Start Streaming

I'm often asked "how do I start streaming" and I have THOUGHTS and ADVICE! And I'm going to share ALL OF IT ^_^


Icy's advice is just start streaming

My first piece of advice is: Just Start Streaming.

Don't put it off. If you really want to start, make it a priority. At the minimum commit yourself to 2 regular streams a week. Keep it regular and only as long as you enjoy. If you need to take a day off, do so, but come back again.

Streaming should become a habit, and one that you actively enjoy (if you don't enjoy it, don't push yourself into doing it; find another aspect of gaming content creation that excites you).

When you start you will be streaming to no-one, and that's OK! It will give you the opportunity to practice streaming with no pressure. It's very hard, but don't let numbers worry you. Walk your own path, not anyone else's.

Find a community and hang out in streams together. Host other people who have similar interests to you. DON'T advertise yourself in other people's stream. This is bad manners and will get you banned in most other streams. Treat the connections you make like business networking; be respectful and build a connection that benefits both of you.

If you're streaming on Twitch (and it's not your only option) you need to have 50 followers and 3 concurrent viewers for Affiliate, which unlocks the ability for you to have subscribers and take bit donations. You can unlock more Affiliate features (emotes, VIP roles, etc) as you have more subs and concurrent chatters.

For most Twitch Partners, it's a long slow road to get there. Don't make that your focus when you're starting out. You'll need 75 concurrent views averaged over 30 days to even think about it (as well as the other requirements). Just enjoy your journey and take your time.

Am I looking towards partner? Not at this stage. I can't dedicate the hours required to build my channel to the levels required for partner - at least not until I retire! ^_^


Onto the technical!

When you start out, don't feel you need to go out and buy all of the expensive things. Streaming can be daunting when you're starting out and the pressure of having to "succeed" to justify the cost of your purchases can make it overwhelming. At the very minimum you should have a reasonable quality microphone and a computer that can handle running both the game and the streaming software (such as OBS).

Start out by recording your gameplay and then watch it back. Do you talk enough? Are your sound levels balanced? Is your voice clear? Are in-game chat windows hidden? Make corrections and practice until you're happy.

Then do a few test streams (but don't let people know you're going live). Test the same things, but also check that your stream is reasonably smooth to the internet. Don't forget you now have to take into the quality of your Internet upload and how it affects the quality of the stream. Watch your playback on Twitch (or Mixer or YouTube) and make sure the quality is acceptable. Adjust your settings as required (and then delete the test broadcasts).

If your Internet is slow (ADSL or low quality fibre) you may need to make some compromises with quality in order to stream, but STREAM ANYWAY. Don't put it off waiting for better Internet (or tech).

If your Internet is very fast, don't stream above 720p 30fps 2000 bit rate; people with slower Internet won't be able to watch you as your stream won't have a guaranteed down-sampling (unless you reach partner).


Icy's advice about needing a face cam

It depends :D

Your channel must be active and appealing when someone drops by to see what you're about. Some of the best streamers I know don't have a face cam, but they are able to chat continuously, so when people drop into their stream they know there is activity and there is someone there to talk to.

If you have a face cam, you don't need to be quite so active because people can see you're a real person immediately but unless you interact with people, they're not going to stay.

Other options instead of a face cam are a cute pic to represent you or an animated face replacement (though that does need a basic face cam for the animation).

Do remember, you need to keep people in your stream long enough to make a connection and so they'll come back.