My philosophy of deciding what to play

Now that some of time related things in previous post and explained how my approach to scheduling and streaming hours works, time to touch another topic that is quite close and connected to streaming hours and planning aka things you stream or games (well at least for me, not everything is games on Twitch nowadays).

How do I pick games to play and when, “why streamer doesn’t play what I want him to play BabyRage”, “yo bro, when <game name>”, why one game over another and other questions that seem easy to answer, but not all of them and not always are that simple, so time for some more philosophy and things in my head (and another long read too of course), no insane maths and statistics here…

Main thing for me when picking a game and that’s somewhat a tl;dr of all this post is I need to feel like playing that game, the more “DO WANT” is my reaction when I see/think about that game – better my experience will be and better content I will deliver.
Recent example is The Surge 2, I got some irrational weird urge to play it and then a bit later I saw it being added to Microsoft Game Pass and I instantly said “ok, I’m playing this asap” and it was an amazing ride – enjoyed my playthrough a lot, many people liked seeing me playing it and got inspired to play it too, absolute win-win for everyone involved (and was pretty much free since I got months of gamepass for spare change amount of money basically). That is the best example of such game and situation, when that happens it is sorta like a blessing for probably every streamer, unfortunately that doesn’t always happen and gaming boner is quite unpredictable, most insane ones arrive completely randomly and that’s when you need to use that moment and do the thing (I mean play the game of course). That is when my strict scheduled approach becomes a bit of an issue, because you can’t schedule the hype for some game and that means you sometimes don’t know what you will play or you plan to play something, but get excited for some other game, what to do in that situation? My concept is “if it can wait a bit, then do what you planned and then what you are excited for” and “wait until last moment if you don’t feel like playing anything in particular, to not plan anything and see if you will feeI the hype for something”. Honestly I should delay things less and roll with what I feel more, since it will be more fun for everyone involved, but sometimes I’m just trying to be more “pro” about things like this, trying to plan and stick to plans way more and planning to announce some things way before to hype people up, but risking losing my hype or not getting hyped for something myself.

All that is my main reason not to play some hot new releases too btw, because I’m not trying to go for the hype from viewers, but for the hype from myself, so something like Doom Eternal that I really wanted to play I’ll get and stream on release, while something like Sekiro I can wait with, because I didn’t feel it on release. A little maths and stats here usually apply though, because in my experience big releases usually don’t work very well for me personally, my theory is that many people go watch such big releases on big channels mostly and category is quite flooded, so you in the end mostly losing viewers who hide from spoilers and viewers who go watch someone else or just never find you in the crowd. That’s why if I’m not hyped for new release myself I’m usually just chilling with it, which brings multiple benefits:

  • Your channel becomes safe haven from spoilers, so people can watch something that is not that game, while playing through it themselves, or waiting for sale etc, works especially well with super huge releases when you see everyone in your following list playing same game, but then there is that one channel playing something else where you can chill.
  • People can watch you later when they are already done with the game themselves or watched someone else play it, so they are not afraid of spoilers.
  • You can pick that game on sale or in some subscription later, saving you a bit of money, which is always nice.

There is obviously also another way to handle picking games – play something you don’t really feel like playing much and hope you will get into it, as we say here “appetite comes during eating”, and it sure works sometimes, was the situation with Pillars of Eternity for me, didn’t get into it until it was 20 or something hours on the counter and then it all went super well from there. Sometimes that approach might be not very good though, since you can get into it, but you also might never get deep and drop it which is not something I enjoy doing on stream. Some people always take “positive” side of this concept like “yeah, remember you tried <game name> we recommended and enjoyed it even though you didn’t want to play it first, you should play everything we recommend” – that unfortunately doesn’t always work like this and if streamer is refusing to play what you recommend there might be many reasons and one might be just being afraid to not like it, because they don’t feel it currently and then they will feel bad dropping it, because it was recommended by chat. And that is also why people shouldn’t be too vocal about not liking something streamer plays, if they enjoy it – just leave, return later, there will be other game at some point and plenty others to watch for the time being, sometimes there are periods with no hype things to play and enjoying some game is always a very precious moment, just let them enjoy it (this is worth a separate philosophical post tbh).

So in the end it all really boils down to being hyped about some particular games and being in general excited to play things, then even in dry season you can get something that will work as enjoyable “filler” content. I sure can see problems some streamers are having, especially they usually grind one game or don’t really play variety of genres, so it’s not a lot of hype things and then general excitement is also pretty low, so if you burn out on your main game things might get tricky on top of regular issues with going variety from maining one game. And there is also I think no solution that would work for everyone to reignite the hype and excitement for games – it just happens and everyone has their owns “switches” that turn it on. For me personally back in a day when I wasn’t feeling like playing anything and was just procrastinating on Twitch, playing some good new games fixed it, like Nier and Nioh back in a day for example, with streaming I’d say my excitement for games increased a lot, because I’m not only hyped to play them myself, but to share them with viewers and to interact with chat. One good stream can give a lot of energy and hype for games, but that’s already a topic for another post.

This one is even longer than last, gonna get back to games for a bit to not overdose you with all the boomer wannabe 5Head ramblings.

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