Tixee – A Self-Taught Variety Streamer Who Found Success Through Consistency

Tixee – A Self-Taught Variety Streamer Who Found Success Through Consistency

Tell us your history with video games

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my older brother introduced me to many Nintendo games including Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Kirby, and Yoshi. We always had Nintendo consoles around, but never any other brands outside of my PS2 that I solely used to play Kingdom Hearts and Sly Cooper. Video games have always been an escape for me and a way for me to cope with stress or anxious situations.

The name Tixee was actually a sporadic choice. I was playing an older MMO and the name I had previously been using across all games was taken. Panic ensued as I was forced to think of something on the spot so I could play and I hated the look of an underscore or numbers after my name. So, I started thinking of words that were cute and landed on “pixie”. Because I was an edgy teenager at the time I found the word too juvenile and wanted something different so I went down my keyboard replacing the first letter of the word till I ended up on T. For whatever reason I disliked the look of Tixie, so I replaced the “ie” with “ee” as it would provide the same sound when being read and looked more aesthetically pleasing.

Gaming has always been a passion of mine, streaming just allowed me to share that passion with an audience. It's something I will never regret, no matter how it turns out.

What’s your backstory and how did you get into streaming?

Up until 3 years ago, I had no idea Twitch existed. I was very into Overwatch at that time, and was watching highlight videos on YouTube from a certain creator. What I didn't know was that these were just chopped up versions of their stream uploaded into a YouTube video. Low and behold, I checked the video description and saw a link to a Twitch channel to watch the streams live and my life has never been the same.

When I found these videos, I was working full-time in retail and was in a toxic relationship. So needless to say, I wasn't in a good mental state most of the time. Going home and watching their live streams was the one thing in the day I knew I could count on that would make me feel better and my day less terrible than before. This is what inspired me to create content of my own. If I can make someone's day slightly less terrible by playing games I love, that I would be playing anyways, why not try?

I knew next to nothing about streaming at this point, so I dove in completely blind and spent days upon days watching YouTube videos about equipment I would need. When I did start streaming about 2 years later, I was balancing a 39hr/week part-time job with it. My streams were usually all over the place as I was streaming whenever I had time to do so. About a year and a half into streaming I quit my job, not because I thought it was the best idea, but because my manager was very toxic and damaging and thanks to my parents I had the ability to be jobless without risk of housing. They saw my drive and passion and supported me wholeheartedly, as well as the improvement in my mood on a daily basis.

Tell us about your channel and community

This might sound biased but I do believe my community is made up of some of the most amazing people on Twitch. They are incredibly sweet, kind, and accepting towards not only me but new members as well, and for that I am extremely proud. Everyone deserves to feel loved and accepted for being their authentic self, provided they are not hateful, and I feel my chat has that very same mindset which is amazing.

I usually stream story-heavy action/adventure games, or comfy/cozy farming simulators like Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley. The Legend of Zelda is one of my all time favorite series in existence, with Kingdom Hearts coming in a close second. These are all games I would be playing in my spare time, so if I can share my experience with someone, and my goofy reactions along the way then I might as well!

For the most part, since the games I like to play are story based they are usually single player. If and when I can play with viewers I am more than happy to do so, but my gaming preferences usually don’t support the ability. This is where community Mario Kart or Jackbox days would come in handy and something I plan to do in the future.

Tell us about your brand and how you’ve been able to obtain success

I stay fully true to myself when I stream. When you watch my streams, you get my authentic reactions, mood swings and all. I would rather be myself than try to keep up a persona because honestly, i'm just not good at it.

My channel's growth was absolutely out of the blue if I'm going to be honest! After about two and a half years of streaming variety, I switched to playing a game I had been waiting years for to come out called Genshin Impact. As soon as I started playing this, for some reason my channel out of many others grew exponentially well and brought in a ton of new viewers. Now, do I think this had to do with the fact that I played this game for 5 months straight because I was truly having the best time and couldn't put it down? Of course. People knew what game to expect me to be playing and the content style. Discoverability kept going up and up and now here we are, Partnered.

My channel was affiliated in about 2 months, and partnered now a little over 2 years later. Everyone will grow at different paces, and for me it was a slow but steady one. I will say, since I changed up games quite often it did make channel growth more difficult since my channel was harder to find while playing games on release day. I have since learned to try my best to play new games at least a week after release date. This will give enough time for big streamers to be close to finished with the game, but the game will still have hype around it with viewers interested in content!

How do you balance streaming and life?

To be quite honest, days that I stream are pretty much the same every day as far as routine goes. Since I stream 5 hours a day, 5 days a week I have a pretty set morning routine. I wake up at 8am and make my way to my computer and watch some streams for thirty minutes to kickstart my brain. After that I will leave the stream on, get dressed and do my makeup. By 9:45am I am sitting at my desk opening stream programs and troubleshooting to make sure everything runs smoothly. Then from here, I will get up and grab some coffee, fill my hydro flask so I have plenty of water for the stream and press go live.

After the stream, I will immediately get up and let the dogs out to use the restroom, do a quick 15 minute workout since i’ve been sitting all day and then fix any technical errors I encountered while streaming. About an hour later, I eat dinner and work on any off-stream projects I need to finish up before bed.

I am a massive homebody so the staying at home aspect is absolutely okay for me. I have all the people I care most about close to me, and those that aren’t physically here can be contacted through discord for gaming sessions! My parents have been more than supportive of me streaming. Thanks to them I am able to go after what I love, as they provide me with food and shelter. And for that I will always be grateful. Not everyone has that luxury, so I am going to work my butt off and make it worth it!

The one thing I don't think people realize about streaming, whether it's full-time or part-time, is that it's more than what you see on the stream itself. These can include commissioning artists, posting to other social platforms, editing clip videos, making YouTube videos, improving stream graphics, the list goes on and on. I am consistently working on improving anything and everything that comes to stream content. I have no idea how long I will be streaming for, but I plan to make as many peoples days brighter along the way as possible. Even if I can make one person laugh on a particularly bad day in their life, I will be happy.

Tell us what tools you use for your stream

OBS is amazing as there are so many features you can add to it! My personal favorite being a Google voice activated Closed Captions plugin. This utilizes Twitch’s Closed Captions that are integrated into the video player and allows CC to be on not only the live stream, but also VODs and clips! It is by far the most inclusive version of live captions since most others are in the form of extensions, which only applies to live streams.

For bots, I like to use Streamlabs Chatbot. It has a wonderful quote system where regulars can add a quote of something I have said during a play-through. This leads to wonderful out of context quotes that make as all have a good laugh looking back on months later. Silly little moments like this really brighten the mood, and can make a bad day into a good one.

As far as my channel graphics go, I learnt how to do it all myself. I would come up with an idea, then use YouTube to search for the effect I wanted and found tutorials to follow for After Effects animation. It is absolutely amazing what you can learn in the matter of an hour nowadays. Assets I didn’t create myself, like my emotes for example, I commissioned from an artist through Twitter.

Discord is a huge necessity as well. It is a simple, yet effective way to keep in touch with community members outside of stream hours! Every Saturday we get together and watch a movie through Discord streaming, and it truly makes a difference for our connection. It helps my audience know I care about spending time with them, rather than them just being another viewer adding to my average. It's the little things that matter.

What are your top 3 streaming tools? 

  1. OBS Studio - An easy first pick. Without OBS I can't stream and do what I love, which is community build and make lasting moments through games that I’d be playing anyways.
  2. Lioran Board - This allows me to add sound effects to Twitch Channel Points which is an absolute game changer for me. It’s easy to navigate since it utilizes a Twitch integrated system and adds a level of interactiveness to simple things like “Posture Check”.
  3. Elgato HD60 Pro - This version of the Elgato is plugged directly into my motherboard so I never have to worry about it disconnecting on me, or managing wires. If i ever need to switch from my Nintendo Switch to my PS4 it's as simple as moving one HDMI cable, then I’m ready to go!

What advice would you give to small channels trying to reach Partner? 

Consistency is key. Trying your absolute best to have a steady schedule is very important. Think of it this way: if you know that a new episode of your favorite show is available every Wednesday, you are more likely to schedule your plans around that. You want this mindset to be able to be applied to your streams.

Consistency can also be applied to a game. My biggest channel growth came from playing one game for months straight. This might not be for everyone, and I didn’t even know it was for me since I was a variety streamer for the longest time. But I found a game I loved, that the community enjoyed, and kept going. You never know what that game will be for you, I know it sure took me by surprise when it happened.

If you could change one thing about Twitch, what would it be? 

Discoverability for smaller channels. The boost system is definitely a step in the right direction, but with how many new streamers there are as of late it makes it ten times harder to get your stream noticed. Without networking and utilizing multiple other platforms, you get buried under everyone else. The big streamers get bigger, while the smaller ones struggle to grow.

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