Why I Started Streaming On Twitch

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter, can you already believe Easter was a week ago? Let’s not even talk about how crazy the weather is and the fact I haven’t eaten my Easter egg yet… 😛

The past couple of weeks have been a mixture of crazy and chaotic, as well as pretty cool and awesome. I wanted to share the latter with you and this includes me starting to stream on Twitch.

Yep, I’m a Twitch streamer now! I know I’ve spoken on and off about it on my blog and social media pages in the past but I’ve finally started it and have been at it for two weeks now!

I’ve wanted to stream on Twitch for a long time now, well over a year in fact and in March I finally decided to bite the bullet one evening and have a play around. It was whilst Dane was away working from home that I did a test stream on Dane’s Xbox playing Super Lucky’s Tale. I only played for half an hour to test the waters and see how it went and it was amazing! Some of my friends joined to see what I was up to and I had a few comments. I fondly remember Vikki (Cuteek) joining and rooting me on, which was amazing!

I then decided later on that week that I would officially start streaming on Twitch! I opened up with Persona 5: Strikers and not only did some of my friends join, a lot of my online friends and friends of friends did too and it was amazing! I was so happy and felt more confident with my decision to finally stream.

However… Streaming has come with some “tough” decisions, alongside juggling my personal life and blogging around when I stream. I want to just chat with you all about my experiences and thoughts since I started streaming two weeks ago, as well as a semi funny story along the way.

First of all I want to mention how I played Persona 5: Strikers on two streams and decided it wasn’t a game I wanted to stream and stopped. As regular readers and friends of mine know, I LOVE Persona 5. It’s one of my favourite games and is definitely up there with Pokemon and Animal Crossing. I was so excited to have Persona 5: Strikers as a streaming game of choice and that it would be a first playthrough too. However, during my second stream playing it, I didn’t “enjoy” it. Persona 5: Strikers isn’t the same style of gameplay as Persona 5 and Persona 5: Royal in the sense of it’s a hack and slash style game instead of turn based. I’ve not really played hack and slash games before so this was new to me. Not just that, I wanted to invest myself into the story but that was proving hard to do when I wanted to talk to my viewers at the same time. So, it was with a heavy heart that I decided to discontinue playing Persona 5: Strikers for the foreseeable future.

Alongside playing Persona 5: Strikers I’ve started playing Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! from the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. I’m playing a brand new save, as I’ve 100% completed this game on my own save years ago when it first came out. These streams are chilled and fun! I mean, who doesn’t love Spyro, eh?

I was mainly playing games on my Xbox after the first week of streaming and on Monday Dane turned to me and said, “Nat? Why don’t you look into buying yourself a Switch so you can start streaming Nintendo games?” The idea had already been swirling around my head since Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out in March 2020 and especially since I’d started streaming. However, due to money and buying a capture card too the idea just didn’t seem doable at the present time.

This being said I thought about the idea quite a bit that morning and it didn’t take me long before I was Googling for the Animal Crossing switch console. I regret not buying this switch back in March 2020 when it came out alongside Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s not a console that is easy to get hold of new these days as it’s pretty limited and I ended up settling on buying a second hand one from CeX, which we ordered and collected on Monday. I wasn’t exactly happy with how much I paid but at least I had 24 months warranty against it. When I got the switch home I was anxious I’d made a bad decision with the price I paid. The switch wasn’t exactly in the best quality considering how much I paid and this anxious feeling didn’t really pass. The screen was scratched quite badly in the bottom right hand corner, inside the box was filthy (dust/fluff) and the joy cons and switch overall was covered in scuffs and dust. I gave it a clean and turned it on to play and it worked fine! Dane popped on a spare screen protector he had from when he bought his switch and we ordered a capture card and a new micro SD card.

Come Wednesday evening and I streamed Animal Crossing on my stream and it did REALLY well! I was chuffed as fuck and came off the stream feeling great. I’d popped the micro SD into my switch earlier that day and during the stream I’d taken a lot of snapshots and wanted to make sure they’d save to the micro SD okay. They hadn’t saved because the switch hadn’t even acknowledged the micro SD… Which was strange. I did loads of troubleshooting that I knew, as well as via the Nintendo UK website and nothing worked. I started to worry I’d bought a switch that didn’t work and the more I tested, the more this worry became a reality. I went to bed miserable.

I woke up miserable too but determined to find a brand new Animal Crossing switch. I did a Google search and found one BRAND NEW and for less than I paid for the second hand one from CeX. I did a bit of research about the online store in question as I’d never heard of them before and honestly, the price of the switch seemed too good to be true… The reviews were mostly good, but mixed nonetheless. As we could pay through PayPal we took a chance and ordered. Just over 24 hours later, the switch arrived. It was indeed the real deal. Legit, brand new and perfect.

I streamed on Friday using it and faced no issues. The second hand CeX switch was packed away and returned yesterday with an refund issued yesterday too.

Now we have that bit of the story out of the way, I want to share my Twitch experience(s) so far.

I’ve been streaming on Twitch for two weeks now and it’s definitely been a learning curve and a fun one at that! I’ve streamed various games so far and I’m slowly starting to get a firm schedule in place. I have to keep reminding myself that it has only been two/three weeks (seven streams in total) so it’s technically still very early days.

So far I’ve streamed Persona 5: Strikers, Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage), Ark: Survival Evolved, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX.
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I would honestly say the most popular game I’ve played to date is by far Animal Crossing: New Horizons which gained me a lot of followers as well as a chatty audience to boot. I’m really excited to be playing Animal Crossing again on my stream.

Speaking of playing this on my stream I think for the time being I have finally settled on a schedule that I’m really happy with for now. All streams run between 7pm-9pm GMT. Monday I play Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage (once this is completed I’ll move onto Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon), Wednesday I play Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX (however, this stream didn’t seem to do very well on Friday so this is subject to change if this continues) and finally on Friday I play Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

I’m not going to share 100% what happens/will happen in these streams, especially the Animal Crossing one. You’ll have to come and see for yourself. 😉

In the future I’m looking to add New Pokémon Snap into the mix, which will be really cool to play! I’d also love to play the newly announced Pokemon games – Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. These both look amazing and it would be so much fun to play them with my Twitch audience! Maybe not 100%, but when it comes to searching for new Pokemon to find and catch/breed that’s where I could host a “chill and fill my Pokedex” type stream.

The one thing that I haven’t declared yet is that I’m not affiliate or anything like that, I’m just your regular streamer… Hoping to make affiliate some day! I do have my goals set for the future of Twitch but if I don’t make those goals, it’s not the end of the world. This is just a bit of fun and something new for me to do as COVID and lockdowns have really shown me how creative I love being and how I want to do it as much as I can. This being said – I would love to make affiliate by the end of May ready for the summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love writing on my blog, but sometimes it’s really nice to add to that with chatting and playing games on stream three nights a week. 🙂

If you would love to check out my stream please click on the link below and make sure to follow if you’re interested in future streams! I do have all my previous streams on the channel so you can watch previous streams back if you’ve missed out on any. 🙂

There Might Be Coffee Twitch channel

Please bear in mind I am still new to this, I don’t have hundreds of followers, viewers or comments/chat so this is still a learning curve and early days for me. Every view, comment, share and follow means the world to me. 🙂

Thank you for reading me waffle about my Twitch stream and how excited I am about it! I hope you can follow me on my little gaming stream journey and I really hope you enjoy my content if you come and check me out!

I want to finally finish this post by saying a massive thank you to my boyfriend Dane for helping me out with Twitch. He’s been the one who has guided me in what I need to do in regards to OBS, Stream Labs and more. He sat with me the whole evening before I did my first official Nintendo stream and went through how OBS works, how capture cards work and more. He even paid for my capture card and Animal Crossing switch, which I will be paying him back the next couple of pay days.

So Dane, thank you for not only being my rock, thank you for being my admin and technical guy too when it comes down to Twitch. It would be wrong of me to take credit for the behind the scenes work when it’s been Dane learning how to do it and teaching me. 🙂

Please let me a comment down below of what you think, as well as any game suggestions you’d love to see me play!

Until next time guys, take care and I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

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March Wish List ‘21

I can’t quite believe we’re coming to the end of the first week of March. I woke up this morning and said to Dane, “Is it Friday?” because the week has gone by so bloody quickly!

I’ve been having a think about what items to talk about and share with you for my wish list this month as I’m struggling a tad AND as I mentioned on my favourites post (which you can read here), I’m on a spending ban again in March. It’s not gone off to the best start but meh… It is what is it and I’m going to try and be better throughout the rest of the month!

All of the items on this wish list are things I plan to purchase come payday due to pre-orders or because they’re home related items I’d like to buy.

I hope you enjoy this months wish list as always! 😀

  • Persona 5 Animation Parts 1 & 2 (link)

As everyone knows, I love Persona 5. It was a game I played when it first came out in the UK and I quickly fell in love with it. I’m currently playing Persona 5: Royal and will look at FINALLY starting to play Persona 5: Strikers today. I love anime and when I heard Persona 5 was getting one, I was so excited! This was quite a while ago now and I’ve never actually watched the anime. 😦 This is because at the time it was subbed (Japanese speaking with English subtitles) and as I’d played the game dubbed (English speaking) I wanted to watch the anime with the same voice actors that I’d played the game with. I know Channel 4/All  4 have the English dub to watch, but with adverts and all that, I was put off. Now it’s coming out for pre-order at the end of the month I’m happy to wait a little longer after ordering! 😀

  • Pokémon TCG: Eevee Sweet Choices Playmat (link)

I’m not a Pokemon Trading Card player, but I do hope to get my own desk in the future and this ADORABLE Eevee Sweet Choices playmat would be amazing to buy to use as a massive mouse/keyboard mat for my future desk. It’s a cute design with an Eevee on the front holding and surround by Eeveelution themed chocolates. The background is white and is covered in the Eeveelution themed chocolates. This is really hard to get hold of now and you’re looking over £60 to get hold of one from America. This is kind of frustrating to be honest as it only sold for $24.99 this time last year. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for it, as it’s definitely something I’d love for a desk. It would be so bloody cute. 🙂

  • M&S Pure Cotton Strawberry Bedding Set (link)

I don’t know about you, but I’m always up for buying some new bedding, especially in spring and winter. I was contemplating buying some new bedding in winter but ended up leaving it, which I’m glad about as I’m definitely planning on buying this bedding soon! M&S bedding is really lovely and great quality, so when I spotted this strawberry bedding set on the website, I fell in love! I love strawberries and the print on this bedding is really sweet, delicate and the pink strawberries remind me of Japan a little. This would just be perfect to use throughout the year, especially spring and summer. When payday hits at the end of the month, I’m going to order this. 🙂

  • Smoko Pearl Boba Tea Air Purifier (link)

I LOVE Smoko’s products! They’re so practical and kawaii that I do love having them in my own. I love their Pearl Boba design and I already own the little light variant of it. So when Firebox announced they’d got the air purifier in stock, I KNEW I had to have it! As someone who suffers from hay fever, this purifier would be perfect in the summer to keep next to me when working from home in the week. Imagine too if I had my own desk, with the cute Eevee playmat, as well as this air purifier? Would be so cute!!!

  • Asda Artificial Succulent In Dalmatian Pot (link)

For some reason I thought I’d mentioned this last month… But I didn’t! I actually discovered this through someone on Twitter, which was amazing! I would have bought it last month if it hadn’t been for a mixture of spending ban AND you need to buy something else in order to snag this item from the website. I haven’t seen anything I want or need to justify ordering it, which is a bit of a shame. I’ll get one eventually I’m sure. I plan to keep it by the front door to add a bit of colour into the hallway!

  • Lunaticgumis Puppycat Enamel Pin & Sticker (link)

Finally we have this amazing enamel pin and sticker design from Lunaticgumis. I LOVE Bee & Puppycat, so I’m always in the lookout for merch from independent artists. Lunaticgumis is my favourite for Puppycat goodies and I already own some stickers, an enamel pin and even an amigurumi of Puppycat from her (I’ll be talking about her in the future on my blog!). This Puppycat design is so adorable as Puppycat is dressed as Bee! 😀 This isn’t something I’ve seen anyone else do in the community yet, so it’s something unique for sure! I’ll definitely be ordering the enamel pin and the sticker in the future. 😀

So yeah there we have it, all of my wish list items for March! As I said previously, I’m on a spending ban this month so these items won’t be bought in a massive hurry in all honesty, but I do really love sharing my wish lists with you all to promote independent artists and more.

What item(s) do you have on your wish list this month? Make sure to let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. 🙂

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Escapades Into Realities of a Virtual Nature: Part One of Who Knows

Wassup! The boy/man-child is here! Nat is allowing me to have free reign over a few posts… She doesn’t know that yet. As far as she knows it is only one, but I am planning to nerd out on you guys a lot so be warned. I will take you on a journey inside the mind of a late 20-something gamer going through what could only be called a mid-life crisis. Well soon-to-be-30 crisis.

As the title says this post will be about Virtual Reality, why I think it’s awesome and why you should care… Not about me, you don’t give a damn about me. Just bear with me whilst I ramble on… I’ll get there eventually.

Ever since I was a wee little ginge I have always had a major interest in gaming. I remember the days of asking papa-ginge to load up the original Worms via MS-Dos because my tiny little noggin couldn’t handle typing in the instructions to load it. We have come a long way from blowing up tiny worm shaped pixels; to grand sagas inside gigantic worlds put together with complex physics engines. Granted not many games encompass all three of those features but the sentiment stays the same: gaming technology is far away from what it was.

Some may say it has gone too far.

I have seen a shift in my own attitudes towards gaming in recent years, my enthusiasm and childlike wonder was beginning to wane. Every year I watch the different gaming exhibitions and the upcoming gaming releases and my reaction is, “meh, how are they going to fuck this awesome concept up?” I was putting it down to getting older and the onset of becoming my parents (apologies mum and dad, you’re awesome in your own way but… You know… Not).

Way back in younger and studiously drunk Dane days, I wouldn’t have thought twice about shelling out £500 on an Xbox One X, thank fuck for student loans, but now I’m not fussed. Yeah, I want one but I don’t want to do that when the original Xbox One achieves the same. When I consider the depressing state of the gaming industry *cough* EA *cough*, loot boxes, carbon copy games and the lack of innovation in the major developers, I realise I’m not the problem it’s the gaming world that is the problem. I am still a gamer and I still love games.

For quite some time now I have wanted to move away from console gaming and become one of the PC master race. It had been a while since I properly gamed on a PC and boy things have changed since then. No longer is 512mb enough for RAM and AMD (one of the big two processor producers) were once again in the shitter but it’s good to know that Counterstrike is still one of the most played games on PC.

Linus Sebastian is my messiah.

I then began researching into PC’s. It took me a while to catch up and start putting together parts lists for my dream PC. It was all coming together and I was thinking, “fuck it, I am getting this!” Unfortunately this was around the time, or just after the time that me and Nat were saving for and buying the house, so my dream was crushed by my responsibilities as an adult. For the past two years that dream has been on hold whilst we adult… I understand I just used a noun as a verb… DILLIGAF. I can’t believe I quoted Kevin bloody Wilson… Sigh.

Getting a gaming PC was all I could think about and it tore me apart knowing I could not get one just yet, I even annoyed Nat to the point where the slightest mention of a gaming PC would cause conflict. During those two years all sorts of stuff happened with gaming. The gaming industry continued its general downward spiral into battle royale hell (I actually like PUBG btw, one of the more well-known battle royale games for the uninitiated), except for one aspect that to me was a light at the end of a dark tunnel. I bought an outdated PC from a colleague to get myself a foot in the door. I could feel the fire inside burning once again, I needed MORE!

I’m not going to bore you with a history of VR as I don’t know it THAT well, but I will try my best at a general overview. I remember hearing about the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive in their development stages, at the time I brushed it off as a silly concept that I would never be close to owning. I thought the technology was at a point where it was only remotely useable, let alone fun and was way off from what they were promising. As development continued I started to see that VR was becoming a genuine thing that could become a reality…. Excuse the pun. Oculus was bought by Facebook and the developer Valve (creators of the Half-Life series and the Steam store) was heavily pushing and advertising the Vive, made by HTC. I also started seeing more and more people (YouTubers in particular) owning and showcasing the functionality and games on offer. The same colleague I bought the PC from bought the Rift and told me all about it. I could feel myself beginning to get excited again and the PC I bought was starting to look feeble. It does its job but the majority of games I want to play either struggle or won’t play, I needed more power. This fire inside me was becoming a barbeque, I could grill a steak with that fire.

I needed to satiate this burning desire in me to see for myself how good VR actually is. I had no idea how I could do that, so I did some research. The only reasonable computer shops I know that allow you to walk in are based up north around Manchester (Scan) or down London area. We seem to be very limited in The Midlands. That was until I found Box.co.uk, a small-ish shop based around Castle Vale in Birmingham. Prices there can be reasonable and the staff are pretty cool. In the shop you will find the normal computer bits that are a PC gamer’s wet dream, but over the far side of the shop they have a couple of computer rigs set up for different purposes, one of them a serious driving simulator, another for flying and then a few other not so impressive rigs. All pretty cool but the majority of the area is allocated for their HTC Vive set up and that was our main purpose for going there. You can literally just go and ask to have a go to try it out (unfortunately, I have been there recently and the VR set up is no longer around – sadface).

The moment I first put the headset on I was genuinely back to being a little kid being excited at this technology, it takes me back to when I first booted up the Original Xbox and seeing the green blob pulsating as the console loaded. As the screens of the Vive came into focus it felt like I was peering into another world. To me, using the Vive controllers really felt like an extension of your arms, something I think only the Rift’s touch controllers could improve that sensation. I was genuinely immersed.

The first game I played was the VR Lab and I just spent my whole time messing around inside the different mini-games, I don’t remember playing anything else. I was in heaven. Of course Nat had her go and she had fun exploring the mountains and lab with the robotic companion dog thing. I think the dogbot had sold her on the idea.

Unfortunately, shit does indeed happen. These things we call adult responsibilities creep up, get in the way and fuck up your plans so you have to spend the money you are saving. The PC had to be put on the shelf for the time being.

In early April I was wondering what I could do for my birthday. I had noticed in the Bullring/Grand Central in Birmingham that there was a VR arcade, so we popped in to ask for prices and, me being the geek I am, I started to geek out over their PCs. That gave me the idea to go have a VR experience at an arcade, so we looked around to see if there was anything that seemed reasonably priced and local to Brum. A few places looked dodgy and I even spoke to one guy that did not sound too legitimate, but we ended up at a place called The VR Hub.

This little outfit is based out of the Zellig building by the Custard Factory in Digbeth. I cannot recommend this place enough. As you walk through the building you can clearly see the location as there is a shit ton of bright green. That is actually used for green screening the player and using a camera with an attached controller to impose you into the game (here is an example). They have four set ups in total, two in the small room (also their “reception area”) and two in the bigger green screen room (a bit more private and leads to their workshop). The store itself has glass windows all around, so sadly you will be watched by passers-by, but that didn’t bother me all that much when I was caving someone’s head in on Gorn. The guys running the place were incredibly friendly, extremely knowledgeable which made the whole experience that much greater. They understood that VR is still a bit buggy and allowed you to stay on a little longer if there were any issues and let me tell you, they were super generous with that. I genuinely wish we had taken more photos to show you guys but we were too focused on having fun, which we definitely had our fill. We booked four rigs for one hour and two rigs for another hour straight after, I needed that extra hour to have my VR fill. We were actually there for 3 hours in total with the time added.

For the first hour, me and Nat were placed in the smaller room and got ourselves used to the environment with a quick introduction to the system. I was already familiar so I got started with Arizona Sunshine, a zombie survival game with really cool gun mechanics and linear story. It was so fun to shoot zombies and see them get dismembered. I actually really sucked at the game, not because of the game itself (I am a pretty good shot if I do say so myself) but I would be too busy staring at things up close, having fun with the mechanics and accidentally ignore the zombies that were trying to kill me. Nat started with… something. She doesn’t remember what the game was called but it was a horror game on a rail cart and she didn’t last long because she is a pansy. She wanted to play Job Simulator but it wasn’t available on the PC she was on at first so she played a few games including that horror game and the VR Lab whilst the guys downloaded it for her, which was also very nice of them. She also joined me on Arizona Sunshine which was so much fun to play together. I also tried a game called Bullets and More (BAM), I had wanted to try Hot Dogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (H3VR) but that wasn’t available. BAM is very similar to H3VR in that it tries to accurately recreate guns. I am a simple man, it was incredibly satisfying to shoot guns, and many times I would accidentally drop a clip or forget to chamber a round. It was a cool experience for someone who had never shot a gun (outside of clay pigeon shooting) before, using scopes on the guns could do with bit of refinement but generally the game was awesome. The time flew by for us both, I thought I had sold Nat on VR before but once she got on Job simulator that strengthened our stance with getting our own VR ready PC.

After the first hour was up we were then given the opportunity to move into the big room and play a game I was really looking forward to, GORN.

Nat had never heard of this game until that day. The owner had limited access to this game to the bigger room due to how crazy people get when they play the game, someone broke one of their monitors. It’s a gory gladiator combat game that takes it to the next level, it’s silly, simple and yet incredibly in depth. You get to pick a weapon (or two) at the start of a match, which range from swords, a bow, hammers, maces, giant swords, a spear, a rock and more. Then all you have to do is kill all of your opponents who are these hench mofos that are pretty much just cannon fodder to begin with. You can chop them up, even slicing off the slightest section, eyes get popped out if you hit their head a certain way and they even limp around limbless. It’s gloriously gory fun. Once again I found myself sucking at this game because I was too busy picking up the dead bodies and looking at the deformation I was creating. Nat on the other hand was an absolute beast, tearing through her enemies like they were butter. Don’t fuck with Nat, she’ll smush your head with a mace.

All in all this made the gaming nerd inside me go crazy and since then I have not stopped looking at computer parts and VR pricing because it is always on my mind. I want it as soon as I possibly can. I cannot recommend VR enough and to those people who are dubious about it: just give it a go, it may change your mind and I guarantee, you won’t be let down.

Having said all this, I still don’t own VR or even a PC powerful enough to play it. That will change though, it has to for my mental well-being.

I am going to end this post here as you may have had enough already. I hope Nat will let me continue on with another post where I will talk about a games wish list for VR, or may be my recommendations for PCs, I may even write something up for those looking into getting VR and give them a few pointers and basic information. We will have to wait and see!

What do you guys think of VR? Have you tried it before, or want to give it a go? Let me know in the comments or over on Nat’s Twitter account @maybeecoffee

Well, until next time I write on There Might Be Coffee, have an awesome weekend and see you soon!

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FYI need to use Nat’s sign off as I don’t have my own… Yet. 😛