Going to the garage and getting a plastic purple table. Connecting the microphone to the PC, resulting in a potentially fatal trip hazard. Tinkering with the bitrate and the volume levels. These are but a few of the steps I go through to set up our weekly livestream.
We started streaming maybe two months ago, me and a friend. I always wanted to livestream and now was the best time, because I’ve been really busy and not really had enough time to make a video to post to Youtube. Don’t let the title fool you; I love livestreaming. Getting to chat to that one random person who stumbles across your stream is an odd, but weirdly humbling experience. We don’t stick to one game, we play whatever we feel like playing. So far we’ve done Crash Twinsanity, Beautiful Katamari and Super Mario Maker. The first two were games I’ve always wanted to play but never actually picked up, but I’m glad that streaming has given me a chance to play them.
However, to say we haven’t run into problems would be an outright lie. It took a week or two of experimenting to get the right bitrate, so that the stream wouldn’t buffer. It took a similar amount of time to make sure that the game volume didn’t drown us out (I can’t tell you how annoying it is to look back at a stream and realise how poor the audio balancing is). One week we decided to stream Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger... streaming PC games is a nightmare. It took us a good 20 minutes to set up a mouse and keyboard (which required bringing in a chair from another room so we had space for them), and in the end the game volume had a delay of about a second, which make it pretty much unwatchable. I still haven’t solved the audio delay on PC, so we can’t stream PC games until I’ve sorted that.
I mentioned before that the feeling of somebody, somewhere in the world enjoying your stream enough to keep watching is a brilliant feeling, but there’s more to streaming than that. Nearly daily me and Mateusz (streaming partner-in-crime) discuss what game we should stream next, or what we should do to make the stream better. I’ve had good friends of mine join the chat to welcome new people in, something I can’t thank them enough for. More than anything though, it’s just fun. Over time I’ve been enjoying games less and less, and I can’t work out why. I’d normally be playing TF2 every day, but now I play once a month if I’m lucky. I was addicted to PAYDAY 2 for years, sinking hundreds of hours into it, and even though I enjoy the game I hardly play it anymore. It’s very rarely I play a game for hours on end, without getting bored or doing something else. When I’m streaming though, I can be sure that I’m gonna have 2 hours of fun with good friends of mine, and hopefully if it’s good enough I can also share that fun with other people.