Thoughts on Streaming

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Streaming is something I have dabbled in here and there, but haven’t really invested any major time into. Over the past six months or so I have been doing a lot of game streaming in a private Discord server with friends. Over this time I have thought more seriously about streaming to an online audience and trying to figure out how I would like to do those streams.

I have a few hurdles I need to overcome before I can seriously consider streaming on a regular basis. They essentially boil down to:

  • Work Schedule
  • Technological Limitations
  • Stream Assets

Work Schedule

Back in August I started a new job. Unlike my previous job, this new one has some hard time commitments due to the in-office nature of the position. Three of my five days each week are spent at the office while two of those days are “work from home” days where I have a bit more flexibility. As a result, my schedule is very rigid during two days of the week where the following day I need to be at the office.

The drive to and from the office is around 45 minutes each way, essentially taking up another 2 hours of my time. This leaves a small amount of time in the evenings where I can do anything, and that usually gets taken up with taking care of my essentials. However, that does leave some time during the week for me to do some streaming.

Technological Limitations

I have a few technological limitations that are going to cause some problems when it comes to streaming, some of which I have actually made progress in resolving. Our Internet connection should definitely have more bandwidth than needed to stream in 1080p with low latency, but our connection has a tendency to disconnect once or twice a day for a few minutes at a time. Not sure if that will ever be resolved.

However, we are also in the process of getting another ISP entirely. By the end of spring we should have fiber set up at the house, making it significantly easier to stream and to have consistent access to bandwidth.

Some of the games I am planning to stream are mobile games (rhythm games in particular) which would require another hardware investment. While I can get a decent stream going through Vysor, I want to eventually be able to get a high quality stream going from an Android device. While I do have an adapter that would convert USB-C to HDMI, none of the devices I own can actually use it. As a result, I am most likely going to need to purchase a brand new device for high quality streams from a mobile device.

One alternative would be to stream directly from the device rather than through my computer, but such a setup would most likely result in a worse overall production.

Finally, I need to figure out a better way to manage audio for the streams. Given the sheer number of inputs I am trying to tie together, I need better hardware to be able to do that. Streaming games from Steam and other PC libraries is easy enough, but when I am trying to tie together audio from a capture card, Discord, and other sources, it becomes difficult to do so. If I need to switch games in the middle of a stream and the source is a completely different one altogether, this can require me making physical changes to the set up to get it working correctly which is less than ideal.

I’ll be investigating ways to improve this over the coming weeks. While my funds are locked down for at least the next week, I’ll be able to look into making more infrastructural investments in my streaming set up. Particularly, I am considering a stream deck and a new sound mixer that will work with all of my inputs.

Stream Assets

One thing my streams would be quite lacking would be assets. I don’t really have a “brand” or any sort of artwork to include on the stream. It would be incredibly bare bones. While I can use something like Streamlabs OBS to give me at least a starting point, I want there to be at least some level of customization on my overlays. I would need to find and work with an artist to create a personalized overlay that fits with the type of content I will be streaming.

While I have found someone that might be able to create something for the stream, they are not the most responsive person in the world due to their real life obligations. I am going to look for a new artist that would have the bandwidth to be able to work with me on new assets for the stream. I am probably going to start on this next week (week of November 15th) since it’ll make more financial sense to do it then.

Stream Content

At the end of the day I need to make sure I am streaming something that would be entertaining to those watching, but would also be entertaining for myself. I’ll be streaming a mixture of rhythm games, ARPGs (Path of Exile, Diablo II, etc.), and puzzle games. On top of that I’ll probably play a random game here and there based on whatever strikes my fancy. Games like Inscryption are perfect for that when they show up on my radar.

For now, I will probably just stream without a schedule until I am able to confidently nail things down. Once I am able to do that, I will be sure to update social media and the Discord with an actual schedule.

About the author

Aesthemic

Puzzle and rhythm gamer. Currently addicted to Puyo Puyo.

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