We love variety in the Sea of Thieves community, and Captain Jay from The Crow’s Nest has been bringing fellow fans his own brand of content since the game’s early days. For this Creator Spotlight we got hold of Jay and asked him a number of questions on his experiences and tales from the seas, and found out what makes The Crow’s Nest a worthwhile place to visit.

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[Q]: What was your introduction to the world of games?

[A]: Whether it was playing on the Sega Master System or trying to beat the high score on arcade games at the local pizzeria, I was always involved with video games over the years. Growing up, a genre that I played heavily was the FPS genre with titles such as Medal of Honor on the PlayStation. I loved learning about the history behind different eras from these titles. It opened up my eyes to stories that I didn’t know beforehand. Fast forward some years and my preferred games have changed slightly – I still enjoy the FPS genre but I like to mix in much more variety nowadays!

[Q]: How did you become part of the Sea of Thieves community?

[A]: I love the ‘Age of Piracy’ and learning all about it – after all, pirates are pretty awesome characters! When I originally saw the Sea of Thieves trailer back at E3 2015, it immediately caught my eye and I needed to know more about the game. It was the one announcement that had me the most excited. The sandbox open-world experience was evident from that original trailer and I knew it was the game for me. Before the Sea of Thieves forums launched, Reddit and Twitter were the places to talk about the game. I met a bunch of great pirates who openly welcomed me to the community and I haven’t left since!

[Q]: How did creating content become your ‘thing’?

[A]: Creating content was a way for me to pay forward my own experience in seeking out help for games when I was younger. Early on, websites like GameFAQs were the go-to sites for video game guides, walkthroughs and more. I would spend hours finding the right guide before printing it out and using it as a reference. I wanted to pay that experience forward to the next gamer who was searching for a guide, walkthrough or update and so I taught myself how to edit videos. Before I knew it, I was deep in the video-editing world and pumping out videos. That’s not to say those early videos were the greatest of quality, however! You can definitely call it a learning process but the early TCN videos (mistakes and all) are still on the channel for both entertainment and embarrassment!

Captain Jay finds a familiar logo...

[Q]: How do you decide what kind of content to create?

[A]: I wanted to be as informative as possible on the channel when I started. I wanted to go for a very clean, professional look that mimicked a television show that was packed with news and updates. You can see some of those inspirations in a few of my videos with the types of cuts and edits that I’ve incorporated. Since the start, I’ve tried to keep that narrative in all of my videos. Viewers are looking for the latest updates, news, announcements and opinions in as little time as possible. The viewer’s time is valuable, and I try to respect that with being as brief yet as informative as I can. I really enjoy the format that I’ve gone with and I think it sets the channel apart!

[Q]: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while creating content?

[A]: Some of the biggest challenges content creators face both early on and over time involve identity, think of it as a ‘Flavour of the Month’ dilemma! A successful format/video one week or one month might not ever be popular or successful for you again. When you add in the number of content creators that exist, it’s easy to measure yourself against them and wonder why they might be successful, yet you aren’t. The temptation to change your identity in presentation, format, style, etc. is very real in these kinds of scenarios. The most important thing here is to stay true to yourself. Continue to grow, master and perfect what you have already created. Develop your own identity and style with your channel. Individuality and personality go a long way when connecting with your audiences. They’ll see the hard work you’re putting in and soon you’ll attract new followers as a result!

[Q]: What different channels do you have?

[A]: You can find The Crow’s Nest on YouTube, on Twitter and over on Mixer. Stop on in, join the crew, and say hello!

Parked up at Thieves' Haven for a photoshoot.

[Q]: What’s been your most memorable Sea of Thieves moment so far?

[A]: Finding my Easter egg in-game was mind-blowing! Even now, months later, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around. Finding the TCN logo atop The Crow’s Nest Fortress in-game was such a cool and humbling experience for me. Hitting Pirate Legend was also a massive sigh of relief and accomplishment – I had finally made it and I was one step closer to uncovering the secrets of Athena’s Fortune!

[Q]: What do you enjoy most about the game now, and what are you looking forward to in future?

[A]: I love that no two play sessions are ever alike. The open world nature of the game coupled with other players interacting with you make for unique play sessions each time. The emergent nature of everything adds more depth to the world as all of these factors come together. It makes the game feel like a living, breathing world! The fact that the world is only just beginning to grow has me very excited for the future. We’re seeing new characters, new lore, and new areas to explore. We’ve already had a bunch of teases and hints as to the direction of where we might end up but to see it fully realized in-game is very exciting to me!

[Q]: What’s something you’re particularly proud of accomplishing in gaming?

[A]: One of my earliest achievements in gaming when I was young was achieving 100% completion in Kingdom Hearts when it came out – the secret ending that played after the credits had me so excited! That and most of my close nail-biting PVP wins in Arena mode would count!

Don't let him hustle you out of your treasure!

[Q]: How did you come up with your channel name?

[A]: I wanted to keep the channel name within the realm of piracy and nautical terms, and what better name for a channel that's always scanning the horizon for a glimpse of new announcements? From atop The Crow’s Nest, you can see everything!

[Q]: What advice would you give to a new content creator?

[A]: The number one piece of advice I would give is to find your own identity as a content creator. What works for others might not necessarily work for you. Instead, take your own approach to content creation and use it to drive viewers and engagement to your channel. Do you have a unique talent? Does your personality brighten up the entire room? Incorporate these gifts and share them with your viewers. You want to stand out, not blend in!

[Q]: What’s one thing you would advise a content creator not to do?

[A]: It’s very tempting to look up to existing content creators and find out what kind of equipment, gear, PC and programs they’re using and try to shell out all of the required money to match their setup. Before you take the dive, I would say learn the basics first. It’s very possible to make top-quality content without spending a small fortune. When you become proficient with content creation, you’ll know deep down when it’s time to make those upgrades. Don’t rush the learning process, it’s a long and rewarding journey that pays off when you’ve mastered your craft!

[Q]: Could you give us one more random fact about yourself?

[A]: Apart from being a full-time pirate on the seas, I’m also an amateur magician in real life! Don't believe me? I want you to think of a card, any card in a deck... but don’t make it an obvious one! Avoid cards like the Ace of Spades or Queen of Hearts. Make this difficult for me and think of something random... got one? Perfect! You’re thinking of the Six of Diamonds! No, that wasn’t your card? Well... I didn’t say professional magician!

That's all for today’s Creator Spotlight. Thank you to Captain Jay for letting us look into his life as both a creator and a Sea of Thieves fan! Now to climb to the crow’s nest and see if we can spot our next spotlight on the horizon…

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