I love what I do and I genuinely enjoy sharing it with others in a variety of forms, be they written or audiovisual . Being able to entertain people though the gameplay we've developed at ShackTac, teach and pass on lessons-learned over years of experience in the series, inspire others through the ethos and gameplay of ShackTac, or even help to influence the evolution of tactical gaming in some small way - each of these elements acts as fuel to keep the passion burning and counterbalance the work involved in creating high-quality content that lives up to the demanding standards I've set for myself.
I love creating quality work, I want to keep pushing myself in that direction - be that through videos, articles, mods, concepts, or whatever else might scratch the itch. I have an overflow of ideas tagged as "some day" on my to-do list, and it pains me to not be able to find the time to address them.
When I do have the time, I'm motivated through what I can come up with, and it's inspiring to see the reactions that people have to my work. Some examples would include my illustration of ballistics in Arma 3 or my VTTP and Art of Flight series. I have many more of these ideas sitting around, more topics I want to cover, but there are only so many hours in the day to do so - and so many of those hours are already occupied by real-world, paying work.
What Patreon offers me is a way to turn to my audience and offer any of you an easy means by which to support that creativity in a more tangible fashion - to allow me to say that when I'm spending those extra hours on special content, I'm doing so without sacrificing my livelihood in the process. Many have asked me for a way to give back and support my efforts, and Patreon fortunately offers just that opportunity. The goal here is simply to continue doing what I love, and in the process, be supported by those who see the value in it . In turn, that support allows me to invest more of my time back into those same creative passions, resulting in better work and more of it.
So what's in it for you?Patreon allows for perks to be given for certain donation quantities, defined by the creator. The idea is to give some fun little bonuses to people for contributing, and depending on the creator's style and the kind of content they create, this can take many interesting forms.
I've carefully considered what sort of milestones and perks I can reasonably offer. The 'constraining' factor is my desire to spread knowledge - which is to say, I'm loathe to create things that only a limited set of people are going to see. It's very hard for me to come up with these sorts of perks without compromising my vision in some way - either through a loss of sincerity or integrity, a restriction on the spread of knowledge or entertainment (such as with patreon-only videos or content), or something equally undesired.
In light of this, I'm only offering a single perk option, aimed at people who donate $5/mo or more. I'll admit that this isn't much to write home about - you get access to a private feed that I don't have any specific plans for - but I'd rather take this path than try to force perks that don't jive with my vision of how this works. Instead of perks, the collective milestones are where my attention goes - as support increases, everyone will benefit from it through additional videos, more topics being covered, new concepts being experimented with, and so forth. You can find those milestones listed on the left pane of this page.
In the event that I think of compelling perks that don't clash with my ideals, I'll reevaluate things in the future - but for now, this is the way we'll go. Hopefully everyone understands!
If there's something you'd like to propose as an additional perk or milestone, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] to suggest it! You know better than I do as to what you're looking for or would appreciate.
My intent is to put extra time into doing 'special' content in proportion to the amount of support received , in addition to sustaining what I already create. Specifically, I see myself spending more time doing things like:
- Additional session videos that might not have otherwise been created due to time constraints. There are occasions where I intend to do an extra video or two from a given session, but simply don't have the time for it. I try to prioritize the best of the best, but even the nth-best videos from a given session are something I would proudly stand behind.
- Continuing the Art of Flight series. I've been flying in the series since OFP in 2001. I've seen everything Arma can throw at you, and I'd love to share my knowledge with aspiring virtual pilots.
- Continuing the Virtual Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures series. Eleven years and counting of multiplayer experience in this series, eight of them with my own ShackTac crew, has given me a wealth of experience to draw from. I have near endless topics that I want to cover in this series.
- Extra production work on my gameplay videos or supplementary videos about them, to include better visualization of the scenario setting, objectives, how it played out, and my thoughts on it. I can't do this for every video, but there are plenty of examples in recent history where I could have done more if I could have justified the time required.
- Gameplay commentary videos, like what I did in Stay awhile and listen. I love these, and I know you all love them too based on how frequently I'm asked to do more. I fully intend to do more of these, and your support helps me justify the extra time spent on them.
Those are the more concrete things that I know will happen. In addition to those, I have many other ideas I'd like to pursue - such as Q&As, opinion pieces/VLOG-esque videos, doing bits on other games, etc - and a number of ones that I'm keeping close to my chest for now, but would really love to take to fruition. There are also many topics I've thought about writing (or talking) about, such as sharing experiences from running ShackTac, group management, and other potentially interesting insights.
Post-2017 ChangesIn 2017, Youtube's means of supporting content creators took a significant nosedive as the result of ad revenue changes and an extraordinarily harsh "ad-friendly" de-monetization bot. Prior to this, Youtube income made it possible to offset some of the time investment involved in creating so many videos, with Patreon doing significantly more. However, as a result of these changes, Youtube is no longer a sustainable investment for a creator like myself.
When viewed as payoff for the time invested, Youtube amounts to a small sum in the context of the hours that are poured into it. To expound on that time, let's look at various aspects required to make video footage like mine - be that session footage or otherwise. It's certainly a non-trivial investment, and the critical thing to remember is that the experiences you see through that footage, I already had them. I had the laughs, the tension, the wild escapes and close calls, the harrowing victories and valiant defeats.
I greatly enjoy having those memories in a tangible video form for later viewing or compilation (as with the Year in Review videos), but at this point, my recording method and archiving methods would fairly easily allow me to keep copies - albeit unedited - of sessions and missions that I found particularly noteworthy. Those memories would be available to me if I wanted to seek them out in the future.
I choose to go beyond that, however, and what happens next is . It's work in choosing what missions would make good viewing for others, considering how to present it, how to edit; doing technical aspects like intros and outros, audio cleanup; rendering, creating thumbnails, uploading, configuring the video aspects in Youtube; interacting with the community that gathers for the videos, be that through Discord, Patreon, e-mails, or Youtube comments themselves. There is a tremendous amount that has to be done to produce and present these videos to the broader audience, and it eats into my recreational time. You could ask any member of ShackTac as to how often they see me around the community playing other games with them over the years, and it's incredibly rare, largely as a result of this sort of work (or work directed at community management itself).
I'm very happy that so many people enjoy that work, enjoy watching the videos I put out, and support me through Patreon! As Youtube cuts out the legs of people creating gaming content like I do, sources like Patreon will be critical towards financially sustaining those sorts of creators - myself included.
Fortunately, Patreon continues to provide a level of support that helps to offset the significant time investments required of this hobby! The vision of my Patreon campaign has shifted somewhat in response to the changes that have happened over the course of 2017. It has now taken on more of the load of sustaining session videos than it did in the past, as Youtube itself increasingly shows itself to be less and less viable.
My intent is to continue to create, but I have to be realistic with myself. So long as I can offset the time investment with a reasonable momentary return - a combination of a solid Patreon campaign and a fairly weak Youtube ad revenue stream - I can justify that investment. If it wanes, I will adjust accordingly, with the intent to do as much as I can without selling myself short and hurting my future in the process. I hope to keep creating videos for many years, but I don't want anyone to be under the belief that it's an inevitability, or that it happens spontaneously and is self-sustaining!
I greatly enjoy seeing others get a kick out of my content! I want to continue for as long as is feasible. I could not be more appreciative of your support in this matter - however long you may feel to give that support. Everything has always made a difference, and I hope what I've provided, entertainment-wise, has lived up to that! Each of my Patreon supporters, past, present, and future, has helped ensure that this has continued on as it has, and I'll always be grateful for that!
Ok, sounds cool. How does this work?Patreon allows you to choose any arbitrary amount to donate, or use the pre-made perk tiers, with the default behavior being a recurring monthly subscription. If you'd like to do a one-time donation, you can simply go through the monthly option and cancel after a month - no strings attached.
If you choose to support me, all I ask is that you please do it for the right reasons . Don't expect to get preferential treatment regarding applying to ShackTac as a result, or have creative control over my channel and content, or anything like that - that isn't what this is about, and more importantly, that's not who I am.
This is my passion - I intend to continually drive myself to create better work, and this is a significant potential factor in how I can best achieve that. For those of you looking to chip in and contribute towards a sustainable way for me to create more and better content, thank you!
I'm confident you won't be let down by the results.
As far as donations in general, feel free to do whatever you want - the $5/mo perk can be applied to any donation above that level. I had originally set goals to have $1/$5/$15/$25/$50 perk options, but instead, simply pick whatever's comfortable to you.