May 3, 2017 I received a call while working at my former day job as a Documentation Manager that my aunt died on my moms side. My aunt was a great influence on me as a child. She would babysit me and take me on adventures through woods. She always encouraged my creative side. Sometimes she would play Legend of Zelda or Dragon Warrior on the original NES. When we would go to parks themed like castles I would pretend to be Link. I remember going to Toys R Us and her buying me the Hero Quest game for $20. As I got older she helped get me into Magic the Gathering. If it wasn't for some of these experiences I am not sure I ever would have gotten into Tabletop RPGs. Her death really made it hard for me to enjoy my hobbies for a little bit.
In September I left my job as a Documentation Manager to go from part time Realtor to full time Realtor. I began to think of how I could get my YouTube channel going again like I was doing it back in 2015. When August rolled around my friend Cody from Taking 20 sent me a message and asked me if I would want to go to GenCon 50 with him and stay in his hotel room free of charge. This was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. All I had to do was pick him up at the airport, and drive him around. That was a more than fair price to pay. I picked him up on August 16, 2017 from the airport and while waiting saw the Critical Role members who must have been on the same plane from Dallas as him.
The eve of GenCon 50 Cody and I began to talk about our YouTube channels and I told him I was wanting to really get back into working on my channel. We had a real conversation about what I liked and didn't like about my channel. That conversation opened my eyes to a lot about what I wanted to do with my channel except the channel I had been working on since 2012 wasn't going to be the right one for it. I decided to start a brand new one. The next morning we met up with some other YouTubers including our friend Dave from Nerdarchy. It was all really awesome and exciting. Then it happened one of the worst things I could have imagined. I got a call from my wife about 45 minutes before the doors opened. She told me my father died unexpectedly that morning. This experience stopped me in my tracks and I won't ever forget it or where I was. I told everyone to go on without me because I needed to make some calls. My first day at my first ever GenCon is a complete blur. I made myself play in a game of Savage Rifts that evening and it sort of distracted me. Cody was fantastic and gave me space when I needed but kept me social when I needed as well. I struggled with trying to figure out if I should go home right away or not. My wife told me to stay and handle things when I got home. She is amazing and I couldn't be more lucky.
If there was ever a place to be when you get terrible news GenCon is a pretty good place for it. Plenty of things to distract and tons of great people. The weekend had some great experiences like sitting down in the open gaming hall and playing D&D with Dave, Cody, Doug, Dave's son for a quick game. We fought a bugbear and it was a lot of fun. Hanging out with Bill Allan was great and one night he said he was staying in a hotel near us so Cody offered him a ride back to his room. It wasn't near ours and Cody was pissed about it. Me I was fine with it and enjoyed the conversation. We talked about my new YouTube channel and doing it as something separate from my old one. We also hung out with Michael Hunt from Unmade Gaming. He was all about Twitch and it was great getting to know him better. He had some awesome insight into things coming from a streamer rather than a YouTuber. It was great getting his input. I look forward to one day hanging out with everyone again.
Now when I got home from GenCon 50 I was heavily motivated to work on it but as the oldest child of my father I had a lot to take care of. For about a month there was family stuff to take care of and it was draining. I didn't do much with Real Estate either and was just exhausted. I started with working on the logo because I thought I already knew what videos I wanted to do first. Again Cody and a couple others were great with providing me amazing feedback and help. I had a logo nailed down and was ready to work on other things.
When I was going to launch my channel I wanted it to be built on a foundation for newer players and game masters but the list of videos and order I was to do them in did not support this. I filmed a few videos and really disliked them. They did not fit with the intro that my friend James from JarlofGoats made. They also seemed very forced and I think I wasn't ready yet. I took some time to re-evaluate what I wanted and what I was doing to get there. That is when I changed my plan thanks to a few conversations but one with my friend Garreth of DMGinfo and 7DSystem. I told him what I wanted and how I felt like I was missing the mark and our conversation to follow was what I needed.
I had a busy winter in my real estate career and that was good. It gave me time to plan and really get things prepared. There were some things that I needed to figure out with my editing, intro, and end screen. There has always been a genuine interest in learning more about these things. If I was going to do this how I wanted I would need to be able to do most of this on my own. So I am thankful that I didn't rush into things.
Now here we are in May but April was a key month for me. I wrapped up some things for work and that was when I could confidently dive into this. I made a set schedule which is something I never did before. My wife has been holding me accountable with it too. Every evening around dinner she asks me if there is anything I need to do for my channel. It has been really nice having that encouragement.
Never again do I plan to fly by the seat of my pants with any of my YouTube Channels or other projects. Having a schedule is imperative to making this work and unfortunately I learned this later than most. It is better late than never though.
I am really fortunate to have learned what I have over the years and made the friendships I have within the community. So as you can see there have been plenty of personal challenges going into this. I can't express how happy I am to be where I am today with the friends I have made. There are a lot of people I am sure I have left out in this but just know I am very appreciative of everyone who has helped me along the way or just been my friend. It means a lot to have you alongside me on this journey.
My goals with this channel are to build a foundation for anyone new to Tabletop RPGs. That is why this first video is What Is A Tabletop RPG and is part of the Intro to Tabletop RPGs video series. If you are new to Tabletop RPGs this series is intended for you. If you are experienced and have anyone who is interested but not real experienced with Tabletop RPGs I hope you will share this with them. Don't worry eventually we will get into more and more advanced topics. We will also discuss how to play specific system, and then go into build guides, and then get into game master tips such as how to handle specific optimized builds, and more for those specific systems. If any of this sounds like it might be interesting to you please be sure to subscribe to the channel.
The first day that the What Is A Tabletop RPG video was up it had over 60 views and managed to help get the channel over 50 subscribers. I am blown away by the support it has received. The feedback was great too. Obviously I know the sound could be a little better. I see a few ways I can improve and I will with the next video. It was a little emotional posting this video because of all of the things I had come up in the last year. This channel is a new chapter for me and I can't wait to see how this all goes. It is going to be a fun journey!
So there you have it my personal journey to launch my new YouTube channel.
Please check out the links below to join in the conversations and discussions about various Tabletop RPG topics.