14 Jan 2017
I remember the night I birthed Pixels for Breakfast. It was November 21st, 2011, at 3:27am. I was sitting in this scraggly green leather arm chair, furiously coding a shitty free Wordpress theme to do what I wanted. I was teaching myself Photoshop to make a score area for our very first article, a review of the excellent Australian game Dustforce. I was furious about my previous job - lead editor for Australia's largest independent games community at the time, and how it quickly descended into the horror story that many journalists have shared about the sorted state of the industry. My girlfriend woke up and was pissed that I was sitting in the corner of our room clacking away on the keyboard, before she went back to sleep. I pushed it live. There was no fanfare. Just a single article, on a plain white and clean background. It looked good. I was happy.
Little did I know that the first blog post would kickstart a new chapter of my life. I became a freelance journalist for prestigious outlets such as Game Informer, GameFront, The Escapist and HYPER magazine. All of those articles felt good, but it wasn't the same as sitting down and interviewing Denis Wedin about Hotline Miami's effect on the way he developed games. It didn't grab me like waking up at three in the morning to interview Greg Kasavin about the intricacies of narrative design that would appear in the follow up to Bastion, which of course, turned out to be Transistor. My team of writers, all of whom worked for free, really helped me to develop some cool shit. Bart Van Der Geest was toiling away from France, Phil Harris was working from Scotland, Kyle Barrows was releasing killer video content from Chicago. Angelo was exploring his skills as a writer from Adelaide, while Aria was located in Brisbane before she passed away after an accident. Others came and go, but we had a core team of passionate people about video games, that really made our indie-focused site stand out from others. Editing those articles were always fun, and the amount of diversity we showcased in our content was amazing.
But then in 2014 we had issues. An unannounced change in a server company and a blunder on their end meant we lost the entire site. Everything. The content we spent hours upon hours producing was lost to the ether. We started the site from scratch, and with it came a new layout and some new ideas, but it never gained the same traction. Slowly but surely, the will to write drifted away.
So in 2015 we took a new approach - we put a focus on video content with a team of creators. This is when Rhys Clarke, Nick Johnson, Kiah Connor and Chaise Graham really became involved. Always helping out here and there, our connection as friends really made for some truly hilarious nights playing games. We started sharing the videos, and publishers were taking notice. We even got a few ad campaigns here, and a few shares there. But with the crowding on YouTube, it was always hard to find a foothold. I'm still incredibly proud of what we did - delivered content that I thought was fun, and sometimes a little experimental. On no budget, and without any real equipment, we were regularly churning out six to ten videos a week. That's no easy feat at all.
Bart's first day in Melbourne
But my most proud achievement was getting Bart Van Der Geest an internship with MyMedia. This kid that I met online, currently studying law but wanted to write about video games, who worked for me for years, was flying out to Australia to get some real experience. That was seriously amazing, I'm so glad we got to share that experience together Bart!
2016 signified another big change. My life was upside down in January, and after that I decided to put a focus on streaming. You can read the entire story here.
That's when the core Pixels for Breakfast crew split up. Seeing as I was the one streaming 90% of the time, it just made sense that it became my channel. I adopted it, and together with Treechime, we hit the ground running with great success on Twitch.
In August, after some investigating, we decided to give Beam a shot. By the second week, we were fully converted. After five months of laughs, sweat, tears, beers, rage, and PPPPPLLLAAAGUUUUUS, we're ready for the next big step.
We are now an official Beam Partner.
What does that mean to us? Sure, we get a shiny button on our page that allows you, our community, support us to create better and more fulfilling content. It means that we get to proudly wear the honour of being the first Australian streamer to be partnered in history. It means that Treechime and I can eat. But it also reaffirms our goals - to keep growing, to keep engaging, to keep adding new members to this wonderful community that we have built, and to hopefully be able to walk away from our jobs to provide killer content for a year and really explore what we are capable of.
But none of this would have been possible without a lot of help. Pixels for Breakfast has been a labour of love and passion for almost five years now, so I have some people to thank.
Bart Van Der Geest - you were the first person who joined me, at day one, on this crazy adventure. I can't believe you have travelled to this desert island twice now, and I miss you so much every single day. Thank you for showing me that writing can be a joy, and that stories are important to share with the world.
Rhys Clarke - the ideas man, who never let me rest every time I thought about closing the blog. Band mate, room mate, gaming mate, sick mate. Thanks for all the videos you created in the YouTube days, thank you for all the hilarious times we have had together, and now let's work on the HotRice train to get you partnered too!
Chaise Graham - my oldest friend, and my closest. You have always sparked creativity, insanity, wonder and amazement in my mind. Like Rhys, you were always there to spur me on, and I definitely owe you a lot of beers.
Kiah & Nick - I can always count on you guys to be way funnier than I could ever be. I look forward to the both of you kicking my arse in many many many streams to come. Johnson, I'm still waiting on that video review man! Do you have any yellow fives?
Kyle Barrows - quite possibly the funniest man I've ever met. Our insanity meshes too well, almost like we're related or something. The podcasts we will be casting together are going to be mental, and I cannot wait to get you involved now that your life is settling down again.
Morgan McGuire - it's amazing how close this whole streaming thing has made us. Best friends, yet we fight like a married couple, or a brother and sister. I'm so proud of this amazing achievement we've grabbed together, and on a personal note, so very proud of the strides you've made since you so hesitantly said yes to the position. Let's seriously kick some arse and feast on Ramen.
*The first ever Pixelator gathering with PAX Australia attendees at the very first PIXELHAUS in 2016.
But finally, the most important person to thank is you, whoever you are, reading this post right now. We've grown from a community of twelve to almost a thousand now, and the time we spend together is cherished. Your support of this channel, whether it's monetary, game donations, or just chatter on stream or in Discord, literally powers my enthusiasm for life. You have already made this bigger than my wildest dreams, and I can't help but feel that huge things are drifting just beyond the horizon.
Over the next few days, expect a post about some of the new content we are planning to explore. It's time to kick it into high gear Pixelators!