Category: Twitch

A Tentative Stream Schedule

I’ve been testing out whether or not I can realistically stream on a schedule if my kid is around and underfoot. Lets face it, life happens. We’re busy people and there’s stuff going on. If I stream while he’s asleep I would have to run to and from the bedroom with many AFK breaks during the stream, not ideal. He’s not a great sleeper. Of course with him under foot and awake that presents itself with a whole new round of situations, like the fact that he typically wants to be up at my desk with me so he can see what’s going on and grab various things (microphone). I’m still currently trying to raise money for a computer chair because it’s not fun to game on a giant yoga ball and it’s awkward to hold my kid up on that, too. If you want to donate, you can do so from this link here. I appreciate it more than I can express. I’m trying to get an actual gaming chair rather than just a computer chair that falls apart after a few years. I want this one to last me.

Since my husband is still away for a few more months and it’s just me and the little guy it’s important to carve out some ‘me’ time, and that is increasingly hard to do. Streaming is something I enjoy, and I want to make time for it so this is my weak attempt. It hasn’t been going poorly, but it is an interesting situation that is pretty fluid and changes from day to day.

I’ve stuck to playing RimWorld because it’s a game I know and a game that’s easy to walk away from should I happen to need to go grab a snack for the little one or free him from some sort of trouble (he’s into everything these days). I tend to stream for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and I don’t typically go over the 1 hour mark since real life doesn’t exactly grant me blocks of time any larger. It’s a good balance really, not too long or too short – the problem is it doesn’t give people a lot of time to stumble into my stream randomly and start watching. If you want to watch, you’re better off having some sort of schedule. Turning on notifications from twitch helps, too.

For now my tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Mon-Tue: 2:30-3:30pm PDT
  • Thur-Fri: 2:30-3:30pm PDT

I may have to start a bit later on some days but I won’t typically start any earlier. This is a block of time that’s after the naps, after a snack, and seems to work well. This week is the first week that I’ve stuck to the schedule, and I’m enjoying my adventures in RimWorld. If you happen to miss a stream don’t forget you can watch the highlights on my twitch page, or you can catch them later on in the day on YouTube.

You’ll hear my son getting into things and being a butt on stream – but as a friend says, it gives the stream flavour. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

A Stream Scheduling Change (Life Happens)

I had intended to stream Black Desert Online last night at 7pm PDT but that didn’t happen.

I wasn’t feeling the game, my mood was a bit bleh, and instead I hopped into Gwent: The Witcher Cardgame. Things were moving along at a pretty nice pace, I was 13 minutes into my stream (yes, I remember the exact minute) and I was doing a multiplayer game against a random person (my apologies, whoever you were, but at least you won).

My little guy doesn’t sleep through the night quite yet, and last night was a rough one for him so at the 13 minute mark I had to suddenly sign off and go take care of him. He was screaming and crying and wouldn’t calm down which I hear is pretty normal for 8 month old babies. Truth of the matter is I may just not be able to stream until he’s a bit older or at least sleeping through the night.

In a test, I’m moving my Tuesday to Friday streams up half an hour, from 7:30-8:30 PDT instead of from 7-8. I’m hoping this gives my little guy more time to fall soundly asleep, leaving me with at least an hour to stream. I don’t know if this will work, I may be too tired, he may still wake up, a number of other factors come into play. I REALLY want to stream. Right now I feel like my days are 99% baby filled (which they are) and the small 1% I’m entitled to helps me keep my sanity. Unfortunately it also comes down to the fact that I need sleep. A lot of sleep. I’m a nursing first time mother and sleep is incredibly important. When he starts sleeping through the night hopefully I’ll also be able to sleep more soundly and I may have more time to stream then. I need to find the balance that lets me take good care of my family, and also allow myself that 1% of sanity. I am still a human being, after all.

So! Tonight should be guild wars 2. 7:30 PDT. We’ll see how that goes. Please tune in, give my channel a follow, and stick around if you enjoy things.

A Lot of Preparation!

It has been really great to get back to a little bit of gaming but what I have been really excited about is streaming those games and interacting with the audience while doing so. Over the weekend I spent some time trying to look into what I wanted my Twitch channel to do for me, checking out bots, pondering layouts, looking into StreamJar for donations and the like.

I made a huge list of things I want to fix / change / set up.

I think I’ve settled on using Anhkbot for my chat channel, and StreamJar for donations and a few layouts. There are other layouts I’d love to add eventually but I’m trying to go slow so I don’t get overwhelmed. I’m learning the ins and outs of Anhkbot – there’s a 50+ paged document outlining how to set everything up. It’s going to take me a while, to say the least.

With setting it up I also had to create a bot account so they can sit in my channel and monitor it. I know some bots don’t need you to create a completely new account but this way I control what the name of the bot is, which I like. I also want to set up various commands, and maybe one day I’ll get into the more detailed aspects of things like awarding currency to people who are watching in stream that they can spend on virtual things like song requests.

Since my stream is so small for now and only four days a week for an hour, I’m not too concerned. I really want to get myself comfortable and back onto a schedule more than anything else.

The details, as it were, will come as they come.

Have any advice, tips, tricks, or suggestions for me as I hash it out as a part-time streamer? Let me know in comments and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

 

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!

Appreciating Streamers

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Now that I’m a first time parent with a tiny little one who seems to do nothing but eat – I REALLY appreciate streamers. I tend to watch people who stream on twitch because my Roku has a plugin for that which makes it easy to watch on my TV while I’m nursing. I’ve also got a handy laptop that allows me to watch streams on Beam and Forge (though Forge announced today that they’ll no longer be supporting streaming, which sucks).

I know streaming isn’t easy. Making conversation, deciding whether or not to be on cam, ignoring the (numerous) trolls, none of it comes naturally, but it does come with practice. If you happen to know of an interesting streamer, be sure to leave a comment so I can follow them (and make sure to tell me what platform they use to stream).

I’m glad that there’s competition between streaming platforms, but I wish there were an easier way of watching them all on my TV with the Roku.

In the early mornings (we’re talking 4am PST) I tend to watch a WoW streamer (or two). Later in the day I watch a Minecraft streamer. I follow streamers for games that I’m particularly interested in or streamers whose personality I resonate with. Having good equipment also helps, I really dislike drastic volume changes within a stream, and obnoxious sound effects just get in the way.

I’m hoping once my little guy is sleeping for longer periods that I might be able to fit in a stream here and there myself. For now I’m just doing a lot of watching and hosting on my own channel.

Do you enjoy watching gaming streams? What are your favourite ones to watch? Let me know in comments!

How Gaming Influences

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One thing I’ve been really fascinated with is the transition of Twitch (and other streaming platforms). Back when I first “knew” twitch, it was called Justin.TV and it was used to stream (mostly) TV shows (like sports that were blocked out on TV unless you paid for the package, etc). It has evolved quite a few times since then, becoming one of the more popular video game streaming platforms. It has since evolved even further, adding new and unique categories to streaming – categories that I wouldn’t necessarily even consider to be something someone would stream let alone watch. Turns out people enjoy watching the non-mainstream just as much.

There are people of all ages streaming all sorts of creative endeavors and it (quite frankly) blows my mind. No longer are crochet, knitting, and cross stitch a hobby that just older generations are partaking in. People streaming engage with their audience in various ways, encouraging others to pick up the craft and motivating everyone. Of course having a nice set up certainly helps, a way to automate things like thanking your followers and acknowledging donations. The fancier you can get with your set up the more hands-on your crafting can be and the less time you’ll spend trying to hook (see what I did there) viewers.

Personally, I love this new move. I enjoy watching video game streams but I enjoy watching crafty streams even more. I admire the talent these people have, and if you can find someone who has both the talent and the online charisma to make their channel into something special, well, then you’re set.

Have you found some of these fantastic creative streamers in your travels? Want to give them a shout out? Be sure to drop a link down in comments.

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