In the third part of our series showcasing Tips for Streamers with some of the most popular gamers on Twitch, we sit down with TimTheTatMan. Tim is a full-time gamer who’s earned a considerable online following with more than one million followers on Twitch and two hundred thousand subscribers on YouTube. We recently featured an in-depth look at Tim’s streaming setup, and today he tells us more about his favorite video games and advice for aspiring streamers.
Can you describe in detail your streaming setup and the equipment you use?
Sure! I I’d say I have a more “simple” setup compared to some streamers, but I have a Razer DeathAdder/BlackWidow Chroma keyboard along with the VERY comfortable Audio-Technica ATH-AG1X headset. My audio setup is a bit more confusing. I have an Audio-Technica AT2035 mic, which plugs into my Line 6 UX2 mix-amp, which then plugs into my beast of a computer made by CyberPower.
I prefer single-PC, as opposed to dual-PC setups, because it’s just easier for me to troubleshoot any issues. I only have a dual-monitor setup (I know some streamers do 3, 4, or more, but for me, it’s just easier that way), but my main gaming monitor is my BenQ gaming monitor (144 Hz).
Lastly, is my chair/desk. I use an UPLIFT desk (premium wood style), which is huge (80″ x 30″) and my chair is a Herman Miller. I went with a more expensive chair because obviously I’m sitting 8 to 10 hours a day and need something that will help my posture in the long run.
Can you provide a list of your top 5 to 10 video games of all time?
- Counter-Strike – Even though I’m not playing this as much anymore, back when I was 12 this was all I played. Still has a special spot in my heart.
- World of Warcraft – Similar to Counter-Strike, I started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) around 13. Still play it to this day. Crazy how much time I’ve invested.
- Crash Bandicoot – When I think back to my childhood and gaming, Crash Bandicoot is one of the games that sticks out as something I loved to play and invested a lot of time in.
- Final Fantasy VII (FFVII) – This is another one of those games that growing up I invested SO much time into. I specifically remember getting yelled at by my dad trying to stay up late and play it.
- Age of Empires – Another game that sticks when I think back is Age of Empires (AoE). I remember playing this game until 2 to 3 in the morning on a school night. Was never very good at it but always had a blast with it.
- Overwatch – As much as I may rage at it, Overwatch is definitely a game that has gripped me. I think this is easily one of my top 10.
- Half-Life (1, 2… and hopefully one day, 3) – Half-Life is one of those games that is a classic. Loved playing through it when I was younger and hope a third eventually comes out.
- Gears of War – Gears of War (GoW) for me was a videogame that hooked me emotionally. I felt attached to the characters I was playing. Still one of my favorite story games I’ve ever played.
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II – Star Wars Jedi Knight II (JK2) was a game I got REALLY good at in a particular setting (it was called CTF/Force only) and I was “known” on my server as one of the best rage defenders in the game. Played it for years and sadly it died out. I’d love to see this come back into the scene.
- Pokémon – Lastly, I’d have to say Pokémon. Countless hours on my Game Boy trying to be the very best. Still a classic and one of my favorites I played.
What gear is most important when starting a channel?
I would say the most important thing when starting a channel (as far as gear goes) is to NOT over-invest. When I started I had a very basic computer (about a $1,000 build) that could run certain games I liked streaming (Call of Duty was big for me back then), a headset, webcam, basic mouse and keyboard, and my old-school laptop I had laying around to read chat. That was all I was using at the start.
The reason I say to not OVER-invest is because, what if you start to stream and you don’t really enjoy it? Maybe for one thing or another, it’s just not meant for you. At that point, if you invest in all this top-of-the-line stuff, it would be more of a waste. Hence why I say, try to start small.
What kind of microphone is best?
I have always loved Audio-Technica mics, so I am a bit biased, but some people may not want a “top-end” mic, and would just feel comfortable with a headset mic. Like I said, that’s how I started!
Is there any specific software needed?
If you do get a bit of a fancier mic (e.g., AT2035), then I’d suggest getting (if money permits) a mix-amp. The one I use is the Line 6 UX2 with the POD Farm program on my PC. This helps with highs/lows/compression/etc. A bit more confusing but it helps.
What’s the best way to grow your audience?
Be consistent. Get a schedule and set it. People will know when to come back on Twitch, even without a notification, because that’s your “stream time.” That being said, some people work, and their job may set different hours. So, I understand it can be tough to do. But if you can set a schedule, it will really help your audience grow.
Is it better to stream from a PC or console?
Obviously, if you can stream through a PC rather than a console, it gives you more options to customize, etc. But if money doesn’t permit, then why not try and stream from a console! As I said earlier, don’t OVER-invest.
Are certain games more popular to stream than others?
I think there are popular games on Twitch, but I think you should stream what you like. Bottom line is don’t just play a game because it may get you more views. Play what you really like!
Is there an optimal time to stream?
I think this ultimately depends on your schedule. Back when I was working 40 hours per week and streaming 30 hours per week on the side, I just did it as regularly as I could in my schedule because that’s when I could do it. I wouldn’t say there is an “optimal” stream time.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started streaming?
I wish I knew HOW important a schedule was at the start. Back when I started I didn’t set a schedule from the get-go and did it randomly at times. A couple months later, when I actually SET a schedule, I saw more growth.
Any other tips for aspiring streamers?
All I can say is have fun with it. I know viewer count, follow count, etc. can bog you down. I’ve been in that spot where I have literally no one in my chat. But even during those times, I always tried to have fun with what I was doing. Don’t let the viewer count control you. Have fun with it and enjoy playing some games!
What do you think of TimTheTatMan’s tips for aspiring streamers? Comment below!
[Images courtesy of TimTheTatMan]