Saturday, February 8, 2014

Struggles With Streaming

Alright, so, I think that most of you that read this probably follow me elsewhere--Twitter, Facebook, etc.--and if that's the case, you probably already know most of this. That being said, as it pertains to my goals of becoming a female streamed gamer (preferably ranked), I think that some sort of post about my struggles with streaming (and the computer that I am streaming it from) belongs here.

For the past 8 years or so, I have been a Mac user. It's been mostly okay because all of the games that I really wanted to play (read: World of Warcraft) were available for my Mac, so I wasn't totally upstream without a paddle. Granted, there were other games that I wanted to play that I couldn't, but I mostly made up for that by spending ALL of my time playing WoW and trying to forget about it. This worked up to a point.

Last winter, I decided that I wanted to be a streamed gamer so that there would be good examples of other ladies and young girls of the fact that not all girl gamers had to be total skanks that only got any views on their stream because their boobs were out. I appreciated that there were girls even broadcasting and that some of them were actually good at the games that they were playing, but it really disappointed me that they were pidgeonholed into having to perform a certain way. So, I decided that I wanted to be the righteous hammer brought down upon the girl gaming community that made it okay for girls to just be good at games, and hence attract views that way. I know, lofty goals, but what can I say? I dream big.

The next step on my journey, then, was trying to get streaming set up on my 27 inch iMac from a few years ago. Up to this point, the sturdy iMac had always been the computer of my dreams, and the display was the perfect size on which to play beautiful games and see the whole field. I felt like it should certainly be able to stream, as it was top of the line when I purchased it, and hadn't really given me any processing problems in the past. Wrong. OH MAN, I was so wrong. First, getting streaming set up on a Mac is a super hassle--there are no real solutions that work right out of the box for what I wanted to do without spending a butt-ton of money, and when I did finally find a McGuyver'd way to make the whole shebang working there were so many working parts that it totally ate up all of my CPU. So, I put my dreams on hold and decided that I would probably wait until tax season, and then go ahead and build my own computer strictly for gaming.

Naturally, my impatience got the best of me, and I found myself heading to Staples sometime last month and picking up a HP laptop. It was pretty much right after I wrote the post about Ragnarok, and if I am being 100% honest that was the whole impetus for the purchase. I wasn't thinking about streaming or anything that I had previously committed myself to doing; I was only thinking about those chibi little characters and how much I wanted to build a transcendent mage.

So, that happened. I played RO for a little bit, trying to make friends and find a guild with little success. If you check my Steam, I'm pretty sure I sunk about 30+ hours into it in about a week or two which, I think, probably also pushed me towards my next step in this journey. I stopped playing RO, picked up Pokemon X again, and started playing that in hopes that Pokebank would be coming out soon. As I'm sure you are noticing, my life is pretty much full of disappointment.

Then, one fateful day, my coworker Mary urged me to try streaming again. She has been advocating for this move since the very beginning, and I think she might have actually been the one that suggested I try it in the first place. "You are so funny! I would love to watch you stream!" she would smile and say basically every day. "Are you gonna start streaming this weekend? You should. I'm so excited!" I think that most of my own enthusiasm was borne from hers. So, I went home, turned on the HP laptop and installed OBS from Twitch--one of their most recommended softwares. Then, I tried streaming League of Legends. It worked pretty well, I was able to play through the game with minimal lag, and we won the game (though it was, admittedly, just a three-person beginner bots game, for testing purposes). What I didn't know was that it didn't record any of the game, and didn't save it to my computer, so I couldn't watch it back or see if it even displayed. I did a little fiddling, determined that it wouldn't capture League in fullscreen and also that I had turned the "Save" setting in OBS off. After all of that, and another test, I was ready for the races.

Awesome, right? I could stream now, which meant I could enlist the help of some of my awesomely funny friends to stream with me and provide comedic entertainment to the masses.

Unfortunately, that isn't really how it goes. For those of you following along at home, it appears that although I can totally stream a beginner bots game, anything higher than that, like an ARAM for example, just doesn't work for whatever reason. My computer glitches out, it is super laggy, and I end up getting killed like 28374784845739 to the frustration of my team mates. I literally just tried it again and I ended the game defeated with 2 kill and 16 deaths. As Veigar.

Although I can't stream League, though, I can certainly stream other single-player games, apparently, as I have been doing with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a pretty sweet RPG. So, if you do want to watch and aren't totally bummed that there isn't really any competitiveness to the game, you can do so at my Twitch channel here.  You can also watch any past broadcasts there if you want first-hand experience with how much my streaming has failed over the course of this trial period.

Also, if you have any recommendations or requests for games that you'd like to see streamed, or that you'd like to watch me specifically play, let me know!

No comments:

Post a Comment