Written by DicloniusGames
After over a two-year hiatus, I decided to give livestreaming video games another shot. When I began streaming over two years ago, I did it as “test streams” to determine if I could do it consistently. With no real schedule, popular games to stream, or notoriety, I quickly gave up and swore to myself I wouldn’t do it again.
Fast forward to present day. I decided to give it another try, this time with the notion that if I had fun and set my expectations low, I could keep myself motivated to do it as a casual hobby. While I have indeed had fun over the last month since I started up again, it’s been a hard road to travel with no lights in sight, and the feeling of everyone passing me up with no knowledge of how or why.
It’s difficult being a Twitch streamer, and in my case, it’s doubly difficult for multiple reasons.
Streaming from the PS4
I’ve owned a PlayStation 4 since March 2014, and never really thought streaming overall could take off. As I saw people doing it and having some success, I decided to give it a try a year later, and instantly quit because it felt discouraging to do it when you’re the only one streaming with no viewer interaction.
Streaming from the PS4 is really my only option currently as I have no knowledge of X-Split or OBS, nor how to operate either streaming programs. I understand streaming from the PS4 can be considered an outdated strategy, but when you have no knowledge of other streaming programs, you tend to go with the simplest option. For me, it’s streaming from the PS4.
When I restarted streaming, I first used the camera to show my face as hope for some interaction, but I’ve found it to be a problem because it cuts off the space of the actual game as you have your face in the upper right corner and the comments scrolling onscreen below it. I found that kind of annoying, and decided to change up strategies. I still use the camera, but only for my voice so anyone who is watching or watches post-stream sees the gameplay at a 100 percent view distance.
Lack of Networking & Feedback
While I’m close to 20 followers and have over 200 total views, I don’t get much feedback. Whether it’s during the stream or after, I don’t get much interaction with people who watch. According to one of my followers, he told me it’s almost impossible to get lurkers to interact and talk with you, which I’m finding to be true.
To me, interacting with your followers and fan base is one of the most important and major ways to receive feedback and opinions on what you should play, and how you’re doing during the stream. Starting casual conversations is essential to having fun during the streams, which is something I’d like to strive for. Right now, it’s difficult with so few viewers per stream and a small, but loyal follower count.
Another issue I struggle with is the ability to network with people. Networking in any profession is a key to success, especially while streaming video games because word of mouth is a huge factor in getting others to notice you, and people bringing their friends to your streams is extremely useful.
I don’t know a whole lot of people within the Twitch community, but I am part of a great community called The Level Up Network and have great friends within it that I talk to during their streams. Some of them are my followers which I greatly appreciate to no end.
Outside of that, I don’t know anyone else major, but I’ve never been anyone to be a part of the status quo, so I think that can benefit me. I stand for the “little guy,” the “Average Joe” or whatever term you want to call it. Sure, I may not be someone major, but I know when the chips are down, I won’t sell out or be concerned with views. I’m concerned with my followers and ensuring they have interactive experiences and see great streams on my end.
Outdated Twitch Panels
While it may just be a “maybe”, I think having outdated channel panels is a factor that may make my channel look bland and uninteresting.
How your description and panels look and speak to your viewers is a major aspect of grabbing one’s attention. Even if I don’t have a lot of streaming experience, I can understand that. I watch the streamers I like, and hopefully I can learn something from The Level Up Show and Biohazard Rayne.
Finding interesting panels can be a bit difficult for me, because I’m kind of picky when it comes to how I want my channel to look. While I have a plan in my head, I also must be able to adjust to viewer feedback as much as possible, and form my own opinion as well.
Choices of Games to Stream
Since I’ve been back, I’ve mostly streamed the new releases I’ve been buying in the last month like The Evil Within 2, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm and the PS4 remaster of L.A. Noire.
The advice I received from another friend in the community I’m a part of is to not stream popular games, because finding your stream is next to impossible. Games like Call of Duty and League of Legends fall into this category (thankfully, I refuse to stream one and don’t play the other at all), but it’s frustrating because I feel like I’m putting in effort but not getting much input. I also must want to play what I want to stream. I take suggestions, and always make sure to inform viewers that it must be a game I own or plan to play at some time.
I do attempt to change up games every so often, and have UFC 2 set strictly to Sundays.
Last, but certainly not least, is consistency. Consistency is another key to successful streams. While I’ve started most, if not all, of my streams close to or on time, I tend to go over my set time of either 2 or 3 hours to give more interactivity to my followers as well as more of the game, which I think can equal experience (and potentially more eyeballs on my streams).
My schedule ranges from 2-3 hours depending on the day, with 5 days in the evening and one Sunday afternoon reserved at 1 PM. The rest starting at 10 PM Tuesday-Friday and 11 PM on Saturday. I don’t think my problem is consistency. I think my difficulty lies in wanting to give more to the viewers, as I tend to go over my time limit. Perhaps I should realign my schedule to say that this is the time I start, and we may go for at least 2.5-3 hours.
While I’ve found it difficult recently, I hope that with more experience, a small but dedicated follower base and viewer feedback and interactivity, I can grow my Twitch channel to something meaningful. One day, I want to be able to say that while I had help along the way, I’m proud of what not only my followers accomplished, but also what I accomplished. Good night…and good luck.