When Everything Goes Wrong
My very first full broadcast went terribly! It was wretched by my standard. I had placed so much work into really hammering out how the broadcast would appear and function that when it wrong I was really bothered. Of course I laughed, and blew it off when I was online. Afterward I was really frustrated after weeks of rehearsing just what button to press when and briefly watching other peoples broadcasts which were fairly uneventful. The problem? I had changed my Logitech gaming profile for my mouse from default to Squad, which is the game I decided I would play. When you change one profile, you change both profiles. My keyboard switched to the Squad profile as well which was not setup for broadcasting. The keys no longer controlled OBS which caused my desktop volume to stay muted and made it so viewers could not hear the action in-game. It also left my mic muted which meant that I could not connect with my viewers. I figured it out in 20 minutes, but couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. This lead to a very unprofessional looking broadcast as I struggled to get my Overwolf Twitch chat app up on screen, back and forth between the desktop to manage OBS, and general silence as I struggled to play and fix everything going wrong.
One key I have learned is broadcasters have to stay interacting with their audience which is why my broadcast was really terrible by my standards. I was silent so often until toward the end of the broadcast that I lost the few viewers I managed to pull. Granted, most viewers probably don’t just jump at the opportunity to follow people, but if there was a shot there… it was definitely blown. I have learned a lot through the experience and have fixed the issues learned from my first broadcast. My next broadcast will be a beacon of hope for me and other people trying to capture the glory of getting signed as a Twitch partner or paid for playing games in general!
One Program to Rule them All
Openbroadcast Software or OBS is shareware software which allow you to create aesthetically pleasing broadcasts to captivate your audiences. Catch 22? You need to find the graphics and browser tools to fill each component. I have already listed a number of websites in a previous blog. The best way to approach the setup is to be somewhat familiar with the software and then decide on the flow of your broadcast. My personal broadcast I start with a “starting soon” scene consisting of 3 sources. One source is my music which I credit the composer at the end of my broadcast (free for commercial use with accreditation), my name which I created in Manga Studio (I don’t know the new name for Manga Studio), and the starting soon graphic which is courtesy of an online resource listed in my previous blog. There is also a mixer which allows the user to mute or unmute audio media, mics, desktop audio, etcetera.
You can create a number of profiles for different types of broadcast which include their own sets of scenes and sources (after you create them XD). When you click the plus sign under scene, a simple dialog to name the scene will appear and using the arrows below the scene box a user may rearrange the order of the scenes. The same functions work in source with a few additions. A settings button is displayed to quickly select sources and edit the settings (media, graphics, webcam, etc).
The biggest endeavor for me which should have been easy if the right cloth was available was setting up the green screen for the camera. Select the right scene and then the webcam in sources. Right click and the option to apply filters will appear. Filters allow you to have some control over audio functions and video displays. There are 2 options available which operate in a way to filter out colors such as green on the webcam box and make you appear to be a cardboard cutout playing your favorite game. The first is color key which is not typically used.
The second is chromakey. This filter should first have all the setting moved to 0 and trust me this helps. The second part is to select the color from the picture from the webcam of your background (if you are caucasion your green screen should not be white…. trust me). The second part is to slowly change the settings until you and your clothing are perfectly present and the background is invisible. If this is posing a challenge consider a few things. (1) Do you have the right lighting? The best lighting is indirect lighting in my personal experience, but read online about lighting in an article and you will be able to quickly figure it out. (2) Is the color of your green screen too close to the colors you are wearing or skin color? If it is, consider changing clothes or outfit or changing the color of the green screen. I created my own green screen here. I would include pictures here, but this was my first attempt and my green screen looks like a 3 year old lost a fight with some scissors, PVC pipe, and a hot glue gun. Somehow it came together and worked perfectly though. There is one more key part of using OBS for broadcasting.
If you have a special gaming keyboard and are not using the additional keys for actual in game buttons then it would be very helpful to create a complex key function (ctrl+shft+F1) and setting the functions to operate your stream. This allows you to stay on your game screen and completely control your broadcast down to when to mute music, change scenes, turn on or off webcams, everything. Mine is setup to additional play sound bites like a baby crying or a no heartbeat clip which I plan to use in game when it would be funny… like when I die for the hundredth time. That’s all I have for now on OBS, but it is an amazing program and it is free. There are other really good programs, but my blog is about how to become an excellent broadcaster with the least investment!
I’ve really been struggling to figure out what my identity as a Twitch broadcaster is and how my social media profiles should be promoting my image. I have literally had no idea what my brand is or is suppose to be as I have moved through the steps to become a broadcaster. I finally identified what the main game I am going to be playing, but I was still sending out junk on my social media related to suggested content for my “tags” I selected. I’ve realized that sending out crap suggestions just isn’t what I want to be known for when you think of NightStalker101s or Stealth Gaming Tactics. Through reading, questioning, and more reading I’ve identified a few keys to what I will be doing in my social media.
When will I be broadcasting? This is one post I will send out prior to broadcasting and on scheduled timeframes to remind people when I will broadcast. I will no longer be asking people to follow me on my Twitch channel. I simply want to be given the opportunity to entertain you.
Logitech and Nvidia releases and price drops will be announced if I see them because these are 2 brand names that I identify with strongly since I was a child. I will share articles related to these as well.
My blog and my recorded broadcasts. These are essential in getting others to connect to me as a gamer and as a broadcaster.
The last an most important part of my future social communications will be to identify as myself and not the corporation. I have been so caught up with trying to be the brand and sell the brand and figure out what the brand is that I forgot that I am what is being marketed and I don’t want to be a thing. I don’t want to be thought of as a thing or referred to as a thing. I am a person and I enjoy playing video games. I have crazy hobbies and enjoy entertaining others. This is the message I want to send to others. I want and hope that everyone will give me a chance to find out whether or not they enjoy my broadcast.
This also means that there will not be a great deal of social media posting for a few weeks while I build up what it is I want to share and create messages reflecting my recent epiphanies.
Hey! Check out my almost finished Twitch broadcast setup and remember to follow me! -> http://ow.ly/ndqw308QIOm http://ow.ly/i/rF8Lf
Over the past 2 days I have fought with PVC pipes, cloth, and my PC. I don’t have the ability to paint a wall green which would have made this much easier. How do you get connect to 3.5 yard strips of cloth without a sewing machine? Hot glue my friend. There are $30 sewing machines at Walmart (which I thought about investing in), but my adventure into streaming is one I would like to keep under a low budget level. Why? It should be obvious that most people do not create a successful Twitch channel and those that do are able to afford the expensive nice things in life for their channel. That in mind, I digress and will discuss how I made my functional green screen for about $50. I realized that it can be done for $10-$20 depending on your need, but for Twitch a $10-$20.
- PVC (Maybe $5)
- Ugly Green/Magenta fabric (2-3 yards cheap) ($10?)
- Hot glue (I already had this at my house, but sticks and gun are probably $5-10)
- 2x $7 dollar clip night lamps (Additional if needed)
- A dark room with blackout curtains (easier to control lighting if using the Walmart lights)
I built a much larger green screen than necessary. The best way to figure out the size you need is to setup the camera with it visible on the PC. Hold up some type of long sheet, paper, w/e as long as it fills up the entire camera picture. Mark off using some writing utensil the edges of the sheet where they meet the camera screens corners. Measure the height and width. You will need a little bit of extra fabric (it just always helps). I used 3/4″ PVC pipe and it is sturdy and worked well. You will need 2 right angled elbow corners and 2 three way corner styled connectors (Maybe 3). The idea is to create a square with the base corners have a bit of pipe serving as a foot to balance the screen. You might want an extra pole to connect from the top middle of the box to the floor for support, but that is up to you. The next part is to hot glue gun the fabric taut around the back part of the PVC pipe.
The last step is the lighting. The lighting in your room might be good, but if it isn’t Walmart has $7 clip-on night lights that worked well for me. The lights will need to be played with, but trust me when I say that you should not point the lights straight at you. I spent 4-5 hours trying to figure out why bits and pieces of my shirt or face were disappearing. It was the lighting. I eventually angled the lights away or bouncing of the ceiling. Another good idea would be to create a DIY lighting box attachment which will soften the light and shadows. I found some ideas on Google which I might actually do.
Hootsuite is absolutely amazing! I wanted to discuss this more because I just found an interesting feature that suggests news and forums which you might want to share for each time and day you are interested in posting information. I currently have 4 days set to post and only 2 posts each day. If I don’t like the title, subject, or whatever about the suggestion I just click the refresh button and WALLAH!!!! “World of Warcraft ant eats Gollum while accidently blowing up the main boss” and… share lol. I’m not sure if CoSchedule or other application allow this, but Hootsuite comes in at a very affordable <$10 and packs $100 a month punch. Unlike an Owl, I will not be staying up all night trying to find cool and exciting things to share for my social media accounts. One click, plenty of suggestions. Another click, posted to all my social media accounts.
Eight Ways Earthlock: Festival of Magic Honors, and Exceeds, Old-school RPGs http://ow.ly/iD82509jowZ
Vomiting all over your Social Media sites at the same time
I really want to say that Hootsuite is much more affordable and provides a very similar level of service as CoSchedule. I have noticed that Hootsuite does not have Tumblr and one other social media site (I can’t remember right now). Hootsuite has the option to add the Tumblr app under a special menu along with several other sites. It does not allow for scheduled posts, but does allow you to post all in one place. It does however, cover all the bases and provides an excess of information for users to manage their social media sites all in one place. The dashboard is like a wealth of knowledge under your finger tips. It allows you to really find out what is trending and then help you get your name out there.
Make your Twitch channel shine!
Well, this is day two of setting up my Twitch TV broadcast and making sure I’m really covering all of my bases. I’m going back and forth about which mass post social media site to use. The choice has less to do with what is offered and more to do with whether I’m willing to pay for excellence. I want to include in this post a number of websites if your a new streamer like me. These websites will get you heading in the right direction. They are as follows:
Twitch Overlay allows you to download some nice free images to overlay onto any stream or broadcast.
Pixabay allows you to download some free pictures to use for whatever the reason. I personally used them for creating this blog.
Screaming Bee is a free voice changing software which works with OBS if you set it up correctly.
Sound Bible is what I have used for in game sound bites when I am killed or something funny happens. They are free as long as you credit the sound bite creator.
CoSchedule allows you to post ONE post to all of your social media sites all at once. No more typing the same post over and over again to each site individually. You can also choose to: only post to one site, schedule posts for the best time per social media site, and other cool stuff. This costs $39 a month each month or $30 dollars a month for the year.
Hootsuite does what CoSchedule does, but is free at the base option.
OBS or Open Broadcasting Software is the meat and potatoes of my dream to become a highly watched Twitch streamer. This software allows you to post overlays while streaming and make just cool stuff happen. The best part…. ITS FREE!!!! XD
Streamlabs allows you to setup an in stream alert when followers do things… like follow you. A big notice comes up and lets everyone know what happened. It must be used in conjunction with OBS because it doesn’t work as an overlay system. It’s more like an extension.
Google is necessary for setting up the calendar as seen on the bottom of my homepage and in the “sidebar” of my blog page.
This wraps up this post for now. This is not meant to be an all inclusive guide, but I am pretty sure I will go into more depth for each one of these websites or software applications. Thanks for reading!