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Creator Convos: Behind the Scenes with SevyPlays

SevyPlays starting up her stream with some banter to warm up her chat, with her bunny Luna’s enclosure in the background

Over three years in, Genshin Impact still retains its prestige as one of the most successful live-service video games in the world. That popularity and staying power are thanks in large part to the content creators that HoYoverse actively supports and encourages, fostering a feedback loop of player enjoyment, game development, and community engagement for their entire portfolio of games, including the fresh-into-version-2.0 Honkai: Star Rail and the upcoming Zenless Zone Zero.

SevyPlays, one of the most prolific Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail content creators in the Philippines with official recognition from HoYoverse, agreed to let PhilStar Tech check in with her for a glimpse of what life has been like for her over the past couple of years, with content creation as her primary source of livelihood.

[PhilStar Tech’s questions and SevyPlays’ responses have been edited for clarity.]

What occupied your time before you became a content creator focused on HoYoverse games?

In life, I was occupied with college. I just graduated from my university [in 2023], and it was a struggle finishing school during the pandemic. Motivation was hard to come by. In gaming, I played a lot of Minecraft before discovering Genshin. I played it socially most of the time, because playing in a solo world often felt lonely to me.

In content, I had a very small channel that never reached 1k subscribers. I uploaded singing covers on it for years, and later on, makeup tutorials and vlogs. No, I don’t upload on it anymore, and I don’t plan to.

SevyPlays’ always-evolving workstation. Cable management in progress.

How does a typical day as a content creator flow for you?

My day-to-day work schedule varies. If it’s a grind day, I might work anywhere from 8-12 hours on a video. If it’s a loose day, I might work in the morning, go to the gym, or run errands in the afternoon, then wrap up work in the evening. If it’s a Spiral Abyss guide day, I wake up earlier than usual, go straight to my PC, have breakfast in front of my PC, have lunch in front of my PC, and hopefully publish the video sometime in the afternoon. Those are speedrun days.

My work process for each [non-Spiral Abyss] guide video usually starts with scripting and research. Research is a mix of in-game testing, consulting theorycrafting communities and previous content on the topic [like a review of related literature].

Once I have most of my info laid out, it’s often refining the script that takes the longest because of how meticulous I have to be. After that, I record the voiceover, pass the footage and files to my editor, work on the thumbnail and additional graphics while he works, and publish once he’s done. Sometimes I have to go over some corrections I find later on and deal with those prior to publishing.

SevyPlays’ aforementioned work companion, Luna

Please tell us about how you do your analyses. Do you have a preferred method or workflow?

For the math part, I don’t do all the math by myself. I can personally calculate scenarios to a certain extent, but I very much believe in working with people who are better than me at things. Like I mentioned before, I consult theorycrafting communities and what info they’ve already calculated. I also have a theorycrafter friend who can cover more in-depth scenarios with their math, and for some cases or videos, we collaborate on what to math out. Then those results inform my content.

I do understand his process and his work, though. After all, I have to know that in order to meaningfully translate them into my videos, as well as spot any opportunities to clarify, re-calculate, or even dig deeper. So, if you’re interested in me breaking down the process of that, or at least the criteria for it, I can.

Aside from the math, the general criteria I use in breaking down a character are: what are the most essential things to know about them? How do I explain this character so that the player can easily grasp what it is they’re meant to do? What is this character good at, and what are they not so good at? What questions are players likely to ask when it comes to this character? How can a player build or play the character in order to enjoy them the most?

What’s it like being an official HoYoverse content creator?

The main perk is that I get opportunities from them from time to time, such as collaborations and the like, and that I feel it’s easier to connect with other official HoYoverse creators. It’s also something that goes on my resume when other companies are looking to work with me or sponsor me. But either way, I mainly see it as a nice way to recognize all the Genshin content I create.

What are your thoughts on the risks of overindulgence in gacha games? Where do HoYoverse games stand vis-à-vis other gacha games?

I’ll start with the disclaimer that Genshin was my first gacha game. I honestly didn’t even know gacha games were a thing until then, and it was only the temptation of [pulling for] Zhongli that introduced me to the risks of microtransactions. In that sense, I can’t give much of a comparison between HoYoverse and non-HoYoverse gacha games, because I’ve only played a handful of them.

But on the risks: they’re very much present, and you really have to understand yourself and practice restraint when it comes to it. For younger players especially, I sincerely hope their means of online transactions are at least well-guided by parental figures.

I am glad, though, that there are a lot of F2P and low-spending players in Genshin. It helps cultivate the culture of not having to spend or whale for characters, and to just wait for when savings align with favorite banner characters.

What do you think of Genshin Impact now compared to when you first began making content about it?

I think I’ve just fallen in love with the game more. I’m the type of person that gets attached to games immensely. When I was attached to Minecraft, it was my main game for seven years straight. For Genshin, it’s even stronger because of how embedded I am in the community. But even by itself, I just enjoy the game a lot. And the characters, of course.

Content-wise, Fontaine is great. It’s done a great job in revitalizing older players’ experiences. The wait for Natlan is coming up and we might be in another dry spell soon, but I don’t mind.

You can check out SevyPlays’ fine work about Genshin Impact and other HoYoverse games on YouTube and on Twitch.