If you’ve watched role-playing streams on Twitch, there’s a good chance Wish was involved, even from behind the scenes. As the co-founder of both Twitch RP (a role-playing site which focuses on games like Ark, Conan, and Rust) and The Family RP (known for GTA V), Wish is an integral part to the success of the roleplaying on Twitch.
Her love for pretending to be someone else began at age 11 in hex-based forums and AOL chat rooms. After stumbling across them, she realized she could use her vivid imagination to act out her favorite scenes from the fantasy novels she loved. And as gaming eventually became a larger part of her life, she turned her focus toward role-playing with the various virtual characters she was creating.
“I feel like you can role play in any game. It’s not labeled that way, but, for me, it’s always about telling stories through the characters I play.”
While playing DayZ in October 2014, she was “captured” in game by a group of strangers. They explained to her that the world had witnessed her capture on Twitch and sent her with the link to their channel. This was her unexpected introduction to their community, and she eventually became a mod. Soon, her new friends encouraged her to start streaming on her own.
“I never thought in a million years I could be a streamer, but I took the chance. The idea of adding in a voice component to my role-playing, while other people watched in real time, was incredibly intriguing.”
Though she didn’t have the equipment at her disposal, nor a high quality mic or video hardware, she didn’t rush out to get new tech. Still, she remembers her first streams as being fun. And she was able to communicate with chat easily because she started out streaming with other creators she knew, most of them with similar audience sizes.
“A lot of new streamers don’t realize the best resources are the ones they have in front of them, the largest one being the ability to play games with their friends.”
After streaming for a few months, and with new viewers coming by the stream remarking on the low audio and visual quality, she made it a goal to get a new PC. She bought a modest used setup in an online auction, but it improved her stream enough to retain more viewers.
“You want to start out with a baseline audience because equipment isn’t what makes the stream. I had plenty of viewers watching me play very pixelated, lagged DayZ. It was the experience paired with the new equipment helped grow my channel.”
Around this time, she saw her favorite creators like Timmac, MrMoon, Selvek, Dimitri and Thadrius, switching to other, newer games like ARMA. Though she wasn’t friends with them, she applied for a spot on their server anyway and was accepted. Careful not to overstep and interrupt their streaming, she focused on building her own characters while still trying to be an integral part of the overall story.
“I joined communities that I saw other role-players gravitating towards, and slowly but surely after creating your own characters, you weave a bigger narrative that’s about everyone, not just you as individual.”
Soon, Wish, along with Strippin and Kiwo and the other streamers created TwitchRP with the purpose of making a place for friends, and anyone who wanted to roleplay on Twitch, to play. Though the roleplay community on Twitch was growing, and despite being Partnered early in her career, Wish streamed for about two years before really hitting strong growth.
“There’s a quote by Chelsea Handler that says, ‘Never dim someone’s light to make yours brighter; there is room enough for everyone.’ This so true about Twitch. There’s room for everyone, and you can’t let someone else’s success over take yours or dull your desire to succeed.”
Her tips for success are knowing when to adjust your strategy, avoiding making your content stagnant, and always trying new things, because the next “big thing” could be just around the corner.
“The success with GTA V happened because a friend of mine found a funny idea that they hadn’t seen before, brought myself and our friends over, and it sparked a big flame in the community.”
Of course, she’s talking about The Family RP, where she’s both one of the founders and first admins. In May 2017, and largely because of the support from her fellow Family co-streamers like PMSproxy, Timmac, and GiantWaffle, Wish experienced a 300+ sub train over three hours.
It was only after she saw her growth continue steadily that she made the switch to full time streaming in August 2017. Shortly after, she went to TwitchCon and hosted panels and meet and greets, after having attended all previous years as an attendee.
“It’s a humbling experience to have people enjoy your role play so much that they want to hear about you on a panel, and about the friendships I’ve built and experiences we’ve shared on Twitch.”
Wish will be sharing all of her tips on balancing full-time jobs and full-time streaming, succeeding as a roleplayer, and building engaging communities this year at TwitchCon 2018. Get your tickets now and meet her in San Jose, CA!