Our Channel of the Month for August 2016 is DolphinChemist, a Twitch streamer who has captured our hearts with his entertaining take on strategy gaming.
Logical Increments: Could you introduce yourself?
DolphinChemist: Hey there! I’m a full-time streamer out of New York City, live every night at 7PM Eastern Time. Most folks know me for my FTL: Faster Than Light streams, or any of the other crazy hard games we play over at the channel. Back in undergrad, I triple majored in Math, Economics and Business, so, naturally, we take a pretty analytical eye to all the games we play. Our strategies might not always work out the first time, but it never takes long to get better!
LI: What types of games do you stream?
DC: I mostly stream strategic and rogue-like games — a ton of FTL and Rimworld these days. In the past, we’ve also played plenty of tactical RPG’s like Darkest Dungeon and the XCOM series. Anything that rewards looking at the big picture and the little details at the same time. Games are such a great way to challenge ourselves and teach ourselves knew ways of things. I’m drawn to the ones that do that effortlessly.
LI: What games do you enjoy off-stream?
DC: Off-stream, my game selection varies a little bit more. I like to get the heart pumping now and then, so a high-action first person game like Chivalry, Dead by Daylight, or The Culling can hit the right note when I’m enjoying games by myself.
LI: What attracted you to streaming full-time?
DC: I love the idea of running my own operation and being my own boss. At the end of the day, I know that I am a cornerstone of any successes that the channel has. I couldn’t do it without an amazing team of moderators and editors. Being able to set my own schedule is a huge plus.
LI: What advice would you give your younger self regarding streaming? What would you do differently?
DC: Don’t hesitate to invest in yourself or your work. If you have a vision for your stream, make it a reality today. If something is holding you back, figure out what it is and fix it. Don’t like something about your overlay? Change it yourself in GIMP. Sound quality not quite right? Sit down and figure out if there’s any software out there that can help. Don’t expect answers to fall in your lap.
LI: Why should people check out your channel? What sets you apart?
DC: I’m told that my voice and hair can’t be beat. In reality, though? It’s because I have a great time playing some of the most challenging strategic games available today, and I don’t hesitate to share my thought process whenever I can. A lot of the games I play can seem complicated to learn or master, though when the stream focuses on having fun, folks seem to pick up the mechanics naturally. It is so rewarding to see a strategy play out and win.
LI: Could you share three videos that best represent your channel?
- We may not always take good care of our crew…
- Well, actually, we may never take good care of our crew…
- But we do mourn the dead.
LI: Did you build your own PC for streaming?
DC: I did not build my own PC for streaming. A friend of mine is a PC-building enthusiast and he offered to put the computer together for me. I figured, why not take him up on it? He helped me pick parts and order them, then built the rig in a jiffy. When it came to building the PC, I trusted his experience in the area over my enthusiasm for tinkering with things.
LI: What are some of your must-have peripherals?
DC: Two monitors gives so much desktop room to work with, especially for a streamer. Any time I have had to stream using only one monitor, I’ve found it impossible to keep track of everything I wanted to — alerts, broadcasting software, the game I’m streaming.
Otherwise, a directional microphone can be great at minimizing unwanted noises in the environment, and can even let you stream while listening to speakers instead of using headphones. My Blue Yeti microphone has a directional setting that has helped eliminate simple things like mechanical keyboard noise or even sound from the speakers — if the sound is a low enough volume.
LI: You recently changed some of your hardware. Why? How easy/tough was it? Any tips for readers regarding PC hardware changes?
DC: Thanks to support from Logical Increments, I was able to upgrade my GTX 660 to the GTX 1070 — a major step up. The upgrade has been a huge success, with a few unexpected steps during the setup. A few driver conflicts made for some exciting troubleshooting in the beginning. Luckily, I had a friend available to help me go through each step and see where the issue could be coming from. So, that would be my advice to others — if you are interested in doing an upgrade and don’t have much experience, see if you can find a helpful friend!
LI: What are your future plans for your stream?
DC: Right now I’m interested in upgrading to a Two-PC streaming setup. Encoding is fairly CPU intensive, so offloading that work to a second rig could help with processing bottleneck issues on my current rig. The redundancy and ease-of-capture would be giant benefits as well.
LI: Thanks for talking with us. Any final words for our readers?
DC: If you’re interested in streaming, just jump in! The best time to start is now! Download some streaming software and set up your mic. That’s literally all it takes. If you have any other questions about getting going, feel free to drop by my chat any night!
DolphinChemist and his awesome hair stream every night on Twitch starting at 7PM Eastern Time.