FOR Fauzan Hassan, Twitch is a place where he can be himself. On his channel, “achievethezen”, he can do what he loves while talking live about what he likes, and converse with like-minded folk about things he is passionate about.
Many, from celebrities, content creators, gamers to the average youth, have turned to the streaming platform to virtually hang out with others while entertaining them at the same time. Twitch has become a popular platform for people to livestream their activities, before editing and posting as well as repackaging it as videos or podcasts on other platforms.
The reasons for the platform’s popularity varies – from instant feedback, to a more informal and relaxed setting to, of course, money-making opportunities. While most content creators on democratised content platforms make money on advertisements, donations and sponsorships, a Twitch streamer can make money directly from viewers.
The initial investment is relatively low and is fairly basic. For a start, one needs a reliable internet connection, a good desktop PC, a competent webcam, a decent microphone and some simple lighting.
Fauzan tried out live streaming in 2017 on a laptop with Facebook Live. However, he found the experience lacking, his device was underpowered and the platform left him wanting. That was when he switched to Twitch.
Twitch began as a spin off of Justin TV, a lifecasting channel where founder Justin Kan live streamed his life 24/7. In 2007, the platform was relaunched and it welcomed others to stream as well.
As game streaming gained popularity and the boom of “let’s play” videos began, Justin TV separated its gaming content into Twitch in 2011. About three years later, the whole endeavour was put under the brand Twitch, and was bought over by Amazon.
The year 2017 was the start of the live streaming boom. Fauzan started by streaming himself playing games while talking about tokusatsu shows and pro wrestling.
“I stream games like Genshin Impact, city building simulators, and truck driving simulators”, said Fauzan.
Nowadays, Twitch is no longer just for games. Some participants are just there to chat, record shows, work on a project and others.
“Previously, I even streamed myself building plastic model kits. I experimented with different kinds of streams.
“Recently, I started streaming myself learning Japanese using Duo Lingo and I received a lot of encouraging messages. I even had Japanese viewers sending me pointers,” said Fauzan. Following his friend’s advice, he got hold of Japanese language workbooks to develop his language skills.
He said one of the most exciting content on Twitch comes in the form of challenges. Once, Fauzan issued a challenge that he would play a horror game if he received 10 subscriptions. His pro wrestling friends in Singapore caught wind of the challenge and promptly answered the call.
“I had to play horror games, which is something that I don’t usually do. On top of that, I was challenged to wear the Sting (pro wrestler) face paint while playing,” said Fauzan.
His current setup is fairly modest. He uses an AMD desktop PC with two monitors – one to play games on while the other is for chat. Fauzan also uses a webcam (not a big name brand), a pair of headphones, a condenser microphone and ring lights.
“I used to stream with only one monitor and used my smartphone as the chat screen. It was so horrible as the screen was so small. The gaming chair however, was optional, but some people noticed it,” laughed Fauzan.
A designer by profession, Fauzan uses what he learned in photography to make sure his videos look good. One of the tricks is to use his smartphone as a light meter and transfer the settings to his webcam.
Fauzan is a big fan of tokusatsu shows, Japanese live action special effects shows like Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman. He is also a referee in the Malaysian professional wrestling scene.
“I would love to do a podcast about being a pro wrestling referee someday. People think it is an easy job, but it is more than just counting falls, or getting knocked out,” added Fauzan.
On the “achievethezen” Twitch channel, Fauzan streams at night on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
“I don’t know why, but I ended up taking Thursday as my other day off. Sunday makes sense because it is also my off day from work. But Thursday is a strange one,” he joked.
While keeping a schedule and being consistent, which is key to building an audience, Fauzan advised those who want to try streaming on Twitch or any streaming service to thoroughly read the terms and conditions. Most importantly, keep in mind the dos and don’ts.