Streaming Other Games

An stream interface I made for streaming Faster Than Light. Still in progress!
An stream interface I made for streaming Faster Than Light. Still in progress!

A few of my friends suggested trying to stream other games besides Hearthstone.

I am interested in doing that at some point, so I’ve been working on stream interfaces for the other games I play.

Right now I play League of Legends, Hearthstone, Faster Than Light (FTL), Skyrim, and Diablo 3.

The stream client I use, XSplit, only lets me have four different stream interfaces set up at a time. More interfaces are possible if I buy a subscription for their software instead of using it for free like I am now.

I haven’t played much Diablo 3 at all lately so that’s the one of the five I’ll be leaving out. A few weeks ago I began to see it more as hamster wheel than a fun way to spend my time and have quit playing since.

There are other hurdles for creating interfaces for other games as well though.

I’ve always found a stream to be way more entertaining if I can see the streamer’s face, but where does the face go?

I struggled a lot with that issue while making the FTL interface pictured above.

Initially I had the game filling the entire stream. I tried putting my face in the top right, but that blocked enemy ships.

I tried putting my face in the bottom right, but that also blocked enemy ships.

Bottom left blocks my ship’s power use. Top left blocks my ship’s health and crew.

Middle left worked okay, but I ran into a size issue there.

My face was either too small to matter, or it was blocking the back part of my ship.

I ended up scrapping the idea of having the game fill the entire frame of the stream video.

I wouldn’t call the picture above a final product, but it was the best way to include the game as well as my face.

There’s other stuff to add as well.

In my Hearthstone interface I added the URL address of my blog at WordPress to try and get crosstraffic. I’d like to do that for FTL as well.

I’d like a logo of some kind for FTL too, like the Hearthsteed pack logo I made for Hearthstone.

Eventually I want to add in a donation, subscriber, and follower trackers, but I’d like to establish myself more before going on to that part of the interface design.

I’m committed to keeping the interface art grounded in the game I’m streaming though.

Using edited screen captures from the game has worked for me on that, so I’ll keep doing that in the future whenever possible.

That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Thoughts on Hearthstone Streaming

An image taken from one of the streamer's I like, AppleJacked.
An image taken from one of the streamer’s I like, AppleJacked.

I did my first stream on Friday and it went pretty well.

I’d expected to get 4 or 5 viewers, but I got 9 at the peek of interest in the stream.

I’m not sure how well I did on other aspects of it though besides popularity.

Was I talking too much or not enough? Should I have been playing music? Should I have had more interaction with the people watching the stream?

I feel like interaction is the way to go.

Part of the reason I didn’t do much interaction was because I had the game in full screen mod so I had to alt-tab out just to look at the stream comments.

Next time I think I’ll keep the Hearthstone game in a small windowed mode and have the stream chat open in a browser window to look at.

Then I can see what people are posting as it happens and reply as soon as I can.

I was frustrated by the stream delay, but that happens to every streamer I think.

The stream is about 10 or 20 seconds behind what I’m actually doing because it has to go out to the Twitch server and then from there to your computers. This means that when I respond to comments it will be 10 or 20 seconds behind if I respond by talking.

I could respond by typing in the chat, but I haven’t seen any streamers do that. I can only assume that no one does that because it isn’t popular with the people watching. They want to see you talk to them, not type to them.

It’s also important for me to enjoy streaming. Right now I’m just doing it for myself. If it’s not fun, I should stop.

I won’t lie, it was more stressful than just playing Hearthstone on my own.

I tried to keep talking constantly about what I was doing and that was tiresome.

The next day I felt like I didn’t want to do anymore streaming at all.

But now that I’m a bit removed from the tiring aspect of it, I think I liked doing it a lot.

So I’d expect more Hearthstone streams in the future. Maybe League of Legends, Faster Than Light, and Skyrim as well once I figure out a good stream look for those games.

Oh, and AppleJacked is a cool streamer in the picture above. If you like interaction between the streamer and the audience then he’s your guy.

He plays songs, shows off his muscles, and says his to new people. Really cool guy.

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed