80P Gaming: A Debrief

aka Why Thompson Shaves His Head Now

It’s mainly THAT haircut.

It’s been almost five years now. Five tough, adventurous years of shitty YouTube videos, panicked Twitch streams, drunken podcasts and literally incredible convention stories. A couple weeks ago, that adventure, as far as the name 80P is concerned, came to an end. I figured now would be a good time to talk about the past, present and future of whatever this crap is that we… I do.


The Past

EightZero Productions
The first videos I ever produced; re-uploaded because the originals were even worse.

The start of my video game career is about as glamorous as anybody else’s; a nothing YouTube channel with poorly edited videos that nobody watched because, frankly, they’re garbage. EightZero Productions, as I called it, was not a media hub for great, engaging content. I had made a few videos that got a bit of attention but nothing that would make a dent in YouTube’s scale of success. With one video a week, give or take, for about a year, my editing, improv and overall entertainment value never really improved. It was a hobby at best; a poke at the potential of a career in video game entertainment but nothing that yielded any fruit.

My current Adsense balance, as of March 2017, is $33.25. I have never been paid out.

80P Gaming — rev. 1
“-my partner and I decided to try and make a website.
A website about VIDEO GAMES.” — Alex Orr, June 2013
LOOK AT THIS SEXY MOTHER FUCKER.

Alex Orr and I have been friends for over a decade now. He saw what I was poorly attempting to do with my life and decided that he wanted to poorly attempt to do it together. After a few brainstorming sessions, we came to realize that none of our ideas for names were any good and decided to play off of my “established” “brand” of EightZero Productions with 80P Gaming. Since we were still getting our feet wet and we really had no idea what we were doing nor where we were going, we decided to do the shotgun approach; written reviews, video coverage, a podcast on both YouTube and iTunes, and whatever else came to mind as a good idea at the time.

This included some really stupid stuff that should’ve ended in a hospital trip or two but let’s not get into that.

Yes, that was an iPhone. Yes, it was on fire. Yes, it was a bad idea.

Over the course of the next three years, Alex and I worked as hard as we could possibly manage to push out as much content as possible. A lot of it sucked but over time we got into our rhythm and managed to make things that we could be proud of. It never really gained any traction but it was good practice for the time to come.

In October 2013, Alex created our Twitch account.

I had given Twitch very little thought at the time; I was focused on YouTube production and didn’t realize what kind of behemoth Twitch streaming would become. Alex streamed a few times to nobody in particular and it didn’t really seem to be a good home for the content we wanted to produce. We were always playing the straight card of more traditional style content producers like Rock Paper Shotgun and Giant Bomb. Written words was Alex’s forte and I wasn’t confident enough with my live improv skills to give it a real go.

That changed after a few months. I tried it out and saw how fun it could be.

Over the course of the next couple years, I started streaming three times a week with the intent of integrating our lineup of content with the content we produced on Twitch. As a result, one day was dedicated towards promoting cool indie games and developers we came across in our drunken adventures, one day was meant for Let’s Play style videos and another was more for me and my addiction to grand strategy games. This lack of focus didn’t really get us anywhere but we had a lot of fun in the process.

Precious memories.

I don’t exactly remember what the exact date was when Alex moved out to Vancouver but I do know it was sometime around the start of September 2014. He needed a change of venue — Saskatoon isn’t really the most bustling place to be if you want to expand your mind — so we sorted out the equipment, assets and other stuff one pays money for so that everybody was reimbursed properly. He still helped make some content for the next coming months but he was embarking on his own adventure.

Oh, and Lyndon was there too, doing his League of Legends thing. Apparently he still does that too, but I completely zone out when he starts talking about it.

80P Gaming — rev. 2

Over the course of the next couple years, the plan had changed.

Back on my own and trying to figure out a path directly tied to success rather than loosely floating around the toilet bowl of success, I sat down and devised a new plan. The website, at its current state, was shelved, YouTube development was completely shut down, the podcast was determined to be a redundant rehashing of ideas from far better podcasts, and all of my energy was put into Twitch streaming.

The logic behind this grand plan was simple; people watched what I was doing. People liked what I was doing. People stuck around because of me. This was a relatively new experience beyond friends and family. As a result, I decided that the best course of action was to focus on one game at a time and make it my specialty.

I played a bunch of stuff from that point on, ranging from strategic to fast-paced action and anywhere else that my attention managed to stop on at that given moment. This helped and I started to grow but I was getting tired. I had a baby coming into my life, work was being a pain in the butt, and all of my remaining energy was being sapped into trying to figure out the winning combination.

That’s when I started to say, fuck it, I’m going to play whatever the fuck I want.

That’s when I discovered Arma 3 Battle Royale.

Battle Royale, or BR as it’s colloquially known, became more than my bread and butter for the next year. I went from complete scrub to competent player, to community keystone, to main caster, and finally to community administrator over those coming months. My stream evolved in a similar way; my community went from 5 to 10 people watching to 50 to 100 people on a regular basis. I made friends that I never thought I’d meet and things were looking pretty up.

Streaming is a sea of sorts, where people ebb and flow to and from different broadcasters. I am no different. I am a major source of entertainment for a lot of people who have both come and gone, and that is okay.

My sea from BR began to ebb around August 2016 and, around October, I moved on. I was still a large part of the community as a whole and maintained my administration role but I couldn’t really continue. I needed a change, regardless of whether it was positive or not. Change needed to come.

80P Gaming — rev. 3

The latest and final revision of 80P Gaming is a lot shorter than the other chapters but was still developmentally very important. I spent a lot of time working on overlays, technical improvements, and other new experiments. There wasn’t much basic growth during this period, but the production value increased in a big way. My information panels, overlays, and in-stream assets all got an massive overhaul with a fresh new colour and different design methodologies. It was the first time in a long time that I put that much thought into the design rather than the content and it was a change that I sorely needed.

One of the biggest technical improvements, however, came in the form of a new beta release from XSplit which allowed me to stream on Beam using their proprietary and amazing protocol FTL. This allowed me to reach sub-second delay and truly interact with my community in a personal way. With the dedicated encoding PC that my community helped build(thank you again, btw ❤), I could, for the first time, successfully stream to both Beam and Twitch at the same time, reaping the benefits of both.

At this point in 80P Gaming’s life, 80P hadn’t been 80P more than it was the Thompson show for years. Lyndon had his 80P League of Legends team for a while but even that ended. It was a husk of its former self and it was never going to get back to that point.

The username I chose on Beam was Thompson. That was the first move away from 80P Gaming.

On February 24th, 2017, Twitch announced that their users could change their names.

On February 24th, 2017, 80P Gaming was officially dead.


The Present

I’m really tired.

I was tempted to just hard cut the article here as a joke but that doesn’t really solve anything.

Anyway.

Things are going well with streaming to both Beam and Twitch simultaneously. Beam feels like a good home for me with FTL; interactivity with instant feedback is something I’ve wanted ever since I knew it was a possibility.

I also feel like the content I’m streaming is getting better. XCOM 2: Long War is a good time but the stress is a bit much to bear some days. The Division with its latest DLC doesn’t feel like something I can stream on a regular basis, so that will need a swap out, unfortunately. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is a really good time with a promising development path, so I’d like to add that to the lineup soon.


The Future

I legitimately don’t know what’s going to happen, to be honest.

There are a lot of things up in the air right now but I will try my hardest to keep making stuff. I mentioned the other day in my stream that I’d like to incorporate working out into my streams and that plan is still very high on my list. I’ve also been considering switching my focus directly towards creating stream assets, both for myself and for others as a commission service. Other thoughts include going back to my roots and playing more indie games as a variety show, finding another game to dig into full time, plus maybe some console stuff if I can get the money for it.

cough* switch *cough*

I do know that 80P Gaming will still exist as a corporate entity for the foreseeable future — I paid for it — but 80P Gaming as a site is done. I’m going to pull down the website in the next month or so. I’m debating whether or not to backup or migrate the content elsewhere but I don’t know if it’s worth it or not. If you have an opinion one way or another, please let me know.

In fact, here’s a call to action. What do you want to see from me? What is your dream Thompson Kaa experience? What can I provide for you? I know I can’t do everything but maybe we can do something together, eh?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this unedited, stream of consciousness write-up. There are likely some problems with it but who cares. 80P is dead, long live 80P.

❤ ❤ <#

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