Sunless Sea – Early Access Gameplay [One Shots Live]

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So the last time I livestreamed I tried something a little different. I recorded a “live” version of my One Shots series for the game Sunless Sea. Now some of you may have noticed that the One Shots series has shifted from more of a “what I’m playing” to an edited (and scripted) impressions/review show. Since Sunless Sea is so heavily text based and playthoughs can easily last hours if not days, I decided I would go ahead and play through one life and then upload it to youtube. Overall I think that the format worked out ok but I may tweak it in the future. The Sunless Sea video is over an hour long so I hope that doesn’t scare too many people away. What do you guys think?

Thanks again for Toof for getting me a copy of Sunless Sea! <3<3<3

Age of Empires II HD – whimpywhimpywhimpy Troll [Stream Highlights]

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So this was one of the best trolls I’ve seen on a stream. Before I got sick last week I had been playing a lot of age of empires. While each game isn’t nearly as long as Civ 5 they can still last several hours … especially when I’m casually messing around. Well after about 1.5 hours of a little bit of cheatsydoodle someone in chat trolled me hard. It had been years since I had last played Age of Empires and I could only remember two of the cheat codes: How do you turn this on and furious the monkey boy. Well the chat got me to put in whimpywhimpywhimpy which I though would shrink my units ….

Nope. It doesn’t shrink your units. It doesn’t shrink them at all!

Guild Wars 2 – Forever Spins Glitch [Stream Highlights]

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So I may have broken Guild Wars 2 the other day on stream. Turns out that some of the diving goggles around the game allow you to do dive tricks as you jump off into the water. This time I jumped off, did a cannonball …. and then the game broke. Gotta say that glitch was hilarious up until I leveled and it stopped. According to Reddit it’s possible to do this with the “twirl” trick as well but I haven’t been able to reproduce the glitch since. Just imagine … an entire herd of forever spinning Nords … *shudder*

Shovel Knight – Troupple King Dance WTF [Stream Highlights]

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So I was streaming Shovel Knight and this happened … WTF?

The Troupple King scares me. BTW Shovel Knight is amazing and you should pick it up!

“Are You Ever Going to Livestream?”

… yes.

So I finally picked this up last night:

AVerMedia Game Recorder -C985 Live Gamer HD

It took me a loooong time to finally decide on a capture card because there seems to be so much BS information out there about them. You see I don’t need a capture card to record PC footage. Between Shadowplay, Fraps, OBS, and DXtory I have PC capture covered. However, I would love to be able to capture some WiiU games as that has been what I’ve been playing lately. FYI capture cards really aren’t going to help offload any load from your CPU/GPU when streaming a PC game. In fact, the quality is likely going to be worse than if you just used your processor.

Anyway it was between the solution above and this one from Japan. The price difference is pretty extreme: $350 w/ shipping -> $180 w/ shipping. From what I can find the Japanese card has a little less display lag through the passthrough, better colors, and can capture at 1080p @ 60 fps. The Avermedia card can do most of what the other card can but the maximum capture rate is 1080p @ 30 fps. After sitting down and really looking at what my streaming and youtube needs were I found there really won’t ever be a need to capture at above 1080p @ 30 fps. In fact, currently I stream at 720p @ 30 fps and will until I get partnered on twitch. This gives my viewers the option to select different qualities to suit their needs and gives me the freedom to crank up the bitrate. On youtube I currently upload 1080p @ 30 fps because youtube doesn’t do anything higher than that. You can upload a higher resolution and higher fps but youtube will re-encode it to be 1080p @ 30fps.

In the end the Avermedia card was the clear winner. I think I’ll do a review of it once it comes in.

So, to answer your question, yes I will be streaming. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be doing some test streams sporadically throughout the week as time allows. However, I might find the ability to stream a lot more regularly in the near future …

Keys to Success Part 2: Being Relentlessly Positive

Is Positive

Positive Cat Is Positive

So last week I Introduced a topic that I’ve been looking at closely over the last couple of weeks – How have people like Lethal Frag, Swifty, Cobaltstreak, Seananners, and Day[9] become successful on Youtube or twitch.tv? Specifically, what are they doing differently than everyone else who claims to have good quality content, commentary, consistency, etc. So far, I’ve determined that:

  • They’re overwhelmingly positive.
  • They’re enthusiastic about what they do.
  • They’re dedicated.
  • They give back to the community.

Today I want to talk about being overwhelmingly positive.

This is a subject that’s become increasingly important to me personally. Those of you who watch me regularly (particularly when I livestream) know that I don’t always like my current RL job. Despite the job’s upsides I end up having to deal with a huge workload, not-so-helpful coworkers, and the ever oppressing retail push. Couple that with the difficulties of trying to get a graduate degree and your typical RL troubles and I find that I am carrying a negative attitude most of the time. Sometimes I’ve let that negativity creep into my videos and streams. I figured it was fine because I was “being real”. After watching Day[9]’s video about being positive I’ve had to really reconsider my position.

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Yeah. So it turns out that I haven’t been as positive as I thought. (His followup video is equally fantastic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQICtwDKmzE) This isn’t the only time Day9 talks about being positive. The guy oozes positive attitude. Just watch any of his daily casts or backlog of recordings and you will see that the guy just can’t help smiling and laughing. When combined with his quirky nerd humor, that kind of positive energy is really contagious. Day9 is truly the definition of being relentlessly positive.

Day9 isn’t the only person being overwhelmingly positive. Take a look at Lethalfrag: It seems like this man can put a positive spin on anything. When twitch.tv came out with their turbo feature a lot of the biggest casters on twitch were up in arms about potential lost subscriber revenue. You see, livestreamers on twitch rely on a combination of ad revenue and subscriber revenue to make money. When a streamer plays an ad it pays a small amount of money for each impression.  In addition, some streamers have access to subscriber buttons which allow viewers to support the caster more effectively by paying $5 a month. In return the viewer sees no ads for that caster and gets access to a couple of unique emoticons to use in chat. As far as I’m aware the best way for a streamer to make consistent money is to have people subscribe. The new turbo feature allows viewers to pay twitch (not the casters) $8.99 a month to not see ads for the entire site but casters still get ad impressions. Naturally, some viewers are going to pay only $9 to block ads across the entire site rather than subscribe to one or two streamers. TLDR: Streamers were losing subscriptions from people who elected to get turbo.

Frag is one of those streamers who has a subscriber button. When viewers asked Frag about his opinion about the new Turbo feature he said it was great! He went on to describe the turbo service as great for the viewer, great for Twitch.tv (his employer essentially), and still beneficial to the caster due to the impressions the viewer generates. In his own words: “It’s better that I take a small, short term dip in revenue to better equip Twitch to grow and expand than to hold on to the few subs I’ll lose in the process. Twitch can’t pay anything if it goes under.” The ability to put a positive spin on something that so many people were seeing as negative is invaluable I’m sure. Frag also sports an amazingly levelheaded outlook on life and really patient approach to streaming. I don’t know how someone can die for four hours on I Wanna Be the Boshy and still chuckle about it.

All of this could be said about Cobaltstreak, Seananners, and Swifty. Go look at their content – you will be hard pressed to find a single video where they aren’t smiling, laughing, and generally having a good time. When difficult situations present themselves they always seem to put a positive spin on it.

So what does that mean for the rest of us when it comes to making videos or livestreaming? We have to be positive! And not just a bit – I’m talking overwhelmingly, sickeningly positive about everything. I’m beginning to realize that what draws a viewer to watch any particular person isn’t just the content, the game, or the quality. The ability to develop long time viewers (dare I say fans?) with your content hinges on developing a deep connection with the viewer. There are a lot of ways to do that but one of the first steps is to create a viewing environment that makes the viewer comfortable and happy. What’s the biggest way to turn off a potential viewer? Besides having an unwatchable video/stream, being a dick is second. Any sort of yelling, raging, belittling people in chat, or general trolling is going to get old fast.

But it goes even deeper than that. I don’t know about everyone else, but I watch youtube/twitch.tv to relax and enjoy myself. If I’ve had a particularly bad day I’ll often turn on a Day9 daily and watch him giggle and smile his way through an analysis of TvZ. I have only the faintest clue about what he’s talking about but it doesn’t matter. By the end of that hour I can’t help but smile when he compares losing a ZvZ to losing Felicity or does the fusion core dance. The same could be said for Seananners and his stupidly funny CS:Source videos and cooking advice, Swifty and his love for coffee and cats, or Cobalt’s Loki dance. Knowing that I can turn on a stream at any given point and expect to not just be entertained, but to have a streamer’s positivity rub off on me goes a long way towards making me a repeat/long term viewer.

Anyways that was much longer than I expected. Hopefully you find this information interesting and insightful. Next week I’ll tackle enthusiasm and it’s various benefits. (Spoiler alert: it’s a good thing.)

Keys to Success Part 1: Introduction

Idea Cat

Those of you who know me pretty well know that I tend to take this whole Youtube thing pretty seriously. That is, I like to analyze numbers, trends, and approaches to content. It’s just the way I’m wired – I love to analyze things. Naturally, I’ve always tried to In the past I’ve always thought that you needed to have an edge – an angle of attack for what you’re doing. With the gaming scene on Youtube (and to a lesser extent on twitch) so saturated, how are you going to get noticed if you are doing what everyone else is doing? So for the past six months that has been my focus. Gotta find my niche. Gotta have good quality content. Gotta be consistent. Gotta engage the audience. Gotta annotate, tag, network.

Turns out this approach is crap. Everyone is trying to find their niche. People making videos and livestreaming have probed damn near every orifice of video game content. Everyone has good quality video, audio, and commentary. Everyone’s grandmother can be consistent. Everyone says “comment, like, subscribe”. You think of it and everyone’s doing it. Surely there was something simple I was missing.

With this new push to really apply myself (last week not included due to Sony Vegas troubles …)  I’ve been taking another long look at some of the people who I think have accomplished a lot both on Youtube and Twitch.tv. These are people I turn on to watch time and time again. Here’s a short list:

  • Day[9]
  • Lethalfrag
  • cobaltstreak
  • Seananners
  • Swifty (specifically his IRL channel)

At their most basic level what do they have in common? I gone back through their old and new content and figured out exactly what makes them tick. I don’t know if I’ve found all the answers but I have found some similarities across the board:

  • They’re overwhelmingly positive.
  • They’re enthusiastic about what they do.
  • They’re dedicated.
  • They give back to the community.

All these things are pretty basic but I think a LOT of people miss them when creating their content. Now that I’ve actually thought about it I can’t believe how essential each of these things feel when it comes to being successful making gaming content. IMO these are even higher priority than almost anything else a commentator can do.

In an effort to refine my thoughts on this I’ve decided to post a small series of thoughts on each of these points. Hopefully you’ll find some of this as thought provoking as I have. I’ll have a new post in a couple of days and will update this introductory post as I post additional parts.

Cheers!

Zelda, Capsized, and Live Streaming!

Well sorry it’s been a bit since the last post – work has been keeping me pretty busy the last few weeks. With school starting again my department needs to serve a whole lot of students this year and it keeps me busy during the beginning and ends of semesters. Fortunately I’ve found enough time to post videos semi-regularly and I’ve even done a live stream or two. In case you missed it, I beat Super Mario World on the livestream!

http://www.twitch.tv/lordsevein

Its taken a few weeks and I haven’t completed it 100% or anything, but was a lot of fun. I no have a few livestream regulars who come out every time I stream which is awesome. If you are one of those people, THANK YOU for the links, questions, and funny commentary. You guys are quickly making streaming one of my favorite ways of enjoying a game.

In other news:

Minecraft: Zelda Adventure has been a blast to play through so far. I’ve gotten through the fourth dungeon and man am I impressed with the detail of the mod. There are times where I honestly forgot I was playing a Minecraft mod and thought I was playing Zelda. Items like the boomerang and the spritework on the boss keys and chests really make this mod something else. (Click the cool picture to get to the playlist!)

Finally, I have just posted the last episode of my Capsized LP on my channel:

It’s been a fun ride and I really like how the game ended. For something that seems so simple, the game really added a lot of variety when it came to gameplay. There were so many different weapons to use (including the quantum WTF gun …) and each seemed to have it’s special uses in different situations. However, my favorite part of this game was definitely the physics. There is just something cool about playing a game in which you have some real control over your character’s movement but in interesting ways. Thinks like big jumps, grappling hooks, and jetpacks make one of the most boring aspects of gameplay – travel – much more fun. How many of you have wasted more than a few minutes just jumping around Mario 64? I know that I have spent hours just doing stupid stuff with all the different types of jumps available. Anyway, I have really liked Capsized and would totally recommend it to anyone. If you can pick it up on sale I would jump on it quick.
I hope you guys are having an excellent Monday! More fun stuff to come soon … as soon as work allows me.
P.S. I HURD U LIEK POKEMANZ … (www.twich.tv/lordsevein)
>.>

Streaming w/ DiggitySC: Despite Problems, VICTORY!

Hi guys! I wanted to share with you one of the cooler experiences I’ve had after starting this whole youtube thing. Last night I had the awesome opportunity to join Diggity in a game of League of Legends on his stream! You may have heard of Diggity (or Diggitysc on youtube) as one of the premiere Starcraft 2 commentators on the scene. If you haven’t seen his work, check it out! (http://www.youtube.com/user/diggitySC) I love Diggity’s ability to be really flexible when it comes to his commentary style – he can be as excitable and energetic as Husky, as analytic as Day9, and as well spoken as HD. I even hear some Artosis in there too. Not only can he switch styles depending on who he is casting (or co-commentating with) but he can do it on the fly too. He’s also done something like a METRIC CRAPTON of stuff for the Starcraft community as a whole. Needless to say I have a lot of respect for the guy.

I mentioned in my League of Legends video that I recently started watching Diggity’s nightly League of Legends stream. (http://www.justin.tv/diggitysc) He hosts it nightly at around 10:30PM his time and has such guest stars as LZgamer, moletrap, and X (davidr64). Unfortunately, since I’m in CST his stream usually starts around 12:30AM and can last until 3:00AM … for someone who has to get up at 7:00AM the next day I usually need to get an after-work nap in to catch his stream. Totally worth it though!

Anyway, last night I catch the stream as usual. The last couple of nights Diggity has been reserving a spot on the team for a randomly picked viewer to fill. I’ve signed up since the first night he started doing it but I didn’t get in nor did I really expect to. Imagine my surprise when I heard my handle get called to fill the spot last night! After quite literally picking myself up off the floor I was able to get my headset and sound set up and even get into the group’s skype call! I was pretty nervous as I am still really new to the game and my new favorite champion (Master Yi … yes, yes I know …) but I thought I could use the opportunity to record it and put it up on my channel. Little did I know that I was going to be facing a whole host of problems.

Problem #1: Apparently, in the upper levels of the game Master Yi is an AD carry that jungles throughout much of the early game. However, in the lower levels you are lucky to even have a tank on your team – junglers are almost unheard of. Naturally everyone expected me to be jungling and I haven’t the slighest clue how to do it. I mean I get the general principal – kill minions in a set pattern to keep up with the levels of the laners and gank when you have an opportunity – I’ve just never done it. So, I totally didn’t take smite … 🙁

Problem #2: As soon as we get into the game my client completely crashed. This was a first for me as I typically don’t have a problem with the game other than occasional freezing for a few seconds. After five minutes of frantically trying to reconnect (and several choice curse words), it finally let me back into the game. I’m playing a game of LoL with one of the people I respect most and I am now five minutes behind in levels and gold. Great first impression right? FML

Problem #3: After getting back in I try to do the whole jungle role … the thing is I’m level one with no items and no smite. What to do? Have several fail attempts at the golems before heading to an occupied dual lane of course! With their direction (and more than one save by Matt who was playing Blitzcrank at the time) I was able to stitch together an early game that consisted of half-jungling and half-laning (read as: mooching) until I was within a level of the group. I was still behind on gold but I’ll be damned if I am going to be behind on levels. 🙂

Despite all of these problems our team managed to D up and win all of the major team fights. That coupled with my absolute mastery of League of Legends mechanics and excellent micro … (read as: me going, “Oh … we are teamfighting now … guess I better ALPHA STRIKE AND KILL STEALOLOLOL >.>) we managed to mid push right up to their base and destroy their nexus in one go. I have to say that I never expected to win that game.

You can watch the entire match here: http://www.justin.tv/diggitysc/b/289660285 (the match starts @ 11:52ish.) Be sure to watch as I flail around the jungle for the first five minutes for extra lulz.

A big thanks goes out to Diggity and his team for allowing me to play and for doing the stream each night. If you haven’t seen his stream you should really check it out! I had a ton of fun as was glad to contribute to a win for the audience. Perhaps next time I can be present for the entire game … and this time I’ll have smite!

I have some more updates about the channel and my youtube doings sometime tomorrow. Hope you guys are having a great week!

Oh, here’s a little preview: