Most streamers need encouragement from time to time to keep streaming or to keep pushing forward towards their streaming goals. It doesn’t matter if your goals are a streaming partnership or just streaming for fun, encouragement always goes a long way. As you read in last week’s blog I really look up to a streamer by the name of DizzyDizaster, I asked if I could interview him since he is a partnered streamer and that is my goal as a streamer.. to be partnered. He was generous enough to spend some time answering all my questions and in turn I hope it will inspire you as much as it inspired me.
Introduce yourself – What makes your stream special?
Hi! My name is DizzyDizaster but you can call me Ben, because that's my real name!
I think my stream is special because we put a huge focus on the community being a part of it and have a high level of interactivity as well as a quality show. Also, the soundboard sets us apart from the rest!
Where did the username come from?
It's a pretty strange story actually. The name Dizzy originally came from the Starship Troopers universe. Whether you read the book or see the blockbuster movie, Dizzy is either male or female. The name "Dizi" was originally my female Paladin's name in World of Warcraft, and over the course of time people called me Dizzy so much, I kind of got used to it. When I rolled on Horde for a little break from Alliance, I made the name "Dizaster" as almost a play on the original name. Eventually they merged and DizzyDizaster was born.
What got you into gaming?
I've been a gamer my entire life. Since I was very young I was fortunate to have access to the new consoles when they came out. Once I got into computers and the internet, I knew someday I would make something special out of all this stuff I was doing.
What is the first game you remember playing?
Obsessively? I'd have to say DuckTales for the NES. I had to grab absolutely every last gem to get the highest score possible.
I would say the game that had the largest impact on me is Maniac Mansion. The concept of using your environment with a bunch of characters who you choose to try and solve the mystery of the Mansion was incredible to me. I used to set up my legos and playmobil and try and set up my own versions of Maniac Mansion even when I was not playing the game.
Why streaming rather than YouTube?
As time passes and my audience grows, I have found myself spending some nights dedicated to YouTube only to grow a bigger audience for my stream.
The largest part of why I chose Twitch was interactivity. It's crucial to how I do things. I feed off of other people and that helps make incredible shows.
If you could only stream one game for the rest of your career, what would it be, and why?
This is a tough one. I would think most people would choose Minecraft due to the fact that you could essentially mod the game to do anything.
That aside, I absolutely adore the universe and immersion of Don't Starve. Assuming there would be semi-regular updates and mods, the Don't Starve universe is the one that would capture me eternally.
When you started streaming, did you have any particular goals in mind?
Honestly? I was bored. I needed a creative outlet.
Eventually I realized I might be able to make something out of this and decided to take it as far as it would go.
It's still going and I hope one day I can make a career out of it.
What was your motivation that kept you going when you first started streaming?
I constantly reminded myself of how many people wanted to do this and how much time it would take. I knew, unless I was extremely lucky, there would be no easy way of getting the success I wanted. I set my goals low and my expectations even lower. I focused on having fun.
I still maintain that perspective.
When was your first stream & What was your first stream?
July 31st, 2013 was my first stream. After watching that summer's edition of SGDQ (Speed Games Done Quick) and watching a couple people stream random games, I knew I could do it.
I found a small arcade game called Castlestorm and tried to make some YouTube videos. After seeing that my videos would need some way for people to find them, I decided to try streaming it and see how it would work.
Two years later, still going strong.
What's your favorite part of being a streamer?
I get to meet thousands of people from all sorts of different places, in different circumstances, and make a meaningful impact on their lives. That will always be my main focus and it's what I take pride in the most.
How do you keep your viewers engaged?
Interactivity. If they feel like you give a crap about them, they will continue to show they respect you.
If you lose sight of that, I think you kind of misunderstand exactly how money is made in this industry.
Who was the streamer you looked up too? (Just as I look up to you)
I appreciate that compliment!
I don't want this to come off as arrogant but there really isn't a streamer I "look up to". I definitely try to sneak in other streams during my schedule and try and emulate what I think they are doing successfully, but there are hundreds of names and reasons I could list and I'd rather not waste all your time doing that.
I will however give a special shout out to the streamers who do not allow success or size, big or small, to change who they are. You guys are the best.
Can you pinpoint some of the factors that you believe have made your Twitch channel so popular?
I briefly touched upon it in last question, but I think that if you stick to being yourself or the persona you've created to yourself and you show some respect to your viewers, you will find success.
Also, hustle. Stream a lot. Market yourself. EVERYONE wants to be seen. How do you make yourself noticed? Persistence. Social Media. Making friends. Promoting yourself in a respectful way. There's no magic formula. If there is, let me know so I can save tons of time that I spend losing sleep over how to grow my channel.
What would you say is the main thing that sets you apart from other people that stream on Twitch?
I have a unique personality and perspective. I also work full time and maintain a pretty normal life outside of streaming. I rock my channel like someone who does it full time, but I manage to it in part time hours.
A big part of that is my soundboard. I have an APC Mini effects panel that I use to play sound effects like radio stations do. I think it really sets us apart.
What are your goals for your Twitch channel?
I would like to make this my career. I have set extremely high levels that I need to obtain first, but if I was able to make my passion my career, I think I would be eternally grateful. I think every caster wishes for this at some time or another.
Do you have any advice for people who are potentially looking to get into streaming?
You will lose. You will fail. You will get upset. You will get mad. You might get suspended, or banned. You might take a break.
Those aren't setbacks, they are lessons. Learn from them.
Growth is glacial. It's extremely slow. And luck has such a huge part in it. My stream grew by DOUBLE when a random Russian streamer by the name of JesusAVGN found my channel while randomly raiding channels one day. Now I'm in the process of learning Russian to speak to my massive audience in Russia.
Never in a million years would I have predicted something like that. That's precisely the point though. You do not know what will teach you the lessons you need for success or where it will come from.
Everything is step forward towards your future.
What about those people who want to stream professionally?
Do it! Be realistic. If you think you'll find success overnight, you have better odds playing the lottery.
There is no mold in this business. If you try to follow in one, chances are you will have to work harder anyway.
Create something and be proud of it. Make something you would want to be a part of if you were on the other end of the broadcast.
Was there anything you refused to compromise on?
My integrity is important to me. I don't want to make absolutely every dime I can for the sake of making this my career faster. I won't have 50 shirts, coffee mugs, and sponsorship's with everyone because I need money. That's insulting to the people who invest in you, whether they realize it or not. Options are one thing. Soaking them for every last penny is a whole different thing. Way too many big and medium sized streamers are guilty of this. This is not something I will compromise on. If I feel it is a partnership or product that mutually benefits our community and myself, or a focus on the community, or perhaps a charity, I will do it. Otherwise, it's no go.
What's one thing that you think is important to have for your stream that improves the experience for the viewer?
Interactivity. I feel a microphone is essential. I feel strongly about a camera too but I've seen plenty of people find success and partnership (and an awesome community) without. We have a caster in my stream team by the name of Flare2V who has a great community with no camera. JesusAVGN, the Russian streamer who raided me, has never shown his face on the internet. He is one of the largest YouTubers in Russia.
What do you see in your future on Twitch?
I see setbacks, I see bad ideas, and I see tons and tons of learning experiences. I see those resulting in better results from my success. I'm also very confident that I will achieve the goal of making this my career.
Anything else you would like to say?
I think the single biggest event that really let me know I was on the right path with my life was when we did the St. Jude Children's Hospital donation drive. Our community of just over 15,000 was able to raise almost 1 dollar per person ($15,000) in 2014 and we were among some of the biggest channels on the planet.
I was able to visit the hospital this spring and see where the money went. It was awesome and incredible that we were able to make such a massive impact on people's lives just playing video games.
I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Dizzy for taking a bunch of time to answer all my questions.
Until next time…