Lets talk about Forge

UntitledI have never been a huge video game streamer, but I do enjoy streaming from time to time. Unlike a lot of people I watch, I don’t enjoy voicing when I stream (usually, there are of course exceptions). I like to watch other people play games that I’m not currently playing, and it’s just a neat thing to have in the background. Especially if they’re doing something that I don’t typically ‘do’ like raiding, or FPS games. With that being said, I find most streamers who voice, annoying. I’m not interested in their colourful language, low cut tops, or anything specific about a random streamer. I do of course enjoy the commentary from people that I know, but when it comes to strangers I’m pretty specific. I know, that’s pretty harsh judgement, but that’s what I look for when I’m watching someone else play a game. I realize that my opinions are not the most popular out there and that’s alright.

Anyway. The issue I have with most streaming methods is that they require so much ‘stuff’ to be running, typically resource hungry, and always frustrating to set up. There’s twitch, where you need a 3rd party program such as xsplit in order to stream, then there’s hitbox, there’s the steam streaming application which is pretty simple but people on steam have to request to view your stream and it’s not easily accessible to the public, and there’s a handful of other video game streaming options out there.

A bunch of friends of mine started talking about Forge some time ago but to be honest I was getting tired of the work involved with streaming and I sort of tuned them out. Finally on a whim I decided to take a closer look at it – and instantly fell in love. It’s exactly what I was looking for in a video game streaming program – as well as exactly what I wanted to use while watching videos.

The entire program is sleek, simple, and clean. There’s sound from your game but most microphones won’t work – and honestly that suits me just fine. It doesn’t require a lot of PC resources to run, there’s no distracting UI or chat interface, and even though it’s still in early access at the moment and is invite only, they have a great selection of games already available for broadcasting.

I love that I don’t have to do anything in order to broadcast except start Forge. It collects snapshots and allows you to post short (30 second) clips about your game play session, and it’s mostly to watch ‘live’. It tweets out when your broadcast starts a few minutes in so that if there are issues with you disconnecting you’re not spamming your twitter followers. Have I mentioned how much I love the UI? Let me say that a few more times. It’s probably the number one feature that I adore. After two days any videos you have are purged, leaving behind the 30 second clips, screenshots, and montages. You can find my profile here, if you’re looking to follow – if you’re looking for an invite, let me know and I can send you one (need to know your email address).

I know I’m a bit biased as one of my friends is working on their community team, but honestly after so much frustration with trying to get other streaming processes to work, this one is just a real pleasure. Highly recommended.

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5 Comments

  1. stargrace

    When I’m playing a game and am very involved in it, especially an RPG or visual novel type game it is incredibly distracting to be making commentary. I still prefer to just listen to the game and involve myself in the game.

  2. I agree that the gaming streamer as reality show personality isn’t very appealing. A popular streamer interacting with their audience is not at all interesting. However, there are a lot of reasons to want audio from the streamer. If they are good at making commentary about their intentions on what they’re doing, it enhances the experience and helps the viewers become more engaged in what is going on. I also think in character dialogue with the environment will make quality entertainment as the dynamic/environmental MMOs start to come out. As the games become more like virtual realities, watching the interesting character interact with and play a role in a shared world that responds back will be some of the best entertainment available.

  3. pasmith

    I want a vote!

    I also do not want to chat while I’m playing. I’m playing a game dammit! LeaveMeLone!

  4. stargrace

    And see that’s one of the things I like most, that hard wall. Because honestly I’m just not interested in communication, I just want to play, or watch someone else play. lol.

  5. I sorta-kinda like the general idea of Forge. And I discovered yesterday they’re the guys behind WeGame which I used to promote quite a bit over those other capture software like Fraps.
    I don’t like that, right now anyway, there is absolutely no way to interact. I was watching Werit play STO the other day and he had questions. I couldn’t answer them via Forge so I had to answer them on Twitter, totally taking him out of the game to read what I was saying and respond. Rinse, repeat.

    Also with Steam Broadcasting that’s all in the options. Set yourself Public if you like and it’ll be just like Forge – start playing a Steam game and you’re broadcasting for anyone to watch. I have mine set to Friends so I don’t have to manually approve any Steam Friends who want to watch, they’re all auto-approved. Steam does not (yet? I don’t know what their plans are) save the broadcasts for editing and archival though.

    Maybe I’m a weird stream viewer? On large and popular channels, especially on Twitch, the chat just gets too chaotic. I can’t follow it and most is just stupid emoji spam so I get rid of the chat pane. “Kids these days,” “get off my lawn,” and all that. :) But on small channels or my blogger or Twitter friends, I like to be able to chat. Ask questions, give answers, or just say “hi!” I like that they can either respond in chat or voice on the stream if they felt like turning their mic on. Maybe Forge will get to that point someday, but right now it’s a turnoff for me as a viewer knowing there’s a hard wall between the caster and the audience.

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