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JoeR247 Interviews... Rik_Sixx

1. What is the story behind your channel name?

Not long after learning to play bass guitar I stumbled across Motley Crue and their bassist Nikki Sixx, which inspired my Xbox Gamertag - Rikki_Sixx.

Unfortunately that username was taken on Twitch so I settled for Rik_Sixx!

2. What is your video game history/background and all time favourite game?

I'd always loved games as a kid, from my friends Nintendo and Super Nintendos to Spectrum games, and the awful noise that came with it! When my parents got me a Sega Mega Drive for my birthday that sealed my fate.

I've continued playing through every console generation since - although surprisingly little Nintendo - as well as some PC gaming. Picking a favourite game across that time is so difficult, but whenever I'm asked that question Final Fantasy VII comes to mind straight away.

It literally changed my life, inspiring me to study 3D animation so that I could hopefully have a hand in telling those kinds of incredible stories.

3. What/Who inspired you to start creating content on the internet?

The first proper content creators that I remember seeing - at least the first that interested me - were Simon and Lewis of the Yogscast. A friend was trying to explain why I should get the beta of Minecraft and showed me their channel, where they had just started a Minecraft Let's Play.

Later on it was Sips and Angory Tom of the Yogscast that inspired me most, with their ability to talk endlessly, effortlessly and entertainingly, even about nothing at all.

4. When did you start creating content on the internet?

I did my first stream of Bard's Tale IV late in 2019 when I had a day off. I was curious how it worked and what it would be like, and found myself enjoying it. I did occasional streams after that when I had the house to myself, and later started editing the videos for YouTube, which is something I've always enjoyed.

5. What is your content creation setup. Specs and accessories?

My set-up is pretty basic and probably disappointing! For streaming from the PC I use Streamlabs OBS which is really user-friendly and customisable.

I have a decent PC as I work at home a lot as a designer and developer, but I don't have a clue what the specs are! My headset is a Turtle Beach P11, but it's a bit quiet, heavy and static-y. I use a wired Xbox 360 controller for games that allow it, and a HP Omen Mouse that has a red light - fancy! I do a lot of gaming on my Playstation 4 these days. I just use the standard one-ear headset that came with it, but I learned that putting myself into a Party makes the audio better. I wouldn't mind a better headset there, but I don't NEED it.

If I were to upgrade anything right now it would be getting a decent chair, especially with working at home more often. My lower back put in a request for that quite a while ago!

6. How did you find the first few weeks/months of content creation? (any funny stories/mistakes/highlights?)

My first few streams were fun but I later discovered were disastrous. On the first one I saw that I had 3 users watching me and I was astounded. With this unexpected audience I needed to be entertaining, right? I later discovered they were Twitch bots for analytics and monitoring.

I later played a bit of Bards Tale and left my 'coming soon' cover over everything, so I re-loaded the save and started again. This time I left my mic off. I had a tantrum and left it a while before revisiting! Basically I learned that I need to pay a bit more attention and not just dive right into the stream itself.

A few minutes of prep - getting a drink, checking my mic, letting the dogs out for a pee - can usually hold disaster off, at least for a little while.

7. How did you grow your channel? How did you network?

To begin with, I did nothing. I didn't tweet about going live, I didn't tell anyone about my channel. To begin with I actually preferred having no viewers, as I liked being able to take the videos, edit the mistakes and boring stuff out and pop it on YouTube. But then I didn't share those videos either... I decided fairly recently to rename an old gaming / dev news Twitter account that I had, try to find some like-minded streamers to connect with and start sharing when I go live or have a new video.

To find that there is a community out there has really changed my approach to content creation, and I think about those people when I play or edit. I still don't have a schedule, as I'd rather play when I'm in the mood than try to force myself to grow the channel. Fun comes first.

8. What has been your proudest moment so far?

my proudest moment was quite recent. I had started streaming No Man's Sky and uploaded a video of that first session to YouTube. All I'd really done was edit out any long, boring walks across an empty planet. A friend asked about the series so I shared the link with him, and he actually watched the entire video.

And enjoyed it! I was thrilled that someone had taken a full 40 minutes out of their day to watch my content and even quoted back some moments they enjoyed.

9. How did you find the technical side of content creation? Setting up your channel, etc?

The morning after my first stream I was setting up my Twitch channel "properly", whipping up graphics and an icon in Photoshop and adding content. I quickly threw it all together so I had something and tweaked it a bit over time, and although I'm not 100% happy with it I'm glad to have a somewhat consistent "theme" on Twitch, YouTube and Twitter.

10. What do you enjoy most about your content creation hobby/career?

One of the best things about streaming is it gives me a bit of focus on the games I'm playing. There are some games that I've chosen to play only on stream, so that my audience don't miss out on story and progression. I'm terrible for jumping between games, so hopefully streaming will keep me honest! It's also a good excuse to try games I wouldn't necessarily be interested in normally.

I'm planning an ongoing series where I have a little look at different games, for better or worse! Content creation is a great opportunity for trying new ideas - and new games. The community is also great. I've chatted with several other small streamers and YouTubers and it's great see friendly faces and be able to support each other.

11. What don't you enjoy so much about your content creation hobby/career?

There are - as always - other small streamers in the community who are only really in it for themselves. They'll get angry when other streamers join their chat or refuse to retweet other channels that they follow if it conflicts with their schedule. It's silly, so I don't bother myself with that kind of thing. Really it's just playing games over the internet!

That said, it can at times be disheartening when people don't join a stream. But then I often play at odd hours and I don't often play popular or really current games, and I'm quite happy to just enjoy the journey!

12. What are you short term and long term goals for your channel/s?

Short term I'd like to get more of my videos from Twitch and add them to my YouTube channel. Editing is fun but takes time, and I work a full-time job. In terms of the long term, I'd like to increase my followers.

Not just in terms of numbers, which would be great, but in having familiar faces and "regulars" joining in and experiencing some fantastic games with me.

13. What advice would you give anyone looking to get into content creation?

All I can say to anyone looking to get into content creation - whether streaming video games, making original content on YouTube or making an Instagram account for your spoon-carving journey - is just have fun.

Enjoy making each bit of content, find your own voice and place in what is a crowded field and don't get hung up on numbers.

14. Finally, what other content creators do you enjoy watching and recommend people check out?

BFarras for some really unique games, SandSable for chilled gaming, WrightyMinis for miniature painting and SheriffBeck for amazing, immersive roleplaying! All on Twitch.

Rik_Sixx is a developer, geek and videogame streamer. Playing games on the more relaxed end of the spectrum, Rik enjoys everything from roleplaying and exploration games to racers. You can find Rik on: Twitch - https://twitch.tv/rik_sixx Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rik_Sixx/ YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_dIDjcoQuFGSu-Ec74Y2GQ

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