October 15, 2016

Education Row Day Two [TwitchCon 2016 Panel Recap]

TwitchCon 2016 Education Row Day Two

For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 Panel Recap post.

Redefine the Competition with Challonge

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93393508 & https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93393995
Participants: David, sp00ky, Chris, Kevin, AJ

  • Challonge is a tournament management platform
    • A simple platform for all things tournament management related
    • Works for events as small as a local ping pong tournament to a big esports event
    • Supports multiple formats with even large pools of players
    • Web-based app
    • API supported so you can pull tournament history
  • Currently part of the Xsplit family
  • Site redesign
    • More stuff soon:™:
    • Integration with Strexm and Player.me soon
    • Tournament discoverablility and player history through Player.me coming soon
  • Website: http://challonge.com/
  • A shake weight tournament starts at about 6:00 on the second vod with a live demo of Challonge. You know, research.

TL;DR: If you run tournaments and you don’t know what Challonge is already, I’m surprised. If you want to run tournaments, use Challonge.

Charity Fundraising on Your Stream

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93395928
Participants: Michael Wasserman (CEO @ Tiltify)

  • Tiltify released a year and some change ago
    • Help streamers fundraise for charity
    • Utilize telethon concepts but with streaming video games
  • Website: https://tiltify.com/
  • Selling points
    • Easily browse all the charities that Tiltify works with
      • Tiltify helps facilitate the communication between streamers and charities.
    • Tiltify has a system to process all the donations and information related to that
    • Setup a campaign profile for yourself or a team
    • On top of having your profile, you can create campaign rewards (shirt, other loot, you can… dance on stream?)
    • Donation-based polls
    • StreamLabs integration
  • Q&A at the end (18:20)

TL;DR: “If you’re a streamer (and you want to help a charity), check out [Tiltify]”

Thoughts: Gaming regular tips in this way (I’ll do this for x amount) or tip power polls would be pretty weird but since it’s for a good cause, that seems fine. I think the extra features here like the shirts and the extra add-ons are unique to Tiltify so it could make for a more exciting charity stream.

Social Broadcast in the Cloud

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93396771
Participants: Stage Ten

  • Live feed switcher in a web browser
    • “It’s like a tv control room right in your your web browser.”
    • Mobile phones, webcams, video games, to multiple twitch channels simultaneously
    • “Working in the cloud means you can have any of those cameras [from around the world] actually come in and join your show”
    • “Social broadcasting”
    • Eliminates the need for “non-purpose built video conferencing” apps (Skype, Zoom)
  • I just want to point out that half way through, my man just gets on his phone. He’s doing something but that just looks silly haha
  • Call in segments (bring in viewers to join the show)
  • They’ve talked about simulcasting a stream to multiple Twitch channels.
  • Website: http://stageten.tv/
  • Moderation tools:
    • You’re supposed to have about 5 seconds to censor a feed in case someone decides to, I don’t know, take their clothes off. Whoops!
  • Sourcing your webcams for a video podcast/show would potentially be easier since they’ll all go to a cloud-based source instead of through zoom/skype then in to a screen capture.

TL;DR: The cloud

Thoughts: Getting random viewers to get in seems like a scary proposition. Nothing is stopping someone from going on and doing something they’re not supposed to. Just use your imagination for just a second and you can imagine how this could be abused. No matter how high the barrier is, the risk of something like this is just banning your channel. They mention towards end that there are tools for something like this but the risks are high.

Community and Career: How to be Business-minded but Community-driven

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93397189 & https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93397399
Participants: Andrew Wynans (Gamewisp Co-Founder)

  • Paraphrase: When we think about monetization, we can’t just think about subs, we have to think about the community as a whole.
  • 3 weeks ago: Posts on Gamewisp
    • New: you can follow posts on Gamewisp. Anyone can do this, not just subs.
  • New: polls on Gamewisp
    • Subs can have more weight in votes
    • Polls can be placed on your overlay (web based hook?)
  • 5:24 – 5:27: Huge audio spike. Ouch, no thank you!
  • (6:12) Q&A starts
    • Gamewisp used to have tipping. Is it going to be coming back soon?
      • Not now. Chargebacks suck.
    • Can you use Gamewisp with other sites?
      • As a third party service, yes. Direct support (like the Gamewisp x Twitch integration) is on the roadmap:™:

TL;DR: Gamewisp is still cool!

Thoughts: I thought Twitch would announced a Gamewisp-like service at TwitchCon but they didn’t. Instead Gamewisp continues to be good. I don’t exactly know what they could add to make the service better so these just seem like the system is still working. Maybe next year, TwitchCon 😀

Infiniscene: The Future of Live Streaming Software

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93398158
Participants: Ryan & Stu

  • Brief summary: You send your gameplay feed/webcam/mic/what have you. Then edit it on a web based interface and you stream it from the web.
    • They use less CPU and reflect that in a bar graph
  • New stuff
    • I don’t think I mentioned that assets would be stored in the cloud. The only assets that don’t exist in the cloud is local, frequently updated text files.
    • Mobile broadcaster
      • Use phone as a camera
      • (uses lightnight cable for iphones OR replay kit if devs support it)
      • Pull screen for mobile games
      • Still utilize your normal overlay
    • Pricing tiers
      • 14 day free trial
      • $10/month
      • $99/year (save 20%)
      • If you sign up now (or maybe just at twitchcon) you get Infiniscene for the rest of the year
      • They push OBS as a free option. (the tone of their comment is that “once you’re ready to upgrade to not worrying about stuff and fixing stuff, you can upgrade to Infiniscene”)
    • Deeper integrations
      • Muxy, StreamLabs, StreamPro
      • Muxy/StreamLabs editor inside the Infiniscene editor
        • That way you don’t have to go between multiple websites
    • Recording
      • Their implementation of recording is downloading all the feeds you send up as individual feeds. So, you can download your full broadcast or just your gameplay or just your webcam.
    • Console streaming
      • PS4/Xbox One client that pulls the console feed
        • Allows you to even just try console streaming or for infrequent console streaming
        • Paraphrase: “a capture card is still better quality but this is a more friendly, less expensive option”
        • Early next year
    • Multicasting finally in
      • Broadcast to multiple websites or even Twitch channels. Broadcast to two Twitch channels at the same time.
  • (22:35) Q&A starts!
  • Website: https://www.infiniscene.com/

TL;DR: The cloud, bro.

Thoughts: I feel like my opinions on Infiniscene are well documented. Of the few cloud-based products on offer, this is is probably the furthest along so I think they’ll have the advantage of being first if they put a good foot forward. I would imagine that they got some pretty good exposure because lots of people had the casual streamer shirts at TwitchCon so hopefully that translates to more users.

I’m waiting for a significant product update before I jump in a try Infiniscene again. The one feature I was waiting for was some kind of local recording option and their implementation is really cool. It seems like it shouldn’t work the way they describe but if it does, it would become my option of choice. Nothing else on the market has a similar, easy to use option. I think OBS has a really really advanced option to record a separate local scene, Wirecast has the option but Wirecast is for crazy people, and just using two instances of any program as a solution is nuts so if this work the way they say it works… Infiniscene hype?

TwitchAlerts Becomes Streamlabs: Introducing New Ways to Fund Your Dream Job

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93399430
Participants: ??, a guy in a purple jacket, ??

  • $100 million in broadcaster donations
  • TwitchAlerts + StreamPro = StreamLabs
  • #goingfree
  • Within the last 12 months
    • Payment options
      • Credit cards
      • Skrill
      • Unitpay
      • Paysafe card
      • Paypal
        • Working on solutions for streamers Soom™
    • 3rd party integrations
      • Design by Humans
      • Tiltify
      • Gamewisp
      • Infiniscene
    • Media sharing
    • StreamLabs Pro
      • Adds zest to alerts for viewers
  • What’s next?
    • More 3rd party integrations
      • Discord
      • St. Jude
      • Patreon
      • Monstercat
      • Extra Life
      • Elgato
      • And more!
    • Sponsorships
      • Connect streamers and advertisers/potential marketing partners
    • Loyalty point system
      • Earn and redeem points by interacting with your channel
      • A bot that joins your channel and viewers can interact with you
        • Chat games?
        • Potentially buy points
        • Points based on donations
      • Automated rewards
        • Timeout people in chat
        • Clear chat
        • Make chat emote only
      • Custom rewards
        • Give out Snapchat
        • “Spin the bottle: truth or dare”
        • Song request
      • Why?
        • “Increase retention, viewer interaction, & channel revenue”
        • Leaderboards/ranking
        • New revenue
        • Big picture: “We want to make games” (11:35)
  • Streamlabs.com/beta
  • (12:28) Q&A starts
    • Are you thinking about building more things Streamlabs Pro for specific channels?
      • Currently, Pro is simply to see if people would use it. Since people are using it, they’ll build more things for it.
    • Do the loyalty points cross over from channel to channel/will there be channel partnerships?
      • Currently, it’s specific to each channel
      • Potential to have points with a Twitch team
    • Explain your business model
      • We don’t make money from the currency system
      • Pro funds the company

TL;DR: How can we hold all these integrations?

Thoughts: The new stuff isn’t necessarily new to everything in this space but it’s nice to have it all in one place. More 3rd party integrations is obviously nice since Streamlabs uses a very customizable alert.

The sponsorships thing was a selling point for Muxy too but admittedly, I don’t know what it’s really like over there. Obviously, that stuff couldn’t hurt but I wonder where something like that is beneficial since if you’re big enough to consider real sponsorships, companies are probably already talking to you.

The revlo-style loyalty system seems to be exactly like Revlo. It didn’t seem different in any way except for the potential global store thing. Who can say how far off that is though or what it will actually be like. Getting points for tipping could be cool but it would mostly be based on what kind of rewards are going to be available. I don’t personally like chat games because they are kind of distracting but other people might like that stuff so it’s not really my place to complain or anything.

Take Your Stream to the Next Level – Advanced Setups and Scene Creation

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93399844
Participants: Bryce and Matt from GameShow

  • (if you don’t know, Gameshow is from the people that make Wirecast, a enterprise level streaming solution)
  • Wirecast is heavier with features, Gameshow is easier for people to use.
  • (2:48) advanced streaming setups
    • Dual PC setup
      • Games get pretty CPU taxing. A second PC lightens that load
      • It requires more gear to link the PCs
  • Encoding settings
    • In Gameshow, there are a bunch of encoding presets. So you don’t have to know it ahead of time if you’re new
    • For advanced users, you can setup your own presets
  • (6:17) Green screen
    • “It can be difficult to setup. You need good lighting”
    • You can’t just buy a green screen and go with it
  • Cycle images or videos before your stream so your community can be talking and hanging out before you start
  • (8:38) Scene layering in Gameshow
    • More common in “traditional” video production
  • Gameshow has native Streamlabs integration (not new)
  • (12:02) Scene playlisting
    • Lots of people have video or image playlists
    • Switch between scenes at a set interval
  • (~15:11) Read from a text will with an “on change listener”
    • Changes text with a transition instead of a hard cut
  • (16:05) Gameshow has a full audio mixer with VST audio effects
    • Noise reduction
      • Functions like a noise gate
      • Monitors your mic and adds a wave to cancel out your background noise
  • (20:12) Adding a subscriber list
    • Show recognition for subs
    • Gameshow has a built in list for subs
  • (23:02) Q&A start
    • How does Gameshow handle multiple inputs (audio and video captures?)
      • Gameshow doesn’t have any kind of default so you can just keep adding stuff in
    • Does Gameshow support custom scene transitions?
      • Not currently
      • They’ve partnered with NewBlue (NewBlueFX maybe?) to have a transition plugin
      • Hopefully within the next 6 months
    • Do you support visualizers? Do you have audio detection to change based on who is talking?
      • Gameshow people are trying to talk to Skype
      • For visualizations, you can load them with screen capture or something
      • Doesn’t support automated scene switching though and probably wont for Gameshow.
  • Pricing
    • $29 for life
    • Updates for a year
    • Updates occur about every 3 weeks

TL;DR: This is pretty good intermediate level knowledge you can apply with or without Gameshow.

Thoughts: For basic stuff, Gameshow is kind of nice and this presentation of it here is also not that bad. To speak about Gameshow and not necessarily the panel, some of the Gameshow features are pretty complicated for regular users. Scene layering is kind of crazy and if all you do is play games, it’s a lot of extra stuff. BUT I’ll reserve more opinions on Gameshow until I use it more.

Challenge Accepted. You’re On!

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93400148
Participants: Brandon (CEO @ Opera Event), with two streamers

  • Opera Event is an ecosystem for streamers.
  • Work with streamers to help control their channel, understand their audience, and grow and monetize their audiences
  • 2 key features: Bounties and Rumble
  • Bounties
    • Similar to tips
    • More like a challenge or a request
    • The broadcaster can accept or reject
    • There is also a fail condition
    • Open season
      • Makes it free for a set period of time
      • Exposes your entire audience to the system regardless of if they pay
  • Rumble: Game integration
    • For League of Legends, you can have a button on you page that allows users to enter in their summoner name, have Opera Event look up their level/rank, and sort through viewers for you.
    • Currently available for League of legends
    • Soon with Minecraft, Blizzard games, then things like DayZ and H1Z1
  • The rest of the ecosystem
    • Currency?
    • Donation bag?
    • Viewers earn currency with tips or bounties and can spend that currency for different things (priority in multiplayer games)
  • (15:26) Q&A starts
  • Website: http://www.operaevent.co/

TL;DR: Bounties seem like they could be fun and Rumble seems like a good system to vet viewers

Thoughts: I like these systems. We’re at the frustrating part where there are so many websites that all do something related to streaming but I’m also signed up to like 15 different things. I will say that it is nice that this is at least directly related to the stream. It’s not some side things your viewers are also doing while they’re supposed to be watching you.

How to Home Studio for Streamers

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93400532
Participants: Tracy Peterson (Founder, The AV Society)

  • Fun fact: This guy is ex Gamespot/IGN
  • Priority improvements
    • Audio is critical
    • Lighting is almost as critical
    • Camera quality is often not as evident if those are good
    • Set/backdrop scene of interest
  • (7:26) Tracy goes over mic patterns. This is the second time this comes up but it’s still good basic knowledge to have. He talks about the normal ones: Omnidirectional, cardioid, and bi-directions. But talks about hypercardioid and shotgun patterns too.
  • Mixers
    • Allow control of each audio channel
    • Perform more than just audio control (eq)
    • Behringer XENYX 502 USB Powered Mixer
      • Pictured is this version of the mixer
      • A USB option, which is what I think he’s referring to, is this one
      • The second mixer does use USB in/out options, I believe, so be conscious of how you’d want to monitor this if you do transition over to using an analog mixer. I don’t know the exact capabilities of either of these but they’re both very good, affordable mixers for what a normal streamer would need.
  • Lighting is still critical (12:50 – the bullet points are from the power point but he talks about this quite a bit)
    • Soft vs Light
    • Dimmers
    • Color Differences
  • (15:08) More specifics with lights and what to buy
    • He showed a few things on stream so I built the list up of things on Amazon incase you wanted to not leave your house. I get that
    • First, bulbs. Online retailers don’t sell bulbs in individuals and if they do, they’re probably more expensive per bulb. Since he was talking about a three-point light setup, I tried to find a 3 pack but the closest I could find was this four pack.
    • Next is the light clamp. I didn’t even know what to really look for. This was 5 minutes of googling “light cone aluminum fixture”. “Clamp light” is what you want. Pictured seems to be this item but it’s only an add-on item. That means that you have to spend more money, over $25 in this case, but it’s a Prime item.
      • There’s a bunch of other similar things. It is basically just an aluminum cone so if you just want the item by itself, this seems to be the best comparison. You can get pretty expensive here. Some of the similar items were almost $12 where the one he showed was listed at just under $7.
    • Last is the inline dimmer. I think I found the pictured option and it seems to be very popular. It’s pretty cheap at just over $12 and despite the fact that some other options are a little cheaper, this pictured item has 1000+ reviews with a 4.5 average. A high review average like that is probably more valuable than a few dollars. I recently heard the phrase that goes something like “buy it right or buy it twice”.
    • I assume you’d get dimmers for all the bulbs and I guess you might get a third clamp or whatever but it turns into more than $35 if you got everything you’d need. Still, it’s much cheaper than a “studio lighting kit” and can get similar results.
    • A quick amazon search reveals that there are some lighting kits that have various combinations of lights and greenscreens for under $150 but just be cautious because cheap kits like this mostly mean you’ll get cheap bulbs and cheap stands. Most of these also don’t have dimmable bulbs so you could probably do cheaper if you took that out of the original equation. 
  • Interesting set design
    • Buy props
    • Light the backdrop
    • Hang some curtains (added benefit of baffling)
  • Places to shop
    • Home depot: curtain hangers, cheap light fittings, 100w dimmable LED bulbs, dimmers, PVC pipe “truss”
    • Fabric Store: curtain material, table coverings
    • Lumber yard: scrap wood
    • Amazon: basic microphones
    • Internet: OBS, Xsplit, Free broadcast software
  • (23:26) Q&A time
    • My PC overheats but adding fans mess with audio. Help!
      • Get bigger fans that push more air
    • How do I do some sound proofing that is also aesthetically pleasing?
      • Drapes are nice. Lines of fabric across the ceiling break up sound.
    • Someone mentioned Film Riot as a resource and I think this is what he was talking about http://revision3.com/filmriot

TL;DR: Studios are hard and expensive 🙁

Thoughts: This was actually pretty good. If you don’t have a lot of technical audio/video production knowledge, this is a pretty good starting point. The gear he suggested buying is not only affordable but will do quite a bit to help you look/sound better. Specifically with the lighting, that is a pretty undervalued aspect of stream production. If you wanted a short list of things you should watch as a beginner to intermediate level broadcaster or content creator, this is on there.

How to Stream Mobile

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93407624
Participants: George “Zekent” Liu (Video Community Manager @ Super Evil Megacorp), Bao “ShinKaigan” Nguyen (Partnered Twitch Mobile Streamer)

  • Select your encoder
  • Other capture options (as recommended in the presentation)
  • Other hardware considerations
  • (14:25) Q&A Starts
    • How do you manage webcam from a mobile device?
      • It’s hard. Mobile devices aren’t flattering
    • Where do you see mobile streaming?
      • Growing
    • How do you deal with wifi issues?
      • Get a good router!
      • Get a better internet plan
      • He suggested 5ghz but that will be up to your area/the relation between you and the router

TL;DR: Stream Vain Glory!

Thoughts: There wasn’t anything too crazy in the presentation. Streaming a mobile device seems really hard. If you’re not using a capture card with an HDMI coming out of your phone, the options seem all over the place. Also, streaming your device to your computer over your network and stuff seems so lame to me as a hardware person BUT I get the struggle. Despite being a TwitchCon panel, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you have an Android device, you can natively stream to Youtube Gaming with the Youtube Gaming app so… that could be a fun option. Until we get to a point where you just start broadcasting from your phone, I’m not so sure I can ever consider this “mobile streaming”.

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