For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 panel recap post.
Up Your Game: Making Your Mark Through the Ups and Downs
VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93336034
Participants: Monstarr21, CaptainStaples, TheMeta4Gaming, Jwillnuhh
- Why are you streaming?
- Know your goals
- Mindset plays a huge role in the quality of your casts
- Negative mindset leads to a domino effect
- Viewers have lives
- People may disappear and may come back
- Everyone grows at their own rate
- Don’t feel rushed to grow
- Don’t hone in on your numbers so much
- Scheduling is important
- Find a timeslot and be consistent
- Never hold a grudge against yourself
- Learn from your mistakes
- Don’t diminish yourself
- Be vocal with your community
- Twitter, Discord
- If you’re late, let them know
- How to deal with trolls
- Don’t feed the trolls
- Roll with the punches, make fun of yourself!
- Good communication with your mods, tell them how they should handle trolls
- Depends entirely on your personal preference
- Every viewer DOESN’T matter – don’t feel you have to put up with a troll or please every single person
- Networking with other broadcasters
- Business cards
- Social media, especially Twitter
- Avoid your personal phone number
- Interact with fellow casters on Twitter
- At conventions, know there is limited time and people are busy
- Don’t advertise yourself in someone’s chat
- Don’t expect anything out of an interaction
- Be yourself
- Try to treat casters you look up to as a normal person, not as an overzealous fan
- Business cards
- Creating structure
- In schedule, in rules
- Make your chat rules known
- Communicate with your mods
- Social media
- Communicate with your community
- Does the game you play influence your community?
- Hype games, let the big broadcasters play first before streaming it
- Don’t be scared to switch games if you aren’t having fun
- Viewers may only like certain games or game genres, so you may see different groups of people based on what you are playing
- How to handle broadcasters who advertise in your chat, while still trying to be welcoming?
- State it as a rule for your channel
- You’ve worked for your channel, don’t let others take advantage
- Make them aware that it is bad form, educate them
- Can purge and ignore
- How much do you influence your community and how much do you let your community influence you? Where is the balance?
- If you’re making a change, ask your community for feedback ahead of time
- Are you guys interested in seeing me play X game?
- How to deal with feeling negative in the middle of your cast?
- Stand up, take a break
- If that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to end the stream
- Don’t let it affect you long-term, turn it into productivity
- Rituals for getting hyped for the stream?
- Hang out with family
- Does the game you play influence your community?
Mental Health and Streaming
VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93336751
Participants: Eddieruckus, TigerWriter, Brotatoe, and ScarletR0se
- Panel mainly focused on the personal story of each participant rather than the typical Q&A session.
- Being in a relationship is tough when you’re trying to stream full-time due to the fact it is essentially an all day everyday thing at times.
- Focusing on the viewer count in your channel can take a toll on your mental state.
- Everyone has their bad months on Twitch. For example, back to school time.
- You can’t really do anything about viewer count. The only thing you can really do is be the best you that you can be while streaming.
- Unlike X-Split, OBS Studio let’s you block out the viewer count and daily subscribers so you don’t focus on that.
- Even if you have debilitating depression and/or severe anxiety you can still stream. It might take baby steps to get to that point, but you can still do it.
- Some streamers actually take time off to mentally collect themselves while others have to work in order to take their mind off things.
- According to Brotatoe, streaming in a way is like having mental armor, and whenever somebody says something mean to you in chat it’s like a part of that armor is removed.
- Having a shield as a caster is needed because this job does get emotional at times.
- Having hundreds/thousands of online friends because of streaming is great but it still doesn’t replace how having face to face human contact impacts your mental state.
- Some streamers have to unwind after a stream to get out of that streaming mentality and back to reality.
- Get off the computer and go get some sun, plain and simple.
- As a streamer there are times where you have to consider how far you want to put yourself out of happiness in order to succeed.
- Don’t start streaming in order to be famous because it is a fast track to depression.
- Instead of looking at your daily numbers, look at your weekly statistics instead.
- Use Muxy & Twinge because they give you more statistics than just you concurrent viewers.
- The numbers do not define you even though at times sponsors may say that they do.
- Stop talking about how bad your day was, and instead talk about something positive in order to get yourself out of that mental state.
- It is not a bad thing to seek professional mental help if you need it.
The Streams of Production
VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93337233
Participants: AdamKoebel, Daniel Weijden, Seltzer, Tristarae
- What other kinds of tasks goes into your work with Twitch?
- Daniel Weijden: I started working with JP. Back then there was no money involved. We came a long way since 4 years ago. I just contacted JP, ‘I have something, do you wanna use it?’ and he said ‘yeah sure’. From there on I worked for him for 3 years. That’s how long it took for me to be comfortable doing work for others as well. The financial side has been the biggest struggle and it still exists, not just for me but for other graphic designers as well. I hope to inspire others to just go for it and do what they love.
- Tristarae: I wear a couple of different hats around Twitch. Started out as a moderator, do GMíng, and just started social media. All of this is volunteer based next to my fulltime job. I have a dual life where I work my real job and come home where I do my volunteer job. It has been a passion project and I see a lot of value in this.
- Seltzer: Video hosting and appearing on Twitch is my fulltime job now. As Twitch has become more of a vehicle for products and brands, I found more and more work representing those brands and personalities. My favorite thing to do is interview and showcase all the cool personalities in gaming. This has always been a platform to bring about what I want the world to be. When I first looked at video games I thought, “what an amazing playing field that anyone no matter age or race can compete and become a superstar”. There is so much inclusion and things we can do with e-sports.
- AdamKoebel: In terms of work going into being a streamer I think there is an obvious known factor people know and it used to be that people considered streaming an easy job. That it is as simple as playing a videogame and turning on your webcam. This is slowly changing and people are understanding there is more to it and it is a performative act. Something that you can sell and people want to buy. On top of that there is the preparation that goes into a stream, learning about games, remaining current etc. All of this takes work. There is a whole other aspect to this that you see happening here at TwitchCon, the social managing aspect. This can mean managing your relationship with your community. For some people engaging with your mods, with your community. For primarily women streamers creating a space that is safe for you to engage and dealing with that. There is also managing your relationships with other streamers. The relationship you have with your peers goes into with how successful you are ultimately going to be. There is a degree of networking that is a necessity if you want to be successful.
- Can you talk a little bit about the change from being just a streamer to being partnered?
- AdamKoebel: I’m a bit of a bad example of becoming a partnered streamer. The general story Twitch tells about becoming a partnered streamer is- stick it out when you have 10 viewers, work hard, keep a schedule. That is important but that doesn’t mean you are going to end up being able to do it as a job. I skipped all that stuff, my story is bullshit in the sense that I co-opted part of another streamer’s audience. I never streamed to a small audience because I had the luck of being put in a group that had a big audience already. There are very few people who know of me independently of the work that I do with DjWheat, ItmeJP or inControl, all these audiences are much bigger than most people have access to when they get started. So it is hard for me to speak to what it’s like for most people.
- What was your work life before and after Twitch?
- Seltzer: I started out with putting video interviews on YouTube. There was no Twitch for me available back then. Then I got involved with the production side of things when I got attached to big events. I never really had the personal small stream, my first stream experience was with 30,000 people tuning in to a Starcraft event. When I turn my channel on right now i have 50 to 80 people watching so I’m by no means a big streamer. It is a matter of starting out and finding something to be good at. Making sure to follow up with connections. You have to be open to new stuff and have your ears to the ground for new stuff.
- Tristarae: I am also a-typical. Partnered streaming is not my end-game. My long game is to find a job behind the scene in the industry. I’m not a performer and don’t want to be. I have a different skillset that can be valuable to people so I am putting that out there. What I’m trying to say is, network.
- Daniel Weijden: I have streamed twice in my life. There is something interesting to my job. I get to speak and work with people who have streamed for 2 weeks and people have for 5 years. Becoming a partnered streamer is like a marathon, not like a sprint as some people think. It takes preparation and time to become successful.
- When do you think payment should come into play? What is fair payment?
- AdamKoebel: Money is not the only way of payment. Exposure doesn’t immediately pay for rent but it can lead to that. As long as you feel like you are getting properly compensated for your work it is worth it.
- Tristarae: The important piece that people don’t talk about exposure as payment is, is this exposure translating to opportunities. This is how you draw the line between good and bad exposure.
- Seltzer: You need to build yourself up as a product. You need to show value. When you ask someone to buy into you it is quid pro quo. It needs to be mutual beneficial. If you can make an argument for the value that you are bringing and you can put a realistic price on that and you are willing to negotiate then the opportunity is there. Companies are looking for people all the time.
- Daniel Weijden: I hate the word luck. I looked at JP and saw that he could make it. So for me after a while with this came money. But I think we need to raise the prices in my field which is designers. The amount paid is nothing close to a professional salary, even though there is money on Twitch. The opportunities are out there, you just need to grab them and also think about the financial side of things.
- How do you promote some of the invisible work? (non-streamer)
- Daniel Weijden: I decided to write two articles per week. That was and is my goal. It made me someone with a voice. I don’t stream because of technical limitations. I get a lot of people asking me to stream, but it doesn’t work in my process. If it works for you, do it! The visible work is my end product, but there is a whole process of invisible work that goes with that.
- Tristarae: Some of my work is visible, some isn’t. I kind of work in the shadow, but step out when I need to and people recognize that. It is important to draw a line between what you feel like is or isn’t part of your job whether it is visible or not.
- Seltzer: As a host I am pretty visible. But I started doing work that was not visible at all. I used that work to get into the scene. A big chunk of my current work is behind the scenes, not always because that is required of me but because I enjoy it. It’s not a requirement for my job but employers are starting to factor this in compensation.
- What is going to happen when we get old? Is there place for us on Twitch when we get older?
- AdamKoebel: We attach ourselves to a technology and take a bit of a risk. But there are people who moved from other forms into Twitch so we can do that as well.
- Tristarae: I do worry about this. It is one of the reasons why I don’t stream. I wanna be in a place were age and experience is an asset.
- Seltzer: My face is on camera so I need to think about what I’m doing next. But on the other hand I could still see myself doing this when I’m older. As I get older and meet new people and technology expands there are new options.
- Daniel Weijden: I’m a business person. I wanna build a bigger and better business. I want to hire people. But for that to happen I need to see all the possibilities.
- How do you feel gender/race/sexuality affects your job?
- Seltzer: It is a tough hill to climb but i’m thankful the twitch community is as open minded as they are and that we get the tools that we get.
- Tristarae: It has definitely not only affected my job, it is in many ways something I bring to the table. There are a lot of minorities involved on and with Twitch. The overwhelming force of Twitch can sometimes suppress those people and I see it as my task to be myself as loudly and difficult to ignore as possible.
- Daniel Weijden: On Twitch I never felt a difference when it comes to my race. But because I knew this question was coming it made me think and I wonder what kind of emotes are being spammed when they see us.
- AdamKoebel: The fact that I’m white rarely or ever is brought up as a differentiating factor. But because I’ve been open from the start about my queerness and willing to discuss it and not hide from it, it exposes me to that kind of anxiety. Everytime I bring up something about gender/race/sexuality there are streams of ‘who is this social justice warrior’ and ‘gaming shouldn’t be about these things’ and I disagree, because I think these issues are important. I’m going to use my privilege as a white male to talk about that stuff. If you don’t wanna hear it, you can leave but I think it needs to be addressed. It does affect my work, I lose subscribers because of my willingness to talk about this.
Build Your Audience Without Getting GG’ed by IP and the Law
VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93337893
Participants: Li Zu, SethNorthrop
(part of the panel was muted)
- Streamers can earn good money through ad sharing and viewer donations, and can further leverage their growing popularity into brand deals or other sponsorships.
- This means many streamers are effectively running a business out of their bedroom. But while it may be exciting to make a living from broadcasting video game content, streamers should take early precautions to protect their channels and avoid being “GG’ed” by a potential legal dispute.
- A copyright gives the owner of said copyright the ability to distribute the copyrighted content and it’s an exclusive right. It gives them the opportunity the copy it, to perform it, and play it on the radio.
- You don’t need to publish a work for it to be copyrightable and it doesn’t have to be registered with the copyright office, although this does have it’s advantages. For instance, if you want to file a piece of litigation.
- You don’t need to put any sort of mark on it like ©. It is also personal property with means it can be transferred. You can sign a contract to share the copyright or move it to someone else. Sometimes those contracts give someone rights. For example, Twitch has the right to distribute your content to other mediums for using their platform.
- DMCA’s has a negative reputation but it’s actually a good thing. It allows organizations like Twitch to exist. One of the interesting aspects of copyright law is that someone who infringes or illegally uses someone’s copyrighted works faces liability. But you can also face liability if you induce someone to do it.
- Companies like Twitch had issues where they provided a platform for people to upload their content and made money of it. They were sued for copyright infringement. The DMCA made it so the platforms were no longer responsible for what their users uploaded. They did have to agree to some terms like banning repeat offenders.
- Background music is the most common reason why VOD’s are being removed for copyright infringement. When you buy music you are only allowed to use it for private use. Using it on Twitch is considered public use. Twitch went around this by having a music library content creators could use. It’s important to know that when you play a game that has copyrighted music it will still get flagged because it is an automated system.
- Takedowns are being triggered because the DMCA allows for copyright owners to inform content providers or ISP’s specific types of information to allow them to trigger a takedown of the copyright work.
- If someone is using your work in anyway you can use this same system to get that content taken down. You will have to specify what exactly is in violation and you need to disclose contact information and verify that you are the owner of that right.
- You need to be careful that you are using these takedowns properly, abuse of the system can result in fines.
- When you get a takedown request for your own content you file a counter notice. You specify on a form what is being taken down and why you think it was taken down improperly with proof that it is your content.
- Most big content providers use automated takedown notices.