Twitch, the video streaming platform that gamers in particular have found a home on, has been a place for all kinds of creators to find and interact with engaged audiences.
Even YouTube’s biggest content creator, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, recently announced that he would be starting a weekly live show on Twitch.
Luckily, Amber Gohn is using April to celebrate all things local, for what she calls “Indie April” where she is spending (almost) every night streaming a game made by the Philly-area game development community, with Dj CUTMAN’s music playing before and after her streams. Check out her streaming schedule here.
Gohn, who goes by “elliface” on Twitch, has been living in Philly for 11 years where her day job is working as a QA tester and administrative support for NoLibs dev firm Jarvus Innovations, in addition to doing some freelance web development and video editing. She also does PhotoSuite work for Katsucon and Otakon, anime-themed conventions held in the D.C. and Baltimore areas, respectively.
Themed months are her specialty, with the idea having started this past December when she started “DeSIMber,” where she played a new simulation game (think Surgeon Simulator) every day of the month. Here’s a highlight reel:
From then on, there’s been “JAMuary” for just playing music games and “maRchPG” (“They can’t all be winners,” Gohn said in an email) where she spent each week in March playing a new role-playing game. April, or rather “SLAYpril,” was supposed to be for horror games, but Gohn said she passed on the idea after an unpleasant time previously playing P.T. with a friend.
“I literally cried for an hour on stream,” she said.
“So I settled on Indie April because I’ve honestly been meaning to dig into the games that local creators make, and it was an excuse to get a demo copy of Island of Eternal Struggle from the folks at Wimbus Studios,” Gohn said.
So it began with Island of Eternal Struggle and since then, she’s played QuadraTron Games’ Super Rock Blasters, Delaware-based Heavy Key Studios’ Blind Blades, Grimm Bros’ Dragon Fin Soup, Ghost Crab Games’ upcoming Hastilude, PHL Collective’s IRIS and Space Whale Studios’ Return All Robots! and Shovelnose Screamer.
Much of how Twitch streamers gain a following has to do with the ways they commentate on a game or interact with the online community, and Gohn definitely has her own personal style of doing these things. Here’s a few choice out-of-context quotes from her stream of Dragon Fin Soup from Grimm Bros.:
- “Red Riding Hood just blowing away things with a shotgun … that’s canon, right?”
- “Ohhh, I’m an alcoholic now … there’s a kitty on this desk!”
- “Oh good, I got some feces.”
- “Finally, a game where you can put on more than one ring — it’s all I ever asked for.”
Gohn said she’s been playing games ever since she was only a few years old (“I have a vivid memory from my childhood of playing Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll on the NES from my crib with my grandfather somewhere in the room, watching me play and backseat gaming.”) but streaming was something that her fiancé Brent Schooley, a Philly Twilio developer evangelist, really encouraged her to do. She and Schooley also stream a cooking show on Twitch every Monday called “Cooking with Heat,” where they make an entire meal while inviting viewers to cook with them.
“[Schooley] laughs at (almost) all of my jokes, and really encouraged me to dedicate more time to Twitch, and improving the quality of my streams,” she wrote. “His support was really the phone-book-in-the-drivers-seat that I needed to get started. I owe everything to him.”
Her story of how she first got involved in the local game scene is also one you need to read in its entirety:
“My first real involvement in the local Philly game scene was meeting Will Stall[wood] at some party in Old City. Since I didn’t know anything about him, I asked him what games he was playing at the time and he mentioned Call of Duty, I think. I replied by calling him a Fake Gamer Guy or a Filthy Casual. About 15 minutes later I found out that he was the founder of Cipher Prime, and he literally made games for a living … Sorry, Will.”
As for other streams you can catch Gohn on, she said she’s currently making a Dungeons & Dragons stream with her friend Amanda Lange, local technical evangelist for Microsoft, where she plays as an “alcoholic dwarf.” And for May?
“For May I’m doing a segment 4+ days a week called ‘7 Mays to Die,’ where I play 7 Days to Die with a group of friends,” she said. “If you have better month name puns, please, please save me from myself.”-30-