“Shut up and stream.”
Welcome to another Sponsored Streamer Interview!
Join us each week for a discussion with our Sponsored Streamers about their history on Twitch, their advice for new streamers, and more.
- Started streaming: 8/3/17
- Favorite game genre: Creative
- Favorite game: Warhammer 40k
- Systems you play on: Mostly stick to painting Gaming Figures, but if I game it’s on PC and a little PS4
- Platforms you stream on: Twitch
- Favorite streamer: Reiner72
- Age: Old enough to be someone’s dad (33)
- Location: Raleigh, NC
- Current Job/Industry: Sr. Business Analyst in the CRO industry
Drizz: You mentioned creative streaming, what do you do specifically?
Gamer_Dad_NC: Most of the time, I am assembling and painting the gaming pieces for tabletop games and board games. My stream covers some tutorials on quick and easy ways to put the figures and scenery together, and how to paint it up to something that looks nice on the table.
A lot of the games I play tend to take the statement ‘Some assembly required’ to a whole new level.
Drizz: I’d say so if you have to paint things! What are some of the games you work with?
Gamer_Dad_NC: My biggest content comes from a game called Warhammer 40k. It is a Grim Dark sci-fi game taken in the 41st Millennium. Lots of cool aliens, chaotic bad guys and questionable good guys to paint. I like working with their terrain sets. I am also getting into Star Wars Legion, which is a miniature battle game using characters and armies from the Star Wars Universe.
I also dabble in some fun sports games such as Blood Bowl, which is a fantasy version of football with Orcs and Goblins and Dwarves, etc. On occasion a Dungeons and Dragons figure, or miscellaneous fantasy creature hits the table from Reaper Minis.
Drizz: Lots of fantasy elements there! Is Warhammer 40k your favorite?
Gamer_Dad_NC: It is where I got started with my hobby, so by default yes. Over the years, the models being produced have become more detailed and challenging, as well as more dynamic. I can make a whole army and no two models look alike. Not many other game systems can brag about that.
The grim dark story behind the whole game itself has also evolved into its own beast, which keeps all of the gamers and hobbyists very interested. There are about 10,000 years of story to fill there, so plenty of room to work and keep your fan base interested for a long time.
Drizz: Oh yeah, that sounds like a good amount of variety.
Gamer_Dad_NC: With well over 2 dozen armies, and within each of those armies their own sub factions, we do get plenty of variety.
Drizz: What made you decide to start streaming?
Gamer_Dad_NC: I have had this Twitch account for years under a different name. A buddy of mine who is also a father, wanted to start a podcast with me about Dads and Gaming. When that fell off to the side, I decided to start streaming on a joke, playing League of Legends. I changed my name to Gamer Dad to line up with the podcast idea. I would go into different lobbies before and after my games and say “Did you ever wonder what it looked like when your dad played League? Come check it out.” and people would come see my Twitch stream.
Drizz: Interesting way to get viewers! Sucks that the podcast thing fell through but I guess those things happen.
Gamer_Dad_NC: It was all for the best. The character Gamer Dad was born. After some League of Legends gameplay, I decided to test the waters painting, and bought a webcam. I started painting up my own figures, and once I got some traction and had more than 2 viewers at a time, started offering to paint other people’s figures to add the variety.
Drizz: Do you do commissions?
Gamer_Dad_NC: Yes. I try to mix commissions, tutorials using my own models, and then my own ‘streamer army’ into the week schedule.
Drizz: Nice! What do you think has contributed to your success so far?
Gamer_Dad_NC: My stream message. Game Hard. Dad Harder. I have built a welcoming, engaging environment where viewers new and old, experienced or a rookie in the hobby field, to come in and ask questions about what I do or my take on how to do something. The fact that I can sit at a table for 3 hours at a time and talk to people while they get to see things evolve into a painted figure really seems to captivate an audience.
Drizz: It’s pretty great that you’re an inviting place for newbies to come and learn more about tabletop games. A lot of people I’ve seen do crafting just do the bare minimum in helping newbies.
Gamer_Dad_NC: I hung out in a lot of other streams before taking this on. I saw what they did and started to evolve my approach based on things I liked and didn’t like from those streamers. I decided on something I felt was a unique niche on the creative side because of it. Made a lot of friends, and some enemies along the way doing it.
Drizz: Can’t please everyone, after all.
Drizz: Have you had any other hardships with streaming, and if so, how did you work through them?
Gamer_Dad_NC: Well, I had the same hardships that I forced on those other streamers when I got started. Once a new streamer comes in and catches the eye of the community, others lose viewers usually. Happened to me numerous times. I did it, and it was realistic to understand it has and will happen to me. I turned to my other streaming friends for guidance on how to improve. One of my mentors in the creative community, Flickstrr, helped me deal with some viewership issues. He basically told me, “Shut up and stream”. I can’t please everyone and as long as I just keep doing what I am doing, none of the other streamers matter. If I am happy and welcoming on my stream people will come, and others will come back. To this day I still get caught up in viewership, but I just think back to that and it all gets better.
Drizz: That’s a good point that I don’t see many people talk about: How more people in one category/niche can dilute your viewership.
Gamer_Dad_NC: I like to think people stream for the sake of streaming. I do it to relax and enjoy the social interaction. But let’s be honest, there is still some competition too.
Drizz: Along those lines, do you have any streaming tips or suggestions for the TRU community?
Gamer_Dad_NC: Easiest thing I can tell everyone: If you want to stream, just shut up and stream. I say that lovingly. When it comes to putting out a good stream, you need to make sure that whatever it is you are doing, you enjoy. Your viewers will pick up right away if you are not having fun. I won’t paint any minis I have no interest in, because I will look bored on stream. Keep TRU to yourself, and you will attract the right viewers. If you look like you are trying too hard, you will lose everyone.
Drizz: Great advice! Why would people watch you do something you’re not enjoying?
Drizz: Is there anything else you would like to discuss about your stream/let readers know about?
Gamer_Dad_NC: Even though Twitch is a competition at times, you need to network. Make friends with those who are in your community and game genre. Get to know others. The moment you think you can do this on your own, and you don’t need any other streamers, you have failed. Twitch is a community, help it grow.
One piece of parting wisdom for new streamers:
Pick something you enjoy; the rest will come naturally. Don’t jump into this thing spending all of your funds and build some big stream setup expecting results overnight. Remember, there is an extremely low percentage of twitch streamers who can successfully make this a living. If you make it to affiliate or partner, great – enjoy the extra funds. Keep it fun and let it build up. Make sure you ALWAYS love what you do on your stream. You don’t have to take my advice, that is just the Dad in me coming out.
Drizz: Really great advice! I’ve seen people throw money at things and just walk away disappointed. Streaming’s no different for some.
Drizz: Thanks for doing the interview with me, it was great talking to you!
You can follow Gamer_Dad_NC at the links below!
Interview conducted by Drizz_TV
Edited by TRU GreenChord