Trying to be the next big streamer is tough and when the world of Twitch is so big, it’s nice to have as many resources as you can to help you out.
Introducing Host Alert, a brand new Twitch podcast for the little guys out there on Twitch! Join Marstead, Pythagotron, and GalacticKodiak as they discuss their experiences as smaller Twitch streamers. The goal of the podcast is to share what they’ve learned on Twitch and from there, be able to give advice to other Twitch streamers who may be in similar situations. I had the chance to get in contact with the hosts and asked them a few questions to not only learn more about them, but also about the podcast and what its plans are.
Kiratze – Even though you are only one episode in, what are your guys’ plans down the road? Have you planned far ahead or is this more of a casual podcast you will do whenever you have the spare time?
Marstead – We are each really serious streamers and we want to treat the podcast the same way. Our plan is to release a new episode every ~2 weeks and not stray from that schedule. We already have another four episodes in the bag; we’re trying to build up a buffer in case we need to miss recording a week or two. I plan to publish Episode 2 on or around November 11, 2016.
Kiratze – How long have you guys been streaming for?
Marstead – We’ve each been streaming for ~2+ years.
Kiratze – What games do you all regularly stream?
Marstead – My stream theme is Let’s Beat Every Awesome Game. I have a system where viewers add and upvote “awesome” games (typically games with more than a 7.5 score on Metacritic). I play through each game once then move on to the next one. I feel we’ve passed the quality singularity for video games; that even if you spend 16 hours a day every day playing awesome games, you wouldn’t have enough time to beat all of them — maybe not even keep up with the pace of current releases! I still want to try, and I see this as job security.
GalacticKodiak – I tend to focus heavily on MMORPGs or games with perpetual content like MOBAs or Digital CCGs. I’m currently on hiatus because of a new job but my plan is to get into a bit of variety with games like Final Fantasy 15 as well as finding new online games to learn.
Pythagotron – The games that I regularly stream are typically challenging games that make me a little salty but also have great lore/atmosphere/story/level design (ie. Dark souls, Bloodborne, Darkest Dungeon, Furi). I do not really classify myself as a particular type of streamer as I am not really variety and I only stick to one game at a time until I am done with it and move on.
Kiratze – Why do you enjoy streaming and what are your goals with it?
Marstead – My full-time job is as a house husband for my wife Andrea, who works as an astrophysicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the inspiration for “Black Mesa” in Half-Life and home of the Manhattan Project in WW2. She’s the one who encouraged me to try streaming as a career.
I enjoy talking about games as art, and discussing things like narrative structure, good and bad game design, and ways in which games can tell stories we couldn’t really get from literature, television, and film. Having a regular, intelligent audience for this sort of discussion is a huge boon! My most critical goal for streaming has already been satisfied: with Patreon support, it pays for itself and a couple of the related bills around the house like our electricity and internet. Beyond that, I want to continue building my channel over time and eventually become a Twitch Partner. At this point, partnership is more about the prestige that comes with it. I’m really excited about hosting panels at conventions like PAX or TwitchCon, and it would be nice to have that “checkmark on the resume” when applying for that sort of thing. I don’t really need the “Subscribe” button (I would actually be losing money compared to Patreon’s modest cut) and with the recent expansion of transcoding/quality options, I am mostly covered there.
I focus on quality over quantity in my growth, because my community is a big part of what makes my channel work. I would rather have one really solid, intelligent, and loyal Patreon susbcriber who follows me from game to game than 20 extra average concurrent viewers, and that’s reflected in my viewer to subscriber ratio. It’s for this reason that I avoid “hype-chasing”; I don’t try to focus on games that I know will rapidly grow my channel. I have some anxiety that my stream model might not be compatible with huge success on Twitch. As the chat gets bloated with too many people, it might be impossible to keep an intimate environment, even if those people are all level-headed and intelligent. But I’m excited to explore that space as we keep growing.
GalakticKodiak – Streaming, and content creation in general, offers a unique connection to new media and represents what I hope is the advent of a much more honest, passionate, and unique take on entertainment. I enjoy streaming because it allows me to explore my creativity as well as my experience as graphic design, comedian, and writer. My long term goal with streaming is to cultivate an audience and viewer base of intelligent and social individuals who are excited by conversations about nerd culture and gaming without the pretentiousness we typically expect in those kinds of scenarios.
Pythagotron – I enjoy streaming because it is an opportunity for me to connect to people that also share similar interests as myself. I used to have very concrete goals with streaming such as “getting partnered” or “having x amount of consistent viewers in chat” however, that ended up making me miserable so now my main focus in streaming is to just enjoy it for what it is and not set any goals at all.
We’ll be checking out and reviewing episodes of Host Alert as they come out, so stay tuned!