Category: Dslyecxi On…


(this is a repost of what I wrote when ending my Patreon campaign on Mar 30, 2023, since apparently that post became inaccessible as a result)

I’ve decided to end my Patreon campaign. This has been on my mind for awhile now, and now’s as good a time as any. The campaign is currently paused, so April’s billing won’t happen, and then after that I’ll shut it down. 

I greatlyappreciate everyone who’s contributed over the years – it’s meant a lot, and it’s been motivating to see! This decision isn’t a reflection on any of my supporters in any way. Rather, it’s the result of lengthy ruminations on the difference between the forest and the trees, and what that reality means from my perspective. 

My rationale is simply that I’m at a point in life where I no longer have the drive to pour energy into avenues that don’t give me some kind of tangible return proportional to the effort invested. I have limited time to spend, and Patreon has increasingly been slipping further and further away from the core of what I want to spend that time on. 

The original intent of my Patreon campaign was to allow me to go beyond what I was able to create otherwise, but the hidden trap of it was in thinking that there would be a direct correlation between effort invested and payoff received, and that it’d be worth that time investment. 

Unfortunately, it never really was – not even at the peak of it. 

Patreon acted as a justification for me to spend inordinate amounts of time making material that I believed in, but that could never be justified as a result of them being niche topics, Youtube working the way it does, and my own refusal to “play the game” (Youtube, that is) in the way it’s designed to be played. That’s all on me – those are decision I made because I believed them to be the right ones. I don’t regret it, but I don’t have the desire to continue with it at this point. I see what greater levels of success in this realm looks like from those who have achieved it in milsim or milsim-adjacent game channels, and it simply isn’t appealing to me. Quite the opposite, in fact. 

I learned a lot through the Patreon-Youtube combination over the years. They gave me the excuse to create a great deal of material that I likely never would have otherwise, because it made it feel like it was being recognized and rewarded. To a degree, it certainly was – every person who chipped in to show their appreciation and provide direct support was a tangible, meaningful motivation to continue. Many of you have been showing that support for years, and it has meant a lot to see it. 

That leads us to the other trap of Patreon – where you end up in a cycle of not wanting to disappoint people, and when combined with the idea that effort equals reward, you can easily find that cycle continuing endlessly as it slowly but surely spirals further into a misaligned, unhealthy state. 

My last set of videos showed me the situation as clearly as I could have hoped for. 

  • The Hindsight series, despite being something I found incredibly interesting and thought was rather unique material, went nowhere. I couldn’t justify that kind of investment of time with such a weak response, so I stopped. 
  • My most recent Art of Flight and VTTP videos, despite all the effort I put into them for things like 3D visualizations and such, had mediocre response. I couldn’t justify them, so I stopped creating them. 

I’m proud of all of it, I wish I could have made more, but the support never hit the level required to do that, and I’m no longer feeling emotionally masochistic enough to chase that unachievable goal. 

The last major video I did, not counting the YIRs, was the Reforger reveal. It served as the final nail in the coffin, the confirmation of truths I knew, shown in the most clear-cut fashion I could have asked for. Effort meant little compared to subscriber counts, and I couldn’t change that. My video was a comprehensive, high-effort production, but that didn’t make any real difference. Lesser efforts gained more traction for the typical Youtube reasons. I’m not alone in this regard, of course – it’s becoming more and more common to see other creators talking about similar frustrations with effort:payoff ratios on Youtube, people who create wonderful material that should bring them far more success than it does. 

I’ve also considered what this means for me as it relates to future aspects like Reforger or Arma 4. I’m not terribly interested in learning the new scripting language of those for the present time, and the way they handle cinematics and the workflow associated with it is absolutely glacially slow compared to what I do (and develop) for my day job, and I don’t have the patience for it at this point. I can’t see myself justifying it as a hobby, either, at least not for now. 

So what’s next for me as far as video work goes? I’ll keep making session videos, because I do those more for me than anyone else. Same with the YIR videos – I’ll keep trying to achieve those despite the time it takes, because capturing those memories in such a succinct form is incredibly valuable to me. VTTP, Art of Flight, Hindsight – everything high-effort along those lines is going to be on ice for the forseeable future. 

I don’t think that’s likely to ever change. 

Patreon was a worthwhile chapter for me, I’m grateful for the support shown over it, but it’s time for me to move on. 

Thanks for having been a part of it! 

Take care, 

– Andrew // dslyecxi

Wedge & Duke

I made it out of the Corps just in time to catch Katrina in New Orleans. Returning to the city in the immediate aftermath of the storm, I was collecting some left-behind items when I heard something from another room. Investigating, I moved an end table aside and was surprised to find four kittens huddled together, perhaps days old, with a mother nowhere in sight or sound.

The four of them were small enough to fit in a shoebox. There wasn’t a question as to what to do: I had them in that shoebox in my lap as we drove away, this time for good.

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Video categorization, thumbnail, and title improvements

I made a video a bit back in which I talked about potentially doing snippets from time to time, which would essentially be lower-context videos of something neat from a session that didn’t necessarily warrant a fully-produced video, but was potentially interesting regardless.

As part of this, the key element was being able to make it work not just for my workflow, but for viewers as well. I wanted to do something that would clearly set expectations from the title or thumbnail, where one could easily skim through my channel and know exactly what they’d be watching with minimal investigation. I didn’t look too much further into it due to being preoccupied with other tasks, but over the last few days I think I’ve come up with a solution for it and some other things that bug me about my Youtube presentation.

I’ve just completed a basic but workable system for improved categorization, visualized by the video thumbnails. So far I’ve come up with a few different categories to describe videos, which I’ll note here and expound on.

  • Typical. This is a standard video the likes of which you commonly see – the thumbnails for these will be the normal ones you’re accustomed to. These are typical gameplay videos and range in duration from a few minutes to an hour or more.
  • Cinematic perspective. These are videos where I’m observing the scenario play out through a cinematic camera, generally because I died at some point in the mission previously. These are indicated by a blue stripe on the left side of the video which says “CINEMATIC”.
  • Highlight. This is something I’ve wanted to do, but not without a clearly-visualized method for doing so. A highlight video is something pulled from a larger video, but which stands alone as an interesting clip. My intent is to post highlight videos immediately after posting the video that they’re from – the idea being that anyone who wants the full experience can watch the main video, while those that just want to see a highlight can watch it instead. These are indicated by a yellow stripe on the left side of the video which says “HIGHLIGHT”.
  • Snippet. A snippet is a clip that may not have much context, but I thought was worth sharing in some capacity. They may be complementary perspectives to someone else’s video, or they may just be a quick and interesting clip from a mission. These have a violet stripe that says “SNIPPET”.
  • Commentary. Videos where I’m talking about whatever happened in a mission, in a retrospective manner. These will have a red stripe with the word “COMMENTARY” on it.
  • Training. While I have Art of Flight and Video Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures titles already, the “Training” tag may be used in the future to indicate a video that will help improve your gameplay or understanding of something – instructional content, in short. This will be represented by a green stripe with the word “TRAINING” on it.

Here are a few examples of these new-style thumbnails:


In addition to that, I’ve adopted a new naming scheme for my videos, inspired by a change chkilroy recently made. Video titles will now be the name of the video, followed by the game, and a few-word summary of the basic content in it. This should help to give a better at-a-glance understanding of what the video will be featuring, and should make it easier to pick from a large list of videos when time’s limited. I’ve retroactively applied this to my 2015 video list and time permitting may go back to apply it to older videos in the future.


Hopefully these changes help you better visualize the content I’m putting out, as well as help me to more confidently create highlight and snippet footage, knowing that people’s expectations for such will be appropriate from the start.

As long as you’re here, you’ll notice that… well, you’re here, at my site! I’ve reorganized my presentation a bit to facilitate more bloggish content in the future – you’ll see that the top-bar has a “Thoughts on…” menu that now includes subcategories for various things I might write about. I can’t promise I’ll use this tremendously frequently, but it does give me a nice, organized place to write if the need strikes, as it has here.

Anyhow – that’s all for now. Have a good one!

Patreon Year in Review

A year ago I found myself in the position of needing to decide what the future held for me, of choosing between wants and needs and reevaluating priorities. As a result of this, I turned to ShackTac and explained what I’d decided on – that instead of chasing the fickle nature of Youtube as some means of support (which is, at best, a difficult prospect – made more difficult if you happen to be in a non-mainstream niche), I’d float Patreon as an option and see what might come of it. The hope was to be able to more directly find the support needed to justify investing time into my video work, to not only sustain what I was already doing but also reintroduce the heavier projects that required so much time to produce.

To say that that’s an intimidating step to take doesn’t quite convey the significance of it. On May 9th I posted my plans to ShackTac, finding a reassuring amount of support in the process. The next week I went live with the project, posting a video about it to my channel and watching to see what the broader reaction would be.

It was humbling and motivating to see the response. Patreon validated itself as a means to fuel my work, and in short order I was able to devote roughly two weeks each month to pursuing projects for it – be they original creations, extra session videos, scripting work, or one of the other facets that fed into my productions.

Since then, I’ve done 180 videos for my channel. Here’s a look at all of them from the Patreon announce to May 5th, 2015.


Out of those, I can look at roughly 40 of them and say that without Patreon, they almost certainly would never have been made. I’ve highlighted them here – that’s about one in five videos that very directly can be linked to Patreon, excluding any bonus session videos I otherwise might not have done.


There are common themes to these – training videos, Q&As, opinion pieces, commentaries, compilations, videos based on scripting or design that I could only justify as a result of Patreon, or the STNT/Stamina mod releases. While the average session video might take a few hours to create, these highlighted ones generally took significantly more to produce – many of them being the result of weeks of effort, such as the VTTPs, Art of Flight, the real-world Flight series, Hindsight, the DCS flight video, etc. Anything Arma-related often requires an extensive period of preproduction, during which both in-game and voiceover scripts are developed to help visualize the topic at hand, all before ever filming anything. Mission creation took that in a different but similar direction, with iteration after iteration followed by careful testing, all in order to ensure smooth running when actually played.

Looking back on these videos, the behind-the-scenes work that led up to them, as well as the day-to-day work that feeds into every creation, it all adds up to something significantly taxing. Add ShackTac itself on top of that, plus my other non-Patreon/Youtube contract work, topped with a personal life, and my time is well and thoroughly accounted for.

In the end, I love what I do, that I’m able to do it, and that so many are willing to support it. I don’t always take the time I probably should to say that, but I hope if nothing else it comes across in the content I put out. Not a day goes by without me either directly working on or thinking about what I’ll be doing next to make good on the support so generously offered me, and I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’d hold me more accountable for all of this than myself.

As to the future – there’s much to be done. I’ve worked up a personal list of sustains & improves relating to Patreon, and I look forward to working to make this coming year be as or perhaps even more productive than the last.

To those of you who have offered your support over this past year: Thank you very much! I hope what I’ve done as a result of that has entertained.

Here’s to the future!



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On loss

Hello there Dslyecxi! This question isn’t Arma related, nor is it a question about mods or videogames. I also don’t expect you to reply, but hey, I humbly come to you asking for advice. I recently accidentally killed my dog when I ran over him. I’ve seen the videos and read the articles you’ve posted regarding Eby and the other cat you attempted to save. It goes without saying that I too tried to save my dog from passing, but, alas. I’m having a hard time coping. How do you cope Dslyecxi?

The unfortunate reality is that a traumatic event like that is going to stick with you in some fashion for a long time. Coming to terms with it will take time, and you’ll be helped along the way if you speak to someone who’s trained to deal with grief. One of the most significant sayings regarding this sort of situation is “Pain shared is pain divided” (the flip side of that coin is ‘joy shared is joy multiplied’). As much as you can and will try to work it over in your head and ‘solve’ it yourself, you will ultimately be your own harshest critic and the judgments you pass on yourself for what happened will reflect that. Talk to a trusted friend or family member – talk it out, grieve, and if you need more, seek professional help. Don’t focus exclusively on the ending, but give appropriate weight to the experiences you had with your dog over the years. Recount the good times, remember them and hold them close – give the end it’s due, but don’t let that become the story itself. One tragic event doesn’t negate a lifetime of love and care, and the reaction you’re experiencing is clear testament to a strong and loving bond.

You can’t and shouldn’t hide from something like this, you can’t will it out of your mind and expect that to be a long-term solution. Self-medicating isn’t an answer, either. Whatever the situation may have been, look back on it critically, learn from what happened, and if you believe you made any mistakes – vow greater vigilance going forward. I found it helpful to collect my thoughts about Eby in the form of a writeup of the events – something I did shortly after it happened, so that I’d have a clear picture to reflect back on, and not one distorted by the distance of time. With the ‘Jaws’ example, I tried to take a too-common tragic circumstance and use that as a way to highlight the acts of humanity and kindness I saw during it. Perhaps writing it out, even if only for yourself, will help you to find the emotional extents of it. You can’t undo the past, but you can learn from it and you can use that to make you stronger and wiser in the future.

At some point down the road – dictated entirely by you, and not something to rush into unprepared – you’ll find yourself in a place where acquiring another pet will feel appropriate. When that time comes, seek out a local shelter, save a life, and embark on a new adventure.


(originally from a tumblr question)

Youtube channel and video comments

To get our readers up to speed, the following quote is from a person who I blocked on Youtube. In Youtube terms, blocking simply means disallowing a person from commenting on your channel – they can still see the videos, they’re just unable to interact with them in the typical like/comment/etc fashion. The situation at hand was relating to this video. If you haven’t seen it and have six minutes to spare, have a look (I think it’s good, hence having posted it, y’know?) – what comes next will be spoilers.

No question – just a thanks. Thank you for blocking me on YT. “Do you understand what a fake-out? ending is?” Do you understand that not everyone watches videos in fullscreen but in windowed mode with visible timelines? “Maybe you can drop your cynicism long enough to recognize a joke when you see it” Because it’s SO funny with a visible timeline. Next time think out your “jokes” before you make them. – random blocked subscriber who subbed you over 3 years ago.

To the author, I say simply – thanks for giving me an excuse to write about something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I’ll probably put this in video form sometime so anyone in my channel can easily reference it, but for now, text will have to suffice.

The video, linked above, contains a simple narrative misdirection – a false ending partway through that matches what’s happening in the game at the time. The author of the above comment, in the video’s comments, accused this of being a “beg for subscriptions” and seemed to miss that it was an intentionally done misdirection as a joke. It was an incredibly cynical and unwarranted comment, and when told of this, he lashed out with more negativity and insults in response. I simply blocked him at this point and removed the offending comments to avoid further sidetracking. The quote above, sent to me via Tumblr, simply continues the anger – anger at a creative decision of mine that did no harm to this particular viewer, but which he feels compelled to rant angrily at me over.

On Blocking

My views on blocking people are fairly straightforward and “common sense” to me. To roughly summarize, I block people for things like:

  • Being disruptive and hostile or showing a lack of respect towards me or other commentors in my description; trolling; generally being rude.
  • Threatening to unsubscribe. Doing this in the first place implies that I have some vested interest in preserving the subscriptions of every single subscriber, and that I will alter or make exceptions to my morals or ethos to do so. If you’re looking for a channel where the owner will pander to you and do everything they can to hold on to every single subscriber, you have come to the wrong place. Save me the trouble – if you don’t like my content, or the means by which I moderate the comments, simply unsubscribe.
  • Obvious advertising like spamming other channels, products, etc
  • Trying to ‘ride the coattails’ of successful videos by trying to redirect people elsewhere. If you’d like to promote your content, there are plenty of ways to do it that don’t involve trying to skim off the success of others.

Youtube gives everyone the opportunity to create their own ‘space’ – an area that they can present their content (channel) and interact with likeminded people or subscribers (comment sections). The rights that exist in those spaces are up to the owner – there is no guarantee of free speech – plenty of people disable their comments entirely just to avoid the shitstorms that can result. Others encourage shitstorms within their comments to try to drive drama and viewership up – something I personally find distasteful. I do not and have never claimed that my channel’s comments section was a free-speech zone – it isn’t. If you can behave respectfully and be a cool person, I’m happy to have you around, providing comments, even if they’re not sunshine and rainbows. Respectful disagreement is fine, respectful arguments are fine.

However, being an asshat – being disrespectful, disruptive, and hostile – none of that is kosher; none of it will fly in my channel. When I see it, I deal with it. There are tens of thousands of channels you can find where all-out war is an acceptable behavior for them – in mine, at least for now and thanks to the relatively small size of it, I try to keep mine a bit more policed and healthy than that. I like the results, and I’ve had enough people comment on how they’re “different” to think that it’s worth the effort.

If you don’t like it, feel free to unsubscribe, feel free to look for your negativity elsewhere. I don’t want to play that game, and I don’t want to surround myself with those who do. If you think I’m so desperate for subscribers that you dropping yours will hurt me, why not just… y’know, do so and be done with it?

Finally, the notion that someone has some special rights just because they’ve been a subscriber for x-many years or whatever is silly. As I noted above, I won’t be held hostage by people thinking that I hold a subscriber count higher than my own ethical code and moral standards. I like the idea of finding success because of decisions like those – decisions that I feel are morally and ethically correct, and not lowest-common-denominator pandering as you so often see in the Youtube ‘scene’.

Those of you that ‘get’ this, cool! You’re the ones I want to see in the comments in the first place! Those of you that balk at the notion of being polite, respectful, and constructive – feel free to take your subscriptions and head somewhere else.

Best of luck to you regardless of the path you choose. Life’s too short for anything else.

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