Being a streamer can be a really demanding hobby. If you have aspirations of honing your craft and building an audience, it requires you to be a content creator, video producer, audio technician, on-camera personality, graphic designer, social media manager, and more. Actually playing games is but a small – though still notable – part of the process.
Personally, I wasn’t born with all of the skills required to be a natural. It’s taken so much work just to get to where I am now, which is still a ways away from where I want to go. If anything, the amount of stuff I’m trying to improve on is longer and more specific now than it was then.
With so many questions in need of answering, I usually turn to the internet. However, not all information online is created equal. There are times when I have questions so specific that I can’t find any pre-existing answers online. At least one piece of advice borked my computer bad enough that I had to run a system restore to reverse the damage. Have also started to see questionable sources charging exorbitant amounts of money for streaming advice that’s sub-par or a downright scam. How does one find the the answers they need in the “Wild West” era of streaming knowledge?
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I was once deeply-entrenched in the radio industry. Graduated from college with a certificate in radio broadcasting, where I specialized in on-air announcing. For a few months, you could hear me on the radio doing the overnight shift and the weather on weekends at a country radio station.
Though I’m far removed from the radio industry nowadays, many of the skills have proven useful outside of the industry. Having trained to speak on the air has gone a long way towards being able to communicate better as a human being. These days, it’s helped give me a sense of direction for how to approach my on-camera presence when I’m streaming.
During a recent Tetris 99 stream, we had a spirited discussion about how to improve as a streamer on Twitch. There was enough interesting conversation from that stream that I felt it was best to break out those clips into a separate post!
There are real advantages to only streaming one video game. Doing so makes it easier for you to attract and maintain an audience that loves that game. Ninja’s fans love him as a skilled player and as an on-screen personality, but they also love Fortnite and can count on him streaming it daily. As much as I would love his money and at least some of his fame, I struggle to wrap my head around how and other single-game streamers keep their sanity playing only one game for that long.
Being a variety streamer can help you stay sane. Streaming games as they move in and out of my life is a more natural way for me to play games and the approach I’ve planned on taking from the start. However, I lose the stability that comes with streaming only one game. I even see this phenomenon with my own small stream, where certain viewers only tune in for Overwatch and others only drop by for Paper Mario. Can’t blame people for wanting to watch games they like, versus sticking with me regardless of what game I’m playing.
In spite of my vow to not get monogamous with any one game, the thought of getting steady with Tetris 99 heats up every time I stream that game.