During a recent Tetris 99 stream, we had a spirited discussion about how to improve as a streamer on Twitch. There was enough interesting conversation from that stream that I felt it was best to break out those clips into a separate post!
On June 9th, Steff and I will going on a trip to Europe! We’ll be enjoying the sights and sounds of London and Paris for a few weeks. Can’t wait to take a vacation!
That said, I can’t leave you alone! Tons of stuff scheduled to make it feel like I’m not gone at all!
- The website will still have new content going up every day while I’m gone. Two major features will be rolling out: Arcade Week and GameCube Week!
- As awesome as it would be to live stream from Europe, that’s not happening. Instead, I’ll be scheduling in a number of Twitch Premieres. The schedule is as follows:
- June 10th, 7pm EST – LOST TAPES: The Show That Became Boss Rush
- June 12th, 7pm EST – LOST TAPES: NES Classic Mix Featuring Castlevania I and II, Double Dragon II, and Ninja Gaiden!
- June 14th, 7pm EST – In Third Person Comic Book Show Marathon
- June 18th, 7pm EST – Board Game Talk Marathon
- June 20th, 7pm EST – Boss Rush: All Game Show Marathon
- Social media updates will be…sporadic. I’ll be taking lots of pictures while I’m out there, and I should have regular access to wifi from our accommodations. If I do post, it will probably be light on gaming-related stuff and more heavy on tourism. But hey, I’m no stranger to deviating from my core content strategy in order to indulge in my other personal interests.
Wishing you all the best while I’m out! We’ll catch up when I get back on the 24th!
There are real advantages to only streaming one video game. Doing so makes it easier for you to attract and maintain an audience that loves that game. Ninja’s fans love him as a skilled player and as an on-screen personality, but they also love Fortnite and can count on him streaming it daily. As much as I would love his money and at least some of his fame, I struggle to wrap my head around how and other single-game streamers keep their sanity playing only one game for that long.
Being a variety streamer can help you stay sane. Streaming games as they move in and out of my life is a more natural way for me to play games and the approach I’ve planned on taking from the start. However, I lose the stability that comes with streaming only one game. I even see this phenomenon with my own small stream, where certain viewers only tune in for Overwatch and others only drop by for Paper Mario. Can’t blame people for wanting to watch games they like, versus sticking with me regardless of what game I’m playing.
In spite of my vow to not get monogamous with any one game, the thought of getting steady with Tetris 99 heats up every time I stream that game.
Before every episode of Boss Rush, I ask everyone on the show what they’ve been playing. From there, I gather B-roll footage of every game we’re talking about so that we have that visual companion to our discussion. As I was putting together the latest episode of the show, it dawned on me that I haven’t been playing much at all of late.
I love my original Elgato Stream Deck. It may just look like a set of buttons, but being able to program each one with a growing set of functions has streamlined my experience so much. From being able to quickly trigger the airhorn sound that starts every stream, to switching between overlays, to running elaborate game shows on Boss Rush, I can easily perform all of these functions and more without breaking the flow of the show.
If I had one wish, it would be for the Stream Deck to have more buttons. While you do get the option of adding folders to the mix, my default setup uses more than the 15 buttons available. In particular, Boss Rush can require upwards of 60 (!) buttons, making it a hassle at times to fish between folders for certain functions.
Elgato heard me. The new Stream Deck XL is out now, with a whopping 32 buttons. It’s not quite 60, but it’s more than what you’d get from running up two regular Stream Decks at once.
Back when I was doing videos on Facebook, I dabbled with its captioning tools. Everyone benefits from having captioning in place, whether you’re hearing impaired or want to follow along but have to keep the sound down. Facebook even gives you the option of generating captions for you.
Unfortunately, it’s a feature I dropped pretty quickly. Using Facebook’s captions served as a great starting point, but the process of meticulously adding in the captions word-by-word was incredibly time-consuming. A five-minute video could easily take 45 minutes to write captions for, even with the auto-generated captions as a starting point. With so many other things on the go, it was too much of a burden for me to carry.
Ever since, captioning in any form has been something I’ve wanted to roll back into my video offerings. As I’ve gotten more comfortable as a streamer, I’ve come to realize that my ability to communicate with viewers is the single-most valuable thing I have to offer. Having captions on everything I do would better showcase what I do best for everyone.
I may have stumbled on an answer.
As a kid, I had this vision for what my dream gaming setup would look like. On one end, a large screen with all of my gaming consoles hooked up to it. On the other end, a nice comfy couch for me and my friends to sit on and enjoy the action. Lined along the walls would be all of my games and gaming memorabilia. Even as an adult, I had it in my mind that I would work towards creating a setup like that someday.
These days, my wife and I are pretty settled into our house. I have the basement as a space to create this gaming den of my dreams. Money is still an issue, but that’s not what’s ultimately stopping me from assembling some version of that dream setup.
A few months back, I streamed Tetris Effect for a few nights. At launch, the game seemingly had a lot of buzz. Critics raved about it. The game has incredible music and gorgeous visuals. And not to toot my own horn too much, but I’m pretty good at Tetris too, completing expert mode without losing once. All of those things made me think that this was going to be a great game for me to stream in terms of pulling in an audience.
While I had a blast playing the game, it bombed hard in terms of viewership. When I look back at the timing, it’s unfortunately part of the reason why I didn’t hit Twitch Affiliate late last year when I was right on the brink. Some of that blame could be my own performance and lack of promotion, but I think it’s much bigger than that. At the time, there were about five streamers broadcasting for an audience of under 20 viewers. As I type this, there is one streamer playing the game and zero people watching.
Tetris Effect might be an amazing game, but it’s a terrible streaming game if your goal as a streamer is to draw in an audience. Streaming adds an extra variable to the game selection process that can feel scummy, but it’s something you have to reconcile every time you play with the camera on.
As part of my streaming initiatives, I’ve been trying some Let’s Plays, where I stream the game in its entirety. We started small with Celeste, which took about two weeks. Right now we’re in the midst of a Paper Mario Let’s Play that feels like it’s been going on forever.