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Colorado Plays

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Getting Started with the YouTube Channel and Why

Last Updated on October 8, 2019 by Michael Brockbank

Yesterday, I published our first official video on the YouTube channel. It’s a short clip about why we still like to play Diablo 3. With any luck, and a bit of motivation, it’ll be the first of many.

Of course, the hard part is trying to separate our channel from the thousands that are out there on YouTube. I don’t want us to merely be another “Let’s Play” YouTube channel.

But coming up with unique ideas is difficult when you’re competing with such a vast ocean of video content.

Why Create a YouTube Channel?

Although blogging generates a bit of traffic, there’s no denying the power of video. In reality, video content is one of the fastest-growing and most absorbed on the Internet.

And I’m not just talking about live streams on Facebook or apps like Tik Tok.

Having a YouTube channel for ColoradoPlays makes logical sense to reach our core demographic. There are several reasons why we are starting to put effort into building the brand in this manner.

Help Drive Donations for Charities

Extra Life

First and foremost, ColoradoPlays donates a portion of everything it makes to various charities. For instance, a third of anything this website makes goes directly to Extra Life.

If you don’t know, Extra Life is the charity organization that gives all of its money to the Children’s Miracle Network. In our case, we sponsor the Children’s Hospital in Denver.

Not only that, but we also use monies from ColoradoPlays to benefit other organizations such as Geeks of Grandeur.

We love playing games and figure it’s a good way to support the charities we love. And if we can generate more donations with the YouTube channel, that just benefits everyone involved.

Making Videos is a Bit Addicting

After making videos for the past year for WriterSanctuary, I found creating them a bit addicting. It’s fun to hit the record button while trying to figure out some fun edits and then throw it up on YouTube to see what sticks.

With the gaming videos, I’m already playing the game anyway. I might as hit record and highlight some fun segments. And personally, I rather enjoyed making the first video.

In reality, I found making the “Why We Still Play…” video far easier than what I do for my writing blog.

Brand Awareness

Like anyone or any company looking to make a name for themselves online, video content propels interest. Sure, we get a handful of visitors to the blog every day. However, it doesn’t have the impact that a YouTube channel can deliver.

I mean, really, what gaming brand doesn’t have a solid video production outlet?

There’s a lot more I want to do with ColoradoPlays that goes well beyond the simple blog. And I feel that getting the YouTube channel started will help me reach those aspirations.

We Love Interacting with the Audience

One of the biggest kicks we get out of live streams is interacting with viewers. We’ve had some fun conversations and had a few people join in on our games. It’s one of the biggest attractions for us, really.

While I can’t speak for everyone else here, I also find interacting with viewers fun through video comments. Although we just started the channel, I enjoy engaging on WriterSanctuary’s videos.

I’m sure I’ll have just as good of a time for ColoradoPlays.

What Will We Do with the YouTube Channel?

As I mentioned above, finding a unique niche for gaming on YouTube is quite difficult. There are so many out there who are competing for the same eyes. So, I decided to start uploading to see what viewers want the most.

I have plenty of ideas…now I just need to see if they’re going to be worthwhile in the long run. Since our primary goal is supporting charities, I would like to generate as much interest as possible.

Why We Still Play…

The first video I uploaded was the “Why We Still Play…” for Diablo 3. I wanted to highlight some of the things that make older games fun for us. And trust me, there are plenty.

For some, it may be nothing more than a nostalgic short clip of yesteryear’s game. For others, it might be something to poke fun at. But in the end, we want to highlight what makes a good game.

And in today’s gaming industry, highlighting the good parts seems a bit difficult at times.

Hardcore Play Throughs

I am pretty much the only person on the team who is willing to play hardcore in anything. This is because the girls get too attached to their characters and don’t want to lose it all.

For me, that’s part of the fun. Knowing that with one wrong move, the game is over completely.

And some of my favorite videos to watch on a YouTube channel involve hardcore play and crossing my fingers that the person playing makes it through to that next area. It’s a bit of “safe drama,” especially if you start to care about the player’s welfare in the game.

And yes…I loved watching Achievement Hunter’s YDYD series in Minecraft. But that’s not where I got the idea. Technically, I’ve been playing hardcore since the early days of Pool of Radiance on the Commodore 64.

Now I’m showing my age a bit.

Highlights of Live Streams

One thing we would like to add is the highlights of live streams whether they are from Twitch or YouTube. We’ve had some awesome events that would have made great video content.

And I wish I could upload the time one of my kids burned down our camp in Don’t Starve Together.

These probably won’t be super long videos, maybe around four to six minutes depending on the instance. But some of the things that happened in games have simply been amazing.

For example, I should have recorded the time my teenager told me to “@e” to teleport her and her sister to my location in Minecraft. Yeah, that command teleported everything in the game to my location.

It was pretty amazing, actually. You’ve never seen so many animals, villagers and minecarts in one small area.

Gaming with the Kids

Gaming with my kids is a lot of fun. The ages span from 12 through 19, so you get quite a mixed bag of reactions. And like the teleportation event in Minecraft I mentioned, there’s always something that makes me ask, “what the hell?” and laugh.

Now I know what I think is funny might not be for everyone. But there are moments where I was crying from laughter because something one of the kids did in the game.

And by the way, having my son burn down the camp and surrounding forest in Don’t Starve Together was during the live stream event for Extra Life in 2018. You never know what you’ll see during a live game.

Let’s Plays

Although I want our YouTube channel to be more than just Let’s Play videos, we’ll still do a few. We’ve come across some awesome games that were quite fun to play. Like our time with Guacamelee had some funny moments while figuring out the controls.

We’re not the best at any one game, but it is fun to figure something out and have “Ah-Ha!” moments to share.

Besides, as much as I don’t necessarily want to center around Let’s Plays, you can’t argue with online success when done right.

Health and Fitness Through Gaming

One of my biggest accomplishments has been losing more than 80 pounds mostly playing the Xbox Kinect. And although Microsoft dropped support for the system, it’s still a valid way to burn calories when playing.

I’ll do a video series on how to get the most out of specific games and show viewers how they can lose weight as I have.

This was something I was setting up for Crossing Colorado, but Google’s algorithm changes in June 2018 pretty much put an end to that experiment.

Thank you, Google!

Things to Do in Colorado

Video games aren’t the only thing we like to play in Colorado. In fact, the state has a lot of fun things for just about everyone. We would like to highlight some of the things you can do while visiting, or even if you live here.

This might involve amusement parks, golf courses, bowling alleys, the Botanic Gardens and far more. We even might toss in a wine tour, as long as we can do it without getting our YouTube channel flagged.

This means we’ll need to be more motivated to venture out, which is something I wanted to work on for myself anyway.

How to’s

With the “How To” videos, I’ll probably center those more around using things like XSplit and OBS to stream or record gameplay. However, we might do short clips for things to help others learn about specific games.

For instance, I looked everywhere for a tutorial on setting up something in Sky Factory 4 for Minecraft recently. I wound up having to figure it out myself, and it might have made a good video.

It’s moments like that where I would like to help others figure out something in a game or help them boost their own live streams.

Contact Us with Ideas

I am currently working on a contact form for ColoradoPlays. But for now, you can send video ideas through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

After all, we are building the YouTube channel to provide content you would like to watch. What better way is there than to poll the audience for new ideas?

Will Uploads Be a Regular Thing?

Now comes the fun part…making sure we stick to a regular schedule for uploading videos. In the past, we’ve been slackers. We’ll come out of the gate strong but then pitter out after a few weeks.

Recently, I’ve personally had a resurgence of passion for everything I want to do. And I believe that I can handle everything and keep us on course.

In the beginning, the YouTube channel won’t have daily uploads, though. I simply don’t have the time at the moment. But, it will have at least one new video every week.

I’m sure that once the ball starts rolling down the hill, we’ll pick up speed and produce more and more content. Unfortunately, I simply have too much to do in the week to do more than one or two videos.

I need to pay my own bills, after all.

Why Did it Take So Long to Start the YouTube Channel?

Part of our delay for the YouTube channel spurns from my own mental issues. You see, I have a bit of an Impostor Syndrome complex. In other words, I don’t believe I’m as good as I need to be.

This has been a problem for me, especially in my freelancing career. Even though my clients love me and I am incredible at what I do, I still have issues accepting compliments or having faith in my abilities.

But this is changing.

Recently, I believe I made a profound change in my mental state and how I view myself. Today, I feel as though I can tackle the world and put it into a headlock until it taps in submission.

Not only that, but delaying development will never help me achieve my goals for ColoradoPlays. And every day that goes by without the slightest bit of effort only delays it further.

I don’t want the delays anymore. It’s time to put in the effort and get something going if we want to build the brand into something greater.

Here’s to a Fun and Successful YouTube Channel

As long as I can keep my eye on where I want to take us, the YouTube channel will grow into an extension of what we do, especially for charities. I have a newfound excitement in the process and look forward to seeing where it leads.

As long as I can keep hope and effort alive, perhaps our channel can grow into something amazing…for everyone.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.