Interview with YouTube’s Awesome TobyGames!
By Jessica Brown On 1 Nov, 2017 At 06:14 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Videos | With 0 Comments

Toby Turner (a.k.a. “TobyGames” and “Tobuscus”) is an all-around awesome and hilarious YouTube gamer with about 15 million subscribers and 3.7 billion views spread over his three channels.

Toby was kind to let us pick his brain on a few different topics and we are delighted to share the results with you!

Q: When it comes to doing YouTube videos (or streaming, for that matter), everyone has a different story about how they got into it. I think this would be a good place to start. What got you into the idea of becoming a “YouTube gamer?”

Toby: When I first moved to LA, I pretty much moved in immediately with a woman I met at the first party I went to.  We got along super well, but she was NOT a gamer – and playing video games was a thing I’d do by myself – instead of us spending quality time together – so it had that negative connotation.  When I was first able to monetize gaming videos, I realized if I really committed to making content, I could be like, “Hey, this is my job now. Gotta do it!”  It’s awesome.

Q: In the pioneering days of doing Let’s Plays and other similar content it was a bit easier to get a channel to take off. Now, with the number of people trying to “make it big” it’s considerably harder. What do you think has contributed to your channels being rather successful?

Toby: I think consistency is much more important than quality.  It’s literally a quantity over quality thing!  It’s important to keep the quality as high as you can – which is much easier now, with the editing programs sucking exponentially less than they did when I was starting out.  It blows my mind that I can make edits in Premiere and watch them without having to re-render the entire episode.  It worked like that in Final Cut Pro 7 sometimes, but only if you converted everything to a massive gigantor ProRes file (which would take forever). So I opted to just record a month’s worth of 10 minutes episodes in like 6 hours, and edit them all at once. I timed myself once and I actually edited, titled, and queued 30 episodes to export in 30 minutes.  Feels good.

Q: One of the things that strikes me the most about your channel is the level of humor and positive attitude that you bring to gaming. Have you ever played something that challenged this attitude and made it harder to keep up?

Toby: Hey, thanks!  My positive attitude quickly turns to rage at a certain threshold – like if a level seems impossible, or if the PC bluescreens, but I’d usually just end up posting those episodes, and people seem to really resonate with my frustration.  When I realized that, I started making rants.  Very cathartic.  Does that answer the question?  No?  SOONN OF A *throws headset*

Q: From a technical line of thinking, I know some up-and-coming YouTubers overthink a lot of things, spending perhaps too much time editing videos or producing them at way higher quality than they need to be (e.g. 4K60 for an indie game). Do you have any advice for these types of people, based on your experiences? What do you find that’s worth focusing on versus what ultimately won’t matter?

Toby: I’m a big fan of making my audio not suck.  I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make it sound good without increasing my workload a lot.  I think if you find the right compressor settings for your voice (forums help with that a lot), and you’re able to capture your full range of vocal audio without clipping, then you can just focus on having fun making the content.  I think that’s the most important aspect – if you’re having fun, people pick up on that.  As far as over-editing, on my Tobuscus content, I spend a lot more time on the small details that I don’t think many people necessarily pick up on.  I’m not sure if that helps me, but I like that I can go back and watch my older stuff and still love it because I polished the hell out of it.  All you gotta do is sacrifice your social life!

Q: I love how you’ve divided your “brand” so to speak into your gaming channel, your music channel, and your more personal VLOG channel. However, for those newer and less established in these areas, would you recommend them to follow a similar path or keep their content streamlined into one channel?

Toby: I’m not sure if I would recommend the multiple channel path these days.  It’s cool if the other channel takes like no time at all to maintain (one-take vlogs!).  Now that editing programs are improving, it’d be cool to just focus on one channel, and whether it’s a vlog or song or game episode, just make it awesome.  PewDiePie and Markiplier do a great job with that.

Q: Your IndieGoGo campaign was a pretty solid success. What inspired this upcoming game of yours and what do you see in the future in terms of similar projects?

Toby: The game we’re putting out, hilariously, is actually just the PC version of the game we made with the IndieGoGo.  It just took a lot, lot longer than I ever would’ve wanted.  We’re also going to release it next year on consoles (er.. that’s the plan anyway – fingers crossed!).

Q: If you had to pick one or two games that you think are underappreciated and you wish more people knew about, what would they be?

Toby: Good sweet lord Ultima Online of course.  That was the greatest game I’ve ever played.  Open world MMO, where you could kill anyone and take their stuff.  There were tons of bugs you could exploit, which I think made the game exponentially cooler.  I have so many stories from that game… but they broke it with an expansion I think, and they made it possible to bind items to your character so you’d hang onto them after dying.  Pffhshh!  You could buy these awesome houses and place them wherever you wanted, and people could actually steal your house key out of your backpack if you weren’t careful and rob your house. If you needed help in the game, these awesome looking Game Masters would teleport to you, and they had these amazing unique wizard robes, and they’d roleplay.  I want more of that.

Q: What’s your absolute favorite game (or games) of all time?

Toby: Ultima Online.  Subspace was awesome too, from the 90s.  Their motto was, “Meet people from all over the world, and then kill them.”  You can still play that one, but they got rid of the best zones.  Chaos East represent.

Q: You’re certainly a person of many talents with a lot going on. How do you keep it all together without going crazy or losing interest in any one thing?

Toby: I lose interest in what I’m working on if I don’t sprint through and make it all from start to finish.  As soon as I come up with a joke that I think is hilarious, if I’m not able to make something out of it right away, I usually just put it in a word document and forget about it for the rest of time.  All of my best everything has never been released.

Q: If you had to give advice for up-and-coming comedians, game designers, or YouTubers/streamers, what would you tell them?

Toby: Learn to do everything.  Learn to edit.  Learn Photoshop.  Watch After Effects tutorials at  Stay consistent.  Don’t hire your friends – but do hire people that you think would make a good friend.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting that you see coming in the future for you that you’d love to share with us?

Toby: I’m really excited about making more original songs.  I made a song for a sponsorship this month, called SPONSORED SONG.  I forgot how much I love doing that stuff.  Definitely going to make more Literal Trailers as well – it’s a fun challenge to try to keep them fresh, especially after making what… 40 of them?  Good lord.  Oh, also – I wrote a book in my Tobuscus Adventures world, and I’ve never done that before.  Its sort of a Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Zombie Apocalypse, for young adults.  I actually like it enough that I can read it all the way through and I don’t feel like I want to change any of it, which I didn’t expect.  Books are long.  Lotta words in books.  I’m looking for a publisher for that now who will allow me to retain my IP rights – hopefully, that’ll come together next year!  Woo.

Here is a TobyGames video for you to check out.

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