Streaming video games has become the recent movement in the gaming industry when it comes to things to do as a gamer. Even more recently there have been numerous companies setting up their own streams to either host community game nights or just let you in on the world of creating a game. Now, If you’re not already streaming video games, you probably have the desire to stream or to at least give it a shot. Some of you couldn’t care less about streaming, in which case, I’d probably stop reading right now because I’m about to bore you to death.
As a gamer you may have found yourself hanging out or stumbling across a site called Twitch, a website for people who want to share with you their gaming experiences, conquests, insight and rage filled moments. Now if you have found yourself hanging out in the Land-O-Twitch then you, like me, have probably missed a few appointments, possibly stood your significant other up by accident (whoops, sorry mom!), forgot to pick up the kids, skip on going to the gym or simply lost track of time. It pains me to say this but we as a people enjoy live television, we watch in hopes that something is going to go wrong, who doesn’t enjoy a good fumbling of words or a swear slipping on prime time? There is nothing wrong with enjoying a little reality entertainment, especially if you what your are watching revolves around the community you associate with; gaming.
There are two main components of any good streaming page, the first of which accounts for a mere 95% of my personal scoring system and that is the person themselves. The second component has to do with the layout and presentation. Combining the two Captain Planet style sets you up for having and maintaining a solid streaming page as well as acquiring a following, cult style…… just don’t drink the punch.
Now, no one wants to walk into room, be it a bathroom, art museum or bedroom and be hit with a sea of white walled backgroundary (yes this is a new word). That’s boring. Unappealing. A yawn fest. Blinding.
Spice up your layout. You have to let the person entering your thunderdome get a quick sense of what they are getting themselves into. For starters you can create a layout of your favorite video game characters; modern, retro, whatever you see fit. There are plenty of websites that offer some pretty sweet desktop backgrounds, which are an excellent source of pictures and getting the idea train rolling. Or as in most marketing cases, go with the “sex sells approach,” find yourself the most appealing looking women in provocative posses, preferably licking lollipops in their underwear and create that as a page layout. If nothing else, it will at least be able to keep the person entering your page on your page a couple more seconds as they collect their tongue and jaw off the floor.
Finally you can go with the informative route, choose a simple layout, one where you can MS-Paint some text on it and let the viewer know your viewing schedule. Possibly some games you plan on streaming. Boring? Yes. But at least it’s something.
A Good Layout (Yes this is a Shameless Plug)
Take this time to let those that enter your hobbit hole know who you are.
- Link your twitter
- Link your Facebook
- Link your YouTube Channel
- Link your favorite boy band song
Go ahead and insert a picture or text of your system specs, what your using and any other useful hardware information. Trust me, unless you feel like answering the same question over and over again this is one of those little things that can save you from being annoyed.
Tell people about yourself. Go old school AIM (If you don’t get the reference, you’re but a child) and give your A/S/L (if you feel comfortable of course). Mention some of your likes and dislikes, be it your favorite games, franchises, companies, products, movies, or bed time stories. Pretty much, whatever you feel you want people to have instant access to as they enter your page.
Try to connect with your viewer on as many levels as you can.
Before I dive into this let me start by poorly misrepresenting a quote I read somewhere on the internet, “Its easier to retain a follower than to acquire a new one.”
As a streamer you make yourself a source of entertainment, if you’re not trying to entertain people then there really is no reason for you to be streaming.
Have a personality, whether its the “ZOMG! Thanks for coming to my channel I hope you like it” kind of personality (see below)
Or the, “Wow cool name dumbass” kind of personality (See Below)
There are thousands of people scouring the streaming pages, looking for someone they can relate to and the only way they will be able to tell if you two connect on any level, is if you express yourself.
Sitting there on Camera is cool and all but if you’re not even looking at the chat to say hello or interact with a question or laugh at someone’s terrible joke all you are is a person on a screen playing a video game. That’d be like me inviting a friend over, sitting down to play a video game and just ignoring them completely.
“But I have a weird voice”
Who cares if you have a weird voice, lean over and type something in chat, interact with the people who have graced you with their presence. There are thousands of live streams going on at any given time, these viewers have options. You need to give them a reason to stick around and watch you play a video game.
If you want to get even more personal with your viewers start hosting community game nights where you pick people from the chat to play a game with you. You’d be surprised how excited one can get from this simple gesture. Who knows, maybe this person has no friends or friends that don’t play video games and there you are, someone enjoying a game they love and you invite them into a match or two. Who wouldn’t be excited for something like that?
Have a personality. Be animated. Interact. Bedazzle your page. Create a fun environment.