Discussion: Lets talk about Live Video

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
April 10th, 2014 6:29 pm

Streamers! Lets have a chat.

So we’ve got a cool Twitch widget in the sidebar. Well, I think it’s cool. Me, I like to flip through the various broadcasts streaming during our main events. It’s kind-of like I’m spying on you, but it’s okay, we’re cool right? 😉

One of the main criticisms of the Widget is that it really only shows the most popular streamers. During main events, this can be especially frustrating when there are hundreds of fellow participants streaming. During the off season it’s less of a problem. One suggestion I seem to get often is having random streams in the widget, which would help, but at the same time I think there’s merit in knowing who’s popular too. The solution is probably some combination of both, but at the moment I’m unaware of a way to get random streams from Twitch. If you have any other suggestions, feel free.

And on a related note, is anyone broadcasting on a schedule? Are you good at keeping that schedule? Share any other insight in to ‘being scheduled’. Would a shared TV Guide be of any use to anyone (broadcasters, viewers)? Are we missing good streams due to a lack of a good directory?

I’ll admit, I’m really kind of fascinated by this video stuff. When I’m not working on games, I’ll often find myself watching a stream (long live NASL), or big tournaments (can’t wait for Evo). What we do (making games) is very niche, and probably not the most exciting thing to watch either. But I don’t really care about that fact. I like it. I like what everyone is doing. I want to do more of it too.

So lets spitball. What do you like? What sucks? What would be awesome?

Talk about your streaming habits, as a broadcaster or a viewer. Is it a once in a blue moon thing for you? Do you mix it up with some gaming? Maybe you think it’s dumb? I can’t do everything, but I still want to hear it.

I don’t know where else to ask this. I don’t know any other community of gamedev streamers.

15 Responses to “Discussion: Lets talk about Live Video”

  1. madjackmcmad says:

    I started streaming development during my Kickstarter, and I learned that I really enjoy it. Helps keep me focused and it’s always nice to have people asking questions during the session. I livestreamed lots of my last LD48 and plan to do so this time as well. During regular development, I’ll usually stream once a week for 2-4 hours while coding, optimally during a time when a cool feature is going in.

    Make sure to have music lined up first, an important part of any stream.

  2. Tim Bumpus says:

    To start with: I love navigating the site as you’re changing things and watching it unfold. =) I’m not sure I like the new comment section look, but hey, if it works for you. Those footer links are hard to read at the current moment.

    Well, I don’t know any of the technical stuff involved here, so I can’t help you with that, but I think the ideal system would be a highest-viewer ranked system with an especially prominent “tune into random stream” button. I loved getting random viewers on my Twitch stream last time, but I had to put out a lot of tweets for that to happen.

    (I’ll be completely honest with you, I’d love more viewers. =p I’ve thought of advertising it as a “young indie gamedev super-show” and then just inviting tons of people I know as guest voices, but meh. Work.)

    Here’s an idea: An “official” Ludum Dare stream that somehow streams a constantly-moderated selection of streams at once, offering commentary on different things going on. Would require someone in the community with an INSANE amount of dedication, but it would be epic. I would totally do it myself, actually, if I (a) had the technology and (b) weren’t participating in the event myself.

    Maybe someone from a big indie-game press site could do it… They’d have the time and dedication. And money.

    • PoV says:

      There was actually a bug in the PHP page before. I never noticed until I added the top navigation to the layout. Now it’s fixed, and seems weird if you remember before. ;). I’ve kinda got used to it, but I’ll keep listening if it bothers people.

      I like the “stream surfer” stream idea. Commentating the commentators could be a can of worms, but the right person could make it fun.

  3. vinull says:

    I stream development, let’s plays, and podcasts – never to a big audience though. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with not streaming on a schedule, or more than once every few weeks. If you want the views you gotta put in the effort, which is why I don’t mind if the popular streamers get featured – they worked for it. There is a twitch page for active Ludum Dare streamers so I have no trouble finding everyone when I look.

    During the event I like when taking a break to watch a few moments of a random stream (and at this point I’m streaming me watching a stream and eating). It is like spying, but I also see what tools others use, how they use them, and I’ve even suggested tools in a chat when a developer was struggling. I will say it’s easy to forget your streaming but please try to remember not to pick your nose on camera. I’ve seen that way too many times, so please make a post it note and put it on your monitor.

    I don’t know if a guide would help. As I’ve said there is a page on Twitch for all the active “playing Ludum Dare” and I don’t know if I’d look at a guide and plan to catch a stream. It’s mostly when I want put something on, and then I just hit the who’s live page and go from there. Maybe a directory though? When I come across an entry I like I often check out their profile and if there was a link to their channel I’d probably check it out (look at some past broadcasts and maybe follow the channel).

  4. Super Hamster says:

    How about a page where you could see like a 5 by 20 (whatever to fix the max on a single page) at a time with like a preview image and name of each streamer? This way we could see more than 4 at a time with only the name and number of viewers.

  5. IAmSpencer says:

    I stream a lot of game development, pixel art, and general programming-stuff, taking breaks for eating, watching shows or playing some user submitted games. When I get a good number of viewers it gets really fun, I love interacting with them and just showing off whatever I’m doing at the time. However, Twitch doesn’t play too nice with my internet, so I don’t stream as often as I’d like to.

    During LudumDare, I always have some streamers video open on my second monitor while I program, I guess it sort of gives me motivation to finish whatever I’m working on.

    I don’t like the Twitch widget you have no, in my opinion it is too small, doesn’t show streamers with enough ‘grace’ and overall just seems a little broken, I suppose. Adding multiple ways of organizing the list, making it slightly bigger, and showing the stream title would improve it by a lot.

  6. BNeutral says:

    The thing about popularity is that it brings more popularity. I remember last LD the artist I jam with would start streaming early in the morning when nobody else was around, and he would rank to a hundred or two hundred viewers later as his stream would appear on the widged, while if he started later it was hard to get many people looking. So some sort of randomization or such may be nice. Also more sorting options would be nice (streams focused on art/coding/music/any/etc) for people with different tastes.

  7. ekun says:

    I streamed for the first time last LD. It was pretty cool, I reached >100 viewers at one point. It’s definitely a once in a blue moon kind of thing for me, as I’d never streamed before or after then.

    I think the Twitch widget is OK, but I feel like it should show more than ~3 streams at once. Maybe packing the widget’s contents such that it’s a text-only list of streamers? This would allow you to see a much larger number of streamers at the cost of not getting the image preview. The stream title is usually enough information for me anyways. I can’t think of a better way to organize streams than by popularity. Randomizing might be a cool option, but it shouldn’t be the default.

  8. stqn says:

    For me the stream widget has always been this big ugly thing showing white noise all the time and pushing down more interesting things in the right column. So yeah, I think it’s dumb :).

    That being said, after enabling javascript for 3 or 4 web sites in NoScript, I managed to make it work. I obviously have little experience watching streams of developers but I think it’s probably a big waste of time (the only stream at the moment shows the screen of someone waiting for an answer on stackoverflow). But then maybe I’ll have another look at it during the next LD… (If I don’t have any idea for a game, as is often the case.)
    The video quality is pretty bad though.

  9. deathray says:

    I’ve never streamed because it seems like a lot of work for little to no viewers. It would be a cool thing if more people enjoyed watching game devs at work.

    How many viewers do most of you get during a 48 hour competition?

    • Tim Bumpus says:

      Meh. Three or four at once tops. =p

      I’m just in it so I have a good reason to talk to myself. And so people can talk to me in the chat every once in a while to keep things interesting.

      • sorceress says:

        I’ll just add that the well-known/popular devs usually get dozens of viewers. But the majority of devs will only see single figures.

        There’s sometimes a positive feedback effect though, where the person who has (by random chance) the most viewers, attracts even more viewers as people react to their own curiosity as they wonder what’s so great about this stream to make it so popular!

        When Notch was more active here I remembering him getting over 1000 viewers on his twitch. But I guess he’s an exception 😛

  10. Atheistzilla says:

    I wouldnt mind really streaming on a schedule. Personally, I feel like everyone is judging when you do something a certain way or something.

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