Dansg08 is creating Cinematic Gaming Experiences
78
patrons
So what's the deal?
My name is Berk, but since 2008 I am better known by my digital alter-ego, Dansg08. You are probably here as a result of either watching one of my Commentary Walkthroughs, or my Cinematic Movie Versions. Perhaps both. Either way, welcome!

You're obviously interested in supporting the channel, so I should give you the courtesy of explaining who I am, what I do, and why you should be a part of this team of Patrons.

If you already know all about the channel and just want me to shut up so you can give me your money, scroll down to the bottom and read the "Dansg08's Promise" bit before checking out the rewards. 

Those of you who don't know the channel so well or are just more careful with their money, I'd recommend having a read through my own story and why I started this campaign.

Dansg08 - Who the hell are you?

The video below answers this question. It's old, but it'll help you put a face to the videos :)


More recently I made my 1st ever vlog, this should give you some more insight into my life, 5 years after I made the video above:




8 years of Youtubing history is difficult to summarize, but I'll do my best. Back in 2008 (yep, you've already deciphered the "08" part of my username), I was a 16 year old kid who dedicated most of his gaming time to awesome franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. I became totally engrossed in Final Fantasy X and took up some challenges for it like beating the game without ever using the sphere grid to level up. This lead to me discovering a certain enemy in FFX that had never been defeated, and we were at an age where you really needed video proof to convince anyone of the seemingly impossible. Being the ambitious young man that I was (and to some extent still am), I set up a Youtube account with the hope of showing Dark Anima No Sphere Grid (yep, that is the "dansg" part) being defeated. As luck would have it, I achieved this goal 3 years after creating the channel.

So what about this 3 year gap? I quickly realised that this Dark Anima thing was not only unlikely to ever happen, but even if it did it'd probably take a VERY long time. So, armed with my 3.2 megapixel phone I started to record some random FFX content on my old CRT TV. The quality was terrible, and so were the views. I was just a kid experimenting with a new platform for reaching people all over the world. After the first 2 years of Youtubing, I had a grand total of 10,000 views.

Not very inspiring... But as I grew up, so did my skills and my desire to do things better. I decided to step up my game and start recording with a dedicated device. The quality improved. The views? Not so much...

Then came the fateful day; 8th December 2010. I recorded a video that went semi-viral, hitting a million views in a relatively short time. This didn't propel me to Youtube stardom, but it did show me that it was possible to really get yourself noticed. It was also the first time I was given the chance to monetise my content. A 19 year old who makes pocket money off of Youtube videos? I was living the dream. I knew I had to do the smart thing and study less at University, and make more videos. I still graduated with a 1st Class degree in Economics from a reputable University, but my diploma gathers dust on a shelf somewhere. The "smart thing" line was of course a joke - while Economics wasn't a career I was interested in pursuing, having a back-up in life isn't always the worst idea.

The buzz from the semi-viral video died down fast, and I knew that in order to really gain some momentum I needed to upload consistent, quality content. I saw the success of LP'ers and decided I'd try my hand at commentary. People seemed to like it, so it became a staple on my channel. 

The final chapter in this story began in 2012. Around the same time I started commentating I decided to try and find something new to upload for Final Fantasy X (yes, that game again). It was a game so close to my heart I always found myself trying to get others to experience the story. I didn't have much luck. Non-gamers couldn't be bothered to learn how to play it, let alone sit through 40+ hours of gameplay. So I thought I'd create a playlist of videos for them that would allow for even non-gamers to just sit down and enjoy the story of Final Fantasy X, like a movie.

My "Cinematic Movie Versions" were born. These are painstakingly edited to strike an optimal balance between gameplay which helps with pacing and progression/action, while also ensuring it is not an overwhelming or boring experience for those who only want to see the story and the cutscenes. While the FFX movie has done well, the true explosion happened with The Last Of Us. It got featured on gaming sites worldwide including Kotaku and after almost 3 years sits on more than 4 million views.

Since 2013 I have been striving to create high quality Commentary Walkthroughs and Cinematic Movie Versions of games that appeal to my tastes. I have covered games and franchises such as:
- Final Fantasy
- Metal Gear Solid
- Uncharted
- Bioshock
- Tomb Raider
- Watch Dogs
- Journey

In the past year I have added to my arsenal of videos, and occasionally produce in-depth story and trivia related videos for the aforementioned games. These are very time consuming to make but I have gotten some fantastic responses so I'm always on the hunt for new content.


So, why Patreon?
I'll preface this by saying that I try to be as up front and honest as possible. This section won't be any different. 

Youtube is NOT my primary job, and it is unlikely that it ever will be. I did Youtube full time on and off between 2012-2014, and it helped me build up a large archive of videos. As of 2015, I live and work in Istanbul in the Filmmaking industry, and my ultimate goal is to write and direct my own features one day. The work that I do by nature is very on and off. There can be times when I won't be able to record for 2-3 weeks, other times I will record and edit for 20-30 hours a week.

In the last year I've uploaded over 300 videos, so while this thing is no longer my full time job, I am still very much enjoying myself and actively recording and editing whenever I have time, sometimes working Youtube like a second job once I come back home from the office. This won't change, I will always do what I can to keep making videos, even if I become a successful Director one day.

With an unstable career path such as mine, financially things are also difficult. There can be times when you're getting by just fine, and others where you need to be cautious in order to keep paying the rent/bills. This is where Youtube comes in for me. My current earnings are enough to keep me afloat even when work is not going so well (this is true for Istanbul where the $ is strong and living expenses are cheaper relative to London. If I was still in London I couldn't be financially independent with YT alone). This is why even when I'm fairly busy, I try to keep pumping out the videos. Not only is it still enjoyable and a great release from the stresses of adult life and living in a tiring city like Istanbul, it also makes up a signficant portion of the money that goes into my bank account every month.

So why isn't Youtube alone enough? Well, at the moment, it is usually enough. But the trouble is that Youtube, much like my day job, is equally unstable and fickle. I have kept making videos consistently for over 3 years and my earnings are barely any higher than they were in 2013. This is despite my subscriber count tripling in the process. Views are harder to gain than ever, and Ad/click through rates are a volatile business. With things like Adblock so readily used (understandably), it's hard to keep your earnings sustained. Youtube RED is meant to be really good for creators, and I personally have very high average view lengths, but it currently makes up less than 10% of my total income. Many of my viewers are young and probably don't use RED, so I haven't seen much benefit.

Add to the mix the world of copyright. I have lost my channel once before due to copyright strikes in 2013 (I obviously appealed and got it back), and lost a huge portion of my earnings between December 2013 and March 2014 because of a random contentID sweep that claimed most of my videos. The contentID thing has now been mitigated to some extent as I am a managed partner who is protected, but the whole idea of copyright and the claiming parties being much better protected than the "offenders" is a danger. You won't have to go far to see all kinds of huge channels suffering at the hands of this system, a quick search for "where is the fair use" and the corresponding hashtag should tell you all you need to know. Long story short, Youtube is here today, gone tomorrow. There's no reason why I couldn't get 3 copyright or community strikes tonight and wake up to find my channel terminated. This kind of insecurity makes Youtube an unreliable career path in the long run.

Over the years I have managed to reach out to millions all over the globe, and some of these viewers have become true fans of the channel, supporting it at every opportunity. I have seen Youtube channels with an incredible Patreon campaign and realised that even though I feel strange asking for pledges, there are people out there who I have provided enough good quality content for that feel I deserve it, and are able to go the extra mile to support me. The pledges I receive from here will help me whether the storm financially if things go badly either at work or on Youtube, and I will also be able to of course give you guys some extra perks for helping the channel in this way. I think this model is great because it's the fans directly paying you to keep making the content that they enjoy. I greatly dislike things like sponsorships and have always refused any kind of approach from companies of that nature, even if I did earn more by doing this. I also don't upload videos just for the sake of making an easy buck. I have said from day 1 that I will ONLY upload what I feel like uploading, and even if that means less earnings and slower growth, so be it. This is something that is no-compromise for me.

In an ideal world I'd love to be funded 100% by patrons, and be totally non-reliant on ad revenue. But even then, I'd feel bad that the Patrons are effectively paying to remove ads for non-patrons (which would be a HUGE majority), so you can't really win. But if I had enough to sustain myself without any ads, that would be the dream!

If I was to have a truly successful Patreon campaign, if the worst was to happen (my channel being terminated and lost forever), I would have the backing and the fan base to either start anew or to move to a new platform. The ad-based model has worked okay for some years, but the future is uncertain. If we end up moving away from that model then having a strong Patreon campaign will mean I don't feel the effects as much and can keep doing what I'm doing. If I didn't have something like this, I might have to spend that extra time trying to find more work that pays the bills and that will basically mean that my Youtubing will grind to a halt and Dansg08 as a video creator will cease to exist. It sounds dark and gloomy, but when I lost my channel in 2013 I seriously considered giving it all up. With such a large archive of videos, if I got terminated today, I may not be able to recover again...

Dansg08's Promise

There are certain things I wanted to be sure wouldn't happen, so as a final thing I will clarify those.

1) I want to keep my pledge amounts (relatively) low, I have seen creators with Patrons offering hundreds of dollars per month. This is something I do not want, because I feel I cannot offer anything that would warrant that level of donation. Having simple perks with low entry fees helps keep the playing field level and allows me to keep doing what I'm doing without having to change anything to please any big Patrons. Also, bigger rewards are both harder to make good on (logistically), and more stressful when it comes to Patron satisfaction. This creates a degree of dependence and control, I do not want this for the channel.

2) This Patreon thing will not create a "pay-wall", where only people who pledge money will get access to exclusive content. My channel and content type isn't suitable for this (lucky you!). Perhaps if I ran a "show" based channel such as Jim Sterling or SciShow then maybe it'd be different. As it stands, I'm going to keep everything on the channel "free". Outside of my utmost gratitude, even the top tier patrons will only have 2 advantages: 1 is a greater level of interactivity than what I can offer on Youtube/Twitter, and 2 is early access and feedback to help make my videos better. But everyone will see those videos eventually. As wonderful as it will be to hopefully have some Patrons, Youtube has gotten me to where I am today, so I do not want to abandon that audience just because they cannot afford to support me outside of ads. This is my justification for the current reward system.

3) If I ever have to stop making videos, either short term or long term, I will ALWAYS let you guys know so that you can stop your pledges if you want to. I cannot ever guarantee that I will be making videos at a steady rate. I sometimes take summer breaks for a couple of months where I don't upload anything, this is an example of something I would make sure everyone is aware of.
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
Just want to support Dansg08 above and beyond being a regular subscriber? Then this is the tier for you. You don't need to feel bad about using Adblock anymore either :P
Pledge $3 or more per month
Not only can you feel good about being an above and beyond supporter of the channel, you gain access to the Patron's only feed. You can send me messages, queries and suggestions here. Not only will I post the occasional photo/video that you won't find on twitter, I will do my best to be interactive and keep up with everything :) If I can get some decent numbers in this tier (and above) I will run polls for Patrons only where they can choose which game in my "to do list" I should tackle next!
Pledge $5 or more per month
If you have the means and the love for the channel to support it at this level, I truly appreciate it. Patrons in this tier have access to the lower tier content, but also get to be part of a select group who will have early access to any non-Walkthrough/Movie videos I make such as the FFX Trivia/List videos and the Metal Gear Archives. If you haven't seen these yet I'd recommend checking them out. You will have a private link through which you can check out the video before its general release and offer any feedback to help make it better! Just remember that there is no guarantee of when I will make videos like these or how many, so please be aware before going for this tier!
Brain Trust - Discord Server Access
$15 or more per month
You receive all the previous benefits, but also gain access to a "Brain Trust" tier only Discord where you can chat with me and your fellow Patrons about pretty much anything you like. We can talk business or just have fun. This select group of people will be able to create a community within this Patreon system and potentially make new friends. When you join this tier, drop me an email with your Patreon-connected address to confirm and I will give you access to the server!
The Ultimate Level
$30 or more per month
You receive all the previous benefits, but you also get your names appearing in the description/top comment for all future videos in which you are a top tier Patron. If you remain in this tier for 6 months I will send you a personalized postcard/print of my Auron artwork with a message thanking you for the support as a physical token of your Patronage. If you really want to splash the cash and go beyond this tier, you can enter a "custom pledge" in the "become a Patron" page.
So what's the deal?
My name is Berk, but since 2008 I am better known by my digital alter-ego, Dansg08. You are probably here as a result of either watching one of my Commentary Walkthroughs, or my Cinematic Movie Versions. Perhaps both. Either way, welcome!

You're obviously interested in supporting the channel, so I should give you the courtesy of explaining who I am, what I do, and why you should be a part of this team of Patrons.

If you already know all about the channel and just want me to shut up so you can give me your money, scroll down to the bottom and read the "Dansg08's Promise" bit before checking out the rewards. 

Those of you who don't know the channel so well or are just more careful with their money, I'd recommend having a read through my own story and why I started this campaign.

Dansg08 - Who the hell are you?

The video below answers this question. It's old, but it'll help you put a face to the videos :)


More recently I made my 1st ever vlog, this should give you some more insight into my life, 5 years after I made the video above:




8 years of Youtubing history is difficult to summarize, but I'll do my best. Back in 2008 (yep, you've already deciphered the "08" part of my username), I was a 16 year old kid who dedicated most of his gaming time to awesome franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. I became totally engrossed in Final Fantasy X and took up some challenges for it like beating the game without ever using the sphere grid to level up. This lead to me discovering a certain enemy in FFX that had never been defeated, and we were at an age where you really needed video proof to convince anyone of the seemingly impossible. Being the ambitious young man that I was (and to some extent still am), I set up a Youtube account with the hope of showing Dark Anima No Sphere Grid (yep, that is the "dansg" part) being defeated. As luck would have it, I achieved this goal 3 years after creating the channel.

So what about this 3 year gap? I quickly realised that this Dark Anima thing was not only unlikely to ever happen, but even if it did it'd probably take a VERY long time. So, armed with my 3.2 megapixel phone I started to record some random FFX content on my old CRT TV. The quality was terrible, and so were the views. I was just a kid experimenting with a new platform for reaching people all over the world. After the first 2 years of Youtubing, I had a grand total of 10,000 views.

Not very inspiring... But as I grew up, so did my skills and my desire to do things better. I decided to step up my game and start recording with a dedicated device. The quality improved. The views? Not so much...

Then came the fateful day; 8th December 2010. I recorded a video that went semi-viral, hitting a million views in a relatively short time. This didn't propel me to Youtube stardom, but it did show me that it was possible to really get yourself noticed. It was also the first time I was given the chance to monetise my content. A 19 year old who makes pocket money off of Youtube videos? I was living the dream. I knew I had to do the smart thing and study less at University, and make more videos. I still graduated with a 1st Class degree in Economics from a reputable University, but my diploma gathers dust on a shelf somewhere. The "smart thing" line was of course a joke - while Economics wasn't a career I was interested in pursuing, having a back-up in life isn't always the worst idea.

The buzz from the semi-viral video died down fast, and I knew that in order to really gain some momentum I needed to upload consistent, quality content. I saw the success of LP'ers and decided I'd try my hand at commentary. People seemed to like it, so it became a staple on my channel. 

The final chapter in this story began in 2012. Around the same time I started commentating I decided to try and find something new to upload for Final Fantasy X (yes, that game again). It was a game so close to my heart I always found myself trying to get others to experience the story. I didn't have much luck. Non-gamers couldn't be bothered to learn how to play it, let alone sit through 40+ hours of gameplay. So I thought I'd create a playlist of videos for them that would allow for even non-gamers to just sit down and enjoy the story of Final Fantasy X, like a movie.

My "Cinematic Movie Versions" were born. These are painstakingly edited to strike an optimal balance between gameplay which helps with pacing and progression/action, while also ensuring it is not an overwhelming or boring experience for those who only want to see the story and the cutscenes. While the FFX movie has done well, the true explosion happened with The Last Of Us. It got featured on gaming sites worldwide including Kotaku and after almost 3 years sits on more than 4 million views.

Since 2013 I have been striving to create high quality Commentary Walkthroughs and Cinematic Movie Versions of games that appeal to my tastes. I have covered games and franchises such as:
- Final Fantasy
- Metal Gear Solid
- Uncharted
- Bioshock
- Tomb Raider
- Watch Dogs
- Journey

In the past year I have added to my arsenal of videos, and occasionally produce in-depth story and trivia related videos for the aforementioned games. These are very time consuming to make but I have gotten some fantastic responses so I'm always on the hunt for new content.


So, why Patreon?
I'll preface this by saying that I try to be as up front and honest as possible. This section won't be any different. 

Youtube is NOT my primary job, and it is unlikely that it ever will be. I did Youtube full time on and off between 2012-2014, and it helped me build up a large archive of videos. As of 2015, I live and work in Istanbul in the Filmmaking industry, and my ultimate goal is to write and direct my own features one day. The work that I do by nature is very on and off. There can be times when I won't be able to record for 2-3 weeks, other times I will record and edit for 20-30 hours a week.

In the last year I've uploaded over 300 videos, so while this thing is no longer my full time job, I am still very much enjoying myself and actively recording and editing whenever I have time, sometimes working Youtube like a second job once I come back home from the office. This won't change, I will always do what I can to keep making videos, even if I become a successful Director one day.

With an unstable career path such as mine, financially things are also difficult. There can be times when you're getting by just fine, and others where you need to be cautious in order to keep paying the rent/bills. This is where Youtube comes in for me. My current earnings are enough to keep me afloat even when work is not going so well (this is true for Istanbul where the $ is strong and living expenses are cheaper relative to London. If I was still in London I couldn't be financially independent with YT alone). This is why even when I'm fairly busy, I try to keep pumping out the videos. Not only is it still enjoyable and a great release from the stresses of adult life and living in a tiring city like Istanbul, it also makes up a signficant portion of the money that goes into my bank account every month.

So why isn't Youtube alone enough? Well, at the moment, it is usually enough. But the trouble is that Youtube, much like my day job, is equally unstable and fickle. I have kept making videos consistently for over 3 years and my earnings are barely any higher than they were in 2013. This is despite my subscriber count tripling in the process. Views are harder to gain than ever, and Ad/click through rates are a volatile business. With things like Adblock so readily used (understandably), it's hard to keep your earnings sustained. Youtube RED is meant to be really good for creators, and I personally have very high average view lengths, but it currently makes up less than 10% of my total income. Many of my viewers are young and probably don't use RED, so I haven't seen much benefit.

Add to the mix the world of copyright. I have lost my channel once before due to copyright strikes in 2013 (I obviously appealed and got it back), and lost a huge portion of my earnings between December 2013 and March 2014 because of a random contentID sweep that claimed most of my videos. The contentID thing has now been mitigated to some extent as I am a managed partner who is protected, but the whole idea of copyright and the claiming parties being much better protected than the "offenders" is a danger. You won't have to go far to see all kinds of huge channels suffering at the hands of this system, a quick search for "where is the fair use" and the corresponding hashtag should tell you all you need to know. Long story short, Youtube is here today, gone tomorrow. There's no reason why I couldn't get 3 copyright or community strikes tonight and wake up to find my channel terminated. This kind of insecurity makes Youtube an unreliable career path in the long run.

Over the years I have managed to reach out to millions all over the globe, and some of these viewers have become true fans of the channel, supporting it at every opportunity. I have seen Youtube channels with an incredible Patreon campaign and realised that even though I feel strange asking for pledges, there are people out there who I have provided enough good quality content for that feel I deserve it, and are able to go the extra mile to support me. The pledges I receive from here will help me whether the storm financially if things go badly either at work or on Youtube, and I will also be able to of course give you guys some extra perks for helping the channel in this way. I think this model is great because it's the fans directly paying you to keep making the content that they enjoy. I greatly dislike things like sponsorships and have always refused any kind of approach from companies of that nature, even if I did earn more by doing this. I also don't upload videos just for the sake of making an easy buck. I have said from day 1 that I will ONLY upload what I feel like uploading, and even if that means less earnings and slower growth, so be it. This is something that is no-compromise for me.

In an ideal world I'd love to be funded 100% by patrons, and be totally non-reliant on ad revenue. But even then, I'd feel bad that the Patrons are effectively paying to remove ads for non-patrons (which would be a HUGE majority), so you can't really win. But if I had enough to sustain myself without any ads, that would be the dream!

If I was to have a truly successful Patreon campaign, if the worst was to happen (my channel being terminated and lost forever), I would have the backing and the fan base to either start anew or to move to a new platform. The ad-based model has worked okay for some years, but the future is uncertain. If we end up moving away from that model then having a strong Patreon campaign will mean I don't feel the effects as much and can keep doing what I'm doing. If I didn't have something like this, I might have to spend that extra time trying to find more work that pays the bills and that will basically mean that my Youtubing will grind to a halt and Dansg08 as a video creator will cease to exist. It sounds dark and gloomy, but when I lost my channel in 2013 I seriously considered giving it all up. With such a large archive of videos, if I got terminated today, I may not be able to recover again...

Dansg08's Promise

There are certain things I wanted to be sure wouldn't happen, so as a final thing I will clarify those.

1) I want to keep my pledge amounts (relatively) low, I have seen creators with Patrons offering hundreds of dollars per month. This is something I do not want, because I feel I cannot offer anything that would warrant that level of donation. Having simple perks with low entry fees helps keep the playing field level and allows me to keep doing what I'm doing without having to change anything to please any big Patrons. Also, bigger rewards are both harder to make good on (logistically), and more stressful when it comes to Patron satisfaction. This creates a degree of dependence and control, I do not want this for the channel.

2) This Patreon thing will not create a "pay-wall", where only people who pledge money will get access to exclusive content. My channel and content type isn't suitable for this (lucky you!). Perhaps if I ran a "show" based channel such as Jim Sterling or SciShow then maybe it'd be different. As it stands, I'm going to keep everything on the channel "free". Outside of my utmost gratitude, even the top tier patrons will only have 2 advantages: 1 is a greater level of interactivity than what I can offer on Youtube/Twitter, and 2 is early access and feedback to help make my videos better. But everyone will see those videos eventually. As wonderful as it will be to hopefully have some Patrons, Youtube has gotten me to where I am today, so I do not want to abandon that audience just because they cannot afford to support me outside of ads. This is my justification for the current reward system.

3) If I ever have to stop making videos, either short term or long term, I will ALWAYS let you guys know so that you can stop your pledges if you want to. I cannot ever guarantee that I will be making videos at a steady rate. I sometimes take summer breaks for a couple of months where I don't upload anything, this is an example of something I would make sure everyone is aware of.

Recent posts by Dansg08

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
Just want to support Dansg08 above and beyond being a regular subscriber? Then this is the tier for you. You don't need to feel bad about using Adblock anymore either :P
Pledge $3 or more per month
Not only can you feel good about being an above and beyond supporter of the channel, you gain access to the Patron's only feed. You can send me messages, queries and suggestions here. Not only will I post the occasional photo/video that you won't find on twitter, I will do my best to be interactive and keep up with everything :) If I can get some decent numbers in this tier (and above) I will run polls for Patrons only where they can choose which game in my "to do list" I should tackle next!
Pledge $5 or more per month
If you have the means and the love for the channel to support it at this level, I truly appreciate it. Patrons in this tier have access to the lower tier content, but also get to be part of a select group who will have early access to any non-Walkthrough/Movie videos I make such as the FFX Trivia/List videos and the Metal Gear Archives. If you haven't seen these yet I'd recommend checking them out. You will have a private link through which you can check out the video before its general release and offer any feedback to help make it better! Just remember that there is no guarantee of when I will make videos like these or how many, so please be aware before going for this tier!
Brain Trust - Discord Server Access
$15 or more per month
You receive all the previous benefits, but also gain access to a "Brain Trust" tier only Discord where you can chat with me and your fellow Patrons about pretty much anything you like. We can talk business or just have fun. This select group of people will be able to create a community within this Patreon system and potentially make new friends. When you join this tier, drop me an email with your Patreon-connected address to confirm and I will give you access to the server!
The Ultimate Level
$30 or more per month
You receive all the previous benefits, but you also get your names appearing in the description/top comment for all future videos in which you are a top tier Patron. If you remain in this tier for 6 months I will send you a personalized postcard/print of my Auron artwork with a message thanking you for the support as a physical token of your Patronage. If you really want to splash the cash and go beyond this tier, you can enter a "custom pledge" in the "become a Patron" page.