Q. What got you into streaming?
A. For a long time, I knew I wanted to make some sort of video content online, but I really wasn't sure what. I think the simple fact that somebody could throw themselves out there on the internet and eventually have an audience was attractive to me, as well.
I've always enjoyed AVGN videos and the occasional Let's Play on YouTube, and a hobby of mine for a while was to make simple Linux tutorials for the Ubuntu OS. They're horribly outdated now, and I don't make time for them anymore because I find streaming much more enjoyable.
A couple close online friends and myself messed around with LiveStream for a while, just playing random games and goofing off, but that place hardly had any sort of community, which is what makes me stick around in the first place.
I originally found Justin.tv through Fighting Game websites in 2011, but after thumbing through various channels, I found the casual gaming community which, to me, was a much friendlier and interactive space. Actually being able to go into a channel, be entertained, *and* interact with the producer of the content was pretty exciting. I figured if I could make an honest attempt at creating a similar atmosphere, Justin.tv would be the place to do it.
Q. Why do you stream what you stream?
A. I just like to stream a variety of games. I don't really care for the type of stream that has the same game every day, though there are a handful of exceptions, and I usually don't care for streaming the same games for more than a few days at a time. Generally, I'm a fan of classic games, and newer games that are inspired by them. They tend to be shorter, or at least shorter once you master them. I also like having the eventual closure of completing a game front-to-finish.
Q. How long did it take for your stream to gain some pretty consistent views?
A. I think I started getting more consistent views when I started streaming more consistently. I made sure I had everything in place before I even started casting. I upgraded my internet connection, my computer, bought streaming hardware (capture device, nice microphone), and researched the best software for casting on Justin. That was pretty motivating to me, because I felt that I could present a polished product right out the gate.
When I first started casting on Justin.tv around August 2011, it was maybe once or twice a week. I'd start the cast, play Fallout New Vegas, and ramble to myself because nobody else was watching. I'd just comment on everything I was doing, what I liked about the game, and what was happening at the time. I treated it like a Let's Play, really. When people randomly dropped by, they'd respond to what I was saying! Eventually, viewers started sticking around.
It wasn't until around late December that I started streaming just about every day. As of right now, I tend to stream 6-7 days a week, 3-4 hours a day. Consistency, I think, has been a very important factor.
Q. Do you think there will be a major market for live video gaming in the future?
A. Oh god yes. It's still in its infancy right now, and its presence will only become larger. I think Twitch.tv is a step in the right direction for gamers in general.
Streaming is a very natural, live experience that you just don't get from Pre-Recorded Content. As a streamer, you have a variety of directions you can take your channel. You can choose to let your gameplay speak for itself, or you can engage your audience. Hell, you can do both. As a viewer, your experience can be interactive, or purely visual. It's the community aspect that keeps it growing. Not only can you be a source of entertainment, but you can also encourage other people to get in on the action themselves.
I think as long as streaming remains accessible, there will always be a market for live game content, new and old.
Q. What was your favorite video game as a child?
A. I was a huge fan of both Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and Super Metroid when I was a child. That really hasn't changed at all to this day. I have trouble ranking games, or anything really, so I generally just lump those two together as my favorite games of all time.
Q. What would your recommendations be to people who are interested in setting up their own stream?
A. Just have fun with it, and don't take it too seriously. It's a hobby, to me at least. Don't worry about views, because I honestly think they'll come naturally if you're having a good time. It has the natural effect of creating an atmosphere where your viewers can do the same. And don't worry about playing games that other people want to see. Just play what you want.
Being interactive helps, too. Something as simple as a "Hello" to a viewer who started talking in chat is a great way to make an instant connection and encourage a flowing conversation with everyone.
Technical advice can be varied and hard to put in a nutshell, but I'll try. Make sure you have a decent computer, and use XSplit as your streaming software. It can be unreliable at times, but it works.
Q. What are some of the ways you get your audience involved with your stream?
A. I just try my best to talk to everyone, whether I'm answering questions, or entertaining a topic that's being discussed. At the very least, I try and greet anyone I see talking. Even then, chat can move a little too fast for me to pay perfect attention to both the game and the viewers. It's a little more difficult than it was when I first started, but on the bright side, I have a lot more to comment on.
There are other ways I get chat involved, too. If I'm playing something where you can name characters, I'll do simple chat games to choose what the name is going to be. For example, I might say "Okay, I'm gonna type [something] into chat. First name I see after it wins!" ..let's just say that it makes games like Chrono Trigger a lot more interesting.
Q. With your stream being so popular, what do you feel is the best way to maintain "order" in your chatroom?
A. I'm not really sure if popular is a good way to describe me, in all honesty! I just feel fortunate that a lot of viewers will regularly watch me, and that I'm a part of a great community that encourages its own growth.
That being said, there are some jerk-offs out there. I don't anticipate them, nor do I dwell on them. If someone comes into my channel and causes issues, I'm usually the one who ends up dealing with it. And that's pretty much it. It's a non-issue. Ban, gone, resume what I was doing, don't even worry about it.
I've got a handful of mods too, but they rarely have to do any actual moderating. The chat in my channel tends to be very relaxed and fun. I don't even have a set of rules for my channel. I figure common sense is the best general guideline.
Q. Do you watch streams yourself? If so, who are your top 3 streamers to watch and why?
A. I watch a lot of streams. That's more than half the fun!
I try to visit as many streams as I can, but I generally find myself watching Cthulhu_the_3rd, BigRichie2004, and LiteYear the most. Their consistent schedules certainly help that fact! I wish I could watch more of TheGreatGQ, but our schedules tend to conflict unless he's doing a night cast.
The casters I mentioned above are also great people, on top of being awesome streamers. They do a lot for the community and know exactly how to present themselves. It's very encouraging, and I think they'll have a lasting impact on Twitch.
Of course there are other great casters on Twitch (whether their audiences be large or small) and plenty of people who have helped me personally, but I tend to frequent the above channels the most.
Q. Where do you see the live gaming community in 10 years?
A. I don't even know where I see myself in 10 years. I'd imagine the community will be much larger, and probably more structured. I also envision many more ads. Beyond that, I think that as long as the core streaming experience is as accessible as it is today, people will still want to watch and create live gaming content.
Q. Is there a game that you were good at as a child that you play now and you're awful?
A. Yoshi's Island. I 100%'d that game when I was young, and I honestly don't see how I'd have the patience to do that nowadays. It can get very frustrating to me. Though I'm not awful at it nowadays, it's the only game that comes to mind.
Q. Mario or Luigi?
A. I love Mario's games, but if I have the option, I'm choosing Luigi. Unless it's Lost Levels. Luigi can die in a fire in Lost Levels.
Q. What is your favorite cuss word?
A. To keep it Twitch related, or at least related to the casual community, I'm gonna go with "Dicl."
Q. Do you play other games besides what you stream and if so - what games?
A. Usually when I play games, I'm streaming them. But I tend to play the occasional round of Super Street Fighter 4, and some Team Fortress 2 on weekends. Netplay on Classic Emulators is also a great passtime with friends.
We would like to again thank Chaide for taking the time to answer our questions and allow us to share his responses with you. Be sure to Follow Chaide on Twitch TV and check our his stream when you have time. He's very fun to watch and the stream is of top quality. We hope that you've enjoyed our Q&A and we look forward to putting up more in the future!