Creator Spotlight - Cliff The Story Guy
Sea of Thieves is all about the stories we create, and the latest content creator to step into our Spotlight has found his audience and passion in telling those tales to pirates around the world. Last year saw Cliff The Story Guy explode onto YouTube with his handy guides and in-game shenanigans. We thought it was about time we caught up with him so he could tell us his own story!
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[Q]: What was your introduction to the world of games?
[A]: I think my earliest gaming memory goes back to my parents buying a Windows 98 machine on which we played Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Though games have always just been part of my life as long as I can remember, from PC to console to handhelds.
[Q]: How did you become part of the Sea of Thieves community?
[A]: Kind of an uneventful story, to be honest. My friend Birdie just said “Hey, let’s try out this game!” so we did, and the rest is history!
[Q]: How did creating content become your ‘thing’?
[A]: I was going through some pretty rough times as a teenager and found comfort in YouTube. I’d look forward to a new, 20-minute Let’s Play going live every day, because that’s 20 minutes of distraction where I wasn’t thinking about any of my problems. And at some point I decided… this is something I want to do for others as well.
[Q]: How do you decide what kind of content to create?
[A]: Stylistically, what I do today is the culmination of over seven years of video-making experience. I’ve tried out many different things in many different games using a variety of different formats.
When it comes to my Sea of Tales Episodes specifically, I try to ask myself: “Would somebody who doesn’t play the game understand this? And would they find it interesting?”
I don’t always succeed with that goal, but coming up with ideas is often the result of coming up with things I find interesting, coming up with things I believe my viewers would find interesting and then seeing where both of these circles intersect.
[Q]: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while creating content?
[A]: The biggest challenge was changing my philosophy. Success, on YouTube anyway, is predictable. The moment I sat down to study how to make good content instead of trying to ‘game the algorithm’, I saw things in a completely different light. Now it’s just scheduling sessions with my friends that gives me a headache.
[Q]: What different channels do you have?
[A]: Mainly YouTube. Many people might not know this, but the first Episodes of the Sea of Tales actually went live on my previous channel. I spent most of my time covering Overwatch, and Sea of Thieves was a breath of fresh air in a time that I felt I really needed it. The channel is simply called Cliff Terios but I don’t tend to make a lot of videos for that channel any more.
[Q]: What’s been your most memorable Sea of Thieves moment so far?
[A]: It has to be my first session. The wonder of exploring a new world, going on adventures with my friend and getting sunk in the most classic, new-player way possible: throwing water into my ship while getting Krakened.
[Q]: What do you enjoy most about the game now, and what are you looking forward to in future?
[A]: I love the sandbox and the people. Every session can be different if you just make it so, and other pirates always make for a great wildcard. So I hope to see more additions to the sandbox which further expand on how we interact with other players.
[Q]: What’s something you’re particularly proud of accomplishing in gaming?
[A]: I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head. I never participated in tournaments or anything, so pride isn’t something I typically associate with my gaming experiences.
[Q]: How did you come up with your channel name?
[A]: A buddy of mine jokingly called me “Cliff that story guy” because of my previous series (Overwatch Stories), so when I made the new channel, that kinda stuck.
[Q]: What do you like to get up to when you’re not making videos?
[A]: I’m a pretty boring person. I like eating good food so cooking is a big thing, and I go to the gym twice a week so I can eat more delicious food.
[Q]: What advice would you give to a new content creator?
[A]: Do not look for ‘cheats’ and ‘hacks’ on how to make it in the content world. Learn what people are interested in, how to package that, and most importantly: always think about the viewer’s watching experience first and foremost.
[Q]: What’s one thing you would advise a content creator not to do?
[A]: Do not over-engineer your videos for retention. Make an engaging video instead.
The biggest mistake people make is to create videos for an imaginary boogeyman (the ‘evil algorithm’) rather than for people.
[Q]: Could you give us one more random fact about yourself?
[A]: I easily obsess over things I am interested in. I live and breathe YouTube, it is by far my biggest passion, but whenever I pick up a new hobby, I research it obsessively.
That rounds off another Creator Spotlight! A huge thank you to Cliff for taking the time to talk to us and we’re looking forward to seeing many more of those Sea of Thieves stories, streams and shorts.
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