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Twitch Tutorials and Streaming Advice

Posts Tagged ‘twitch webcam’

Heartomics: Lost Count

We take a quick look at this cool little game created by a fellow gamer and Twitch streamer. I will also explain to you how you can get a free copy of this game but only if you stream on Twitch TV#StreamLife

Heartomics: Lost Count

Heartomics is a Danmaku visual novel hybrid where the hero is on a quest to regain his memories.

Danmaku is a Japanese term for a barrage of bullets. This style of game is known as “bullet curtain”, “curtain fire” or “Bullet Hell” in English. Bullet Hell games are known as the ultimate “shoot em ups” and can be horrifically difficult and frustrating at times.

I had a chance to catch up with the developer and ask him more about why he created Heartomics: Lost Count.

What is the story behind Heartomics?Lyra - Heartomics: Lost Count

“The story is about “Hero”, a male protagonist who has lost his memories. He is accompanied by three beautiful girls “Euphony”, “Lyra”, and “Melody” who aid him in a quest to regain his memories. When a set of memories are recovered the most “memorable” memories are brought to the surface. Play as Hero and recover your most precious -sexy- moments!”

Why did you create Heartomics?

“My plan is to entice players to play / be more open to the bullet hell genre.

By the end of my game players will be well equipped to explore bullet hell games that they may have found to be too hard.”

What was the process for creating the game?

“The game was written in C++. I commission artists for most of the art work.”

How can people get a copy of Heartomics!

“Twitch streamers can get a free copy of Heartomics: Lost Count by simply reaching out to me and getting in touch.”

Heartomics: Lost Count

The Final Word

I found the game to be quite addictive and difficult but fun to play and if you enjoy old school style “shoot em ups” I am sure you will love Heartomics: Lost Count.

Additional Links:

Heartomics: Lost Count on Steam | twitter.com/heartomics | heartomics.com


The Steam Link, simply a great investment!

I recently purchased a Steam Link and a Steam Controller for three different reasons. Firstly I liked the idea of playing some two player games in the living room with the misses and friends when they come over. Secondly I knew I could stream movies to my living room straight from my desktop replacing the need for my Apple TV box. Thirdly I wanted to see if it is possible to stream to Twitch from my living room using a webcam connected to the Steam Link, this would be truly awesome!

Let’s start with a brief history of my gaming life!

For years I invested a ton of money into new games consoles and the game titles that came with them. In my lifetime I have owned nearly every major console that was released, there are a few fringe consoles like the NeoGeo that I never owned but the main bulk of them have had me play them for hours and hours. I have also spent a ton of money on personal computers, laptops and upgrades year after year.

Lets take a look at the consoles, computers and handheld gaming devices I have owned over the past 30 years:

Ajax TV Game
ZX Spectrum +2
Atari 520ST
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Master System II
Commodore Amiga 2000
Sega Genesis Mega Drive
Nintendo GameBoy
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
PlayStation
Nintendo GameBoy Color
Nintendo 64
Sega Game Gear
Sega Dreamcast
PlayStation 2
Microsoft Xbox 360
Nintendo Wii
PlayStation 3

Why did I stop buying consoles?

I never owned a PS4 or an Xbox One and I probably never will. I decided to permanently switch to gaming on the PC and I have never looked back. However I do miss sitting on the sofa and hammering a game pad from time to time. I also miss the fun of destroying a friend in split screen mode. I miss two player co-op games, I miss playing games like NHL, NFL and FIFA. I miss the Olympics style games. I really enjoyed the time I spent sat on the sofa playing these consoles.

The last two consoles I owned did not see much use. The Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation3. I owned a lot of games for the Wii (around 20 plus games) and I also purchased a lot of the added peripherals, fishing rods, gun holders, tennis bats, you name it I had it. For the PS3 I only really bought it because I was in need of a Blue-ray player, I own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Need for Speed Shift.

But the bottom line is I didn’t really use either of these consoles and I have since sold my Wii to a family friend.

Enter the Steam Link

I like the idea of having all of my games in Steam. I like that I don’t have to keep physical copies of the games that I play and that I will always have access to the library of games that I buy on Steam and they will all be in one place.

I am super interested in streaming video games and that is exactly what the Steam Link does. It is not the same as broadcasting on Twitch but it still represents a wonderful opportunity for gamers. Streaming is becoming a huge part of gaming and I think the Steam Link is a step in the right direction from Valve. At $50 for the Steam Link and $50 for a Steam Controller this is a pill which is quite easy to swallow especially as I have already invested thousands of dollars on my gaming pc.

Streaming Movies with the Steam Link

I wanted to be able to stream movies to my television from my PC. Currently I have an Apple TV box and some of the things I watch are not on Netflix or iTunes. Currently I use my MacBook Pro to stream to the Apple TV box but this involves me copying files from my desktop to my MacBook using my Samsung T3, a process which takes about 5-10 minutes. The drive is insanely fast, but still I have to go from one room to the other and back again between machines. With the Steam Link you literally stream your entire desktop screen to your television. Anything you can do on your desktop you can do on your Television. Now I just open the movie directly on my desktop and it’s streams to my TV beautifully at 1080p and at 60 fames per second.

Using a SNES emulator with the Steam Link

I recently got into RetroArch and I have fallen back in love with SNES games. Titles like Super Mario World, Rock and Roll Racing and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Recently I worked out how to stream RetroArch to my television and now I can play Super Nintendo classics in my living room with a friend like it was 1991. I mean this by itself is simply amazing.

You can stream on Twitch using the Steam Link

I also managed to stream to Twitch from my living room using the Steam Link, admittedly I ended up using two active USB cables for the webcam but still I achieved what I wanted. I made a video diary about how that went and I will release it soon on my YouTube.

A great way to save money and invest in the future!

I have already spent thousands of dollars on my gaming pc and being able to leverage that power in my living room for just $100 has been amazing. After just 2 hours I was able to honestly say that it was a great investment. Now I know spending $100 is not how you save money, but I see desktop streaming as a huge part of the future, eventually games will even exist just in the cloud and local hard drives probably wont even be needed.

The Final Word

I am super happy with my Steam Link. It’s not perfect but it is a step in the right direction. You will have issues, for example sometimes I have to visit the other room and click something because the Steam Link looses it’s focus. You will probably have to run the Steam Link over Ethernet or PowerLAN adapters. People have reported issues with Wi-Fi. When the Steam Link works it is brilliant and it does work 99% of the time.

I only recommend buying one Steam Link Controller as it was designed to replace a mouse and keyboard and I think there are other better controller options out there. I currently own a DS4 Controller an Xbox PC Controller and an 8bitdo SFC30 all of which work brilliantly and where applicable with Bluetooth.

If you are looking at buying a Steam Link I think you will be happy as long as you have good connectivity. If you are hardcore PC gamer I think you will find the added investment of the Steam Link something which brings a huge amount of value for relatively little money. Plus you will save thousands of dollars on games in the future.


Start streaming on Twitch – 7 Tips

In just over one and a half years of streaming on Twitch, I’ve gained nearly 20,000 followers (Which you can check here on my channel). I wanted to outline what I believe are the most important things you should be doing to maximize your potential when you start streaming on Twitch. Getting people to your stream is hard enough, keeping them there is even harder.

I have spent many hours reading and learning about streaming and the Twitch platform. I have also learned from personal experiences and the experience of others. I run followtrain.tv and I run a Twitch community where we discuss Twitch related topics. It would be fair to say I know a thing or two about streaming.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when you are just start streaming on Twitch.

1. Make sure your internet connection is solid

You don’t need to run out and buy a dedicated T1 line when you start streaming on Twitch, but you definitely need to have a decent cable broadband or fibre optic connection. The number one thing you need to do is be able to stream and with a bad internet connection you will end up with a totally black screen or a laggy viewing experience. I already outlined in another post what the best settings to use when streaming, so make sure you check that out.

2. Get a decent microphone

People visit Twitch to watch and listen to people playing games. If your commentary is inaudible due to a low-quality microphone, you won’t get many followers or viewers. You don’t need a recording studio quality mic but you do need to be sure that your voice is clear and louder than your music or in-game sound, with little to no static or hum.

Try and get a microphone with built in noise reduction in case something is going on behind you, perhaps you live near a busy road and the windows are open because of the heat outside. These small sounds will be heard on your stream as just background noise which can really irritate people. I keep an updated list of what I consider to be the Best Hardware for Twitch.

3. Get some custom graphics and a decent overlay

Your channel and brand is important for people to remember you, starting at just $5 you can get custom graphic design service. You will create your HUD (Heads up Display) in your streaming software, something like OBS or xSplit. Personally, I do mine with OBS. The idea is to make sure that your stream looks good and is viewer friendly. There are a ton of streamers out there, so the viewer experience is going to be what sets you apart.

For example you could create a border around your webcam that tells something about your personality or your favorite game. It is also important that pop up notifications give praise where it is due. When someone gives you a donation or follows you you should have a pop up or something cool happening.

When viewers see a celebration over even the smallest of donations, they are more likely to donate a few dollars as well. Make an even bigger celebration for your top donors. Remember, people are throwing money at you for doing something you would probably be doing anyway, so make sure they know how grateful you are.

4. A HD webcam is a must

Okay, so maybe Lirik doesn’t use a webcam… but you are not Lirik and you didn’t start streaming nearly five years ago when he did. Do yourself a favour and buy a decent webcam. There are plenty of streamers who don’t use a webcam, this is true, they also they don’t have many followers or viewers. If you want to be one of them random unknown faces then be my guest but it wont help you grow on Twitch.

People like to see faces, even if you think you are the ugliest person on earth I promise you beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s just nice to have a face to go with the voice and the username, so don’t be shy.

I was simply amazed how much people did not troll me when I first used a webcam. Most people are genuinely friendly. We all got bullied a little school for one thing or another and that fear is still with us but in my experience on Twitch it’s not an issue. Really you should try it once or twice and I promise you wont regret it, in fact you will enjoy streaming even more. Yes it feels awkward at first and maybe you need to get comfortable with speaking before turning on the camera but sooner or later you need a webcam.

You want to be able to stream and record in high definition a 720p camera is the minimum, but a 1080p is always preferred. Many viewers, when looking for a new channel to watch, won’t even click on one unless they see a picture-in-picture cam. Read more about what I think is the best webcam for Twitch.

5. Interact with your viewers

There is only so much that hardware and software can do for you, and there are a ton of great players out there. After that, your persona has to carry you. You will truly begin to stand apart from the crowd and gain a following when people see your personality, and that means interacting. Gaining followers and regular viewers is really about being entertaining.

Once you have hundreds or thousands of followers, you may not be able to greet everyone by name, but at least when you are starting out, don’t let people slip in and out of your channel without even being acknowledged. Say something like, “Hi [username], welcome to the stream!” Try to answer questions that viewers ask, and even ask some of your own and check out the responses. Yes, you need to pay attention to the game too, but the game isn’t following you or making donations, so put your viewers first.

Don’t argue in the chat box. If someone is really being obnoxious, mute them quickly and move on. Do not waste time or energy with trolls, insta-ban them and forget about it, they will move on to someone else who will entertain their trolling efforts.

6. Get a chat bot for your stream

I’m not talking about view bots—those are a good way to get your channel banned. If you are a regular Twitch viewer, you probably already know what a chat bot is. Chat bots basically serve one purpose—they keep the chat box safe for you and your followers and provide additional interaction functionality.

They can ban people for saying certain words, they can tell users what music you are currently playing and they can even help you run giveaways and answer common questions for you. You can also give certain moderators the ability to add commands to some bots to further reduce the amount of work you have to do when streaming.

My personal favorite is DeepBot. DeepBot is not free and can be overwhelming at first, start with something like Moobot or Nightbot and consider DeepBot later on.

7. Be consistent and persistent

When you first start streaming on Twitch, setting up a schedule for streaming is in my opinion the single most important thing you can do if you want to build regular viewers. How do you expect to get regular viewers if you cant even be regular yourself?

Being consistent allows you to get repeat viewers rather than just competing for whoever happens to be on when you decide to stream. Don’t give up if your stream doesn’t take off straight away. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get to know you and decide that your channel is more fun or exciting than the other channels that are currently open.

Keep learning and striving to become a better streamer, watch other peoples streams and figure out why they have so many viewers. What are they doing differently and ask yourself how can you be more like them?

In my personal experience, last year when I had a three day a week schedule, I was able to build my viewers up to an average of around 70-80 people per stream. I took six months off in the Autumn of 2015 and when I returned I struggled to get just 10 viewers. At the time of writing this article I am now back averaging 30 viewers per stream but I only commit to one day per week, with an occasional impromptu stream on other days depending what is going on in my real life.

Sure, things can go wrong when you first start streaming on Twitch. Your Internet or power may go out during a stream. Someone could be trolling chat looking to pick a fight or harass other users. Hardware fails and software breaks, life issues and unexpected social happenings like friends and family turning up at your house. All of these things can effect your stream and your passion for streaming but don’t let setbacks get you down. The most successful channels are the ones that deal with all that adversity but continue pushing forward and making their followers glad to be there.

The Final Word

Hard work, research and commitment is what makes a top streamer. I hope you take the time to read more of my articles on this blog and I hope you can gain some insight into streaming on Twitch.

I spend a lot of time helping new streamers and I can show you how to get more followers, but it takes some hard work. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or topics you would like to know more about and I will reply or blog about it in the future.


The best webcam for streaming on Twitch

You are here because you want to know what is the best webcam for streaming on Twitch.

When people see my stream they always ask me which webcam I use, probably because it looks so epic! When I first started streaming I made a decision that I wanted to create a stream that looked both professional and beautiful. I visited many streamers at the time, if they had really great webcam footage I simply asked them which webcam they used.

Whenever I was really blown away with the webcam footage I would get exact same answer.

Now I personally own and use the Logitech C920 – HD Pro Webcam. This is the very best webcam on the market. You don’t have to believe me, just go to Amazon and you will see that this camera is the #1 Best Seller in the webcam category.

The main reason I bought this camera was for the insane quality and high resolution. The high resolution means I get a much better result when using the green screen chroma key effect to overlay my webcam footage on my stream.

Do you really need a 1080p camera?

I think this is purely down to the question of whether or not you want to use a green screen or offer your viewers the maximum quality that you can. The higher the resolution the better the green screen chroma effect will be. You may be thinking typically that when you use a webcam on Twitch you shrink it right down to a quarter of the screen. But if you add a green screen effect then this effect is added to the webcam footage before you shrink it. If you want a crystal clear green screen effect then I suggest you buy the 1080p camera above.

Want to save some money?

In all honestly a webcam with 1080p capture may not be necessary. I record my entire screen at 1080p and then I downscale it to 720p before I stream it, my webcam takes up less than a quarter of the screen. You could argue that the resolution that the camera can capture is never really seen in my Twitch stream. But like I said earlier, I wanted the perfect green screen effect.

If you wanted to save a little bit of money or you do not want to use a green screen effect then I would recommend the little brother of the C920. I would recommend you to purchase the Logitech C270 – HD Webcam which is a 720p Widescreen webcam. This will still give you amazing quality but at less than half the price of the C920 you can see why this option may be appealing to you. I would weigh up the pro’s and con’s of both cameras and take the option that best suits your individual streaming needs.

The Final Word!

Hundreds of thousands of people who wanted great webcam footage have chosen the Logitech C920 which is why it is the number one bestseller on Amazon. If you want to save yourself some money then I would opt for the little brother and grab the Logitech C270. Either of these cameras offer great performance with a relatively low cost. I personally use the Logitech C920 and would not consider anything else right now.