My name is Dylan, though I'm better known online by my alias "Rudeism." I'm a game designer by day, but in my spare time I like to play games the wrong way, streaming my misadventures on Twitch. Most recently, I reached level 100 in World of Warcraft using only my feet and a pair of dance pads.
I first started my streaming journey with the popular card game Hearthstone nearly a year ago. My original goal with streaming was to become a Hearthstone professional, but I found that I wasn't willing to invest the hundreds of hours needed to reach that skill level, and not many people were stopping by the stream to watch an above-average-at-best player.
My passion and enthusiasm switched to the indie car-soccer game Rocket League when it released in May. I quickly found an obsession — one I still have to this day. I started a streaming schedule and only played with a regular controller. After about a month or so I was attracting a small gathering of followers and regular viewers.
A little backstory.
I played a lot of Guitar Hero back when it was huge — to the point where I had the chance to represent New Zealand in an international competition. I was "that Guitar Hero guy" in my circle of friends. I remember being in a stream one day when a friend of mine joked that I should try playing Rocket League with a guitar controller instead of a regular Xbox controller. I got it hooked up, tried it out, and found that it was not only playable, but it was, in fact, a ton of fun!
I decided that one of my long-term aims would be to score an aerial goal — flying the car into the sky to hit an airborne ball — with the guitar. No easy feat, even with a conventional controller. Through some insane amount of luck, I ended up achieving that on my first stream with the new guitar setup. A viewer posted a GIF of it on Reddit, and, from there, it got a lot of attention.
People were wondering how it all worked, and some didn’t believe I was using a guitar controller at all! I was determined to get a second one, only more deliberately this time. Once I got it, the attention grew to the point where I was being recognized in-game as the guy that used the guitar controller. Once that happened, I decided I would try and see how many different, strange gaming challenges I could pull off.
Creativity through constraint.
I wanted to see which games were playable using different controllers, so I tested a lot of different ideas, ignoring the voice in my head telling me that every thought was insane and likely impossible. I have so far completed Surgeon Simulator 2013, Portal, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive using only a guitar controller, Mirror’s Edge with a steering wheel and pedals, the indie shooter Superhot with a dance pad, and leveled all the way to 100 in World of Warcraft using two dance pads.
People are always joking about playing games in ways that they think are impossible: using weird controllers, with a blindfold on, playing multiple games at once, you name it. I wanted to be the person that could prove that these things are possible. I think it is a fun challenge to make it work when you know you have a handicap, whether it be a lack of buttons, lack of efficiency, or even lack of sense. On the dance pad, having to use my feet to push every button is a real pain, but working around these constraints is what I find incredibly fun. It's a great way to breathe new life into older games.
I decided to try WoW as it is one of those classic games that people tend to attempt strange challenges in. There was a gamer called Doubleagent who reached level 100 by only picking flowers and mining rocks. He wanted to see if he could complete the game without choosing a faction — he played as a Pandaren, a race that don't choose their faction until after their starting experience — while staying on the original, isolated starting island. He was a huge inspiration for me to try the level-100 dance-pad challenge, and I hope that I can inspire others in the same way. I find it really interesting to watch other people do crazy challenges, and I am inspired to do what has never been done, to be “that guy” who can say he did it. I'd love to find the community of weird gamers like me out there if it exists — and if not, I'd love to help form it!
Finding an audience.
Streaming these adventures is an incredible amount of fun. One of the things I like about the streamers I watch are that they take the time to interact with their viewers. It isn’t like TV where you just watch; viewers and streamers talk to each other throughout. One key skill that you need as a streamer is to be able to talk and pay attention to your viewers. (Either that or be a god-tier player in the game you play!) I feel I am way more talkative when I am streaming, becoming more open and saying what I’m thinking without a filter. I love talking to my viewers. I find it's a great way to make friends and get to know them and to build friendships and a strong sense of community in the stream. To me, streaming is just as much about providing interesting content as it is about making friends and finding great people to talk to!
The biggest challenge for me comes with finding that balance between streaming and real life. I tend to be pretty obsessive when I am passionate, and sometimes I can focus too much time on gaming. Streaming isn’t a full-time job for me, it’s a hobby. That said, the best way to succeed, regardless of your commitment to streaming, is creating and sticking to a schedule. This gives viewers a reliable time when they can show up and (almost) guarantee that you'll be there. Sometimes, life gets in the way — and it's important to keep your priorities in order — but keeping your viewers up to date on these things as they come up is a good way to keep their trust in your schedule. The hardest thing for me personally is being a talkative person; remaining engaging for the audience for hours on end requires a lot of energy. Being familiar with your tolerance levels so that you don’t feel overstimulated is really important, as ultimately it is in your hands to take a break and recharge.
Future projects and the possibility of mind control.
I have had a few breaks between completing the DanceCraft challenge, and I have set my sights on two new projects. One is playing the new team shooter Overwatch with a guitar and dance pad simultaneously. I've tried this once already to some mixed success, but I've found some heroes that work well!
The second challenge, which I'm working on right now, is a little more complex. I'm currently playing Pokemon — specifically, five separate and different games at the same time, all hooked up to one controller. If I move up on the D-pad, all characters will move up simultaneously. On top of that, I'm playing the games with Nuzlocke rules, which is a community-made challenge. I can only catch the first Pokemon I find in each new area, and, if a Pokemon faints, I must release it as soon as I can. It's possible to game-over during this challenge, and if I do that in one game, it's game-over for the whole challenge!
I'm also planning on playing Dark Souls 3 with the dance pad, and I really want to continue using the steering wheel for Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst now that it's out.
There aren’t any challenges that I have classified as impossible, unless it is an idea where the technology isn’t there yet. An example of this is playing a game with my mind — I want to set up an EEG reader which is more or less reading brain patterns and converting them into game inputs. The technology isn’t very reliable, which would make games that require precise movement very hard. There hasn’t been anything I have said no to outright, though. I have definitely thought that some suggestions are insane, but I believe that anything is possible — I'm just excited to figure out how it can be done.