BE­YOND PIX­ELS

How Cliff Now­icki’s video-game ob­ses­sion led him to record gam­ing videos for his fam­ily’s YouTube chan­nel

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Cliff Now­icki on his video games chan­nel

I’ve al­ways been a fan of video games since my par­ents first got me and my brother an Amiga 500 as a kid with Pluto and Fire­power. Video games come as a way to re­lax af­ter a day of de­sign­ing and switch my think­ing to puz­zle solv­ing or fast re­ac­tions. Be­ing able to play with fam­ily and friends is what drew me in more to­wards on­line gam­ing and even­tu­ally the fam­ily gam­ing chan­nel we set up on YouTube [called The Now Gam­ing Zone].

The idea for a gam­ing chan­nel started when all three of my boys would play Minecraft to­gether and then watch other peo­ple play it to get ideas on how to cre­ate their worlds. They would pre­tend they were mak­ing their own videos on YouTube talk­ing amongst them­selves. I fig­ured: “Why can’t we do that? I’m sure it’s not too hard.”

I did some re­search and within a few days, we started stream­ing on Twitch. It was prim­i­tive but I would take the saved videos from Twitch and upload them to YouTube. The video qual­ity was aw­ful but we were on YouTube!

Af­ter a while, we in­vested in an El­gato cap­ture device for the Xbox and a Yeti Mic. We made just about ev­ery mis­take you’d ex­pect from a new YouTube chan­nel such as bad au­dio, bad res­o­lu­tion and a load of garbage videos. We kept at it, though, and made an ef­fort to cre­ate a video or two ev­ery week to keep the chan­nel cur­rent.

The chan­nel started out pri­mar­ily fo­cus­ing on Minecraft and has evolved along­side our fam­ily gam­ing habits. We’ve touched on games like Call of Duty, Plants vs Zom­bies and more re­cently Fort­nite PVE and Bat­tle Royale.

I find it a great cre­ative way to spend time with the fam­ily while com­ing up with ways to pro­mote the chan­nel. Start­ing the gam­ing chan­nel has been a great way for the fam­ily to bond and spend time com­ing up with ideas for videos to cre­ate.

To help make more gam­ing con­tent for the chan­nel on the cheap, I’ve also had the chance to play more in­die games. The amount of in­no­va­tion in these small games is as­tound­ing. It’s a great source of in­spi­ra­tion as I’m able to think about de­sign in­ter­faces in a new way as well as how in­ter­ac­tions can work on the web and mo­bile. I think start­ing the chan­nel and play­ing in­die games has made me be­come a bet­ter de­signer these past few years.

Cliff is a de­signer who en­joys craft­ing vis­ually ap­peal­ing and user-friendly ex­pe­ri­ences.

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