Streaming? STREAMING!

I’ve never been what I would consider a ‘streamer’ even though I’ve done a handful of streams off and on over the years. I did some videos of Vanguard before they shut it down, a few of the Sims and other odds and ends. Of course now that my time is even more limited I decided that now is when I wanted to dive head first into it. Figures.

I’ve got about an hour an evening of ‘free’ time at the moment that’s pretty much guaranteed unless something drastic happens like my son of 8 months decides he’s just not sleeping (it’ll probably happen). I decided that I’d like to stream from 7-8pm PDT Tuesday to Friday. Last night (Friday) was my first attempt.

I’ve got a twitch account but I also have a Mixer account, and I’ve been having a pretty strong debate with myself over which I want to use as my streaming platform. Twitch is well established, but lacks some of the nice new shinies that Mixer has, including co-streaming, easily accessible teams, FTL interaction with your audience, and a really neat layout just to name a few. I feel that Twitch has gone without any real competition for so long that they’ve stopped providing an innovative product and instead seem to be focusing on what makes them more money (new partnership stuff, etc). Still, there’s something to be said for an established product. For a while I was using Forge and I absolutely loved it, but they removed the streaming aspect, so that idea flopped.

Twitch doesn’t allow me (as a Canadian) to set up donations through them, and I don’t have nearly enough of a following on either Twitch or Mixer to apply for partnership so that’s out of the question. There’s a few pieces of gear I’d like to save up for, including a green screen, a video capture card, and a computer chair. Donations would help a long way, but again these will probably be things that I just save up for and pick up myself. I’ve set up a StreamJar account, the overlays are pretty neat and at least I can do donations through there too.

I’ve been looking at channel bots to use for moderation, and while Twitch has a lot of options Mixer has only a handful right now. StreamJar works but is not a channel bot and doesn’t handle any moderation options, while Scottybot sort of works – I experienced a lot of issues with features not working (auto tweeting, and follower alerts where you can attach a sound / image to a follower wasn’t working for me). Either way, there’s a ton of things to look into and set up before I’ll really feel that I’m up and running. Last night was my very first “official” stream, and I did it on Mixer, where I had a pretty great time playing RimWorld and interacting with a friend as I streamed.

I think streaming is great interaction for those of us who may be very shy in real life. It teaches me not to be so afraid, and gets me to branch out a little from my comfort zone. I know it seems like everyone and their dog takes to streaming eventually, but it’s a lot like blogging. I know with persistence it can pay off, and hopefully others will enjoy my streams too. For now I’m just doing it for me – just like with my blogging. Even if zero people read / respond / interact it’s still a method of venting and being creative.

Once my son is sleeping through the night I may be able to expand past the 1h stream, but for now I’ll be holding steady at the Tuesday-Friday schedule 7pm-8pm PDT. If you want to check out when I’m streaming next be sure to follow me on twitter (I’m @stargrace as always) or if you have any questions or comments feel free to post below!

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

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