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(PC) Running a YouTube Gaming channel on a BUDGET! #brokeboiz

Discussion in 'YouTube Tips, Tutorials, Help & Guides' started by Salim_EMM, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Salim_EMM
    Over a period of time, I've noticed that a lot of gaming YouTube channels are run by kids or individuals with no real source of income to support their efforts. Sure, that kid may have some great financial support from his/her parents but what if you don't have that kind of luxury? What if you're a little older but still with a limited budget?
    Then I'm confident this guide will be of some use to you.

    DISCLAIMER : Unfortunately, you can't start a Gaming channel (or any channel) with absolutely nothing! :( If you have a great amount of savings and are looking to start a brand new channel (Gaming) with high-end equipment, this guide is obviously not for you.If you are stranded for a start towards running a decent Gaming channel putting out decent videos, then I'm sure this guide will HELP set you in the right direction. All of the software suggested is available in a free version BUT like all complex applications, you will need to go through some tutorials and getting used to.

    With that said man, let's start with the crucial components.

    Desktop Computer
    Whenever in life, you decide to do some video production stuff (and trust me, you are probably going to do a lot when running a Gaming channel) you will need to have a REALLY good desktop PC. If you're broke OR don't have the skills to milk that amount of money from your parents, you're going to have to FIND A WAY to get hold of a good PC. I mean, you've decided on running a YouTube channel centered around gaming, there should already be a Gaming PC right? (You should already be using it as you read this guide!) But anyway, you are going to need at least a Core i5 powered machine and the best Graphics Card/GPU you could possibly afford.
    But of course, the GPU you have/are going to get kinda depends on the types of games you will be playing for your channel. For a majority of mainstream games out there, a GTX 950 would be excellent considering the price it is going for today. (Find one before they're all gone!)
    A laptop, even with the latest generation processor isn't really gonna cut it. Perhaps a really high end gaming laptop, but then you wouldn't be reading this guide now would you?
    To summarize, the minimum spec sheet.
    CPU - Intel Core i5 (3470, 4690k, 7600k etc.)
    RAM - 8GB DDR3/DDR4
    GPU - Nvidia GTX 750Ti / GTX 950 / GTX 1050
    or AMD RX 460
    Any money left over for a pair of cans over your ears, or headphones.
    (Maybe 1TB HDD, no real need for SSD)
    p.s a Skylake or Kaby Lake Core i3 maybe doable, but you are probably going to hate your job as a Gaming Youtuber :p
    Bonus points, if you can ask for an i7 or maybe even one of those awesome Ryzen 7's for your birthday :D

    Camera / Webcam
    Now this can be entirely optional, but if you're anything like me, you are looking for a cheap camera with decent quality. My friend and I knew that sooner or later we were going to do gameplays with commentaries showing our reactions. Why not sooner than later? Early practice is good (Camera stage fright is a thing!)
    A really good camera from the likes of Canon and Sony is simply going to cost way too much and is part of the reason many individuals start out with just voice overs or investing in a great microphone (cheaper route) for gameplays with 'faceless' commentary.
    But all hope is not lost! If you're determined to do videos with reactions or maybe even some live streaming content, then a webcam, specifically the Logitech C922, maybe all you need.

    It is available for well under $100 and personally, the video and audio quality is second to none in its class. The webcam is also easy to set up on top of your display for example and even comes with a 4-inch or so tripod. There is also the Logitech C920 available for even lesser money, but of course older tech means inferior tech. But it should be said that video quality is marginally better on the C922 whereas audio quality is slightly improved. The older version was already a great product to start with.
    You are able to record at 1080p 30fps or (preferably for facecam or streaming) 720p 60fps.

    There are a couple of settings you need to get through if you want proper 60fps video. Mainly, you need to set the camera's exposure to auto and turn of low-light compensation through the driver software. This does have its consequences which will be explained later under Lighting. There are videos or tutorials on YT explaining how to set the camera up.

    If you have decided to go the webcam route, then you will definitely need to learn about lighting. There are plenty of lengthy and comprehensive articles out there. True, you will probably need studio grade lighting (those things with umbrellas) to get perfect lighting and do advanced editing stuff like green screen.
    But that doesn't mean you are forced to spend another small fortune! (could've gotten a better graphics card)
    That ultimately defeats this guide. Even with cheap table lamps, you can attain decent lighting for your facecam footage once you understand how it works.
    Simply put, you will need three sources of light.
    Two, in front of you or behind your monitor, angled at 45 degrees towards one another. These will help light your face evenly.
    Another, from over your head and slightly away from your position (towards the back). This source of light will help in distinguishing your head from the background.
    In a room, you will probably already have a wall or ceiling mounted light. All you need are two tablelamps with a brightness setting that goes high (you can switch one out for a 60 LED lamp but mind your eyes!)
    All that's left to do is to position them where you see fit. Not directly at your eyes but still providing plenty of light. Experiment with the positioning of your computer table and some cardboard/cereal boxes for those lamps.

    Now there are several applications that you are going to want to download and some require a good amount of practice before you can wield them like powerful weapons.

    Gameplay Recording
    Nvidia Shadowplay
    If you own an Nvidia Graphics card then you're all set! Shadowplay is bundled with every driver from the ones for a GTX 650 all the way up to the latest and greatest. Very easy to use, convenient and almost zero performance degradation! Or at least, I don't notice any.
    As far as I know, there is no real alternative if you are on the AMD side of the camp. There's stuff like Plays.tv which according to many users is not nearly as good as Shadowplay. I have no real experience with it either.
    If anyone can correct or help me with this, please do tell. The only alternative I would recommend is OBS, but beware, it comes with its own set of complications and you better head to the OBS forums to get an idea of what to do.

    Video Recording
    Open Broadcaster Software a.k.a OBS
    The Logitech C922 doesn't really come with any software (apart from the coupon for three months of XSplit Premium) You are going to need OBS for this and setting up the entire software will require a whole other guide, or tons of guides. So to simplify, you can head over to the OBS forums for all the info you will need.
    You can use Shadowplay for this too! But there is limited customization available though.

    Audio Processing
    Needless to say, if you don't live where it is quiet (or like placing your rig really close to your screen to admire) then you are going to need a strategy for noise removal. Audacity is really good and there are simple guides and tutorials on YouTube explaining the capabilities of this powerful freeware.
    TIP: I like to record at 50% volume and then edit the audio. Remember to experiment with your microphone receive and transmit volume levels. See what works best for you and your environment. BEWARE of overblown audio. I learned the hard way :/

    Video Processing
    Lightworks Studio
    It will take many guides to completely explain the wonders of this video editor. Sure, its not Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere, but it works. And heck does it work for something that's free!

    Eyeframe Converter a.k.a EFC
    If you will be using Lightworks, chances are you will need this one too. Even if you have an i5, it's likely that your PC will stutter during editing. This is because Shadowplay records and saves footage in an unsuitable format for editing. The CPU will not be able to keep up with clips during editing since it cannot 'read' the compressed data fast enough. But of course, if you already have something like an i7 6950X then I guess you may not need this.
    What EFC does is convert your videos to a more editing friendly format. There is a guide explaining its use on the internet.
    NOTE : Having to go through this route means that it will probably take a whole lot longer (maybe even twice as long depending on footage type) and you are definitely going to need plenty of hard drive space especially if you're doing videos longer than 20 minutes. That's simply the price you have to pay.
    UNLESS of course again, you are that lucky chap with an i7 6950X.

    And that's about it guys. I sincerely hope that this guide, far from perfect, has helped you in clearing some confusion. I know personally how difficult and time consuming it was to do research on all this stuff when I started out. The stuff suggested here is not really the best and shiniest of the bunch, BUT HEY, I think you could stick a 'best bang for your buck' label somewhere around here :)
    Thanks for reading! :)
    p.s I'm open to suggestions regarding improvement of this guide and corrections regarding any possible mistype or accidental misinformation. I can help with specs on a brand new PC if that interests you.
    maarcnig and KatyAdelson like this.
  2. KatyAdelson
    I Love YTtalk Moderator
    Wow! Thank you for such a good detained post! :) I'm sure this will help a lot of people! ^_^
    Salim_EMM likes this.
  3. maarcnig
    Seems like there's a lot of work need to be done to run a great gaming channel. Great post :thumbsup2:!

    I'm sure this will help a lot of people for sure!
    Salim_EMM likes this.
  4. SimplyAlexTV
    Active Member
    @Salim_EMM it's a good start but i would like to add a couple things

    1. You should definetly get a good mic if you're planning to put out quality of content, i've noticed that MANY gaming channels do their recordings with their gaming headset and thats just NOT CUTTING IT
      i would recoomend (got it myself and it's awesome, also recommended by a lot of other youtubers)
      -> Samson Meteor (http://amzn.to/2oQDK08)
    2. If you're planning on doing this for a while i would strongly recommend getting a subscribtion at Adobe! After Effects + Photoshop + Premiere Pro can do so much MAGIC for you!
    3. Get 16GB RAM, thats not much of cost and will benefit you greatly
    4. Make sure to get AT LEAST two monitors
    5. WHATEVER you do GET A SSD! It will not only save you loading times while recording but will also allow you to render much quicker!
    hope someone finds thease useful! :)
    Salim_EMM likes this.
  5. TheILupo
    Well-Known Member
    Great little post this is! Something like sure as hell would have helped me a few years ago! Nice work
    Salim_EMM likes this.
  6. Salim_EMM
    Thank you so much guys for the support. It really means a lot to me and I really do appreciate your comments.:wavespin::D:bounce:
    And thanks for the suggestions SimplyAlexTV
    I very much agree that if you don't have much to spend, a good mic is the absolute LEAST for commentary.
    8gb is kinda becoming inadequate, especially if you're into content creation. It's just that the price of a 16gb kit has skyrocketed for some reason where I live :p
    AND two monitors will help SO MUCH. Trouble is not all of us can afford the gear or space.
    I think a good alternative would be to get a 1440p or maybe a decent (not necessarily gaming) 4K monitor for the sheer screen real estate they would offer over a traditional 1080p for video editing.

    Thanks again guys.
    SimplyAlexTV likes this.
  7. Messages:
    Thank you for the guide, I'm looking into getting a decent Web cam as my desktop doesn't have one, and the Logitech has always seemed to be the one of choice, and this just confirms it! :)
    Salim_EMM and ColdCoastGaming like this.
  8. ColdCoastGaming
    Liking YTtalk
    I'm on a 970 GTX and I don't use Shadowplay. It sinks far too much FPS I find.

    OBS Studio however, works like a dream and doesn't seem to rob me of any noticeable frames during recording sessions :) I will say that I use a SADES 7.1 A7 headset for my audio because the mic on it is really good! I don't do facecam (even though I have a webcam sat in it's box, brand new and unopened from a couple years back) but maybe I will as time goes on.
    Salim_EMM likes this.
  9. Salim_EMM
    Thank you very much for your replies guys, means a lot. :)
    @ColdCoastGaming awesome that you have a 970 but it's a bit weird that you have fps troubles with shadowplay :|
    OBS offers FAR more freedom though in terms of customization and quality settings.
    Since you're rocking a gtx 970 im gonna guess you already have a good cpu and system to go with it.
    In that case OBS all the way.
    p.s the SADES 7.1 must be one of the best things to recommend in this guide. It seems to be pretty good for the price :up2::up2:

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