The earliest game I remember playing consistently was “Blacklight: Retribution”. It was a futuristic style FPS shooter game, set god-knows-when into the future, with mech suits and such. It was a blast to play, and I did play with some friends I had made at the time. Unfortunately, the game went downhill after some years, with the original developers of it somewhat neglecting it. That is what led to me eventually stopping as well. I then began playing Minecraft quite a bit. An odd transfer, for sure, but it became one of the greatest things I have played.
I have used two names during my gaming time. During the Minecraft and Blacklight days, it evolved around a few variations of “Xenon” (the chemical element), because I spotted that during a chemistry lesson one day, and it stuck. Years later, I was thinking of a rebrand due to the numerous other “Xenon” identities. The name “Krewlex” comes from the combination of “Skrillex” and “Krewella”. Two prominent names in the music industry at that time (2015/2016). I do not have a way with words in most situations, but this name stuck ever since. Luckily, it wasn’t taken, either.
The passion for gaming overall cannot be boiled down to a set thing. At the time when going through my secondary school years and beyond, I did not have many hobbies and passions I wanted to do. I essentially became the type of person to play games quite a lot, though sticking to these specific few.
Following on from the previous explanation, my path into streaming was quite an odd one. I first began streaming in around 2016/2017. I do not recall what made me try it, but perhaps after so long of watching other people, it was one of those “I could do this” moments. I began with “Just Cause 2” as that was a game I had played a lot during that time as well. A game with a vast story line and explosive elements was enjoyable indeed. People did begin to join in over time as I attempted to work my way through the expansive story.
I then entered a break from streaming, but resumed a few months later. By that time, I had sunk my teeth firmly into “Euro Truck Simulator 2”. Again, I do not recall what made me begin to play the game, but it became something very special. The freedom to drive around as I pleased, was good. Following that became the discovery of “TruckersMP”, a multiplayer mod for the game. Joining that may have spanned from the multiplayer mod that Just Cause 2 had during its time. The fun of joining others to play the game with. Since I switched from JC2 to ETS2, the audience changed as well. It seemed to be a good switch. At the time (and some would say it still is), it was a niche game. A decently small but dedicated community where truckers alike could bond over the game.
Years later, the community is still very much dedicated to ETS2 (and the American variant upon its release). I consider myself a “Simulation” streamer, as these two games fit into that category. With almost 8,000 followers (as of writing), we continue to welcome users to our section of the internet and the gaming world. A great benefit of such games and the aforementioned TruckersMP mod is that users can join me for convoys and general trips around.
What splits myself up from others, despite not being the only one to do so, is the aspect of showcasing a niche within a niche. Being a staff member on TruckersMP, I stream the moderation work that goes on. The community enjoys this content as it brings something to light that is not always seen. Moderation teams in other games may not always show the processes behind how they work.
If I did not start streaming all those years ago, I am not sure what I may be doing. I finished my University studies back in 2018, and came out with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Production & Technology. I do produce music from time to time, but that is a side project at most. I would either pursue that more, or venture down the route of finding a “normal” job. So, I am blessed that such a small hobby of “talking to a screen” took off. I cherish it every time I start the stream, and I am amazed by the viewers that come back each day to share that connection.
Following the previous explanations, being within a “niche” game/community helps stand out in some ways. This, combined with the slightly further niche forms of content within have helped me grow. Either that, or my slightly over-exaggerated persona at times. I do silly voices and silly faces, often joke an alarming amount with the community over a plethora of situations. People bonded to myself and the channel because it provided them the entertainment they looked for. That is something I could not imagine myself being, which may be why it has seemed fuzzy to picture.
Time seems to be people’s biggest hurdle. Some may “grow” overnight, but many won’t. I do not consider myself a medium or large streamer by any means, not only because I’m far from an expert, but because grouping based on numbers may not be a good idea in the long run. Twitch’s levels of progression from Affiliate to Partner do take a while. There are millions of Affiliates, but a much smaller quantity of Partners. Everyone earns their status, works their way up in an industry that keeps growing with them. Content keeps changing. It took almost 4 years and 2 attempts to reach “Partner”. To have finally reached it does feel incredible. I would not consider myself a full-time streamer, despite not having another form of occupation or time-keeping hobby to focus on. Some may feel that such a label may make them work too much, as if comparing it to a “full-time” job, with long hours. In the current world, whatever hours you work are your choice. There will always be someone ahead of you, anyway.
It may be generic, as every streamer seems to mention it, but “do not worry about numbers”. Everyone is on their own path, and some may be traveling faster than you. But, they are not you. Some friendly competition can help, but setting your goals alongside the top streamers is not the best way to work. The “numbers” in question are usually the viewer numbers, perhaps having an off-day where your average viewership is less than the previous few. To some, it may not be an issue, but to others, it can cause a vast mood shift. They may feel they aren’t good enough, or similar. Even more commonly mentioned may be the “just be you” statement. These are common and cliche, but they work.
I am unsure how I’d pick interesting things, but a number of unique events have occurred due to being within this “industry”. Partner is of course a far stretch but an incredible one. Meeting and blending in with other streamers that may have been around longer than I have, to even go as far as meeting them at real-life events that may not have much significance otherwise. There may not be a “peak” moment for some, but the smaller milestones and moments are what you bring along with you, and what you can look back on with the community. I for example now look back at the times I didn’t use a facecam. I do now as if it’s second-nature, but I was fearful of it before. It was a large progression for myself and the stream.
Compared to many I am aware of, my day-to-day patterns seem quite chill, or mild. To explain my days as “not too bad” to whoever asks, has become the norm. Streaming 2-3 hours, 6 days a week is my schedule. It’s something to stick to (which is very important), and helps people engage with the content, as they know when it is. I began my streaming career while I was still in College/6th Form (in the UK), so balanced it by streaming on my days off. Since finishing those, my time went towards my smaller music side, and my streaming side.
I do not know how long I’ll be streaming. I am unsure if it’s my dream job. To some it may seem an “easy” one, for sure. To have a hobby turn into a job makes it not seem like a job. That is what some have said over time. My family have been supportive, despite the odd discussions about how long I’m in front of the “screen” for. It has been paying off, and helps me focus on the things I enjoy.
There is an aspect of fear with the “outside” world, such as attending events, where the people you chat to and bond with become more than just a name on the screen. The personas and identities behind the names become closer to you when you have the chance to meet them. I have met dozens from the community, and it has changed the way I feel about things, and helped bond with them more, as it allows us to look back.
While it may not be a tool as such, utilising Twitch’s analytics page can help you get in-depth knowledge of how you’re doing, and what impact your community has on you (and vice versa). Similarly, sites such as TwitchTracker are great for crunching the numbers even more, if you’re into that sort.
Throughout my time, I have come across numerous channels that offer supportive content and resources. The main few I’ve seen a lot of are AlphaGaming, Nutty, StreamScheme. AlphaGaming provides various widgets and techniques to slim down the style and design of the stream, away from the old-school boxy overlays, while Nutty’s video on the “Lioranboard” program gave me access to numerous plugins I could use and techniques to build on the engagement with viewers. Now, using that program, they can redeem channel points in order to mess with my camera or voice.
I cannot think of a third. That sounds bad. But, no matter how many people you watch, there will always be some you aspire to be, but many you enjoy just for what they do. Many may follow the sensible vibes like Squirrel, or follow the energetic and entertaining routes like xQcOW, or Crayator, as two examples.
I’d briefly say to refer back to the “piece of feedback” section for this as well. There is no one piece of advice I could give, without referencing or passing on what I’ve heard and picked up. Following your own path allows users to bond with you, rather than if you developed an identity that mimics the streamers you follow. For example, people may be as energetic as “xQc”, but no one can *be* like xQc. If that is who you are, by all means utilize that skill.
Over time I have changed my themes, overlays, behaviors far too many times to count. While such progression is natural, if I could go back to the beginning, I’d prevent myself from repeating all of those changes, and stick to what has worked, and to not worry about what doesn’t.
Potentially the discoverability and growth methods. It seems to be a common talking point, besides the various times Twitch as whole seems to be in the media’s eye. Clips are a very common short-form method of content that gets shared around, but there is no discoverability for them except in compilations or by being on someone’s channel to begin with. If it functioned as other social medias treat their shorter content, it could help someone gain traction.
I, among many that have solidified their career paths, want to keep it going, of course. But, that may not be the case in years to come. I take things day by day, rather than year by year. Though, setting realistic goals allow you to actually push for them. I hope to branch out with the content, after posting on other social medias and sharing highlights of my current content. Compilations that viewers can enjoy have been a great experience. Playing other games on stream and engaging with other communities will also be high on that list. We’ll see what happens.