2018: Year in Review

Received $638.18 in donations – thank you to all

Grappled with depression on a couple of occasions, including the longest depressive spell I’ve ever experienced

Towards the start of the year, I set some ambitious goals to carry myself and the broadcast forward. Let’s recap:

Goals for 2018

Q1 Achieve financial independence
Q2 Sow seeds, keep the nose to the grindstone
Q3 Reap
Q4 ?
Become a millionaire by the end of the year

I started the year with some content experiments

Back when I was broadcasting myself playing video games, I wanted to get the attention of Team XIM. They announced the XIM APEX on New Year’s Eve, 2017, and after a quick search on YouTube, I tossed up this video that I made using iMovie on my iPhone while laying on my bed:

Using feedback gained from this piece, I then went on to create a more polished presentation

I was very excited by the reception: my YouTube channel began picking up steam. With this early success under my belt, I felt confident to take on the rest of the year, believing I had cracked the formula to growth on YouTube.

For years, I’ve known the importance of process, and I committed myself to capturing it. Even while I was a gaming livestreamer, I would broadcast my work in progress. I changed the format of my broadcast, livestreaming to document my waking hours: everything from preparing my morning coffee, to walking Paul, to my evening ritual. What better than embracing the magic of video?

Using the tools I had at my disposal, I experimented with a multitude of IRL streaming apps on iOS, eventually settling on Streamlabs.

Unfortunately, some of the earliest broadcasts aren’t archived, as I didn’t have my process together.

I set up an RTMP server for greater flexibility, and the frustration compounded

Having friends in the know is always a blessing. One of my childhood friends, Jeff, headed to China for work. He shared a couple of resources, and also suggested I reach out to Bryan, the guru. I learned about travel hacking and began implementing. While other broadcasters passed out business cards, I acquired business credit cards.

I experimented with manufactured spend at sufficient volume to cover my cost of living expenses, but I was hesitant to scale. After experiencing my first bank shutdown, I avoided getting deeper into MS.

My new lines of credit allowed me to invest back into the equipment and infrastructure that powered my broadcast. I acquired a 2017 MacBook to replace my 2011 MacBook Air. I also picked up an iPhone 8 Plus, choosing it over the iPhone X because I didn’t want to have to replace my olloclip lens kit. I shifted all my monthly recurring expenses over to my 0% APR card, and banked on my ability to produce a winning broadcast.

ankistar from the Asian Identity Discord

Witnessed a sudden boom in my Twitch viewership after I began showing my AR-15 in the weeks following Parkland. I took the opportunity to lead discussions, and had the privilege of interacting with a great many knowledgeable persons. Out of the discussions and late nights, I published my first post on Medium, Mass Shootings: A Game Theoretic Solution to End an American Epidemic.

I attended my first ever firearms course, offered by Monarch Defense

I invited my friend, Wesley Wilson, to join me on the air from prison.

On March 16, my Twitch channel suffered its first indefinite suspension. I remember the sinking feeling in my heart when I realized what had happened, but I attacked the problem with vigor, and was back in no time.

I went hunting for the first time

In the early hours of April 29, my fuel pump failed, leaving me stranded on Beltway-8 and I-45. I was headed back home following my second visit out to Andy’s hunting grounds. It took almost four hours for a tow operator to arrive and take me back home.

I was banned from /r/aznidentity

I experienced an American Express financial review. Although they terminated my accounts, the best possible outcome took place: I was able to get my Membership Reward points reinstated. I stopped trusting MacOS’s Preview app for handling PDFs.

I’m now sitting on 126,000 miles in my ANA account, enough for a Round the World business class redemption

At the end of May, I joined my parents for a roadtrip. We visited Rocky Mountain National Park and Arches National Park, along with a handful of state parks. I came back with a renewed sense of vigor.

Joseph, a good friend from college, stopped by Houston. We hung out on June 16, and shot.

I picked up a QuickJack, put it together, and got my car off the ground.

Received a phone call from an FBI agent

In the early hours of June 28, I received my second indefinite suspension from Twitch after hosting NDS TaLoN on my channel:

I remember going out to eat lunch one day with my mother, my brother, and his wife, and feeling terrible. My father had phoned ahead and ordered one of the house specialties, 八宝鸭, but I had little appetite.

On July 25 I took the GRE. When I retrieved my possessions from the little locker at the testing facility, I was surprised to learn that my parents were right next door. They treated me to a meal at Red Lobster.

With a heavy heart, I went back to the University of Missouri to complete my MBA. I brought my clothing, a fan, and a lightweight computing setup. Enrolled in all of two and a half credit hours.

Participated in Startup Weekend October 5 – October 7

On October 17, I flew out to Boston on IBM’s dime, and stayed a couple nights in Cambridge, MA to attend the finalist event for the IBM Vault:

I landed an internship offer, which I accepted. I’ll be attending orientation on January 16.

Tossed my art installation on August 11.

Grew more comfortable with social media. Live-blogged my trip to and from Houston for Thanksgiving.

Acquired my first Android phone, a Google Pixel 3 XL

Fired off a write-up describing my lifestreaming setup

Visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR
Discovered the joys of port
Hosted Wesley Wilson’s girlfriend when she visited Houston

Played the Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections version of the FF7 Main Theme

Caught a flat tire the evening of December 30

Goals for 2019

Finalize my lifestreaming rig
Reward myself for completing my MBA by redeeming a round the world business class itinerary, and bringing the show on the road
Land a six-figure full-time remote position

There’s a lot to look forward to – I can hardly wait.

New Friend Alert

It’s been a while since I last wrote here, so I’m happy to pour my thoughts out on the state of yetieater today.

At the time of writing, my Twitch channel has been suspended indefinitely. I am well aware that this is an attempt by organized trolls to suppress me: they’ve made their presence known in many ways. I know, for instance, that they have been futilely attempting to get into this backend from which I am now composing my thoughts.

When I began broadcasting full-time, I took a hostile attitude towards trolls. I knew that I couldn’t continue doing this forever, even though I eventually came to relish these opportunities to spar. During one of my workout streams, I remarked that I would ultimately make it such that I could deal with a troll using the single press of a button on my wireless mouse (it has ten programmable buttons). I drafted a message to trolls, a note that I finally released following months of dealing with them as if they were individuals.

I know that some of the trolls who have found their way to my channel are quite intelligent. This shows through the clarity of their writing. I don’t know what, exactly, makes them so determined to drag me down, but I’ve expressed my defiance before, and remain obstinately opposed to them. If I had a dime for every time I’ve knocked on wood for electing not to take on Twitch Affiliate, I could make a couple of payphone calls, and it’s precisely for moments like this, the second time my Twitch channel has been taken offline in the span of a week.

Meanwhile, the groundwork for the hovel’s expansion has been laid, and the foundation is solid. yetieater is slowly getting off the ground, a process that’s taken many years. In the weeks ahead, you can expect an explosion of diverse content and more fresh faces. You will begin to witness a depth to yetieater that you’ve never observed in the past, and I’m so excited to show you what’s still to come.

I’m beginning to feel tired: my eyelids are growing heavy, and my mind is almost clear. yetieater has had his time under the sun, and it’s time to turn my attention back to taking care of my own needs.

With love,

yetieater

Refinements

Lately, I’ve been making some changes. I’ve switched my broadcasting tools, moving from Live:Air Solo (iOS) to Streamlabs’s Streamlabs: Livestreaming mobile app (iOS). Additionally, I’ve borrowed a page from a partnered Discord server on how to set up self-assignable roles so that they are more intuitive.

First, a quick rundown of the pros and cons of Streamlabs.

Pros

  • Being able to use Streamlabs overlays is great!
    • I’ve set up three of them for my stream so far: Alertbox, Chatbox, Event List, and Donation Goal
  • Capable of Custom RTMP
  • Resilient
    • Seems to handle the handoff from WiFi to LTE better than the other apps I have tried

Cons

  • Interacting with the Editor on a device like my iPhone 7 Plus is an exercise in frustration
  • Major drawback: no ability to review chat at this time from the broadcasting device outside of reading messages as they appear, and fade away, from the Chatbox
    • Note that Live:Air Solo does not do a much better job of handling them, but at the very least it provides the broadcaster with a scrollable chat window
    • On a mobile device where multitasking support is enabled, it’s probably possible, but those familiar with me know that my hardware is rarely cutting-edge
  • Overlays are sometimes flakey
    • Is this just an issue with Streamlabs overlays in general?
  • Framerate issues
    • This is especially evident when an animated GIF appears

I may update this list of pros and cons as I continue to explore the Streamlabs app, though major changes to the functionality of the app will be addressed in a separate post.

As a bit of a gag, I made a donation goal – become a millionaire by Christmas 2018. I want to take a moment to acknowledge Deffy Urz for being the first to contribute towards this lofty goal. You’re a G.

I don’t use Streamlabs for donations at this time. There’s a fee associated with PayPal donations accepted through Streamlabs: they’re charged as if they’re payment for goods or services, incurring PayPal’s prevailing rates. Over time, this can be quite significant: if I were to reach the $1 million goal, they’d amount to at least $29,000! I’d much rather turn that money around into a car for someone who needs reliable transportation…

But I digress.

Self-assignable roles in my Discord server are now handled through short and simple commands that members can type in chat. I can see them evolving to become even more intuitive over time, to the point where one needn’t even type, but for now this is the best that I can do given my existing exposure to the platform. I will continue to sing praises to the virtues of Discord.

Going back to the subject of mobile streaming: it occurs to me that there’s a significant opportunity in apps targeted towards mobile livestreamers. I’ll share my observations here, because I lack the time and the resources necessary to tackle the problem myself, but the first developer to make the right moves in the space will reap the rewards. Established players, enjoy your head starts.

It’s about giving broadcasters the ability to interact with chat.

Outside of the Twitch mobile app, I’ve now conducted livestreams from my iPhone 7 Plus using IRLTV (iOS), Live:Air Solo, and Streamlabs. Live:Air Solo is unique in keeping the broadcaster’s ability to interact with chat locked behind a micro-transaction. I paid the small price to keep a watchful eye over my Twitch chat, pigeon-holing myself into conducting lifestreams solely to Twitch for a brief period of time, but functionality lags significantly behind the official Twitch app.

Flexibility of overlays is the other key point that needs to be addressed. To the best of my knowledge, there is no mobile livestreaming app catering to Twitch broadcasters that allows the broadcaster to include an overlay in the style of an OBS Browser Source (Browser Plugin). An app that handles this would be tremendous.

20171004 Housekeeping and Next Steps

It’s been a long time since I wrote, but I’m in a writing mood today, and I happened to be logged into the backend of yetieater.com

I updated the site a bit. It’s been just shy of one month since the launch of Destiny 2, and you will now find it has its own page and navbar entry.

I’ve updated my donation page to include a section on goals. Additionally, I’ve made some minor adjustments to the homepage.

I’ve had a couple of folks show up during my Destiny 2 livestreams to inquire about my XIM4 settings for that game: I tore myself away from the screen long enough to create a new page detailing my Destiny 2 XIM4 setup.

A lot of folks are still finding their way here through my Destiny XIM4 setup, so I included an intro block to direct them towards my Destiny 2 XIM4 setup in case that’s what they were really needing.

I’ve yet to experiment with XIM4 ballistics curves beyond the ones that I was using in Destiny. I must take some time to play around. This will happen.

Finally, I will be joining the PC master race crowd by obtaining a PC license for Destiny 2, even though my machine is a potato (see below for proof):

Notes from Week One of Destiny 2

The Destiny 2 experience is at once familiar to Destiny veterans. The rough edges have been polished through myriad quality of life improvements: gone are the frequent pitstops to the Tower.

I am very fond of the generously-sized vault! I tend to hoard items that I collect in-game, and the new vault means that I can go longer between purges of my inventory.

Developers within the community took advantage of the Destiny API to create a suite of tools that served as a bandage for some of Bungie’s oversights in their original design of Destiny. One tool stands out in particular: Destiny Item Manager (destinyitemmanager.com). DIM’s developers beat out Bungie’s Destiny 2 Companion App to openly allowing players to move their gear, resulting in some curious observations. Take, for instance, the ability to preserve the power level 100 armor that you are equipped with at the start of the game’s first mission, Homecoming (reddit). While it was buggy at first, forcing me to resort to Bungie’s Destiny 2 Companion App for the first few days, the DIM team is adept at quashing bugs, and Destiny Item Manager will continue to be a staple in my toolkit.

The addition of a world map, complete with public event timers, renders sites like DestinyPublicEvents.com to a bygone era. This, coupled with fast travel, means that players will find themselves in good company as they engage in public events. No more idling in Skywatch as you wait to catch Urzok, the Hated.

One of the chief complaints that stuck with me through Destiny was Bungie’s lack of respect for player’s time. Until update 1.0.2, vanilla Destiny’s Cryptarch would sometimes decrypt legendary engrams into lower-quality rares, much to the chagrin of players. This is still evident in the mechanics causing luminous engrams to decrypt at lower than expected power levels for players who have created multiple characters of the same class.

Questions

Is it worth spending glimmer on power level upgrades before reaching the level cap?

I noticed I was having a hard time dismantling items – something was stopping the action from completing. It may be linked to NPCs talking. Is anyone else experiencing this?

20170509 Trials of Osiris on Twilight Gap in Hindsight

Destiny‘s Trials of Osiris took place on Twilight Gap from May 5th to May 8th, 2017.

This is the fifth time that the Trials of Osiris has taken place on Twilight Gap.

I was a little perplexed by my weekly performance at the close of day one (1.50), especially when reviewing it against my overall record (6113/3154=1.9382). By the end of day one, I’d succeeded in adding 289 kills and 193 deaths to my record (289/193=1.4974).

It didn’t occur to me until I expressed my disappointment over these numbers in stream… One of my viewers pointed out that the meta had changed since the last time (January 20th to January 23rd, 2017) that Twilight Gap was played.

As a former Last Word + sniper main, the natural choice would have been for me to switch to Palindrome + Ice Breaker.

On Sunday, I ran a marathon session with NDS TaLoN. I put in some deliberate practice with my Striker Titan’s movement on Saturday night, knowing that its lightning grenades would do work on this map. I should have spent more time practicing my nade throws on Twilight Gap, as they ended up being the death of me on more occasions than I would have liked. I didn’t know how long I was expected to be on, but I do know that opportunities like this don’t present themselves every day. We ran lighthouse virgin carries from his stream for almost eight hours. By the end of it, I was worn out. I lay down and fell asleep for a few hours.

I’ve run carries with NDS TaLoN once before, on Asylum. Like last time, he stayed mostly quiet across party chat. As one of the Destiny community’s most-viewed Twitch streamers, he spends a significant portion of his time on-stream interacting with chat, and team comms suffer as a consequence. Some of the best moments were found when the whole team moved to play up close and personal with the opposing team: the full court press, if you will.

In spite of the fact that I was running carries with another strong player, my record remained virtually unchanged from the close of day one. New weekly totals: 581 kills to 391 deaths for a 1.486 K/D.

I wrapped up Trials of Osiris on Twilight gap with a Win/Loss record of 88/31, giving me a 73.95% win percentage, and 712 kills to 459 deaths for a 1.55 K/D.

I had the opportunity to play with the following individuals:

  • Phantaci
  • Flame oT
  • uck bungie
  • THE W0RMW00D
  • NDS TaLoN
  • a box 0f juice
  • The Devil Prada
  • TombstoneTV
  • shenjen

My thanks go out to you all for being a part of my weekend 🙂

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