Carmel Valley natives writing own script for success with gamer YouTube channel
Although Carmel Valley natives Tyler Baron and Ryan Kroner grew up playing video games, they never thought they would do so for a living. But as their gamer-geared YouTube channel Treesicle gains attention, that’s exactly what they are doing.
“Every day I wake up and work on something I love doing,” Baron said. “It’s just really great.”
Baron, 23, and Kroner, 22, met when they were kindergarteners at Solana Highlands Elementary School. They remember playing old Pokémon games on their handheld Game Boy systems during sleepovers.
“We were supposed to be asleep, but instead we’d be hiding in my closet with the light on, playing Pokémon,” Baron recalled.
After graduating from Canyon Crest Academy, the duo went on to study at UC Santa Barbara, where Baron earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in education and Kroner earned a bachelor’s in computer science in 2014.
With a love of video games, they created a YouTube channel called Treesicle with their college roommates Grant Ball and Kevin Cornea.
Launched in January 2014, Treesicle offers a variety of video game-focused content. From informational videos to funny podcasts, there’s something for all video game enthusiasts, casual fans and dedicated gamers alike.
The channel started off with the four friends capturing footage while they played video games. Baron was inspired to create such a channel because he has watched others play games on YouTube for years.
“I really liked it and I wanted to try doing it,” he said.
Although the videos garnered some views, they didn’t gain the attention the group had hoped for. Their oldest video, for instance, was published a year ago, yet has only 1,100 views.
“We decided to do it and we were horrible at it,” Baron said with a laugh.
Since the channel’s early days, the foursome has worked hard to come up with original and interesting content.
The channel’s main program is called “The Story You Never Knew.” With new episodes every other Thursday, the show offers an in-depth and comedic look at favorite video game characters, from Pac-Man to Mario.
The group has produced 32 such videos so far, with an analysis of Sonic the Hedgehog being the most popular. Published eight months ago, the video has been viewed more than 2.8 million times.
“The idea is to give the viewer the story they never knew — the backstory — in a very comedic and informative way,” Kroner said.
“We try to give an analysis that hasn’t been heard before,” Baron added. “But our main goal is entertainment.”
With fresh content uploaded weekly, the channel has captured an audience. To date, Treesicle has attracted 232,767 subscribers and nearly 21 million views.
“I like the fact that work entails messing around with my friends,” Kroner said. “Our meetings are us sitting on couches and basically talking or yelling at each other.”
“I enjoy working with three of my best friends,” Baron agreed.
Since graduating from UC Santa Barbara last year, all four have relocated to Sorrento Valley, where they work on the channel in their free time. It takes about 100 hours to produce a 10- to 15-minute video. The process entails researching, scriptwriting, voice acting and editing.
“It’s a very time-intensive process,” Kroner said.
Added Baron, “People don’t realize how much actually goes into getting a video on the channel. There’s a lot of things that go into it even after the video’s already off the computer.”
Although a lot of time and effort goes into the channel, Treesicle is not their full-time job — although they hope it will be one day.
Kroner works at Qualcomm. Baron, who works in retail, noted that this month marks a major milestone for Treesicle, as he will actually earn more from the channel than from his day job.
“We’re almost to the point where we can support ourselves off of it,” Baron said. “This is something I’ve wanted to do for years and years. To have a dream and actually be able to do it is really, really cool.”
For more about Treesicle, visit www.youtube.com/user/TreesicleTube.
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