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Twitch Tutorials and Streaming Advice

Posts Tagged ‘videogames’

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


Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

I love to hang out with friends online when the ESL majors are on. I have always used Skype to host video calls and then I try and sync my browser with a friend for a complete viewing experience but it is hard because we often are not in-sync.

I recently discovered chatben.tv which is a website which allows friends to watch and share content together in real-time. You can video chat with a friend who is seeing exactly the same thing as you.

chatben.tv was founded by two brothers who wanted to watch and share content together. They had become frustrated trying to browse Twitch and trying to run a Skype video call at the same time. chatben.tv was created as a better way to look at content on the internet together you can now watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

How to use chatben.tv: Navigate your browser to http://www.chatben.tv and create an account by clicking the “Sign Up” button. Once you have an account you can either join other users in any of the channels already running or you can create your own channel. Channels can be private, public or in solo mode.

To create a new channel look for the input labeled “Add Show” there you can past a link to all different types of content. You can watch Twitch live streams, as well as YouTube videos, gifs and images, all as if you are watching them on TV. When you change the channel, or go to the next show in the same channel, the exact same thing happens for your friend and you stay in sync. Once you have created a channel you can share a special link and a friend can join your room.

You can also leave video responses for other users when browsing the site. There are over 80 channels that are updated daily, including a dedicated video game channel that constantly updates with live streams.

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

The Final Word

I have not seen a site similar to chatben.tv before. It offers true social sharing in my opinion. It is great to share a cool, funny or crazy video and see your friends reactions via webcam. If you are looking to share a video with some friends try getting them to jump on chatben.tv before you send them a normal “share link” and experience the future of social video.


How to set up a TeamSpeak Server with no port number on a subdomain

Before I moved the FollowTrainTV streamers community to Discord I was using both IRC and TeamSpeak to build up a community of streamers. One of the the first things I didn’t like about my original setup was that my TeamSpeak server address was horrible and difficult to remember. On top of that it had a port number attached to it. Being a technical guy I figured I could setup a subdomain on my current domain name and allow the traffic to be redirected easily.

I didn’t want to use the horrible long address given to me by my TeamSpeak service provider I wanted something simple and easy to remember so below I will show you the two ways I discovered, so that you can do the same. The first way is free and the second way cheap but in my case my current domain provider did not allow me to do it the free way so I needed to use a 3rd party to help me out.

Redirecting a subdomain to a TeamSpeak server using an SRV record

Straight out of the box some domain name providers will allow you to quickly and easily setup a subdomain on your account that can easily redirect traffic to your TeamSpeak server. You simply need to add an SRV record.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to setup the TeamSpeak SRV record in cPanel which is a very common software used by many web server hosting companies. If your hosting company does not use cPanel then you may have to email them to ask them how to add an SRV record.

Redirecting a subdomain to a TeamSpeak server without an SRV record

So it turns out I am one of the unlucky people who’s server / domain provider doesn’t have the ability to add an SRV record. Instead I had to use a third party provider to allow me to have a subdomain which can redirect traffic to my TeamSpeak server.

Enter TS3DNS.com a company that offers a redirect service for a small fee. I paid $6.99 for a one year subscription which allows me to achieve the same flexibility as the free option above. It’s simple to use and after 24 hours I was happy to see that I can now use a subdomain with no port number attached to connect to my TeamSpeak server. There was no way for my current hosting company to do this so I had to pay the $6.99 but it works perfectly and I am very happy.

The added bonus of setting up your TeamSpeak server under a subdomain

One of the cool side effects of this kind of setup is that if you change the company that provides you with your TeamSpeak server you do not have to tell all of your clan members and friends the new address. You simply adjust the DNS record and usually within around 10 minutes your existing subdomain will be pointing to your brand new server address. This is super important if you are looking to grow your community because every time you change the physical address of your server you will loose some of the people that visit your server.

The Final Word

If you are using TeamSpeak then you really should setup a subdomain for your server, how you do it depends entirely on who hosts your current domain name.

If you haven’t already checked out Discord then I suggest you do, because it was built with gamers in mind. Imagine if IRC and TeamSpeak had a baby together, well then you can begin to understand what Discord is. Discord has desktop apps, mobile apps, voice comms and a rich text chat all in one application that will encourage your community to idle and hang out on your server, It’s free and much easier to setup and use. It’s a no brainer!

If you want to try out Discord for the first time then you can join me and other Twitch streamers on the FollowTrainTV Community Discord.


Steam Link with RetroArch + Ice, running emulators for SNES and Genesis in Big Picture Mode

Yesterday was a wonderful day, I finally got my Steam Link working flawlessly with RetroArch and a PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller on the big screen in my living room. It was my third attempt at getting an emulator to work with the Steam Link and now I can teach you exactly what I did and what I have learned over the past week.

Since I got my Steam Link I have been obsessed with the idea of running old school games like Super Mario World for the SNES and Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis (MegaDrive). I saw some people had done it already so I knew it could be done, but the tutorials out there leave much to be desired and can be confusing and over complicated at best.

I will try in this article to keep things simple. I will explain some of the basic concepts that you need to understand to get this working. If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I will try to help.

How to run emulators on the Steam Link

We will be using RetroArch, which is creating quite a bit of buzz in the emulator world right now because it allows you to control multiple emulators and works on multiple platforms. RetroArch is kind of an emulator manager, it is more than that but for the purpose of this article it allows you to have multiple emulators all under one interface.

Then we will use a piece of software called Ice to create the bridge between RetroArch and the Steam Platform. Once we have RetroArch and Ice configured we can use our Steam Link to launch emulators and play retro games directly from Steam in Big Picture Mode with a seamless integration.

Where to save every thing?

There are no rules where you save RetroArch, Ice or your ROM files. I will show you how I have it on my machine to make this tutorial easier to understand.

I install some of my Steam games on my extra hard drive. I have a folder there called “SteamLibrary” and this is where I install some of my Steam games. I decided I would keep all of my game files all in one place so now I have RetroArch, Ice and my ROM files all in a SteamLibrary folder on my 1TB external hard drive.

So E:\SteamLibrary\steamapps is where some of my Steam games are installed.

I then created an “Emulator Folder” under E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator so that I can store every thing connected with emulation all in one place.

Then I created:
E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\RetroArch
E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\Ice
E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\ROMs

Inside ROMs I have two more folders which contain some ROM files:
E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\ROMs\SNES
E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\ROMs\Genesis

Remember there are no rules here, you do not have to have this structure and the fact that these folders are inside my Steam folder serves no relevance to the tutorial whatsoever because you can install these things wherever you wish.

First let’s download and start RetroArch

Before we think about Steam or using the Steam Link its important that we get RetroArch running first. You will need to install “RetroArch” load up a “Core” and then load some “Content”. In other words we will use RetroArch to load a console for example the Super Nintendo core then we will load a game which is also called a ROM file.

Download the latest stable version of RetroArch for Windows and unpack it into E:\SteamLibrary\Emulators\RetroArch, you will need WINRar or similar to unzip the 7-Zip file. You can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit depending on your current operating system. I use Windows 10 so I went with the Stable 1.3.2 64-bit download.

After you unpack it, launch retroarch.exe and you should see the RetroArch GUI. Now we need to download our first Core and then we can load a ROM file.

RetroArch GUI

RetroArch GUI

Navigate using your keyboard and follow the steps below:

Download a Core:
Settings tab > Online Updater > Core Updater > bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll

Once you have a Core downloaded you will need to load the Core.

Load a Core into RetroArch:
Settings tab > Load Core > bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll

Once you have a Core loaded you can now load a ROM file.

Load a ROM File:
Settings tab > Load Content > Select File > E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\ROMs\SNES\Super Mario World.sfc

If all is working correctly you will see the game you just selected and you should have control using the keyboard. For a more in depth article or if you get stuck with my guide you can read Getting Started with RetroArch you can also ask questions on the LibRetro Forums and you can check the LibRetro Wiki.

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST HAVE RETROARCH WORKING BEFORE YOU CONTINUE!

Using Ice to add ROM files to your Steam Library

Once we have RetroArch working we need to create the bridge between Steam and RetroArch. To do this we will use a really awesome GitHub project called Ice created by Scott Rice. Ice will scan our ROM folders we created earlier and add any games it finds into Steam as non-Steam games. Its customizable, with a fairly low level setup. It also helps you find artwork so that your ROMs look great when you are running Steam in Big Picture Mode which is the mode launched by default when you use your Steam Link.

Configuring Ice to work with RetroArch and the Steam Platform

Download the latest version of Ice and unpack it into E:\SteamLibrary\Emulators\Ice.

There are three config files that you will need to edit to get Ice working correctly.

config.txt
consoles.txt
emulators.txt

The reason I showed you my file structure earlier is to try and help you understand how to configure the Ice config files.

Here are my config files, you can of course configure Ice to work differently but for the purpose of this article I will show you what I have in my three config files. I have removed most of the content that comes in these files to keep the demonstration simple and to show you that some things are not needed for our particular setup. Please review the files you downloaded from the Ice website and compare them with mine. I have added some of my own comments to help you understand how these three files work together. I am currently running both SNES and Genesis/MegaDrive on my Steam Link so if you only want SNES games you can ignore the Genesis stuff but I have left it here to help show you how this stuff is working.

config.txt

[Storage]
# My ROM Files:
ROMs Directory=E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\ROMs

[Grid Images]
# The default is ConsoleGrid (consolegrid.com/api/top_picture)
# If this field is left blank, Ice will not attempt to download images
Source=consolegrid.com/api/top_picture

consoles.txt

# This [WORD] represents the category in Steam
[Super Nintendo]
# nickname must match you folder name in your ROMs folder
nickname=SNES
# This is the name you specify in emulators.txt
emulator=RetroArch_SNES
# This is the file extension of the ROMs in the ROMs folder
extensions=sfc

[Sega Genesis]
nickname=Genesis
emulator=RetroArch_Genesis
extensions=md

emulators.txt

[RetroArch_SNES]
# Location of RetroArch.exe
location=E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\RetroArch\retroarch.exe
# Location of SNES CORE and some launch options
command=%l -fullscreen -L cores\bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll %r

[RetroArch_Genesis]
location=E:\SteamLibrary\Emulator\RetroArch\retroarch.exe
command=%l -fullscreen -L cores\genesis_plus_gx_libretro.dll %r

Ice will also grab the artwork to use for the ROM’s when in Big Picture Mode. But the ROM file name must match the name found on the consolegrid.com website.

For example I had to rename my Super Mario World ROM to “Super Mario World.sfc” before running Ice so that Ice could get the correct artwork for me.

Once you have your config files edited and pointing to the correct locations on your hard drive you must exit Steam and launch Ice.exe. If all is successful you will see a screen which looks similar to the one below.

Ice for Steam Link

If you have some issues with Ice you will need to read what the Ice console tells you and Google for any problems that it reports. You can also read the Ice Getting Started Guide where you can read more about the ROM folder structure and how to set custom images and icons for your games in Steam.

If Ice executed without any issues it’s time to load up Steam, launch Big Picture Mode and test if all is working correctly. Once you are happy that all is working as expected on your desktop it’s time to move into the other room and boot up your Steam Link for some awesome retro gaming fun!

It should work flawlessly once you have all the kinks ironed out.

Steam Link with RetroArch and Ice running in Big Picture Mode

Steam Link with RetroArch and Ice running SNES Games in Big Picture Mode

This is a dream come true for me and I hope that you are also able to play some ROMs on your Steam Link. It brings back a ton of childhood memories and I am excited to play on the Steam Link with my friends and family.

The Finishing Touch, Using the 8bitdo SFC30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller with the Steam Link

Wireless SNES ControllerI just purchased the 8bitdo SFC30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller. I have no idea if this thing will work. I will update you here as I get my hands on it to let you know if the SFC30 works with Steam Link and RetroArch.

 

The Final Word

After trying for several days I truly believe that this article outlines the best setup for running emulated games on the Steam Link. Many people are using LaunchBox or BigBox as a layer in-between Steam and the emulator but this comes with it’s own issues. I personally was not able to get things working using LaunchBox, my controllers never worked and it looked horrible trying to navigate LaunchBox plus I really don’t see why you would want to use LaunchBox when you can launch games directly from Steam Big Picture Mode which looks great and it just works better.

If you add more Cores to RetroArch you simply add a few lines of code to your Ice config files and then run Ice again. If you add more ROM files you simply exit Steam and run Ice again. I love how RetroArch works independently in this setup. I can swap shaders, configure controllers and do all of that fun stuff directly in RetroArch, afterwards I just boot up my Steam Link and it works flawlessly.

I really hope you have been able to learn something today and If you have any questions, comments or praise to give, please do so in the comments below and I will try to reply.

Known issues and Frequently asked Questions

I will try to keep this article updated and if I get similar questions from people I will try to add them here as a help resource.

Where can I download ROM Files?
It is actually illegal to download ROM files. People say if you own a physical copy you can download a copy of the internet. This is not true. The copy you download is an illegally distributed copy and this is not ok. You will need to purchase a Retrode 2 and create your own ROMs using your original games. These ROMs will be backup copies of your already purchased games. You can purchase games from dkoldies.com and lukiegames.com and make your own backup files.

Issues with the Steam Controller not working with RetroArch!
I did have some issues with the Steam Controller bindings when I launched my first game and you will need to modify your Steam Controller to map it to the keyboard inputs used by RetrocArch. I actually just used my DualShock 4 controller via Bluetooth and it worked instantly with no extra setup required.

Problems when running Ice and the consolegrid API!
Originally in my ROM folder I had folder called “MegaDrive” which made Ice report that the consolegrid API was down, but in reality it just didn’t know that MegaDrive was is also called Genesis. I renamed the folder from MegaDrive to Genesis and then Ice worked correctly and grabbed the artwork from consolegrid.

Everything seems correct after running Ice but the games just wont load from Steam!
Test the ROM and the Core directly from RetroArch first, Launch retroarch.exe and make sure it works as expected before running Ice and trying to launch it with Steam. If it wont work just using RetroArch it definitely wont work using Steam. During the setup process I had downloaded the bnes_libretro.dll it took me a good thirty minutes to realise that I had downloaded a NES Core instead of a SNES Core which prevented it from running in RetroArch. I switched to the bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll and then it worked as expected.

Games launch correctly but my controller does not seem to work!
It seems sometimes that if you have a controller plugged in to your desktop PC, RetroArch gives priority to that controller and then the controllers connected to the Steam Link don’t seem to work. Unplug any controllers from your desktop before launching your games in Steam.


Virtual Reality is NOW

I am super hyped to see and read all of the daily news that is coming out about Virtual Reality right now. I believe that VR is the biggest change in computing since the invention of the internet. I am personally very interested to see how this change in computing will relate to gamers and how that will translate to Twitch and Twitch streamers.

We will start to see a lot of people using virtual reality on Twitch soon and I wonder how the technology will unfold to allow streamers to create engaging streams whilst using virtual reality headsets.

The latest update from SteamVR

Yesterday Valve released a new video on their YouTube channel showing people using the Vive HTC headset in a green screen room and then they overlayed the gameplay on the video. I think this is the best way I have seen so far to demonstrate the insane amount of fun that VR technology will bring to households all over the world.

Are you VR ready?

It won’t be cheap to get started with a high end VR headset. I estimate my personal investment will be around $2000 just to get started. I already have solid gaming machine but my graphics card is now several years old and will need replacing. My personal choice will be to upgrade to the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! Extreme because this card is an absolute beast and should last me for a few years before needing an upgrade, this card costs around $700 but after that I will be VR ready.

You can download the SteamVR Performance Test to see if your machine is VR ready.

The 2 major Virtual Reality players right now

The next concern I had was where to invest my money in VR technology. Do I go with the Oculus Rift which is backed by facebook or do I go with the HTC Vive which is backed by Steam. Initially I was following the Oculus Rift and I was sure to purchase the headset when it became available.

The Oculus Rift has been in development since 2012 and was the device that started most of the hype you see now. Then came along the HTC Vive with a slightly different way of seeing VR. The main difference is that the Vive will allow users to stand, walk and move around in a physical space that will then map itself into a VR experience, this is quite different to the Rift which will have you sat at your desk.

Oculus Rift - Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift

The headsets will retail starting with the Rift pre-selling at $599 with an expected shipping date of July 2016 and the Vive will be pre-selling at $799 with an expected shipping date of around May 2016. There is quite a difference in price between the two but to make things even worse for the Rift they have announced that this price will not include the VR controllers and will only include an Xbox One controller, you will have to purchases the VR controllers separately. The next consideration is that the Vive has 2 additional pieces of kit, two base stations which help map the physical space you can navigate and will included 2 VR controllers making the Vive in my opinion the better value for money of the two headsets.

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

My next concern was how the development community will work with these devices. The hardware from both companies is similar in many ways but it will be the games and software which make the two different. The fact that Steam is behind the Vive will mean an easy way for developers to sell their games to users on the Steam platform as a developer you will want sales and if I was making VR games I would lean towards the Steam platform. I really struggle to see how the Rift can even begin to compete with the Vive in this area.

The Final Word!

I will be an early adapter to virtual reality and right now I am leaning towards the HTC Vive in fact I would say I am 99% committed to buying the HTC Vive as soon as I have upgraded my graphics card at the end of this month. To me it looks like the HTC Vive has killed the Oculus Rift before it has even been released and the general opinion amongst people who have tried both seems to be the same.

The following video was released by Barnacules Nerdgasm a popular YouTuber titled: HTC VIVE Demo & Game Play – Oculus Killer?

I would love to hear your comments below, what are your thoughts on VR technology and how will Twitch streamers use it?


The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016

I am going to go out on a limb here and make a bold prediction, I think that The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.

I love the idea of games like DayZ, Ark and H1Z1 but all three titles have left me disappointed. Now I am left constantly searching for a new title which fills a similar idea and I hope that The Division with the second expansion pack “Survival” will bring some elements of survival to the game. That’s one of the reasons why I pre-purchased The Division before it’s release date with all of the DLC packs included, fingers crossed my hopes will be realised later this year.

So let’s look at the reasons why I think The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.

1. It’s an MMO, kinda…

Sure, The Division isn’t really listed as being an MMO by Ubisoft but the game is pretty much an MMO. The Division allows for many players to be in the same instance as they explore and fight for survival in New York City. It may be a shooter style based game but it certainly has MMO style elements, even if there’s not hundreds of players in the same instance.

The Dark Zone currently allows up to 24 players in a single instance and players can form clans with each other. Clans or guilds are typical of MMO’s and rumours suggest that they may add official clan support in game, but nothing has been confirmed yet. You can still find people to play with easily and join a Division clan here: http://divisionclans.com/clan/listing

There is a character progression system, a large number of players in a single instance, NPCs to grind in and out of the the Dark Zone, a PvP area, the ability to play as a clan and a large world to explore. Sounds a lot like an MMO to me. All of the above means people will invest many hours into this game.

2. More content is on the way

Ubisoft has already announced some of their expansion plans for The Division. With free updates adding more game content and features and also paid expansion packs coming later in the year. Plus many people have already pre-purchased these expansion packs, myself included. I expect that the new expansions will also allow players to continue to level up their characters allowing players to have a charter more powerful than the current max level of 30. The names of the first three major expansion packs for the game have been revealed along with some very limited details about them:

Expansion I: Underground (June 2016)
In the first major purchasable expansion Ubisoft will be adding a new territory to the game where squads of four players can explore and complete missions in a huge underground network of tunnels under New York City. Players will be going up against brand new NPC characters, grabbing new loot items and continuing the campaign story mode.

Expansion II: Survival (Summer 2016)

I really really hope this expansion will bring some survival elements from games like DayZ and H1Z1 into The Division. Not much information has been released yet. People are speculating all kinds of ideas. The Division website says:

“Available this summer, this expansion will challenge players to survive as long as possible by gathering essential supplies in a very hostile environment.”

Expansion III: Last Stand (Winter 2016)
Again not much is known about this update, people are claiming zombies will be added to the game probably because of the following sentence found in the official trailer:

“A new threat is rising in the third expansion Last Stand. You and your squad must prepare to defend against a relentless foe.”

The game already has that zombie apocalypse feel and the artwork contains a skull as the face of The Statue of Liberty which makes people belive that the iconic statue may appear in a new playable area of the game. It’s many months away and only time will tell.

Smaller free DLC updates
Smaller free DLC updates will be released throughout the games lifespan to enhance the campaign mode and also the PvP Dark Zone area. The next free update will be coming out on the 12th of April which will add new features such as loot trading.

3. It is like Destiny but better

Destiny was one of the most played and viewed games last year on Twitch placing it in the top 10. Destiny is an unrealistic first person shooter set in the future where the last humans fight to protect the dwindling human population; it allows for clans to work together in the campaign mode and go to war in the PvP zones, you level up your character and find rare loot. Sounds a lot like The Division, right?

The Division meanwhile is set in a gritty, realistic world in the aftermath of a devastating plague which has wiped out the majority of New York City. The world is dark and provides a level of realism most shooter fans will recognise however unlike Destiny, The Division is a third person shooter where as Destiny is a first person shooter.

Between the two of them, in my opinion The Division has the stronger PvP area which is organic, evolving and tense. Players are forced to make uncertain alliances with other players to survive against the powerful NPC characters or to counter attacks from other enemy players. This is much like the Battle Royal mode (Now called H1Z1: King of the Kill) found in H1Z1 which was another top 10 game on Twitch last year.

The Division has a lot of potential for streamers; the PvP area will evolve constantly and in my opinion the differences between this and and Destiny will give it a small edge.

4. Its really well made and polished

The Division looks fantastic, there is no doubt about it. The streets of New York City are an almost exact replica of the real city. It’s a dark and gritty world mixed in with the bright lights of Christmas themed decorations which were still left in place after the plague hit the city.

There are plenty of options to look at and experiment with to get a decent level of performance vs perfect graphics for enjoying the environment and it will run on most modern computers; streaming can be CPU intensive so it’s a must for streamers to get good performance when streaming.

Besides the amazing graphics, the game runs smoothly with few bugs and great gameplay flow. The controls for the game work well and the response from the input is extremely fast which is great for those looking to play it ‘seriously’ with their squad. It feels great, it looks great and the game play is fun which leads me on to my next point.

5. The Dark Zone is fun

There’s a lot of features in The Division to try out, utilize and explore with to make you stronger as a solo player in the campaign and provides an edge in the Dark Zone. Players can pick up strong items in the campaign solo world and there are rare items which can be found in the Dark Zone.

Items in the Dark Zone are contaminated and have to be extracted before the player can actually use them; once the item is extracted it’s then safe for the player to die, if they die before the items are extracted then any contaminated items will be dropped. They need to be extracted at extraction zones in the Dark Zone, naturally there could be players there looking to kill other players and steal their loot before they extract it so they can have it for themselves.

The Division uses a proximity voice chat and text chat system which makes the Dark Zone even more tense; players can communicate with each other without needing to accept a friends request for voice chat. It makes the Dark Zone incredibly tense when using a microphone and a lot more entertaining as teams need to sometimes avoid communication altogether or risk being overheard by the enemy.

6. Its on all the major platforms

The Divisions is easy to access. Players can buy versions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or for the PC which all have streaming capabilities with or without additional hardware. It does force players to use the Ubisoft game platform Uplay, which is not well loved by gamers but at least it provides achievements and special game-based rewards. Some games are not big on Twitch simply because they are not on all the major platforms so they are unable to complete with games that are.

7. The Division had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise

That’s right! The Division launch smashed it and not only is it Ubisoft’s best-selling game straight out of the gate but it also had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise and generated over $330 million globally in its first five days. The game was reported to of have 1.2 million peak concurrent users over the first weekend, and over 100 million hours played in the first week. These kind of numbers begin to give you an idea of how many people enjoyed the beta and wanted to jump straight into the initial release.

The Final Word!

The Division has been in the top 10 games since it was released at the start of March. It’s still highly popular right now for both streamers and viewers; with the upcoming new content which will be released throughout the year, it looks like The Division should stay in the top 10 most watched games for quite some time. People will invest any hours in to the game and I think it will replace similar older titles such as Destiny to become one of the most watched games on Twitch in 2016.

The Division