An Interview with Steam Deck Checker
Steam Deck Checker is a YouTuber that, as the name implies, covers all things Steam Deck, from game reviews, to interviews, to news, to everything in-between. At the time of writing this, he has a little over 2k subscribers. Though most of his content is in German, there are a few videos that he makes in English, such as:
- how to stream your Xbox to your Deck
- how to randomize your Deck’s startup video
- The Entropy Centre review
(You should check that last one out, it’s really good.)
So I wanted to have a chat with him and see what makes him tick when it comes to the Deck. Enjoy!
Note: this interview contains minor edits for spelling/grammar.
- named Fabian, 40-years-old, full-time software engineer, married with two kids, in Germany
- SDC was founded May 2022. Prior to this, he ran a channel about e-cigarettes
- the “Checker” in the name indicates that while he may not check everything, he at least tries to cover as much as possible
- his channel focuses on testing games on the Deck, news, tutorials, benchmarks
- working on a new video series that “takes inexperienced Steam Deck owners by the hand from the beginning and shows step-by-step the deeper possibilities of the Steam Deck”
- favorite games are Fallout 3 and The Witcher 3
- at first skeptical of the Deck, but “if I wasn’t excited about the Steam Deck, I wouldn’t be here or continue to run my channel”
- not familiar with Linux prior to using the Deck, but much more intensively involved with it now
- views Linux as “the perfect platform for PC gaming, because of its resource-saving environment compared to Windows”
Explain who you are and why you founded Steam Deck Checker.⌗
My name is Fabian. I am 40 years old and a full-time software engineer. I am happily married and live with my wife and two wonderful children in our small house in Germany, in Lower Saxony near Hannover. The Steam Deck Checker channel was started in the middle of May 2022. There is a little back story to this. Before the Steam Decker channel I ran a small channel (about 450 subscribers) on the subject of e-cigarettes for just under two years. However, it was frustrating to always publish videos that are locked for viewers below 18 years old. But I’m just a technology nerd and like to explain things or tell about it and for this YouTube is the perfect medium.
That’s why I wanted to develop in a different direction on YouTube in the long term, but I didn’t have any concrete ideas at the time. When the Steam Deck finally arrived in early May 2022, the first video (Steam Deck unboxing) was actually meant to be off-topic on my e-cigarettes channel.
But I found more and more enthusiasm for the ingenious piece of hardware, and at the same time realized that there were still no German-language channels that only care about the Steam Deck. So I thought, try to find your place in the niche. And now six months later and over 2,200 subscribers I am here.
What exactly does the word “Checker” in the title mean?⌗
Yes, that checker in the name. I would like to reverse that. But now it’s established that I’m the Steam Deck Checker. I actually wanted something for the channel name that rhymed with Steam or Deck. First I thought of Check, but that was somehow too general and not personal enough for me.
So it ended up being Checker. In retrospect, however, I feel that it can be perceived as snooty or that people think I would be of the opinion that I know everything about the Steam deck. Man there is no one who knows everything, and who claims that, the lies 😉 The “Checker” should refer in the original thought that I halt [to] check, review, etc.
It has become established that I say at the beginning of each video: “Hi, I’m your Fabian, the Steam Deck Checker, who does not check everything. But always tries for you.” And this saying goes down well, because I reveal right away that I’m just a guy who lives out his hobby on YouTube.
How long has the channel been around? What type of content do you mostly focus on?⌗
As I said, the channel exists since the middle of May 2022. From the number of videos you could think that I mainly focus on testing which games are executable on the Steam Deck. But these videos are produced quickly. The weekly or bi-weekly news about Linux and the Steam Deck is well-established, it is always well-received.
But my personal focus is on tutorials and benchmarks. Since there are not always topics for tutorials, and benchmarks are expensive to produce, you have to remember that I still have a full-time job and family, they are a little less [frequent] on the channel than gameplay videos, but [they] have the most viewers. But also the presentation and testing of Steam Deck accessories I do very happily.
In addition, I also try my hand at English videos every now and then if I find that no one else has covered this topic in English yet or I can contribute something new. I would also like to do more player reviews of newer games, but my channel is still too small to provide me with keys on a regular basis. And buying every new interesting game is of course too costly.
Currently I’m focusing on a new video series. A guide that takes inexperienced Steam Deck owners by the hand from the beginning and shows step-by-step the [deeper] possibilities of the Steam Deck. The learning curve is steep, but it’s worth it!
What are some of your favorite games?⌗
My two all-time favorites are Fallout 3 and The Witcher 3, both of which run fantastically on the Steam deck, Fallout 3 even with mods! I just love open-world games in general, no matter [if they are] RPGs or more action-oriented ones like GTA or Spider-Man.
However, the game times are now too much, which is rather bad for my limited free time. Games like the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales with about 10-15 hours are a real blessing. But the genre plays a subordinate role for me as long as it tells a good story or can shine with compelling game mechanics.
How long have you had a Steam Deck, and what are your thoughts on it?⌗
Since a week before the launch of the channel :-D The Steam Deck has taken my favorite hobby, gaming, in a new direction. A game changer! Due to job and family reasons I had less time to play games the last [couple of] years. Especially on the PC or stationary consoles. Already the Nintendo Switch could move me through the concept, always and everywhere; again more to play. But it was annoying to have to buy quite a few games again or there are games like Fallout 3, not at all. Therefore, I had also tried the first GPD Win in the meantime, but it was too fiddly with Windows and the hardware was actually too weak even for games for Fallout 3.
When the Steam Deck was introduced, I was very skeptical at first, since Valve already had some failed and dropped hardware projects. But the price, considering the technical specs, was unbeatable. So I figured it was worth a try. And what can I say, if I wasn’t excited about the Steam Deck, I wouldn’t be here or continue to run my channel. Sure there are little things that could be improved on the Deck, but Valve drives a high-class update policy and listens to the community. I think a future Steam Deck 2 will be a step up in every way.
Prior to owning a Steam Deck, how familiar were you with Linux? Do you think Linux for the Steam Deck was a good choice?⌗
Apart from a few professional contacts, I had never been privately involved with Linux before. Just because I always assumed that mainstream games are not possible on Linux. But Valve proved me wrong with SteamOS and Proton and the performance of the Steam Deck. Since then – as far as it is possible for me – I’m much more intensively [involved] with Linux. If only because many tutorials and optimizations require console commands. And you want to know what you are telling your audience.
Meanwhile I am convinced that Linux is actually the perfect platform for PC gaming, because of its resource-saving environment compared to Windows. And I hope that the success of the Deck will always motivate game developers to release more native Linux implementations or optimize [more] towards Proton.
Anything else that you want to share with us?⌗
Absolutely! I would like to thank my community, both on YouTube and on my Discord server, for the support and the generally friendly tone, which is not a matter of course in the Internet age. Also I was positively surprised and touched how many people support me financially via Patreon and the YouTube channel membership. Every cent currently flows into the channel. Be it games, video software or other “studio” equipment.
Furthermore, I would like to thank Michael, aka xylappen, and his YouTube channel for the great exchange of experiences that we make monthly in our joint (video) podcast. I would also like to thank Timo from the YouTube channel The Deckverse. Due to his media experience he could support me in many points or share his knowledge and experience.
But I also want to thank you and your website for the great articles and the nice contact and support. I’m just looking forward to accompany the Steam Deck on its further journey with all of you. It will be an awesome time and a wild and fun trip :-D !
Steam Deck Checker is on the following platforms: