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Streamers Guide 2: Electric Boogaloo
You took a look, you got yourself streaming and you thought “But Silent, how did you get such awesome things on your stream, you must tell me!”
It’s simple, I’m a tableflipping genius.
And I am such a table flipping genius I can tell you how to get the same effects for yourself.
First off, get yourself familiar with Twitch Overlays, they’re the fancy graphics that go on top of or around your stream, there are free Overlays out there but if you want to look fancy as a turnip you’ll have to design your own.
We’re going to be using this design which is free to use, so go ahead and grab it for now.
Open up OBS and right click in the Scene window, select New Scene and name it something, like “Awesomesexystream”
Next! Right Click in Sources and add an Image
Next, click on “Browse” and navigate to where we saved our Overlay.
Leave everything else, it’ll look like this.
Press okay and we’ll add our game!
Right click sources and select Game Source, name it something and by all the gods lets hurry up I need coffee.
Oh noes, the game capture screen is confusing!
Don’t worry, fetch me a coffee and then find this drop down, select your game from it then you want to toggle “stretch image to screen” it is however hidden under my dropdown so you can’t see it.
Hit okay on this, then press Start Preview and…
Oh turnip, the images are in the wrong order, right click game, select “Order” and then send it down to the bottom.
Now press “Edit Scene” and select the Game layer, you’ll be able to edit it in position and size, if you have a huge empty area around the game you didn’t follow my steps exactly, go back to the Game properties and try again.
Once it is set up it’ll look vaguely like this
And we’re done! Fancy eh?
Except we’re not done, notice the other square space in the corner?
We’re putting your face there, right click Sources and add “Video Capture Device”, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WEBCAM, if you don’t then just stop before you even got here, okay?
Again, move the Source down under the Overlay, move and reposition it where you want it just like you did with the game source and then…
You’ll look like a FunkoPop Jayne Cobb in a cunning hat.
Next you add an advert for the Gaming Marathon, cause you don’t need all that free space, do you?
And you’re finished.
Next up we’ll cover including a chat plugin, a text source, and a scene of nothing but videos.
Till next time, where is my coffee?
I give you all this free education and you can’t even give me coffee.
You know, you might as well go add some glitter explosions over that, go ahead, knock yourself out, have fun.
Preparation – Gain Popularity
Another part of our tutorial.
Of course, being part of the Marathon will only do so much for your popularity as a streamer. You’ll be listed on our site, but ultimately you’ll have to work on your views yourself. So in order to have lots and regular visitors, there are a few small things to consider.
The first step is some good advertisement. Tell all your friends, or at least a whole bunch, post to social media, put yourself out there. If nobody knows you’re streaming, nobody will watch you. And it helps to have someone around the first few times you already know.
Building a fanbase.
Two things which are probably the most important for gaining even a small fanbase are entertainment and reliability. Of course, if your stream is boring as hell, has no personality or any other entertainment factor, people will not be inclined to watch it again, or even finish watching the current stream. I am not telling you to be someone you don’t want to be while streaming. If you are introverted, don’t push yourself to babble and giggle and scream constantly. We already have a Pewdiepie out there. :) But one way to become interesting to the viewers is to bond with them. Talk to them, keep an eye on the chat and answer their questions. Maybe even listen to their wishes. Do they want to see you play a certain game? Do this quest or not? Play good or evil?
It can be really refreshing for viewer and player, and is the real charm of a live stream, to play a game together.
But even if you manage to attract a few poor souls to watch your stream, you still have to keep them. This, you cannot achieve without some kind of reliability. Pick out times that suit you best for streaming. Is it afternoons, evenings? Maybe a certain day of the week? Having somewhat of a schedule makes it easier for people to follow your streams, and they will tune in again if they really liked what they saw.
Well, not you, you are fabulous! But put a little effort into the looks of your channel and connected social media sites. Make sure people make the connection between them, and identify them as yours. They should recognise you when they see you on the web, be it a nice logo or a flashy picture. You don’t have to reveal your true identity for this. Or apply any makeup, for that matter.
Also, it is nice to have some info about you on your channel. Who are you, what do you stream, when do you stream, etc.
Keep your chat clean.
Not necessarily a must. I’ve seen chat rooms on Twitch completely unmoderated and therefore insanely loud. But if you want to keep track of what your viewers are saying and value their feedback, you will at least have to set up a few rules. Twitch offers the possibility to erase links being posted (there’s a bunch of spammers around) and certain language being deleted automatically. Other than that, you might want to see about having a moderator in chat when it gets too much.
If you are joining us in the Marathon as a streamer, of course we would like to advertise you. Let us know in advance when you are streaming, and we will post it on our social media sites.
In the long term.
If you want to keep doing this for longer than just two, three times, you will have to compromise. Streaming means not just spending the time you are online on Twitch. It will include some more work besides that, such as setting up your streaming software and doing some fine tuning. Maybe trying several apps and tools. Make sure that any of your decisions for this stream are okay to you. Is your streaming schedule not too much, or do you feel too exhausted after an hour already? Make sure YOU feel comfortable with your decisions, don’t let it stress you out or the fun will be gone all too soon.
If you would like to add some nice Mammoth graphics to your Twitch or any other social media or web site, feel free to use these.
So, you want to start adding music when you’re streaming?
Firstly, be aware that some viewers may be put off by music, if you’re putting something over a game, in creative streaming it’s not so bad though as it allows you to cover any break in speaking, but that is neither here nor there.
Just be aware that some viewers can be put off by watching a game with unrelated music.
ONWARDS, so music you say.
Technically, you’re not allowed to play copyrighted music in your streams and if you save your streams to the VOD service you are going to find parts of your audio muted, now no one wants that do they?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t play music.
So I am going to give you a few thoughts when thinking about music.
FIRSTLY, Twitch (and Youtube) have lists of music you are allowed to use, you can just go ahead and use those if feeling very very very very very very very lazy.
Secondly, if you’re less lazy, you can start googling around, there are groups and sites in which people submit their Stream friendly playlists.
Third, there are sites out there like http://freemusicarchive.org/ which have lots of music you can use, however you will need to check the rights on each song, don’t go assuming it is free to stream just because the song is free, but every song has its info on the page.
Fourth, we have the Toy Soldiers, there are musicians in our number who would gladly let you stream their stuff if only you ask, so go ahead and ask them, Dr. Malice, Lucas Usagi and Robin Tindill/Mechanical Audio immediately spring to mind, but there are more so go and look around and see.
Now, unless you get your music from a site that states the terms and availability, always get an email or message from the musician just in case anyone ever kicks up a fuss, you can provide evidence and you should always CYOA, cover your own posterior.
Once you have built or found yourself a playlist you’re all good to go.
The only thing is to make sure you have OBS set up, the Desktop Audio Input should either be set to Mixer (though for me Default works), so play around with the audio settings to see, just remember to export to file (hit the record button, instead of stream button), I believe OBS records to a flash video but that should work in your browser but if you need to change this do as followes:
Open the Settings menu.
Select Broadcast Settings.
Hit “Browse” next to File Path (not Replay File Path).
Change from Flash Video to MP4.
Done, celebrate with tea and/or coffee.
You should always get in the habit of running a 5 minute recording to test your setup before streaming, so you can check audio levels, make sure you’re not streaming a black screen, etc etc.
The final thing I would say about music is this, create a list of the music you use and link to it somewhere on your twitch profile, so people can see the entire listing easily.
People like knowing what song you are listening to and may ask, if they do then of course let them know.
I think that is it for adding music to a stream.
If you have any questions, ask them now, go go go go…
Oh, I do have a system for displaying your currently playing music directly in OBS, but it requires a Winamp plugin that writes your current song to a text file and then showing the content of that text file in OBS after that it’s just formatting, it is possible to do this but you may need to research your own method as Winamp isn’t so popular anymore, but what can I say? I’m oldschool yo!
What ho friends!
It is now just days til the Marathon, are you as excited as I am?
Right, so there is a couple of things we need to cover before the big day.
The topics I’ll be covering here are as follows.
How to set up an image slideshow (does not apply to OBS Studio/Multiplatform).
How to keep your channel active when you’re not streaming.
Finally last words of advice.
How to Set up an image slideshow:
Firstly, I want to discuss why we need to set up a slideshow and why we might need one.
As you may have noticed, some awesome companies have agreed to sponsor us through the marathon, with some providing items to give away and others having supported us in the running of the stream itself.
One of the things we promised these companies was to try and include their information in-stream, you may have noticed LtSophie included their logos in her selection of images you can use for your Overlay.
Personally, I am taking it a step further and using the sponsors as a screen to use when I am away from the stream for more than a minute and how I plan to do this is through the use of the Image Slideshow source of OBS.
So lets start, if you want to try this with me, here is a folder with all the sponsors in handy 1080p (though it should downscale to 720p nicely), download it and put it somewhere easy to access.
Linky linky linky linky… (fixed)
Next, load up OBS and right click in the Scenes window and select “Add Scene”, name it something like “Sponsors”.
Now, right click in the Sources window and select add, then Image Slideshow, name it what ever you like.
Once you’re in the Image Slideshow properties, you will want to set the time between images to between 10 and 15 seconds and ensure Randomise is ticked.
Now below that, where it says “Add Bitmaps”, you can either add the images you prefer OR just add the folder, this is pretty self explanatory.
As a bonus, here is how to quickly change between your scenes using hotkeys.
If you return to the main OBS window and rightclick on your Sponsors scene, at the bottom you will see a election called Set Hotkey, click this.
Put any button combination you like into the window the pops up.
I use Alt + 1 (the 1 from my Numberpad), as this will not likely be a combination used during a game.
Once you have a HotKey set up for your main streaming scene and one for your BRB scene, you can easily switch between the two with a button press or two.
Just remember to check on your stream to make sure you are not sending out a black screen.
How to keep your channel active when not streaming.
Okay, so imagine for a second that you’ve just finished streaming and you’ve got a dozen people sitting in your chat who will most likely go away once you end, what do you do?
The answer is simple, Twitch has a function that allows you to display someone elses stream through your own when you are away.
Though you’ll be displaying their stream, your viewers will still be in your chatroom and not the room of who ever you stream.
This is just a way to ensure there is always content on your stream and support your fellow streamers.
How it works is simple, in your chat you want to type the following: /host username
So if you are looking to host myself, you would type /host SilentAddle
If you wish to stop hosting a channel, you can simply type /unhost
Twitch limits you to 3 hosts per hour, so if you intend to use the function keep that in mind.
But this is a great way to keep the Marathon active across all channels even when you can not keep playing.
Now, the Marathon is days away and there isn’t much general advice I am able to give you, but I’m going to modify my mantra from last year and say this.
Have fun, if you can’t play then watch (and chat), if you can’t watch then host and if you can’t host then share.
Try and make your own celebration when we get to certain goals (for example every $500 is cause for celebration) and if we burst through our goal, make a huge deal out of it.
I think I will make a “mission accomplished” image to go over the screen for when we make it, and maybe make another image for each $500 after that with some small message of celebration, if you guys want to include the same I’ll add mine in here before Friday, if you want to make your own then that is cool too.
Good luck, good game and together we can make it.
And as always, if you have any questions, message me directly here or on Skype/FB, I will help make sure you are up to speed.
Also, just as an addition to you post
If you want to make a slideshow that you’re going to be using again or need to use across multiple OBS scenes then you’re better off making a global source. It’ll save you so much time.
Just click on the ‘Global Sources…’ button below the ‘edit scene’ button and then ‘Add’
Good advice Doth’Rah, though I was just keeping it simple across my own information.
As a side note, for any users with OBS Studio, the Image Slideshow function won’t be included til their next major update which (I believe) is scheduled for end of April, bloody typical eh?
I would advise people take an hour out before the Marathon to join the TS server, test their local levels for audio and such to make sure everything is set up okay.
I’ll be running with both a Pus-to-Talk and Push-to-Mute setup, so I can mute the TS if needed, but it also allows me to talk directly to people in my chat without spamming the TS chat.
I can not state how important this is, if everyone who is streaming is in the same TS channel, and they all have at least one active viewer, the Teamspeak will become flooded with noise and it’ll be off-putting to new viewers, Teamspeak should walk you through setting a push to talk and push to mute key (or key combination) on first run, but if it doesn’t you can find it in the Setup Wizard and in the Options.
Having an Push-to-Talk setup will allow for a better interaction with your viewers and stop any possible confusion with your fellow Streamers, it just takes a little while to get used to.
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