MachineDaena is a Twitch streamer and YouTube content creator who will have you laughing your ass off one moment, then be teaching you the ins and outs of technical stream setup the next.
Keep reading to learn all about MachineDaena and what makes him unique. Also be sure to make it to the very end to check out his awesome stream setup!
1. What’s Your Favorite Twitch Emote and Why?
Great question! The LUL emote for sure, because I laugh and joke a lot on Twitch, and the LUL emote is cheeky enough to be used in most contexts. I also love that it pays homage to Total Biscuit after he passed away.
2. When Did You Start Streaming, and What Is Your “Why” For Streaming?
I started streaming in May 2020. During the height of Covid, I was placed on furlough from my job as a Sales & Commercial Manager for a UK PLC firm (eight months later I was made redundant).
I wanted to learn some new skills in the ‘down time’ rather than just veg out gaming. I love learning new tricks and skills.
I can say that directly due to streaming, I’ve learnt about audio, microphones, cameras, lighting, video editing, animation, broadcasting, photoshop, illustration, and a whole host of other cool stuff! I’m very interested in the technical and quality side of streaming.
I didn’t realize that meeting new and interesting people from all over the world, and learning a lot more about different cultures, would be an amazing by-product of streaming, but it has been for sure!
3. Tell Us About Your Streamer Name. What Does It Mean/Represent? How Did You Come Up With It?
It’s my gaming handle from my PS2 days! I used to be very handy at Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and my friends used to say that I was “A MACHINE” at the game.
Since my first name is Daena, having MachineDaena seemed like a fun and quirky choice, plus I never saw anyone else with a similar name, so it felt unique!
Back then being a machine was a good thing, whereas now if you’re a ‘bot’ …. It’s not so good!
4. Tell Us About Your Channel. What Type of Vibe Can Viewers Typically Expect? What Type of Content Do You Create?
I’m a variety streamer but blend in a roster of ‘regular’ games for familiarity. I’ll typically have 3-4 ‘core’ games that I play all the time such as Civilization games or other 4X / city builders, and some shooters such as Fortnite, COD, etc.
Then, on a monthly basis, I blend in new games to try and keep the content fresh.
I also regularly try to run community events and games such as Among Us, Jackbox, Skribbl.io, and collaborations with other streamers, so that my viewers feel a little more connected to me as a streamer, and the content in front of them.
This all means I can essentially pick a game that fits the vibe, emotion or feeling on the day! So for example, most Sundays are chilled Civilization sessions with streamer friends on multiplayer, whereas most Fridays tend to be frantic loud shooters with viewers, or community games with a beer or red wine in hand!
I also try to dedicate at least the first 30-60 minutes of EVERY stream to “Just Chatting” which normally entails me looking at trending current affairs, gaming news, memes or world news and discussing hot takes with viewers!
Finally, I do talk frequently about stream quality, tech, gadgets and streaming gear on stream including often setting stuff up while streaming.
So if people are interested in what’s ‘under the bonnet’ then my stream is full of surprises!
5. Favorite Game(s) At the Moment?
Civilization VI, Rust, Fortnite. Also, I tried Mr.Prepper the other day… it’s surprisingly addictive!
6. Any Game(s) You’re Looking Forward To?
Battlefield 2042 looks like it could be a real winner!
The announcement trailer with the Rendezook manoeuvre was just out of this world! I watched that trailer with my viewers and absolutely loved it!
I then heard the backstory of Stun_gravy and saw his reaction to being virally added to the BF2042 trailer and it just made it so much better!
7. What Has Your Gaming History Been Like?
The first games I remember playing are Alex the Kidd and Sonic on Sega Master System. Also Golden Axe, Bubble Bobble and Double Dragon (all of which same-screen multiplayer co-op!).
My cousin and I used to play Mortal Kombat, and some stupid Mickey Mouse Disney game on Mega Drive. I played a lot of Street Fighter and Mario on SNES, and I think at one point we owned a NES with a duck shooting game and a handheld gun!
I have a confession to make… I’ve never played Zelda. There, I said it!
I then went balls-deep into driving games like Grand Turismo, Driver and Colin McRae Rally and put LONG hours into them while listening to 90’s pop music in my room with my younger brother.
It’s at that point I probably realized I like to stick with a game and really play it out until my skill, expertise, and comfort level with a given game increases to a high level.
I hated and never used cheats with a game until I was completely bored with a title, then I’d draw out the life of the game by using cheats as a last resort! I’m very competitive and am a very bad loser, so I practiced a lot of games to be better than my friends and brother!
Even though I remember playing games like Minesweeper, MS Pinball and Ski Free on PC back in the early 90s, for many years I was exclusively a console gamer (Playstation) and it wasn’t until about 2013 where I really started playing a lot more PC (Laptop!) games thanks to multiplayer Civilization IV, V, Simcity 5 and Sid Meiers Railroads! I also played ungodly amounts of Football Manager throughout the years too!
I’ve always been super-comfortable with computers because I used to rush to finish my class work when I was a kid so that the teacher would let me go on the computer to kill time while everyone else finished their work “sir, I’ve finished my work, here it is. Can I go on the computer!”.
This was back when PCs were a ‘new’ thing (windows 3.11 and 95!). Even though we owned some fairly low spec laptops in my family through the years, it wasn’t until 2017 I built my first PC rig (I had a few laptops for work etc but didn’t use them much for leisure).
At that point, I basically never played a console again. In fact I recently gave away my PS4 to my wife’s best friend’s son so that he can enjoy the wonders of gaming!
I have been a fully pledged PC nerd ever since. I recently upgraded my PC with a full new build in summer 2021 which I hope lasts for 4-5 years as it’s top-spec.
Most of my PC gaming has been Fortnite, Civilization games, and first-person shooters with a few builders/strategies in there too such as Surviving Mars, Offworld Trading Company, and Cities Skylines.
8. Favorite Moment So Far In Streaming?
Great question! Probably the first time I completed a 24-hour stream back in July 2020. I’ve done a couple since, but the first one felt like such a great achievement and my whole community really came out to support me and chill with me.
I remember being so fuzzy-headed in the last few hours but adrenaline, a few beers and some community games kept me going to complete the job!
9. What’s Something About Being a Streamer That Surprised You the Most Since You Started Streaming?
I’m genuinely shocked at how competitive streaming is, and therefore how difficult it is to be consistent with a) Motivating yourself to turn up regularly, b) growing the stream, and c) maintaining a high and varied level of content for viewers.
Streaming is so competitive that even the most talented gamers, entertainers and stream-connoisseurs can struggle to ever get any traction.
All of the streaming platforms have a lot of work to do on that front, but it’s probably a marker of a young industry as to why this is the case.
Streaming services just haven’t figured out discoverability of live content yet, at all!
It’s vital that people build followings on other platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Discord, etc to give yourself the best chance of any kind of success.
10. Who Are Your Favorite Streamers to Watch At the Moment?
I do like xQc because the guy is just so naturally funny, and great at improv! I can watch SypherPK for hours as his knowledge on Fortnite is incredible and his stream quality / aesthetics are wonderful.
But I don’t get anywhere near as much time as I’d like to, to watch other streamers as I’m so busy working on my own content that I must limit myself to only small amounts of time on Twitch as a consumer.
Being honest, I bounce around a lot of streams to get a feel for new ideas, techniques, and games, plus I like to keep on top of streaming news as it forms an important part of my YouTube and streaming content lifecycle – checking out different streams helps me to do that.
11. How Do You Balance Streaming and Life?
Having an incredible wife that is very tolerant, understanding, and supportive helps! But beyond this, having a schedule and keeping to it as best as I can.
Also, I keep in touch with my viewers via Discord and Twitter in case of any changes of plans! It’s important to look after yourself – eat well, gym, down time, go for walks, rest up, etc.
12. Current Streaming Goals?
I want to get much better at comedy and improv. I have no idea how to, but I want to!
On the technical side, I want to make my stream more autonomous in terms of interactions, channel points and animations by integrating Touch Portal / Lioranboard, and more custom branded stuff.
My dream is to have a plethora of different innovations that people find first on my channel because I’ve done it first, and then to see them implement similar things (I don’t mind when people copy stuff as it’s flattering!). Even better would be if a few of those things went viral!
So I’ve been learning a lot about animation and various other stuff relating to that. One example is how Lachlan’s webcam reacts in real time to things that are happening in game – it was developed by VBI.
Between one of my MODs and I (he’s a tech guru!) we figured out how it works and I’d love to implement something similar on my channel or offer it to my YouTube viewers (free).
There’s an incredible selection of great OBS Studio plugins available and really the only limitation is the creativity of the mind in terms of how much impact can be had with those!
My problem is that I like to learn something in detail, implement it, then teach other people about it via YouTube vids and Discord calls.
If I took out the bit where I teach other people about it, answer daily questions about stuff, or field Discord calls to troubleshoot, my stream and content would have a lot more TLC because I’d have more time!
You know what they say… “plumbers tap always leaks!!”
13. What Advice Would You Give to Newer Streamers Looking to Grow Their Channel and Community?
My top three tips would be:
1. Don’t be afraid of cutting out negative people from your streaming circle. Toxicity, jealousy, or selfishness runs rife on Twitch because too many people are chasing clout that they forget about integrity, so it’s important to keep your own integrity!
2. Try new stuff as much as possible. It’s better to try something new and find out that it falls flat, than it is to stay in your comfort zone or bubble, and be confounded by dogma.
3. Strive to make many smaller improvements over a long period of time, rather than breaking your back to make huge overhauls. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for overhauls and they should happen from time to time. But continual improvement almost always trumps short sharp, short-lived gains.
14. What Peripherals Are You Using for Your Stream Setup?
- GoXLR Mini
- Stream Deck XL
- X3 Elgato Keylights
- Philips Hue lights
- Shure SM7B XLR mic
- Three cams; Sony a5100, Sony ZV-1 and Razer Kiyo
- Lots of RGB!
And remember, a good gaming chair makes you a better gamer (facts!).
By a mile, the most transformative two things I’ve bought have been the GoXLR and Stream Deck. They open so many possibilities, from a quality and quality of life POV.
15. What Are Your Go-To Apps/Tools for Streaming?
I used SLOBS for a long time, and still do from time to time, but for about six months I’ve used OBS Studio.
I also use:
- Elgato plugins (stream deck stuff, lights, Twitch, OBS Studio etc)
- Streamlabs for alerts, tip page and Cloudbot
- GoXLR app for audio matrix and on the fly routing. Interestingly it integrates with the stream deck!
- I’ve just installed Closed Captions Plugin on OBS Studio (and extension on Twitch), which is cool for those hard of hearing types. Interestingly, not a single top 50 streamer had CC on their stream when I checked today…
- StreamFX plugin is my go-to creative toolset in OBS Studio, but I also really like Spectralizer for the audio visualizer.
- Snip for Spotify track and album art.
16. Any Feature(s) You Wish Twitch Would Add for Streamers?
Closed captions should be a mandatory inclusion to the encoding IMO.
Recommendation system that is more transparent, via tags and profile info etc, but at least when you say you’re “not interested” in something (e.g. Amouranth!) it shouldn’t continually recommend said uninteresting creator…
I honestly don’t feel like this would be too difficult to implement; you could easily tag your channel with “small”, “Medium” or “Large” streamers.
Then lifestyle categories like “Just chatting”, or “News” or “Gaming News”, or “Food” etc.
Then from there, tag yourself with types of games “Shooters”, “4X” etc, add “chatty” or “Not chatty”, and then let the algorithm do the rest!
But beyond that, I wish Twitch would become more of a recorded content platform so that clips could become more configurable and discoverable.
If Twitch released a TikTok style application or extension to its platform tomorrow, it would be a massive step forward (I’m pretty sure they’ll do this, but it’ll be too late….).
17. Anything You Would Change About Twitch?
I wish they would stop pandering to the streamers that just continually seek drama from the way Twitch is ran, and just get on with improving the platform and its features.
It’s like they’re continuously apologizing and it’s getting cringey now.
Currently Twitch also doesn’t seem to reward or favour high engagement channels by giving more discoverability and promotion.
Instead, and this is only anecdotal, they seem to favour streamers that monetize better but are not necessarily with a more engaged content or viewership.
So for example, Tfue, Amouranth and Summit1G monetize very well, but their channels and content are very boring indeed. Whereas there are loads of good smaller to medium creators with great engaged, active and lovely communities that never get much traction in comparison.
Twitch needs to pay ALL of their creators fairly. Currently, many Partners get a 70/30 split, whereas all Affiliates get 50/50 for, essentially, the exact same job.
When Facebook are paying 100%, and YouTube is sat at 70%, it’s a disgrace that Twitch take a 50% cut of subscriber revenue. This may come back to bite them in the ass in the long term.
Finally, unfortunately I do think their business model has become more about monetization rather than creators and content. I hope they start to look after their creators more than they currently do, because a lot of good creators may stop altogether or move platforms at the current rate.
A newcomer to live streaming like Netflix (there are rumours…) could smash Twitch out of the water if they’re not careful!
Twitch’s COO will be leaving in Jan 2022, and it looks like (rumours only at this point) the CEO may also be leaving soon too. So hopefully a new leadership will breathe new life into the way things are done!
18. What’s Your Number 1 Streamer Tip/Hack/Best Kept Secret?
A little prep can go a long way. It may be a simple stream deck button config that takes two minutes to set up, or a new camera LUT, or a content plan, or even scouting Twitter in advance of pressing “go live” for some trending topics, but small things like that are really appreciated by viewers and make you more memorable.
19. When You’re Not Streaming, What Else Do You Do For Fun?
Gym, golf, supporting Liverpool FC (football, or ‘soccer’ to those Americans!), spending time with my amazing wife, cryptocurrency, gaming, movies and eating pizza!
And that wraps up our interview with MachineDaena!
Make sure to check out his stream setup below, and click on his socials to say hello 🙂