My friends and I are planning on doing a big stream for charity either at the end of this year or early next year. We could really use your help.
So, as some of you know already, to get everyone up to speed:
1. I am legally blind.
2. I am a MASSIVE Ratchet and Clank fan (among other things, like Persona)
3. I cosplay
What this means in practice is that I’ve made a Ratchet and a Clank (costume and animatronic/puppet, respectively) and will soon be building Dr. Nefarious for a friend. We joked that all we would need would be to wrangle someone to be Qwark and we’d have the playable cast of the eighth Insomniac Ratchet game (clarifiying as there are a few Ratchet titles they didn’t make), All 4 One, a four player co-op title.
For those unfamiliar, we have, left to right, Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and Nefarious.
And then it hit me. We should totally Twitch stream this for charity.
I was in and out of the Newark, NJ hospital a lot when I was a kid. If you look closely at my eyes you’ll see why. Aside from albinism, my left and right eyes didn’t move in unison. I had no depth perception. You can read more about it right over here.
Anyway...as I’ve mentioned previously, video games definitely helped. And if I can play them to raise money for other kids with genetic disorders or just stuck in the hospital after a broken leg, darn straight am I going to!
Which brings us back to the original problem- how the heck do we do this thing?
The Technical Side: Actually Doing a Stream
This may have it’s own header, but its only because I’d like to feel as though I’ve done something in advance. We have a pretty good handle on how to actually Twitch stream. One of my friends who’s being roped into this was the same one I worked with to shoot this fan video for Portal 2 a while back, and does a lot of the behind the scenes work of Twitch streaming for Child’s Play for his alma mater.So we’re not concerned with finding a space to do it, the stream quality, or the video/audio/lighting situation. No, this isn’t our problem at all..it’s actually...
The Entertainment Side: Keeping it Fun and Interesting
Right now, we have myself, Nefarious, and a third person who’s going to play for Clank (and voice him) from offscreen. If we can snag someone locally who’d be willing to be Quark (preferably someone who can look and sound like him, given that we’ve gotten the other three pretty darn close) we’d be golden, but I have a friend all the way out in Kiwiland who’s willing to phone it in for us otherwise. Yeah, we’re going to play the game in costume, in character, that’s a given, but doing a 10 minute and up sketch is one thing...
The game in question is eight to ten hours long (probably faster since we’re planning on maxing out everyone’s weapons in advance and playing in Grief Mode for added hilarity, where you can push or shoot people off cliffs) , and naturally, we are going to script us doing some jokes in character. Ideas pinging around include Quark and Nefarious arguing (especially if we have our remote friend doing this, because he’d literally be phoning it in to everyone else’ infuriation), Clank’s battery dying at some point during play and everyone scrambling to figure out how to recharge him on Earth tech.. and some other ideas for stupid things to fail horribly right during the course of play.
We’re trying to find an angle to shoot the whole thing- are the characters being beamed to Earth and forced to play for charity? Are they back on Polaris trying to raise money to fix Nefarious’s destroyed space station? That’s going to affect things like our set and wether or not we’ll script the film crew themselves into the shenanigans.
But ten hours? How do streamers keep people engaged that long? I know some people hop in and out, or some people make donations contingent upon completing a task (I watched a speed run of Shadow of the Colossus and pledged $50 when a specific boss was defeated). We could do donation runs where we need to complete a level using ONLY melee and one weapon type, decided by which gets the most donations by a certain type, or something similar.
In short, if we really did this, what suggestions do you have for engagement? And, that brings me to the third pillar of streaming, which is you can’t keep people engaged if you don’t get them there, so...
The Publicity Side: How Do You Advertise a Stream?!
So, doing this through Child’s Play means that we at least have a jumping off point- they have a release calendar of charity events. Beyond that, though, we are at a loss. We all have Twitch handles, but none of us (except maybe one or two of the film guys) actually streams with them already, meaning we don’t have a built in audience for our shenanigans. Where do we advertise? I mean, there’s the usual Twitter/Facebook/etc. social media dump, but that only gets our own friends involved.
Suggestions and your own experiences with running a charity stream would be highly appreciated.