Content Creation in Wizard101

AwesomeTheSauce is a popular YouTuber and streamer with nearly 63,000 subscribers. He takes his viewers on an engaging and energetic journey through new content and his game play experience. Now, we're going behind the scenes of his setup and how content creation for Wizard101 has evolved over the years.

When I was nine years old, I was your average fourth grader. I played with action figures, doodled pictures of superheroes fighting each other, and played tag in the school playground with my friends. However, my life would change forever one day on that playground where I spent so many afternoons. It was a summer day in June, and we were saying our farewells. There was a somber mood in the air. We knew that summer vacation was coming and it would be a while before some of us saw each other again. I was a quiet kid growing up, and I didn't know what to do with the emotions I was feeling. It had been a few years since my family and I moved to the US from India, and after struggling to learn English, that had been the first year I really made some friends. One of my friends pulled me aside. His name was Bryce and he could not stop talking about this new game he had found. Wizard101. He begged me to play with him and promised that we could play together all the time even though we would be miles apart that summer. Suddenly, the mood lifted. The summer wasn't looking so bad.

I installed the game the second I got home that evening. What I saw fascinated me. I hit the paywall in mere hours as Bryce carried me through the early content on his Magus wizard. But I was hooked. I asked my parents if I could get a membership for the summer, and lucky for me, my report card was looking juicy. They agreed, and since then, not a day has gone by that Wizard101 hasn't affected my life. Ten years later, after spending literally thousands of hours of my time playing with friends both in my real life and virtual, I would be making content under the name of AwesomeTheSauce.

What does it mean to be a content creator in the world of Wizard101? This is a question that used to have very few answers. If you were to flash back to about a decade ago and typed Wizard101 into Youtube's search engine, you'd probably only really see roleplaying content. Wizard101 music videos with pixelated scenes of wizards text chatting each other. However, just as life always finds a way, the content on Youtube evolved in an unrecognizable explosion. It can be fascinating to look back and see how we got here. How did Wiztube evolve to what it is now?

Some of the earliest Wizard101 content involved the art of soloing incredibly difficult bosses. The format of the videos was simple and yet they felt magical. A wizard would be featured in a sped-up video with epic music in the background. The only commentary within the video would be made through typing messages in the game, and the feats that these wizards achieved were impressive. They would solo the entire Tower of the Helephant and Waterworks. Every update that came out was a new opportunity for the most adventurous wizards to achieve the impossible. I remember watching those videos when I was nine and ten. It inspired me to believe that despite my low level, I could eventually become a great wizard.

The next era of Wizard101 dramatically stepped up production quality. Suddenly, Youtube content wasn't just sped-up music videos. People started talking to their audiences. They shared opinions. People started recording their PvP content. Most iconically, content creators embarked on the ambitious task of the full game walkthrough. What set this era of Wizard101 apart from its preceding time period was that suddenly, the viewer knew so much more about the person recording on the other side of the screen. This was during a golden era of Wizard101. Updates were coming to the player base at a rapid pace, and the community was vibrant. Content creators started retaining massive followings. Wizard101 videos were becoming the real deal. People loved extending their Wizard101 experience beyond gameplay. I was one of those people. It was when videos discussing the state of Wizard101 came out that I made my Youtube account just to give my two cents and post a comment. We as normal players could now share a new space with content creators that shared our love of the game.

What happens when you take that shared experience and transfer it to real time? This is where livestreaming comes in. It's also the part where I come in! Livestreaming Wizard101 has completely changed my life. When I first started recording videos in my bedroom as a high schooler back in 2016, I was just goofing around trying to find something to do with all the time I had put into Wizard101. Bryce and I had turned an innocent conversation as a couple of nine-year-olds into an experience on an online game that we had poured our hearts into for the next eight years. If we take a trip down memory lane, you'll see videos like this one!

Content creating wasn't just an avenue that I used to goof off. It genuinely made me realize that I had a voice. A relatively silent kid from an immigrant family suddenly had a place to call home. And it was on the internet of all places! My personality has grown and responded to the community that I've managed to build and for that, I'll be thankful forever.

It wouldn't be until two years later that I finally started regularly streaming my content live. I evolved my craft from what I can only describe as cringe to the crispy videos and streams we all know and love. Today, my (messy) setup looks a little something like this!

The art of the livestream has monumentally changed Wizard101 content as we know it. Once people realized that there was a very real audience out there, the only natural next step was to bring livestreaming into it. The sheer power of social media and livestreaming shouldn't be underestimated. It's a key part of why content creation is so different now compared to what it used to be. Livestreaming has become such a relevant part of what it means to put out Wizard101 content that even Kingsisle themselves use this medium to communicate with their audience. A big change as of late 2019 was the developers' involvement with the community via social media and engagement with live content creators. The Wizard101 experience has naturally extended beyond just a game and is now becoming a social media space.

What many people don't realize is that Wizard101 is nowhere close to a dying game despite its age. The evolution of content around it demonstrates that. As a content creator, I know that I'm improving my craft every day just like many of the people around me. It's exciting to see how far I've come when I look back. But what is more exciting than that is where Wizard101 content might go in the future. There have been people before me, and I'm confident that there will be just as many after.

Why do I believe this? From my perspective, content creating in the space of Wizard101 has grown with me. I've watched, commented, and made the content as I grew from an innocent ten-year-old to a college student pursuing streaming as a serious commitment. The game has demonstrated that it will evolve with its players too. The graphics update, the recent turn-based update, and Gamigo's acquisition of Wizard101 this year all show that Wizard101 still has enormous potential for growth. Who knows? Maybe there is some kid right now in some playground waiting to discover this game and press the "record" button for the first time.

Thanks to AwesomeTheSauce for this post!

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.