*Iateyourpie Note: I'm incredibly excited to introduce After5 to the StreamBIG team. I've been meaning to expand the amount of people who have access to writing on the site for a long time. If you've noticed, content has somewhat slowed down due to many reasons. One of the main issues was a lack of other writers. With After5 on the team, we're looking to get more content on the site as well as more events happening for Stream Big. After5 and I have a ton of great ideas that we'll be working on in 2016. I'm excited for the direction of StreamBIG, and I hope you are too!*
I go by the username After5 on Twitch and have recently been given the opportunity to involve myself with behind-the-scenes activities in Pie’s Twitch channel and streamBIG.net. Going forward, I will also be writing articles on StreamBIG.
Coming in as a writer, I hope to bring a different but relevant perspective to the current information provided on StreamBIG. I am currently a small streamer who has viewed and interacted with a range of streamers over the past couple years to develop a growing understanding of the Twitch climate. When I first found StreamBIG I was glad to see both reassuring information that agreed with my own thinking as well as interesting new topics. Pie and I will be working together to accelerate the content on StreamBIG, so we hope you look forward to it!
A Look inside my Head
I have been into video games starting from a very young age. Despite going from a pre-med student to a graduate in game art & design to working as a cook, video games are the one thing that have persisted throughout my life. What I think about video games, my reasons for playing them, and what I think I can contribute to the medium have evolved a lot through the years. Recently, my attention is on the consumer end of video games, considering topics like expectation, demographics, and the vocal minority.
For the sake of simplifying things, it’s pretty valid to think of me as Asian Pie. We share similarities in a lot of aspects other than being the same age and sporting glasses; I’m just made of more fried rice and less height slice. I am quite a bit more RPG and MMORPG focused but enjoy all genres of games across the board, minus FPS. Also, this is the only place on StreamBIG where you’ll get to see this sentence. I watch and enjoy anime.
By nature, I enjoy giving a helping hand to people so long as I feel that I am capable and relevant. I love seeing cool ideas and honest hard work turn out results, and if I can contribute towards that success then even better. I also enjoy sharing information particularly via writing or discussion. I strongly believe the one thing that people often lack most is information. More or less, these are the reasons why I chose to get myself involved.
I remember hustling downstairs on a frosty Christmas morning, my easily excitable 6-year-old mind unaware of the possibility that my pants may be on backwards. Regardless, there was no bigger day than shred up the pretty paper to claim the prize day, and one prize stood knees and toes above the rest this time around. I had no idea what was inside that curvy black piece of plastic, but when my older brother plugged it into the television, he became a wizard who was capable of controlling the little guy with the red hat on TV. I was in awe, and I was curious to know if I had the ability to do the same. Despite my brother’s initial reluctance, I slowly graduated from spectator to being the one who showed him where the Kokiri Sword was located in Ocarina of Time. And before I knew it, we were jamming two controllers into the console and purging evil from the world of Final Fantasy IV together. However, our tag team did not last as my brother moved on to college, leaving behind his treasure stash of video games for me to dive into. In my early teens, I delved into the adventures my brother enjoyed before my time on the NES and SNES and eventually felt ready to return those memories to the shelves amidst the search for experiences of my own.
As I came of age to walk the halls of a college campus, I followed the family standard of the medical route. I studied hard through high school and reaped the benefits of AP credits galore. I was confident that following this path would be safe and reliable, but after progressing through nearly a year of college, my interest in the medical track wavered the more I learned. As I questioned my interests, I turned towards that one thing I had been building up since I was 6 years old. Outside of console gaming, I involved myself in the world of online gaming and guilds. The height of my guild leadership occurred on CABAL Online in 2007 where I led an active 70-80 member community for roughly 4 months until the hype died down and people moved on. At the same time, I was highly interested in the rising popularity of YouTube animations using assets ripped from the online sidescroller Maple Story. I became invested in storytelling and allowed any quality of ideas to fly through my imagination in hopes of nurturing a mature style. While I learned Sony Vegas to compile my animations, I practiced designing worlds for my characters to play around in and constantly sought the advice of friends about the quality of my story concepts. My most notable accomplishment during the first year of college was not my outstanding GPA, but rather creating a Maple Story animation celebrating the birthday of my Sensei at a Godai Ninpo martial arts club.
I ended up transferring to an art school to study game art and design with a heavy focus on the 3D art asset pipeline. This was a very rough move for me as I had no prior experience in any form of traditional arts. I worked as hard as I could to catch up to my class and attended Game Developer’s Conference twice in order to get a taste of the game industry. Ultimately, I graduated with work that was above average for a student, but below average for someone wanting to get into the professional industry. But aside from that, the four year process had me questioning whether or not I was cut out for the industry’s pace and work schedule. I spent several months after graduation thinking honestly about things that I was and was not capable of. During this process I pursued a day job as a cook and developed interest in taking streaming more seriously. I had been viewing Twitch streams since 2013 and began streaming for my friends who don’t play console games in 2014, but I decided that I wanted to do more with it. I researched a lot of other streamers to get a grasp of how things are done and updated my Twitch page and approach to streaming to what you can see today.
Prior to Twitch, I was better known by my nickname Duo. The nickname came from my fascination with dual wielding which I first encountered in the unheard of MMORPG Dragon Gem that never made it past Beta in the West. The nickname sticks with me even today and its meaning has evolved into something much more complex. When making my Twitch account, Duo was unavailable and I absolutely refused to make a shenanigans account like xXDuo321Xx. Instead, I decided to cater my Twitch name towards something more like a theme. After5 literally means after 5 PM, referring to the period of off time after a standard 9 to 5 work day. I decided that this was appropriate since to me streaming was something that I would tackle after a scheduled work day. It also serves as a reminder for me that working the 9 to 5 life in the game industry is very much still an open consideration. For me, streaming is a source of relaxation and relief, and I want it to work the same way for my audience.