you're a contributor on Twitch or Patreon, jump into discord and let me know your username so I can assign you appropriate roles there.

So that's pretty much it, I've got some new vids lined up for next week so we're going to be firing on all cylinders. For the Republic! :D


Republic of Play has launched!

So the time has finally come! I've quit Creative Assembly to return to the world of video game critique on YouTube. This has been something I've been planning to do for over a year now and I'm really excited to get started.

Back in 2014 I was gaining good momentum on YouTube with several DLC reviews under my belt and multiple interviews for the (at the time) upcoming game "Total War: ATTILA" - Unfortunately this all stopped when I took the job at CA as it meant I was stopping reviews.

Working at CA I greatly improved my communication/presentation skills and video editing skills as well as gaining a huge amount of industry knowledge from various contacts in the industry and first hand experience at the studio.

Now I'm taking this back to YouTube to continue where I left off. I'll be creating multiple videos a week based around Strategy Games and Total War in general, and discussing some industry analysis with you guys and hopefully getting involved with others who want to push the medium forward.

Hopefully we can gather enough support on Patreon over the coming weeks to be able to continue Republic of Play and build it up to be a great PC gaming community that supports eachother.