Streamer Highlight: Lazarus Tegra Talks Community & Overcoming Through Kindness

We’ve always loved to highlight the indie games community, and of course, we’re not alone: a legion of streamers, big and small, make their mark on a crowded industry through showcasing independent games. What sets our guest apart? I believe his distinctly human approach to games and streaming makes Laz rather unique. Welcome, everyone, to our Streamer Highlight guest: LazarusTegra.

1. Can you introduce yourself? Also, I’m curious about your tag name. Is it based off of Nvidia’s chip?

Sure! My name is Steven Palma, and I go by Lazarus Tegra, or Laz online. Not particularly a fan of Lazlo though, and I’m not entirely sure how that one crops up. Very recently, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ‘content creation’ ring, and see how it comes along. I’m also an advocate of the indie scene in gaming, and try to support it in my own little way. As for the name itself, it’s funny you mention that, because folks don’t usually bring up the Nvidia aspect. My name comes from my Final Fantasy XIV character. At that time, I was starting to use Lazarus as my handle more often, but the game asked for a surname. I can’t for the life of me recall why, but I had a webpage open for Nivida’s ‘Tegra’ and thought it sounded pretty rad.

2. What made you decide to go into streaming and content creation? What drew you to it?

In the past, I’d get the random desire to try my hand at content creation, but I’d ultimately put it down and move on. With this being the most recent and long-standing attempt, I think I’d like to attribute it to the content creators and genre of videos I enjoy watching in my spare time. Video essays, horror/indie game youtubers, and smaller streamers being just a few examples. I saw how they crafted their respective platforms and the sort of community they fostered, and it left me feeling inspired. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what direction I wanted to take, and definitely winged it for more than a bit. Eventually, I found my voice for streaming and slowly became comfortable in the role I found myself in. Moreover, I wanted to have a space where folks could feel connected through the company of others.

To get personal for a bit, I’ve struggled with my own feelings of anxiety and isolation in the past and still do, on occasion. Having a hand extended to you can be life-changing. With current circumstances being what they are, I wanted to create a platform of understanding, empathy, and compassion.

3. How do you go about creating and nurturing an audience in 2021? What are the aspects you take into consideration most? Relatability? Entertainment value? Community? Or something else?

I think consistency and transparency helps a great deal when you’re trying to build an audience. Knowing when and what you’re going to stream helps folks set aside time to participate and enjoy your content. There’s always going to be a layer between the streamer and viewer, but it helps knowing that in the end, you’re both just ordinary people. On top of that, streaming what you genuinely enjoy is definitely a plus. It shows when you’re pushing yourself to your limits, or playing a game you’d rather not play in the first place.

4. Talking about your YouTube channel for a bit: I love your “A Minute With” series. I am a fan of bite-sized content myself. What drove you to go for a shorter runtime? What has the reception been like?

I’ve always wanted to have a Youtube channel on the side of my streaming with a common purpose in mind: putting the spotlight on indie games. I watched a lot of game impression/review videos that inspired me to take the plunge into making similar content, but I knew if they were longer pieces, it would’ve been difficult for me to keep up with it. So I opted for a much shorter runtime that explores the surface & core concepts of a game, rather than a deep-dive analysis. The reception so far has been pretty good, and I hope in some way it helps folks check out titles they wouldn’t have otherwise.

5. You spoke to me about your background when we first started chatting. What do you think the difference is for a person in the US to start a streaming career, vs. Someone in Costa Rica or Puerto Rico? Do you feel like there’s a difference at all, or has the internet been democratized?

While I can’t personally speak for those starting a streaming career in those areas, I imagine the type of audiences or games in particular that are popular might be different. There might also be a difference in availability when it comes to components, accessories, and gaming devices.

6. We’ve seen games explode in popularity purely based off of being played on Twitch. What do you think makes for a good game to stream?

Speaking from the perspective of a viewer and a streamer, I think what really helps is a game having a great source of visual and auditory clarity. I know that sounds random and out of the blue, but just hear me out on this one. There are a lot of viewers that enjoy just watching and following along with the stream, and being able to quickly piece together what’s currently happening on their own makes for a smoother viewer experience. On the streamer’s side, it’s just nice playing a game that’s straightforward because you can spend more time interacting with your community!

7. On the same topic, if you could revive any dormant franchise, and remake it with a focus on making it stream-optimized, which would it be and why?

Definitely Phantom Dust. For those that haven’t played it, Phantom Dust was a game on the original Xbox that was half arena combat, half collectible card game. It took place in an interesting premise and a captivating world, at least for it’s time. I remember spending countless hours in that game with my brother, trying out different card builds and messing around with the environmental destruction. I think the original Xbox with all the songs we used for combat is around somewhere. As for why, it’s because it has a lot of potential not only deep, nuanced gameplay, but amazing spectacles as well! Even now, I can vividly recall summoning a wall of stone and metal to block an incoming blast, only for it to create a chasm underneath me to fall into.

8. How do you see the state of the streaming industry, in terms of accessibility, representation and diversity?

As it stands, I think it’s still in an evolving state. I think certain aspects could be better, like the representation of artists for example. I know a few streamers that enjoy creating art on their channels that express a similar opinion, and it’d be great if discoverability was easier in general. Apart from that, I’ve met all sorts of people from many walks of life in the short time I’ve been streaming. While certain aspects could be improved upon, I’m happy to see so many people be themselves and express their creativity online.

9. Give us your parting words for our readers!

I wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to talk about this sort of stuff! Talking about myself is always odd for me, but it was a lot of fun brainstorming responses to your questions. And to the folks reading this, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone if you need help or even just an ear. It’s worth extending your hand out for, trust me.


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