Streamer Spotlight: Tea with Zillie

Zillieness_Logo_for_CyberPower

Streamer Spotlight aims to highlight promising newer Twitch casters, promoting their personality over what game is currently trending. Streamer Spotlight will focus on interviewing several casters each month, looking into what specific brand of entertainment they are willing to give to the audience. While the spotlight focuses on gaming casters now, we’re open to interview anyone who has the motivation to share their passion with the world as a caster.

Our premiere interview is with Zillieness, a once-competitive Counter Strike player turned variety caster. Instead of focusing on her past in the FPS scene, she plays for enjoyment and to share her experiences with her viewers. From handling the relentlessly punishing mechanics of blind Dark Souls runs with composed finesse, to the more social streams of playing Game Dev Tycoon, Zillieness puts her unscripted and real self into each cast. Her positive and often bubbly personality brings out a certain charm to everything she does. For more about her channel and future plans, be sure to check out our first Streamer Spotlight.

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Introduce yourself!

Hi, I’m Zillieness! I’m a variety broadcaster on Twitch.TV, but I’m also a tech nerd, natural lifestyle blogger, culinary wizard, and an amateur songwriter.

How long have you been gaming for?

My family owned a NES, SNES, and SEGA Genesis for as long as I can remember which I was immediately captivated by. I clearly remember the tediousness of repeatedly attempting levels in Donkey Kong, Mario, and Sonic due to the terrible hand eye coordination that comes with being a small child, but that somehow never discouraged me from pressing Start and trying again. I was also very lucky to have had my own computer at the age of 8, made of spare parts from my older brother’s past rigs, where I spent countless hours playing educational games such as Operation Neptune and Gizmos and Gadgets and later moved on to Age of Empires I & II, Diablo II, and The Sims by age 11. Ever since then, I’ve been a huge fan of first-person shooters, RPGs, MMOs, and creative simulators. Needless to say, gaming has been part of my life since the beginning and has always been one of my favorite past times

For the streaming side, how long have you been streaming for?

I recently had my two year anniversary on Twitch!

Do you do it full time or is it still a thought in the works?

Full-time streaming is still just a thought for me. It’s difficult to get to the point where full-time streaming is a possibility, but I’m happy where I am with it now. I’m grateful to have a supportive, loving community surrounding me, and I will continue streaming indefinitely whether full-time ever gets put on the table or not.

What inspired you to stream?
Streaming was something I thought about trying for a while, but for a long time I was too afraid to take the leap. About two years ago, I made a very bold move from the U.S. to Canada and was already feeling adventurous so I decided to finally put myself out there. At the time I was co-hosting a gaming podcast and found streaming to be a great way to share a closer look at my gaming endeavors with our audience. Ultimately the driving force for me was trying anything I could to overcome my overwhelming anxiety. I figured that if I could practice facing my fears doing something I so desperately loved, then maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to face them in less desirable scenarios. I’m so grateful I did because I was able to meet some of the most interesting and my most favorite people through streaming, and I feel so much more confident in my own skin and more fearless than ever before.

I actually thought your gaming podcast was interesting because it addressed and dug deeper into topics that people may not be aware of. Will you be bringing this back? Also any archives for people to go back and listen to? I know timing is everything but it was just interesting to listen to.

I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! My co-host, Asytra, and I are equally passionate about games. We mesh so well together that we would try to plan specific topics to cover, but our discussions would always bring us towards much deeper and more reflective conclusions than we could have ever planned. I miss those conversations very much and would love to bring back the podcast! Archived episodes of the Call of the Sirens gaming podcast can be found here: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/call-of-the-sirens-gaming-podcast

For the people who have not watched your stream, could you describe it to them?

My streams exude enthusiasm and positivity– even when I’m streaming blind runs of Dark Souls. When I’m streaming, I’m there to devour a game in its entirety and share that experience with my community. I love dissecting the interplay of story and mechanics, relating a game to its predecessors, and appreciating brilliant design. It all makes for great discussion in the chat; we have brilliant people in our community and you get to hear so many opinions and perspectives from so many kinds of people… including game devs! That kind of thoughtful discussion became the foundation that developed into the beautiful, loving, and overwhelmingly positive environment that all of us love to spend time together in. It’s humbling how many people are still around after discovering my stream 1-2 years ago, and so a lot of our chat is made up of a big group of friends or “regulars.” I accredit that also to organic growth and an excellent moderation team. We’ve also branched out and have a strong presence on Discord (text/voice chat for gamers) which has become part of the stream experience and enables us to stay connected even when I’m not live streaming. We’re always in there playing games together, supporting each other through IRL issues, and it’s incredible for me to see people forming lasting friendships with not just me, but with each other. Anyone looking for that kind of environment is always welcome to join us on Twitch or Discord anytime.

Zillieness_Dark_Souls_Screenshot

eJwFwckNwyAQAMBeKIA7Jus2_PPHQngFKFyCzSOK0ntmvuw9C9tZIhprF-LOK_R580V9-og89h4L-pEXD70KT-RDqthoCS2VttqCfTowAGCc0Eoq40Bu8NickcZJceZSMl7H6zNzvY4wEdtKnfhokf3-lrcpmQ.TRkiJB_sY00Zy3qqrtUW4b1tw_cI noticed you were getting into the creative section on Twitch with the Pusheen pop filter. Is this something you will add to your repertoire? The pop filter looks very impressive by the way!

Thanks! And yes! I definitely plan to introduce cooking streams as an addition to my live gaming broadcasts. I really can’t wait to share that with everyone, since becoming a Food Network TV chef was always my dream as a kid. c:

pusheen pop filter

What advice would you give to someone that wants to start streaming?

Make friends, be consistent, and most importantly: stream what you’re passionate about. Chasing “the hype” may work for some people, but big bursts of exposure are hard to predict; a lot of that comes from knowing the right people or streaming in the right category at the right time. So don’t focus on your viewer count. Instead, focus on building a solid foundation to grow your presence, your community, and dig deep to figure out makes your stream unique to others. Everything else (better hardware, your confidence, viewer growth) will come with time. People can always tell if your heart is in the right place and if you love what you do, and in my experience, that’s what makes people stick around and come back for more.

Any shoutouts?

To my ever-present moderation team for all of their efforts towards shaping this community into my most favorite way to spend my time. True MVPs and friends.

Zillie’s Social Media:
Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/zillieness
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/zillieness

For the author, you can follow Lauro at twitter.com/genocast

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