Friday, November 28, 2014

More On Streaming

I followed up my test stream on Tuesday with another test stream on Wednesday. I want to post a bit about what I learned in the process and what may be next.

First things first though, I should actually link my Twitch account in a post in case anyone who wanted to find it missed when I posted it in the comments earlier this week. Ideally I would have used the name Ziggyny to keep my 'brand' constant, whatever that would mean. But it turns out that account is already taken, by someone who has never streamed anything. I actually suspect the Ziggyny account was created by me, on, to watch an MLG quite a few years ago. Twitch merged with Justin or something, at least they absorbed the accounts, and I suspect my ability to get back into that account got broken in the process. TheGreatZiggyny has been my general fallback name forever, but it may be a little over pompous for something I actually use. Or maybe I just need to go all in and get a top hat and cape to run with it.

I looked into Twitch chat and it is just an IRC server with channels named by the Twitch account name. So channel #thegreatziggyny is my chat channel. They have an authentication token thing setup so you need a special password to login to the IRC server so there were some hoops to jump through to get setup, but now that I've done it it's done. Putting the chat on the stream itself is as easy as running an IRC client and using the streaming software (OBS) to capture from that window. I watched a video from someone about how to set up transparencies such that I made the colour black in the IRC source into transparent so I can have chat overlayed onto a game if I so desired.

I couldn't find a place where I was happy to overlay chat in SolForge so I just broke the screen up and shrunk the SolForge window for my test. To add to the test and fill space I stuck in the time splits I built for Final Fantasy Mystic Quest back in January. Supposedly there's a plug-in to connect LiveSplit with OBS but I just added it as an extra source to capture for now. It seemed to have worked reasonably well regardless. Except that I was using Mystic Quest splits for SolForge which makes no sense at all.

The layout sure wasn't pretty, but it was reasonably functional and as far as a test goes it was definitely a success.

I didn't look into it very hard, but I couldn't figure out how to limit which sounds got broadcast. I did find a way to turn down the music volume though so that I could play something for background noise while playing SolForge (which has no music, or I found the music annoying and turned it off). I don't think I quite got it quiet enough, or maybe I just need to speak up more, but it worked well enough. Good proof of concept like the layout I guess.

My computer was pretty good when I built it 5ish years ago, but it may be a little outdated now. Or perhaps more likely Flash is just a poorly optimized CPU hog. I had to close Chrome and FireFox to not have my CPU grind to a halt while streaming. (Though I also was trying out streaming to disk at the same time as to Twitch and that probably didn't help.) Closing my web browsers meant I couldn't log in to Twitch to mess with settings (like the stream name) while actually streaming. This actually seems like a fairly common complaint. So much so that people have created tools to interface with Twitch without having to open a web browser. I downloaded one of those (TeeBoard) after my last test. Something to play around with next time I guess.

As far as next time goes I want to try streaming something more CPU intensive like League of Legends. I also want to try streaming something off of my SNES. I got my TV bench put together this afternoon so I should be able to get myself setup with my TV to give that a spin. I would have already tried a LoL stream except my right arm has been hurting again. Really all I've been doing is watching streams (DreamHack Winter is on this weekend) and clicking heroes with my left hand. And I really can't imagine a Clicker Heroes stream as being interesting to anyone so it didn't seem worth it to even try such a thing.


Brent Oster said...

Hey, I briefly took a quick look at your test stream. I don't have time to watch it right now, but maybe later.

Anyhow, I skipped ahead to your drafting and noticed that your talking was very quiet. I had to turn the volume way up on my computer in order to hear you.

Nick Page said...

Noted. I've moved the mic slider up for next time.

Brent Oster said...

Ok, going back and starting to watch it. Your first test was the quiet one that I looked at earlier today. Test 2 I just took a quick listen to and your voice is much louder and is at a decent volume, but your background music is pretty loud.

So if you go with the voice volume from test 2, and just turn down the background music you're probably pretty good.