By Diego Hernandez / January 22nd, 2021
Welcome to my second interview piece of the year, where I speak to FlareBlitzed! This one’s a little different than the rest, FlareBlitzed isn’t a developer. Nor is he a virtual star on the rise. To clarify, FlareBlitzed is a content creator or YouTuber if you will. However, he isn’t just any content creator as you’ll come to learn. This is an individual that really puts his best foot forward for developers and publishers alike. His contributions to the community are lively and eccentric. In addition, quite evident if you frequent social media. Times like these, you have to honor the people that inspire you to do better. I hope you like my talk with FlareBlitzed and look forward to the next one. Check him out and have fun reading!
I have had the pleasure of talking to developers, virtual streamers, but this is the first time I talk to a visual novel content creator. For the kind readers at home, may I ask you to introduce yourself?
First and foremost, thank you so much for allowing me to be here and perform an interview like this, this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of doing something of this nature. My handle is FlareBlitzed, for anything casual like Discord chats for example, it’s Flare. I’m a gaming content creator in indie games, particular around games made in the RPG Maker engine like Ib, Yume Nikki and OMORI, along with visual novels like Steins;Gate that are heavily story oriented.
I love finding out the story in each and every game that I play & each game I’ve played for the channel has been something unique that you can’t find in any other game. 2014 was when I first sparked an interest in content creating, and 7 years down the road I’m still beating strong for more content creation & people sharing their views, smiles and comments for both the video & the games themselves.
Prior to any interview, I always take the time to see what my guest is all about. I really didn’t have to do much this time around. To clarify, it’s because I see your dedication to the medium in every Discord server that we’re both in every day. I’d like to know how you came to love visual novels to the point where you wanted to do what you do?
My love for visual novels started with a search for more story-oriented games and I loved how visual novels absorbs you into the world of the game. The majority of the time you’re witnessing the world through the eyes of the protagonist of the title you are playing, each and every story is unique & captivating to read through. With Visual Novels too, there’s a lack of coverage in comparison to any Triple-A title, which to me is sad as these games don’t often get the recognition that they deserve from people outside of the development team.
I’m after happiness, heartbreaks & anywhere in between with each character shining in their own ways throughout the VN. Most importantly, though, through the few years of playing Visual Novels are the friends made along the way, each and everyone of you who I’ve interacted with have helped me develop into the person that I am today so thank you!
Looking forward to the full release of @softcolorsVN's VN called Aquadine, I played the demo a while back and was really impressed by the characters & the mythological setting that it's in. 😁 #visualnovel
— FlareBlitzed🎙 (@FlareBlitzed) January 14, 2021
With a constant stream of new stories coming out almost every other week, even I have trouble keeping a balance between reading and my own livelihood. Take us behind the scenes and tell us how you go about your schedule? Furthermore, how does the constant stream of releases make you feel?
In between volunteer work that I do a few hours a day for 3 days a week, along with walking my dog, house chores that we all do in our day to day lives. My schedule for recording videos depends on what’s going on throughout the day, usually on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I’m the only human being in the house so it provides minimal distractions & background noise to perform a recording, along with evenings also being a perfect time to record as everyone else in the house has settled & watch TV for the evening. For the video making itself, there’s recording the video itself, which varied from an hour to about 2 hours depending on the game, energy levels along with how hooked I am to the game & the desire to watch/play more.
After the session ends starts the edits of the video which are kept to a minimal with crops at the start, end and anywhere in between when necessary, then click render for the final. While the video renders, I put together the thumbnail of the video itself, if the game has a logo, it’s a fiddly process to get every unrelated pixel removed if a PNG image isn’t available of the logo to insert onto the thumbnail, along with a number on the top right indicating the video number in the series. After the thumbnail comes the description & tags of the video. That includes the synopsis of the game, along with who made the game & also something, which every content creator should do, is a link to where you can find the game for viewers to have the chance to play the game itself.
It’s the bare minimal of human decency for content creators to source where you found what it is that you are playing. Each video I put out I hope that I can enlighten at least 1 person a day, a nice comment, a constructive critique comment, but more importantly, getting a game out there that people may not have heard of, and because their favorite content creator (wink wink) has played it, it’s definitely something to keep an eye for.
To this day, you have now accumulated 5.69k subscribers and an astonishing 1.7m views on your channel. What kind of emotions do you feel looking at these numbers?
After 7 years on YouTube, people may assume that one should have a lot more subscribers and view count, that to me is not the reason at all for making let’s plays. I’m always happy when a video does well with view count, like count, along with the new subscribers to the channel from that video. To me, however, numbers are like a double-edged sword, I’m both happy & not concerned. For some content creators, their biggest driving force is to grow as quickly as possible, to record/stream what’s currently the number 1 trending game to get out. But with that, are you happy with that? For me and my personal reason for let’s plays, the quality of each number counts more than the quantity of views, 100 views with 10 likes is better than 1 million views with the same number of likes.
As a content creator, you’ve spent several hours with a lot of stories. As such, one obvious question comes to mind: What’s been your favorite playthrough and why?
Ohh my… that’s a seriously tough question! For its entirety, the free to game RPG Maker game called Midnight Train sticks to me. It follows a mute character named Luna who’s travelling on a train called the Midnight Express, when suddenly the train stops, everyone, aside from a fellow passenger named Neil, vanished from the train. From there, they both receive a present which are pocket watches, both have a limited amount of time to escape the building they are in or else they cannot board the time to the next building. In the game though, every emotion can be felt from a to z, so many happy moments, a lot of angry moments, and moments which put me to tears.
When a game does that, it’s no longer just a game, it’s a journey for yourself and, at times, you can put yourself into the shoes of one of the characters. Midnight Train gets more and more emotional as you proceed through it. There are a lot more games out that that etched to me in their own ways, this is one of them that stuck to me and will always stick to me forever.
It speaks volumes when someone does something for another. Last month, I saw you hosting a charity livestream. Take me through the decision making that led to such charitable efforts becoming reality and do you think you’ll see yourself doing them more often?
The decision to do a charity livestream for #Thankmas2020 was for something that isn’t for myself, but for those out there who aren’t as lucky as I personally am with everything that we have around us, a comfortable bed, walls around us and a roof, electricity, gas, clean water, clean clothes, food, along with luxuries like video games. Particularly in MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries), we forget about things that we take for granted because these things have always been there for us for our entire lives.
You looking at this interview right now, look around you and see what you have that you don’t think about, we have these things, if we’re hungry or thirsty, we go to the kitchen to get something. If we’re feeling cold, we can turn the heating up. If we are running short on food and supplies, we go to the supermarket to purchase the things we need & want, or alternatively order online, which is the smarter way considering COVID-19. These things we take for granted some people do not have, the charity livestream event was put together so that those with no spare money can buy presents & have food for Christmas, something that wouldn’t be possible without a charity event like this as people can only accord for the absolute basics.
$70 raised during the 5+ hour livestream is $70 better off than if I didn’t do the livestream, and I did the livestream in a way to help those who have less than what I do, not for self-gratification, but to make even the smallest of differences to families. If there’s ever an opportunity like this to do a charity livestream, I’m most certainly going to take part to make even the smallest of differences, good differences.
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