How King Steven’s Games Almost Died Part 2

Ever have one of those things you needed to do, but everytime you finally had a moment to do it, you were like “I’ll do it tomorrow”…apparently that is my philosophy about my blog posts…

I taunted last week about my story around how I almost quit my company! And when I say “quit my company”, I really mean, quit my dreams. Then a miracle happened…

This video came out (I encourage you to watch the whole video, but I fast forwarded to my point)

That’s right! Markiplier mentioned me inside one of his videos! 😀
So let me rewind a little bit: I’ve been a fan of Markiplier for years now – he’s funny, he’s caring, he genuinely tries to put himself behind other’s, and ironically we are the same age, in fact our birthdays are one day apart. I was drawn to him for perhaps the same reason many people were – each video was like hanging out with a friend. Well…a friend that likes to curse alot, not always been a fan of that, but hey, his actions have spoken louder than his words more times than I can count.

So around the time I felt like quitting, he came out with a video about buying a new van, and in the same video he talked about going to Cracker Barrel (one of – if not the – favorite restaurants since I was young (get the Rib-Eye with Sweet Baby Carrots, Country Green Beans, and Dumplings plus a Shake if yours still sells them <3 <3)) He asked people what he should call it, but instead kept getting flamed by his fans. I was going to make a tweet about it too, at first I thought of a crude joke which I thought the fans would like and when I tag him, they'll see it and like it too, but then I thought, "I wouldn't like it though, that's not the image I want of me or my company" So I posted what I wanted to say thinking, "He probably won't see it anyway..." A few days later I'm watching his video like I always do (laying on the couch with my TV off), when he says that line, "But there was one of you...King Steven Games" and I saw my tweet slide onto the screen! I kid you not, all sense of feeling left me. Once my mind caught up with my body I started freaking out! I couldn't believe it! He gave ME a shout out! And not because of some crude joke, but because I posted as how I wanted to post. It was my idea he was showing. This taught me a lesson - In the business world, we are taught to always appeal to the customer base to gain the most market advantage, but that is not how the best ideas are made. You have an idea, but think the mob wouldn't like it, that shouldn't stop you from trying. Not everyone can be successful, but if you don't try, then you guarantee that you won't be either. This gave me a needed confidence boost, Markiplier doesn't know who I am, nor will he probably ever read/see this blog post; however, that only makes him giving me a shout out more special. It was purely based on the quality of my idea. That meant a lot to me (even if it was just naming a van, lol). This is what gave my company a second life. I decided to start making my own "Lets Plays" (where I never curse). I became much more active on social media. Best of all, I have faith that my ideas might be truly great afterall. Hope this sharing of my story helps inspire at least one of you out there too. Thanks for reading everyone, and keep on playing!

How King Steven’s Games Almost Died Part 1

Hello blog, my old friend!

I haven’t updated this website in almost a year. I think it’s time I posted something, right?

A LOT has happened over the year. I’m in my last semester of school, started a You Tube Channel, my novel is almost done being edited, and I have been coming up with a ton of new game ideas. But it hasn’t been all sun-shine and rainbows. In fact, I also on the edge of closing down this whole “King Steven’s Games” idea. I have been teasing my mind with self-publishing my games for 3 years now, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing.

But that has been my own doing. I haven’t tried a kickstarter, I have only been sending out a game for evaluation about twice a year, and I have been slacking on the social media aspect. I began to blame myself for it. I would say, “I see all these new companies come in after me, and they already have a successful kickstarter! I’m so lazy…” And then sit in self-loathing for a weekend. I think this is what many of us ambitious people do – we push ourselves to the break and if we fail we wonder what we did wrong? How many times have you said to yourself, “If I only had done this…” or “Why did I do this instead of that??” Then welcome to the family of Over-Thinkers.

It wasn’t until I began following Kickstarter-advice facebook pages that I began to notice a pattern. Most kickstarters have a team of people (at least 2 or more). So I eventually posted my issue by asking the question: how much time does everyone spend in getting a kickstarter ready before launching?

Come to find out, some people spend years. When I talked about my schedule: 40 hour per week job, school part time getting a masters… people responded back saying that those two things alone is enough to make it too hard to ever give a good kickstarter campaign. You see, most people split up the workload among teammates, and the really good campaigns are usually done by people without jobs. They then encourage that I continue making games but seek out publishers to partner with.

That made me feel TONS better. I thought I was being lazy, but nope, just like I posted in the last blog post about too many ideas and keeping the plates spinning – that is exactly what was happening to me. This was a great relief.

Still, I wondered to myself if all of this was worth it? I already have a job, and soon a promotion (Lord willing!), so why struggle with this whole concept of King Steven’s Games? The answer is simple, I have ideas I want to share so that others can enjoy them too. But up until now, my ideas produced zero results. No revenue, no publications, no recognition. But then a miracle happened…

But this has gone on long enough, I’ll publish it in the next post. Until then, Keep on playing!

Stay Determined!

Sorry if this post seems too personal or dramatic, but given this time of year, it is good to reflect on determination and inspirations. As we all go through life, things change or happen that are outside of our own control. If we are lucky, it is something for the better; other times, bad things happen to good people. And just as possible, it seems bad but in reality it will end up being good or vice-verse. Usually it is hard for us to tell the difference, but when life beats you up you need inspiration to help keep you fighting back until you beat life at its own game.

If you have ever played the game Undertales, you would have learned a large part of hope requires determination to try again (or perhaps it is the other way around?). So a good question we all have to ask ourselves is, “Where do we get our hope or determination from?” Some get it from God, others get it from their own aspirations, while some struggle to find it all. I’m like that sometimes. When the world is pushing down on all your ideas. You feel like nothing is working no matter what you do. Such situations requires a jolt of inspiration.

What I do in such situations is I brush away all of my currently laid paths and start again. Seriously, sometimes you just need a fresh start to re-build your foundations. Learn from your mistakes and keep going forward with your ideas. Of course this is always easier said than done, some of us get stuck over analyzing our past to try to learn from these mistakes (#1 example: this guy right here). It is tough, but when you are lost in what to do, you just have to take a leap of faith. Be bold! Try to create your own success! Sure you might fail, but you are guaranteed not to succeed if you don’t try something.

Now then, if you really feel hopeless, as in so much so you are thinking of some harmful things to yourself or others – know that there is always someone to talk to (see link below). Christmas season is always a challenge for people who suffer from depression or just plain sadness. It can be a bad time for some people. Seriously though, stay determined! Even if you feel like you don’t have any hope left in your life, you can always give hope to someone else’s life.

Keep on playing!
Seriously though, if you need someone to talk to here is a link to a site with people who are happy to help! Click Here

Anime STL 2016 = Amazing!

Just got done resting from Anime St. Louis 2016. It was 3 days of non-stop laughter and excitement meeting new people while playing super fun new games! It was so much fun I got sick at the end of the last day from exhaustion. There was just too many interesting people I wanted to talk to. Some of my highlights were:

*I played Rocket League for the first time, and I can’t believe how much fun that game is, especially when the screen is the same size as a wall! My friends Thalen and Nick played it as well and we got crushed by the computer players. It was great XD Best part was right after we got done with a game, there was a power surge. The DJ pumping the heavy bass cheered with the crowd and I told my friends, “We could handle the bass but the Convention’s circuit breaker couldn’t.”

*I got to meet some talented artist. Some I remember from last year, some I have never seen before. I have hired one artist to do a piece for me and I am very pleased with how it came out. I hope to have him make a full version of it and add it to my card game, World of Anastroc.

*Almost got onto a game show “Anime Password”. Myself and 3 others ended up being back up in case there was time for a 2nd game. Turned out there wasn’t, but would have been fun and nerve wracking if there had been. I still don’t know if I could have really gone through with it! I was good at looking good, but my knowledge turned out to be terrible. Where’s the “Business Professional Password” game show at? (Oh, right, cancelled, got it)

It was also nice visiting old friends from out of town. One of which showed me some cool animes. I wish she was on that game show – should would have killed it! Out of the ones shown, I really begun to like “World is Still Beautiful”. It is a romantic, ‘chick-flick’ anime, but honestly, I think it is better than Sword Art Online. Don’t get me wrong, SAO has a very cool concept and does well to live up to it, but that main character though. ><

Hope all of you get to go to an Anime Con someday. There are a lot of skilled cos-players and popular names that attend. More importantly, it is great to network with others and meet nice people.
Till next time, keep on playing!

10 Reasons Why You Should Like Mark Rosewater

6 months since my last post! So much to catch the world up on with my adventures! I got a new job, signed up for 9 credit hours for my Masters…now that I have caught all of you up to speed, lets just jump into things!
I still listen to Mark Rosewater’s pod casts (click here to check them out, highly recommended!)(and if you don’t know who Mark is click here to learn more about him).
In a recent pod cast he discusses being a minor celebrity and what that is like personally. One thing that really struck home with me is when he talked about the hate on the internet about him. Someone even wrote an article “10 Reasons Why You Should Hate Mark Rosewater”. I’ve had a taste of that medicine too. When I was Head Judge of YuGiOh Regionals I tried extremely hard to have all the rules and policies memorized and while I can count on one hand the number of wrong rulings I gave out, I had a poor reputation as a judge. Mostly people made up stories about me, or gripped about one of those bad rulings from years ago. Eventually you learn to deal with it, but it requires thick skin.

Out of empathy then, and simply because he has earned it, I came up with writing my own blog about “10 Reasons Why You Should Like Mark Rosewater”.

1) He Answers Emails: People take this for granted way too much. On the old Magic The Gathering website he used to have his actual email posted for everyone to see! A couple years ago I emailed him asking him how to get a job at Wizards of the Coast. He emailed back and forth with me for a good while. A few months later I emailed him again asking for advice and he answered! Eventually the emails stopped however. I probably emailed him too many times and he needed to move on to other fans. This guy probably gets thousands of emails every month and to actually respond back several times is incredible! I wish I hadn’t over taxed him, but live and learn, personally I understand.

2) He Loves Magic: One thing Mark is for sure – he is passionate for Magic. I don’t even know if he likes playing that much or not, but he loves the art, the flavor, the stories, the fans. He appreciates its roots, because of that he would never do anything irresponsible to the health of the game. There are many stories about leaders of companies who get spoiled with success and just squeeze it for all they can get out of it (cough* YGO *cough). But no one at Wizards has done that, and Mark continues that trend.

3) He Understands Magic: It is one thing to love, another to truly take the time to understand it. He has studied Magic to its roots and more. He created the color wheel which brilliantly gave ever-lasting flavor to the game. He broke down its psychology, even down to the key words.

4) He has a grasp of the business: Anyone can answer emails or know Magic, but to also keep in mind the market and business side of things is a real feat. Does Mark have a degree in marketing? No, that is why Wizards hired a marketing department; however, he does have a self-observant mind set about it. He also understands what it takes to make an idea of a card go onto the shelves, like the actual logistics of card making (he has done several pod casts about it). To be a fan and have working knowledge of the industry is amazing.

5) He makes Pod Casts: He could just drive to work listening to the radio every day enjoying himself, but instead he shares his knowledge with everyone by making several pod casts every week. If you ever have tired to do something consistent before (such as managing a blog on a personal business website *shifting eyes*) it is very hard to do. But he does it in stride. Not only that, but they are clear, cleaver, interesting, and honest. Very inspiring, hopefully one day I will be able to do that too.

6) He goes to events: Being more than just the man behind the curtain, he actually goes to events. In a pod cast he says that he will pop into local card shops from time to time, or go to Comic Con (lucky). In the past he Head Judge tournaments at Gen Con (even dressed as animals to add flavor to the event!). I personally have never met him, but I’m out in Missouri.

7) Great Role Model: There are some who make it to the top and let it all go to their head. They act as though that now they are in the dream position all shall revere them forever! This sort of arrogant is common now-a-days. It seems in the game community it is really hit or miss; either you are the coolest, nicest person in the world, or just selfish and cursing up a storm. I’ve been lucky to meet and stay in contact with some of the finest. Real role models that honestly inspire you and give you hope. Mark Rosewater is that way for many people in the Magic community with good reasons. He is polite, helpful, never heard him curse, and thoughtful. It is easy to see why he would make such a great role model.

8) Very Professional: There are some awesome people out there who mange companies, but aren’t very professional about it. While I still appreciate them, I have learned that there is an air about professionalism that is lost on many people. You have to know when to have fun, but you also have to know when to get a job done. This also means knowing how to manage others and not overwhelm new employees, how to handle past mistakes, or how to handle emotions around others. Whether he realizes this or not, he has demonstrated all these things in one story or another.

9) Willing to let loose and entertain!: This is where I personally fail. I am the personality that shows up to a football game wearing a business suit. I like to try to “let loose” but just not me. I’m 26 now and I act more like a 70 year old man than ever! But Mark doesn’t have that issue. He is willing to make fun of himself to make others have a good time, such as wearing a rabbit suit in the office for a party, or a chicken outfit while judging at a tournament. He has done funny videos with Walk the Planes and more. Got to respect that!

10) Respect for the fans: You don’t have to respect him. You don’t even have to believe anything on this list, but I think he has a great deal of respect for the fans. I’m not talking about Magic fans; fans of all games. His pod casts relates mostly to Magic, but he goes into all kinds of game theories that can be applied to anything. More so, he gives personal advice that I have shared with non-gaming individuals to help them through their tough times. The fact that he makes articles, pod casts, visits tournaments, answers twitter, emails, tumbler, etc. is evidence that he really does respect and care for all gamers in a very balanced way that is refreshing.

Well, that’s my top 10 for why you should like Mark Rosewater. I’m sure there are dozens of articles similar to this one, you should find out more by checking those out to. I purposely didn’t look because I wanted to be original to myself. Keep on gaming!