Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
When they first met, Alyson and Christopher knew they had some things in common.
But they didn’t realize just how much they shared.
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They went to the same gym, and Alyson had noticed Christopher from a distance. “I had a total gym crush on him,” she tells Tubefilter. “We actually ended up being at the same supplement store nearby at the same time, and struck up a conversation, and the rest is history.”
At the time, Alyson was a teacher, and Christopher was a corrections officer (though he too was looking at getting into teaching). Once they started spending time together, they realized they had an even bigger mutual interest than the gym: board games.
They’re both 90s kids who grew up playing classics like Candyland, Operation, and Hi-Ho! Cherry-O with their families (particularly their siblings), and as they’d gotten older, their enjoyment of games had only grown. But one thing they noticed when they became a couple and started playing together was the lack of two-player games.
“We started slowly amassing a collection of two-player games, and we noticed there wasn’t really any other creators that were doing two-player games,” Christopher says. “We decided to just swoop in, and start our own channel, focus around people who just have one other person to play with, and start a games for two.”
Neither of them had really considered content creation before, but it was COVID times, and lots of people were trying their hand at TikTok and YouTube Shorts. Alyson and Christopher’s very first video got over a million views on TikTok, and it was immediately clear there were a bunch of people out there exactly like them, looking for new and exciting games that didn’t need four or six or even more people to play.
For the couple, having this kind of reach means they can remind millions of people what’s important. As Christopher puts it, “Our channel is a nice reminder that you can disconnect from the internet, and sit down with the people you love, and just enjoy some one-on-one games.”
Check out our chat with them below.
@games4two Orbito Is A Two Player Strategy Game You MUST Try! #boardgames #gamenight #couple #fun ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: Nice to meet you! I’d love to get little bit of a background about each of you, how you met, where you’re from, that kind of thing.
Christopher: Okay. You want to start?
Alyson: Sure. We are from South Jersey, and we met through fitness. Actually, we went to the same gym, and I had a total gym crush on him. We actually ended up being at the same supplement store nearby at the same time, and struck up a conversation, and the rest is history.
Tubefilter: Amazing. What did the two of you do professionally?
Christopher: When we met, I was a corrections officer. I was in corrections for about five years, and then I actually started to transition into teaching, but now we’ve actually taken content creation full-time. That’s what we’re both doing now.
Alyson: I was a teacher before this.
Tubefilter: Oh, both interested in teaching? Very interesting.
Tubefilter: What made you start content creation in the first place?
Christopher: We’re both very competitive people. We were pretty much sitting down playing games like a week after we met. We always loved games, but we noticed when we were always out shopping for games, that there were so many party games, and games that needed a big group to play. We started slowly amassing a collection of two-player games, and we noticed there wasn’t really any other creators that were doing two-player games. We decided to just swoop in, and start our own channel, focus around people who just have one other person to play with, and start a games for two.
Tubefilter: Did both of you like board games as kids?
Christopher: We both played games throughout our whole childhood.
Alyson: I’m the oldest of five siblings That was always something that we did growing up was play board games. It was just something that I’ve always enjoyed. I know Christopher is the youngest of two, so with his sister he played. We just always both grew up in that world. We are both ’90s babies, so it was not what it is today. It was like, Hi Ho! Cherry-O and Operation, but still the enjoyment was there. It was really just about like, once we had a collection where we’re like, “Wow, we have a lot of games that can be played with two players,” it was really about sharing that with other people. Not just couples, but maybe like a single parent who has a child, and they want to play board games with it. It was really just about sharing our findings with people who just have one other person.
Tubefilter: What made you start posting things online? I know you said you wanted to find two-player games, but had either of you been interested in content creation before?
Christopher: No, not me personally. I don’t know. We started on a whim. We just started, it was during COVID. Everyone was still just doing different stuff.
Tubefilter: Did you start on TikTok?
Christopher: We did start on TikTok. We started to post Instagram, and now we’re on YouTube. We’re actually over like 3 million between the three platforms. We’ve definitely grown, but yes, it started on TikTok.
Tubefilter: Do you remember what the first video you had that took off was?
Christopher: Yes. Our very first video we ever posted went viral.
Tubefilter: Oh really!
Christopher: Yes. We posted about the game Tapple. It’s like a word game. It’s like the alphabet game, but you’ve got a topic, and then you have to press the letter and say something that starts with that letter in that topic. That was the first video we posted, and it got over a million views when we were brand new, It was crazy.
Alyson: Yes, it was definitely crazy. We just started this as a passion project. We love games, we love two-player games, and it really started as something that was just sharing our love for this topic. We basically built it to where it is now, and didn’t really have any expectations, but we’re super happy with how it’s all been going.
Tubefilter: Was there a point where you guys decided to commit to it? Like, “This is something we’re actually going to continue doing purposefully”?
Christopher: Yes. We try and post like every day, and we’ve pretty much posted every day for the last two years. It’s always been something that we weren’t really sure where it was going to take us, but we knew consistency was important in growing. Just this past September, we decided to take it full-time. It wasn’t really intended to be what it is now, but we’re happy where it is.
Tubefilter: What was the trigger point for you guys taking it full-time?
Christopher: I think the growth on YouTube solidified it, because going viral on TikTok is– Anyone can do it, not on a consistent basis, but YouTube has been around for so long that once we started growing on YouTube, we were like, “Oh, wow. This is what we’re doing, is pretty serious,” I guess. I don’t know, YouTube is like the Mecca of it all.
Tubefilter: What makes YouTube best for you?
Alyson: It’s not that it’s necessarily the best. I think that it’s just that–
Christopher: It’s been around for the longest.
Alyson: Yes, it’s been around for the longest, so once we solidified ourselves on YouTube, it was like, “Okay, this is something that now that we’re on three platforms, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, and we’re seeing success, this is something that we can really dive in with.” We’ve always been very hard workers with our channel, even when we were full-time teachers, or when Christopher was in corrections. We’ve always put a lot of effort into it, but once we were on three platforms, and YouTube being just the oldest of them all, the one that’s been around the longest, it was just like, “All right, let’s jump in full time because if we’re seeing success now with putting in time when we can, what is it going to look like when we do it full-time?”
That’s really, I think, when we saw a lot of the growth too is when we went from doing it on the weekends and nights, to this is our full-time job. The success really followed that as well.
Tubefilter: How have things changed for you since you went full-time? Are you producing more videos? How have things changed from then to now?
Alyson: We’re definitely more scheduled.
Christopher: Yes, certainly.
Alyson: We’re definitely more scheduled. We definitely have like, “Okay, this day we’re going to film this type of content.” It’s more routine. We’re more consistent with how we look at our growth, how we look at what videos do well. Maybe if a video doesn’t do well, what went wrong. We’re able to put more time and effort into understanding our channel.
Christopher: Also, we’re mainly short-form content creators. I feel like the jump to full-time has allowed us to focus a little bit more on long-form content. Like YouTube videos that are sometimes 10, 15, 20 minutes long, take a lot longer to film and edit, and do all the work that’s required to post those longer videos. If we were full-time in another career, it would be be really difficult.
Tubefilter: How much time does the average short-form video take you? How much time goes into production behind the scenes?
Alyson: I think it depends.
Christopher: It definitely depends on the game.
Alyson: Usually, when we’re recording short-form, we can be back here anywhere from, if we’re doing– because sometimes we’ll record one video, sometimes we’ll record like two or three in a row. Usually on our recording days, we’re usually recording for a few hours, and then the editing follows that.
Tubefilter: Gotcha. I’m really curious about how you source games.
Christopher: We just search, really. We go on Amazon, we go on Walmart, Target. We make trips to local board game stores, and more like Mom-and-Pop shops. We really just try and find things that are different. We try and focus on dexterity games, and strategy games and stuff like that. It’s really just about looking around. We when you’re shopping on Amazon, we’ll say you may also like this. We’ll just always search for things that we have an eye for as to what we think our audience would like.
Tubefilter: Aside from games being for two people, what else makes a game ideal for both of you? What are your favorite kinds of games, each of you?
Alyson: That’s probably the hardest question ever because it’s always changing. Whenever we find a new game, we’re like, “This is our favorite game,” and then a week later we find a new game and it’s like, “No, this is our new favorite.” It really is tough.
Christopher: We do like to play games like Dice Thrown and Unmatched, which is more like you have a character, and they all have their own moves and everything, and you’re going one-on-one with each other. We do games like that, but we also like like Yazy, and some classics like that. I don’t know, there’s so many games. Like she was saying, once you get a new one, you learn that one. That’s kind of the flavor of the month.
Tubefilter: In general, do you have a genre of games that the two of you tend to gravitate toward?
Christopher: Yes. Definitely dexterity games and strategy games.
Tubefilter: Very interesting. What’s your current favorite game?
Alyson: I think our current favorite game right now, as for both of us, like if we had to pick a combined– Oh, sorry. There’s a cat.
Christopher: One of five cats.
Tubefilter: No worries. My cat is currently meowing. I didn’t know if you could hear her.
Alyson: No! Oh, well, that’s good. They like to be involved.
Tubefilter: They sure do.
Alyson: I think our combined favorite game right now would be Unmatched. That’s just super fun because there’s a lot of characters.
Christopher: They use a lot of historical figures. They have Dracula, but they also have King Arthur and Little Red Riding Hood, and Beowulf. They have characters from Jurassic Park, the movies, they have Marvel characters. It’s fun being able to take control of that character, and span different genres, like having Daredevil go against Beowulf, or something. It’s just cool, the dynamic that it has.
Tubefilter: Very cool. How do the two of you split responsibilities for the channel? Does one of you enjoy editing more? Does one of you source more games?
Christopher: I think we both look at games. We both source games, for sure.
Alyson: That’s like a collaborative effort.
Christopher: Then she does most of the editing, I would say. I do some of the finalization, and everything’s on my phone, so do all the actual posting and managing of the actual apps, like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok. I’ll usually set up filming and everything like that, but really majority of editing, she does.
Tubefilter: Where did you learn how to edit, or are you all self-taught?
Alyson: Self-taught. If you look at some of our videos from 2021, you’ll see that I didn’t come in knowing how to edit.
Christopher: Sometimes we’ll split editing too, sometimes. It’s definitely self-taught.
Alyson: Like I was saying before, I’m the oldest of five, so I have four younger siblings, and they’re pretty hip and cool. I’m the millennial older sister. I’ve tried to gauge some coolness from them, like learn how to learn the trends, and I’m like, “What’s cool right now?” I have one little sister who’s nine, and I think she’s like–
Christopher: She’s better than us at all the games.
Alyson: Yes, then when I’m editing, I try to think, I’m like, all right, what’s interesting for the viewers? If I’m watching this video, what’s going to keep my attention? It’s always a work in progress. You’re always learning, and everything at the end of the day is collaborative. If I’m doing something with editing, I’ll always say, “Hey, what do you think about this? Does this look cool? Is this like a new transition,,” or how I cut certain things. It’s really just always learning on the job for us.
Tubefilter: Absolutely. I’m curious, you guys have a specific camera angle you set up for all your videos, and it’s not one I see very often. How did you come about that particular camera angle? Was it something that you did consciously?
Christopher: Yes, and it’s difficult because you’ll see maybe that kind of angle with BookTok or something like that, but all that stuff is one person. Doing the angle with two people, it was definitely a learning process.
Alyson: You know what else I think it is too, because you’ll even see some games are supposed to be facing us, and we’ll face it towards the camera instead. It ends up making the game a little bit more difficult to play for us sometimes, but I think our thought process, part of it, was we wanted to include the viewer. We didn’t want the viewer to feel like they were just watching the video, but we almost want the viewer to feel like they’re playing with us.
With that camera angle, I think it’s exciting because some of the games the viewer can play along, or try to guess who’s going to win, or what’s going to happen. I think it’s all about just being authentic, and not making it super rigid. We just want to feel like–
Tubefilter: The two of you, at least for the foreseeable future, this is your career?
Christopher: Yes, absolutely.
Tubefilter: I know you mentioned you’re doing some long-form on YouTube, and you’re growing really well on YouTube as well. Do you intend to focus more on one platform, or how is your platform approach, because I know you’re on Instagram too?
Christopher: We don’t have like one main focus. I guess we pretty much split our efforts among the three. Obviously, YouTube has short-form and long form. That does take a little bit more effort when we want to make more long form content. I don’t really think we prioritize one over the other.
Tubefilter: Do you guys have a Patreon or anything, any plans about meeting up with your audience, anything like that?
Christopher: We are going to a convention in December, but we haven’t really explored that. Maybe it’s something we’ll look into. We wouldn’t be opposed to it at all, I just don’t think we know too much about it yet.
Tubefilter: Have you noticed any particular demographic information, or anything interesting about your audience, the people who tend to watch your videos? Are there any particular things that stand out?
Alyson: I don’t know.
Christopher: I definitely think our audience is pretty diverse because we’ll always get comments like, “Me and my son love to watch your videos together in bed.” We definitely have a large demographic. I think our main audience is between like 18 and 35.
Alyson: I don’t notice any, I guess, specific demographic with our audience. Like Christopher was saying, it is diverse. One thing I will say though, and we get some of these comments, is where we’ve heard some people say like, “This is my new comfort channel.” That’s probably one of the biggest compliments I think we’ve ever received.
We’ve heard people say like, “If I’m anxious, I’ll put on your channel. It always brings a smile to my face.” That’s something I know it’s not really demographic, but I do know that many people have reached out to us and said that our channel is like a source of positivity and comfort for them. That’s probably something that really just–
Christopher: Resonates with a certain amount of people.
Tubefilter: Gotcha. Any cool goals or plans you have over the next year or so?
Alyson: I would say the next goal is the gold Play Button.
Christopher: The gold Play Button on YouTube is in our sights.
Alyson: That’s our next big goal.
Tubefilter: I don’t feel like it’s going to be very long before you hit it.
Alyson: Fingers crossed.
Christopher: Yes, we’ll see.
Tubefilter: Perfect. Is there anything else you want to talk about? Anything else you want readers to know about you?
Alyson: I don’t know.
Christopher: I would just say I think what we do, even though we record content, we’re on our phones a lot, we really do find games just to be a source of connection. It’s like kids, when we were our age, we were out riding bikes and playing sports, and weren’t really too much into video games or too much into our phones.
Christopher: Our channel is a nice reminder that you can disconnect from the internet, and sit down with the people you love, and just enjoy some one-on-one games that don’t take your attention away from electronics and all that kind of stuff.
Alyson: For us, it’s just always been such a great way to connect, and spend time together. We always feel like when we sit down, no matter what’s going on in the world, if we sit down and have a play board game, have a little bit of fun, it’s like an escape from reality and we really enjoy that.
Tubefilter: Perfect. Just to finish, I feel like a lot of people still don’t really understand how to find interesting board games these days, so what’s your advice if someone is looking at getting into board gaming?
Alyson: I think it depends who they’re playing with, and just focus on your interests. If you’re the type of person who likes to solve puzzles, look for games that are more like strategic or puzzle oriented. If you’re someone who likes dexterity or sports, look for games that fit that genre. It’s just finding your interest.
Christopher: Also, there are local board game stores that that’s all they do. If you find a local game store, usually you can talk to the person there, and they’ll be able to guide you better because before we started, we would just go to Target and Walmart, and look for games. We had no idea that there were thousands of publishers, and tens of thousands of board games out there until we actually got into the arena of board games. I think going to someone who knows more, and asking questions is definitely a good place to start
Alyson: We definitely try to answer any questions that we get through our channel, or if we get any direct messages, we try to steer people in the right direction. It is always helpful to go to a local game store, and find things that you can put your hands on and read about.