Sunday night Aspen and I finally dove into Twitch streaming for the first time. I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing and tweaking every setting I could find, but it was all useless without actually running our setup through some live paces. Sunday offered that opportunity. It might not have been fancy. We may have only streamed for an hour or so and accrued all of one viewer, but that was still plenty of time to gain some feedback on our channel. Hit the link to get our full observations from Games & Grinds first live stream on Twitch.
I am a sadist who tortures my poor laptop for fun.
Twitch requires a PC with plenty of meat on its bones in order to run properly. While certainly no slouch, my laptop isn’t exactly a beast of a rig. Our first stream pushed the limits of my hardware, particularly the i5 processor. Of course this doesn’t come as a surprise. Every competent beginner’s guide to Twitch that I read in preparation warned that we would need a powerhouse computer to get the most out of our stream and gave me reason to adjust every variable I could find in the OBS settings as if I were Frankenstein forcing life from a corpse. Still, despite its limitations my laptop managed to carry our live stream at 720p resolution without too many hiccups. Our video locked up for a second or so every now and then, but I’m chalking that up to our internet connection more than anything since the playback video showed no such issues. It won’t work in the long run, especially if I hope to stream PC games in the future, but for now it seems my laptop will get the job done while our stream gets off the ground.
I need to work on my passive gaming face.
We all have our own “game face.” That look that overcomes us when we focus on a game and lose touch with our surroundings. Every passive gaming face is unique, and the vast majority of them cast the owner in a less than favourable light. The scariest part? You never really know what type of gaming face you have until you record yourself and find out for yourself. Some take on a 1000 mile stare as their eyes glaze over and jaw slackens and hangs. Others’ faces twist and contort into a grimace of anguish as they strive for the perfect score.
An hour’s worth of recorded evidence proves my game face is more of the former than the latter. Imagine my horror when I went back to check our recorded stream only to find myself staring off at the screen, mouth agape, brow furrowed as if my screen were covered in some indecipherable hieroglyphics. I could try to play it off as me just being that “in the zone,” but let’s be real here, no amount of Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker should result in the intense look of concentration my face was putting out. Luckily Aspen avoided this fate. Her passive gaming face isn’t nearly as off putting as mine. Now I just have to hope gaming faces are learned habits and now genetic, otherwise I fear for our future children.
Wii U streamers constantly appear to be staring at their own crotch.
It’s true. While going back through our footage I not only noticed my aforementioned gaming face, but also noticed the Wii U controller’s reliance on a touchscreen can cause some awkward moments as you stare down at the screen. Not much more needs to be said about it. It likely isn’t even that big of an issue considering so few games require heavy use of the touch screen, just wanted to point it out for anyone who might happen to pop into the stream and wonder why I’m staring at my junk.
Setting up and managing a Twitch stream is incredibly satisfying.
I spent quite a bit of time, likely more than what was really necessary, setting up the premiere edition of our Twitch channel. I wanted to make sure each setting was just right for our setup and that things looked and ran as professionally as they could with what little experience I have to work with. It was time consuming, but it all came together on Sunday when we hit start for the first time and saw our new creation running. The channel is barebones, but it’s our’s. From the channel links beneath the video player to the overlay on the feed itself, I am incredibly happy with how things turned out during our first run. Of course there is more to do and learn. I still haven’t quite figured out the best chat bot setup, and there are plenty of more in-depth tricks to learn like running polls and other community perks, but for now the Games & Grinds channel is at a place where we can get things going with a running start and then build from there. My first taste at live streaming gave a satisfactory return on my time investment and that’s more than enough to get me hooked. Look for things to get better as we become more familiar with things and spend more time in front of the webcam.