Feb 05

My Introduction to Video Game Streaming

I am someone who consistently loves trying something new.  This has lent to me having a lot of hobbies, such as video games, writing, and photo manipulation.  Overall, I would say I’m a very creative person with a passion for delving into games.  I believe there have been times in my life where I wished I could make some sort of living from video games.  I remember a period of time where I thought about seeking employment as a game tester, but nothing ever came of it.  Nor did I have success in pursuing a degree in software engineering; that never panned out because a full-time job took priority over college courses.

About half a year ago, I started viewing videos on YouTube from a vlogger called Tipster.  He is someone I gradually found I had much in common with and I started looking forward to whatever new videos he’d post.  After several months, I started checking out live broadcasts (or streams) of his on a site called Twitch.  Over time, more channels got added to my watch-list – among them Katastrophe, Stando, and YeskaYuggz, Tipster’s sister.

The more time I spent viewing streams, the more it felt like something I wanted to try for myself.  This feeling was compounded when I viewed a YouTube video from Tipster on what it took to be a successful streamer.  Providing a good commentary, engaging with your audience in the chat room, and just being yourself and having fun are key components to building a thriving Twitch channel.

The start of 2018 felt like a good time to try something new.  After researching what I’d need to begin streaming, I bought a set of headphones with a mic attachment.  On January 9th, I broadcast my very first video game – Dead in Bermuda – from a Surface Book.  The basic premise of the game is to keep the eight survivors of a plane crash alive until they can be rescued from the tropical island – not necessarily Bermuda – they’re stranded on.  I had attempted multiple times to get through the game, but all of my playthroughs ended with two or more characters starving to death.  The longest I lasted was around 29 days.

I started streaming Dead in Bermuda with the intent to survive for 50 days if possible.  I don’t know if it’s because I was taking my time and thinking things through more, but I surprised myself by actually making some good headway this time.  I started feeling more confident that I would make it through the entire game with all eight characters.  This belief changed when one of the survivors – Illyana — died of illness on Day 47.   The next night, her father, Yuri, succumbed to depression over losing her.  Despite this setback, I ended my stream at the 50-day mark with the resolve to try to make it through the rest of the game with the remaining six characters.  It might be difficult since Illyana and Yuri were the most skilled at researching and scavenging, but I aim to do my best.

On the flip side, my forays into streaming were just as much of a learning experience.  When I reviewed the first couple videos I recorded, I discovered that the mic on the headphone wasn’t the best.  In addition to picking up my voice really well, it also recorded every breath I took.  I hate to use the term ‘mouth-breather’, but that is pretty much what it sounded like.

Prior to my final recording of Dead in Bermuda, I decided to invest in a webcam.  I believed it might be good to have an alternate mic recording my commentary as well as have a visual of me reacting to the game.  The one downside to this is that the volume of the game was too high.  As I found out when I reviewed the recorded video afterward, the sound effects and music of Dead in Bermuda were so loud that it was drowning out my commentary at times.

Since I failed to gain much of an audience with Dead in Bermuda, I decided to switch to a more popular game on January 12.  The one I picked this time was Party Hard, a satirical little game where the objective is to slaughter the participants of a given party without getting killed or arrested.  Prior to starting my stream, I tweaked the game’s volume and moved the webcam video to a different corner of the screen so it wouldn’t obscure what I was doing within the game.  I was much more animated in my commentary with Party Hard than I was with Dead in Bermuda.  I felt more confident that I would start building an audience to my budding channel.

Unfortunately, I found out after I’d recorded 90 minutes of gameplay that I’d hit another snag.  For whatever reason, the mic failed to record my voice at all for the entire broadcast!

While I haven’t yet recorded any further streams as of January 17, it is something I do plan to continue.  I have been spending my time researching to avoid any further hiccups.  I have also been brainstorming on ways to make my channel unique and entertaining enough that viewers will want to keep tuning in.  And I have ideas geared toward putting together a background for the webcam that will better showcase my interests, such as reading and photo manipulation.

The bottom line is that streaming is something that I greatly enjoy so far.  I could easily see myself doing this long term, even if I don’t gain much of a following from it.  I’m glad to have some means of sharing my love of video games with like-minded individuals.  And if I can entertain an audience while I’m at it, then all the better.  It will mean I’ve finally found the perfect niche for myself.

For any readers who are interested in giving my channel a chance to see what I’m all about, be sure to tune in for the streams of Sahara4877 at https://www.twitch.tv/sahara4877.

Tags: Twitch, video games, streaming, Tipster, Dead in Bermuda, Party Hard, games

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