Shakka And Pals

John Fitch AKA ShakkaPanda

ShakkaPanda along with his co-host Ben Burnes discuss content creation as well as interview streamers, content creators and game industry professionals. Take a look behind the green screen as we talk video games, gaming culture, live-streaming and content creation!

All Episodes

Sometimes we unknowingly use language with ourselves and in our own head that can sabotage our confidence and slow down our progress towards our goals. Let's talk about shifting our thinking and the words we use with ourselves! Show Notes: Ben's 2 Hour Album Challenge: 2hac.bandcamp.com

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Mar 31

47 min 49 sec

Everyone should code! Ben and Shakka start this season off with an interesting, and meandering, creative conversation! Enjoy! :)

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Jan 29

47 min 21 sec

This week we discuss running community events and how valuable and fun they can be! It's a powerful way to deepen your relationship with your community and the connection between your community members. It's all about making real connections! Let's discuss.   Show Notes: Ben's 2 Hour Track Challenge: 2hac.bandcamp.com

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Sep 2020

1 hr 5 min

How do we manage all the busy work involved in content creation? Let's discuss! So much of our time, easily over half, is spent doing the un-sexy busywork stuff. How do we support ourselves so we can push through these less exciting parts? Let's discuss!

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Aug 2020

1 hr 2 min

Let's talk about politics in content creation! It's a tricky subject and often one that creators wholesale avoid entirely. Discussing politics is commonly a ban-able offence in streams and communities, but staying silent can sometimes be suffocating, how do we navigate this? Let's discuss!

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Aug 2020

58 min 43 sec

This week Shakka & Ben discuss the reality that no matter how much we learn, we're always still kinda just winging it! Content creation is often like blazing a trail through a thick forest, just figuring it out as you go. There's nothing wrong with not knowing how to do a thing, that's no reason to stop, just wing it!   Show Notes:  Ayre soundtrack: https://open.spotify.com/album/2SPysrIpyPu0faGjhLPb6p?si=s3r-IaHmS-WM7p09H-eH0Q Ayre game on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/987810/Ayre/

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Jul 2020

1 hr 4 min

As we grow and evolve, sometimes we loose folks along the way, sometimes we're accused of "changing", often we have, how do we navigate these complexities that are inevitable as we grow as creators? Let's discuss! Show Notes:  Ayre soundtrack: https://open.spotify.com/album/2SPysrIpyPu0faGjhLPb6p?si=s3r-IaHmS-WM7p09H-eH0Q Ayre game on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/987810/Ayre/

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Jul 2020

46 min 32 sec

This time we discuss one of the biggest pillars of success for any creative, having GRIT! Often, the what makes the difference between success and failure is how hard you hold on, your will to continue and not give up! GRIT! Let's discuss.

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Jul 2020

40 min 19 sec

This week we discuss best practices for healthy and appropriate relationships with different people in your work. The wise way to deal with conflict or friction while live on stream with your viewers is VERY different than what's healthy with close relationships, but sometimes we get these mixed up and burn bridges that should have been mended. Let's discuss!

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Jun 2020

51 min 3 sec

This week's ep is a bonus episode, recorded and rush released, to discuss why I left Mixer for Twitch. It's been a long time coming and there's a lot to talk about. Let's discuss.

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Jun 2020

58 min 30 sec

This time we discuss the mistake we often make in assuming there's "not enough", there is. We often find ourselves thinking that if someone else gets something like views, follows, subscribes, purchases or downloads that there will somehow not be enough for you, that for you to "get yours", someone else has to loose out, this is just not true in the modern connected economy of the internet! Let's discuss!

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Jun 2020

43 min 2 sec

This time we talk about the excellent book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Pressfield discusses many of the shared struggles that creatives work through to reach the level he calls "pro". This book is full of incredible insights and challenging ideas, we really enjoyed discussing it's impact on us and highly recommend you check it out!  The War of Art: https://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/1936891026/

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Jun 2020

1 hr 14 min

This week we discuss how powerful it can be to offer your art for free! Being generous with your art is often the pathway to growing your art's reach and your creative business! Let's discuss!

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May 2020

51 min 41 sec

This time Shakka & Ben discuss some hard won tips for recovering after life inevitably gets in the way. There will always be times where unpredictable things happen and derail our work, this is part of life, but how we recover from these times is more important than avoiding them. Let's discuss!

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May 2020

1 hr 13 min

This week we discuss the power and danger of following trends. It's an incredible tool for your creative content to get seen by more new folks but at the same time it can be quiet the roller coaster to attach yourself to. Let's talk about some best practices when leveraging trends for your content!

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May 2020

57 min 56 sec

Our first book episode! This week we discuss the often referred to book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz! We're always talking about this book and are super excited to do a deep dive into The Four Agreements this week! Let's discuss!

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Apr 2020

1 hr 19 min

This week we discuss our own limits, how to find them & knowing when to push past them or heed their warning. Sometimes we limit ourselves unnecessarily, however sometimes our system is screaming for our attention & is simply looking out for our well being. Learning what limits are there to support us & which ones we can push beyond is a huge lesson for any artist! Let's discuss!

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Apr 2020

1 hr 7 min

This time Ben & Shakka chat about how to interact with & respect your audience's attention! How do we make good choices as we entertain our audience? What are the things we do that helps keep our audience's attention & what causes us to loose that same attention! Let's discuss!

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Apr 2020

1 hr 6 min

This time Shakka & Ben discuss the tendency to underestimate how hard professional creative work can be. Sometimes it's wise to stop and take a look at the reality of how gnarly this lifestyle can really be, this can help manage our expectations and prepare us for the challenges ahead as a creative professional. Let's chat about it!

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Apr 2020

48 min 38 sec

This week Ben & Shakka discuss the value of changing up your creative outlets from time to time! Sometimes we struggle with our creative work, call it artist's block, burnout, whatever... Sometimes we just need to change our perspective & try something new, then we often find ourselves refreshed and ready to return to our previous work! Try something different creatively. Do you paint? Try podcasting! Do you stream? Try folding Origami! Mix it up and you may just find that spark you've been missing!   Show Notes: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - https://www.amazon.com/The-War-of-Art-dp-B07PTBYH2G/dp/B07PTBYH2G

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Apr 2020

51 min 43 sec

This time we discuss raising the amount you charge for creative work! Figuring out how much to charge for your art, or how to raise your prices over time, is a really intimidating thing and is worth a good deep dive! Let's discuss!

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Mar 2020

49 min 14 sec

This time we talk about getting clear about where to focus your attention in a world of choices. There's so many social media platforms, so many places you can invest tons of time and each could meaningfully help your work, so where do you spend your limited time? Let's discuss!

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Feb 2020

57 min 34 sec

This time we discuss how music influences the experience of gaming and storytelling. The power of music to set mood, communicate and story tell is incredible. Ben shares his insights on this fascinating subject and some thought about the production of game music too! Show Notes: Making The Color Jumper Soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34L_AiidvmM Composing Journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUaPHTC2TjI Chopping up classical music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpPs-quzxYM Music Workshop - Fez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH04VJ8jxvo  

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Jan 2020

57 min 4 sec

This week we talk how we organize our thoughts & support our health while creating. Dealing with some of the challenges in the daily life of a creative we find our mind is often the battleground, let's talk about how we organize our mind and think about frustration, fear and love! Show Notes: Ben's New Album: https://abstractionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/felt-cute-might-delete-later Minefield on YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD68reVP0Ek

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Dec 2019

48 min 33 sec

This week we talk about Mental Hygiene and how we can protect our minds from the stress of creative business! What are your daily practices that support your mental well-being? Let's discuss!

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Dec 2019

1 hr 5 min

This week we discuss the difference between being "real/authentic" and indulging in "Complaining/negativity". Indulging in complaining and negativity sure feels like we're being "honest/real" but mostly we're just being unskillful and unprofessional. Let's discuss. Show Notes: Simon Sinek TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: https://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Like-Leonardo-Vinci/dp/0440508274

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Nov 2019

54 min 55 sec

This week Ben and Shakka talk about being a good boss to yourself and always experimenting! Easy to get sucked into habit or conventional thinking, but you're free to experiment my friends! Put your lab coats on and always be in the lab!

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Nov 2019

41 min 47 sec

This week Ben and Shakka enjoy a nice meandering creative conversation about connecting with your audience! We discuss how important it is to communicate to your audience that they authentically matter to you. Let's discuss! <3

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Oct 2019

46 min 43 sec

This week Ben and Shakka discuss momentum in creative work! Momentum is a powerful force to tap into in our work, let's talk about how to use it, nurture it and recover your momentum after life inevitably gets in the way lol! Show notes: Untitled Goose Game article: https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/09/20/untitled-goose-game-began-as-a-workplace-slack-joke Creative Exploration - 5 Min Rule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPd3TNl5IAQ&list=PLW08UHPY2AEqOBAksZwyXbiMgv1rTijU2&index=34&t=0s Daylio app: https://daylio.webflow.io/

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Oct 2019

43 min 11 sec

This week we share some strategies to make it easier for you to do your work! There's so many challenges and barriers to overcome in the very real labor of giving your art to the world. Let's talk about how we can remove some of the things that get our way so we can spend our energy where it belongs; climbing the obstacles that cannot be scared away by preparation, organization and ingenuity. Let's discuss! Show Notes: Agile Methodology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development "Discipline equals freedom" - Jocko Willink

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Sep 2019

56 min 39 sec

This week we discuss diversifying your lines of communication! It's easy to get lost trying to connect even to your most engaged community members sometimes, let's talk about how to make sure you can hear each other!

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Sep 2019

53 min 59 sec

This week Shakka & Ben discuss the marketing side of content creation and how powerful it is to maintain a posture of always looking for opportunities. We also discuss how to navigate the "No Self-Promotion" culture on the internet and even how to set up a production pipeline that gives you the content you need to always be marketing! Show Notes: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk Show Your Work! Paperback by Austin Kleon

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Sep 2019

1 hr 9 min

This week Shakka & Ben talk about how the myth that there's not enough can sabotage you & how to defeat it! There's a lot of fear & scarcity thinking in the content creation world, this can lead to believing the myth that the world of a content creator is run by a "Zero Sum Game", where for you to win, someone else must loose, this is just not true. Let's discuss! Show Notes: Book - Finite & Infinite Games by James Carse: https://www.amazon.com/Finite-Infinite-Games-James-Carse/dp/1476731713 Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators: https://teenage.engineering/products/po

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Aug 2019

51 min 56 sec

This week we discuss the dangers of feeding the trolls & talk Mixer news! First we briefly touch on the exciting news about Ninja coming to Mixer! Our main topic this week was sparked by the recent drama around Ooblets which brings up the interesting topic of PR and responding to the your audience and the market wisely and skillfully. Let's discuss!

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Aug 2019

57 min 30 sec

This week Ben and Shakka talk about the recent changes on Mixer regarding the spark payouts, embers etc. then dive DEEP into content monetization for creators of all kinds. This is a big subject that is commonly very misunderstood, we're excited to get into this topic with you! Let's discuss! :)   Links: Ben's Patreon Income Breakdown he mentioned as an example: https://www.patreon.com/posts/23680097

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Jul 2019

1 hr 14 min

This week we discuss a creator's responsibility to model behavior for their communities as they grow. Whether we like it or not, our actions do lay the cultural foundation for our community. As strange as it is we must accept that we do influence, in some way or another, our community & really anybody that consumes our content. How we act is essentially approval & encouragement of those same actions & it may be worth stopping & thinking about how we'd like to encourage others to be in the world through our content. Let's discuss!

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Jul 2019

43 min 19 sec

This week Ben and Shakka catch up a bit after Ben's vacation and discuss a variety of creative topics like Ben's new game, crafting difficulty as a game dev, iteration, the power of sketches, Shakka's Brute Force Google technique and more! Lots of good stuff in this one, enjoy my friends! <3   Show Notes:  Beardyman vid: https://youtu.be/pnl1R2dUiD0 2 years of Color Jumper gifs: https://imgur.com/gallery/R4WAC

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Jul 2019

1 hr 6 min

This week Machen Joins Shakka to talk about dealing with getting MAD on stream! What do you do? How do we manage our frustration, what are some strategies and best practices? Let's discuss!

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Jul 2019

49 min

  This week Ben & I discuss the power of just starting, even if it's messy, even if it "fails", just starting is powerful! We sometimes get paralyzed in preparation, trying to make it perfect, but miss out on all we learn from taking the risk, being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. This is an important and core topic for creatives of all disciplines and we're excited to hopefully shed some light on this fascinating subject! Show Notes: Ben's Space Cat/Death Stranding pic: Andrew Huang's YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdcemy56JtVTrsFIOoqvV8g Song Ben made by rolling dice for time signature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miocJrx7i6Y Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon: https://www.amazon.com/Show-Your-Work-Austin-Kleon/dp/076117897X “Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.” - Jake the Dog (Adventure Time)

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Jun 2019

51 min 27 sec

Let's talk about the most exciting stuff from this year's E3! Ben Burnes joins me this week to let me gush about all the E3 stuff lol ;) Lots of exciting games and announcements this year, 2019 and 2020 are gonna be real good years to be a gamer! Let's discuss!   Find Ben online: http://www.abstractionmusic.com/ https://twitter.com/ben_burnes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk1LInPwXosJGnXQQuwC4Xw  

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Jun 2019

1 hr 26 min

This week Machen endures a giant Shakka Rant about the new game Dauntless! Lol, but seriously, Dauntless is an interesting combination of things that seems to hit a sweets spot for streaming and building communities. Let's talk about it!

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Jun 2019

42 min 17 sec

Silverion joins us again to share & explain his 7 Rules for Streaming! This set of guidelines serves as an excellent manual for up and coming streamers and veterans alike to keep themselves on top of the challenging and often difficult landscape of content creation. We're very excited to share this episode with you all, lots of great insights from our friend Silver!   Check out Silverion online: https://mixer.com/Silverion https://twitter.com/SilverionX1

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May 2019

1 hr 5 min

VikTheViking85 joins us this week to talk about making professional streams straight from console! He's created a community over a thousand strong and puts on a damn fine show, join us today for a download straight from the Viking on how he did it! Tools tips and tricks for up and coming streamers who only have access to stream straight from console. Enjoy!   Check out VikTheViking85: https://mixer.com/VikTheViking85 https://twitter.com/VikTheViking85

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May 2019

53 min 55 sec

This week we talk about the recent controversy around game difficulty & accessibility kicked off by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. We discuss the history of the SoulsBorne series regarding their difficulty, artistic vision and accessibility as well as the evolving landscape of these topics today. This was a fascinating topic we've been looking forward to discussing, machen is a huge SoulsBorne fan and has been dying to weigh in on this subject. Enjoy! Sources & interesting articles: https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/04/05/sekiro-accessibility-in-games-is-about-far-more-than-difficulty https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2019/03/28/sekiro-shadows-dies-twice-needs-to-respect-its-players-and-add-an-easy-mode/#4ce5650f1639 https://twitter.com/MattThorson/status/1113534763564826624

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May 2019

52 min 22 sec

In this special episode we share audio from a recent livestream panel ShakkaPanda hosted at SacAnime in Sacramento California! In this panel he talks about some basics of streaming then turns to the more philosophical side of things discussing things less commonly spoken about at length. We're very excited to share this with you all! Enjoy ;)

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Jan 2019

1 hr 1 min

This week we catch up with Mixer streamer Silverion and get the download on how he got started gaming and content creating! Very interesting guy with lots of wisdom to share. Thanks for stopping by Silver! Find Silverion online: https://mixer.com/silverion https://twitter.com/SilverionX1

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Oct 2018

1 hr 1 min

This week we discuss tips tricks & best practices for growing your Discord community! Shakka & Machen share tips, tricks & best practices for growing your Discord server & community! We cover getting started with your Discord, growing your Discord, picking Discord mods & more! Join the Shakka And Pals Discord community here: https://discord.gg/u396jhm Today's song is...   Adventures by A Himitsu Available on ccmusic.co https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for CC BY-SA 3.0

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Apr 2018

1 hr 29 min

This week we interview partnered Mixer streamer MonsterousRage! Rage offers some great advice and perspective for up and coming content creators. We discuss the power of networking, building a great community and more!   Visit Rage here: https://mixer.com/MonsterousRage https://twitter.com/MonsterousRageG   Today's song is... Flavors by Cormak Available on ccmusic.co https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for CC BY-SA 3.0

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Mar 2018

1 hr 25 min

This week the Ian and Jason, the AW Rebels, join us for a deep dive into the philosophy of streaming, the mindset of a good streamer and tons of other excellent advice for content creators. Thanks for stopping by Rebs! Check out the AW Rebels here: https://mixer.com/awrebels https://twitter.com/awrebels https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW_F7iOac1onjtBEgKn8jKg Today's song is... Candy-Coloured Sky by Catmosphere available on ccmusic.co https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for CC BY-SA 3.0

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Mar 2018

1 hr 46 min

This week PieRatKing joins us again for a discussion of Hype Hate in the content creation community. Many streamers struggle with frustration and envy around the most popular games and the creators who make content around those games. We discuss the toxicity of this thinking and how to move past it. Thanks for joining us again PieRat!   Check out PieRatKing here: https://mixer.com/PieRatKing Today's song is... Nostalgia by SirensCeol available on ccmusic.co https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for CC BY-SA 3.0

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Mar 2018

1 hr 46 min