Tag Archives: Twitch

#533 Spare an Extra Buck for Extra Life? 2015

Just like last year, this blog post is going to be a little bit different. Instead of a post that talks about my adventures in a recent video game or my opinions on a recent game story I would instead like to announce my continued participation with the Extra Life Charity organization.

Extra Life Ad_300x250

The Extra Life charity is a part of the Children’s Miracle Network and it organize gamers from around the world to get together to what we do best. On November 7th all the Extra Life participants will log on and play video games for 24 hours to raise money for a hospital of their choice.

This will be my second year participating with the organization, last year I was able to hit my fundraising goal and played videogames for the entire day while helping children in need. A pretty nice win for everyone.

Just like last year I am choosing to help the local Boston Children’s Hospital and just like last year I am trying to raise the same amount of funds of $200. As an added incentive, a donation of any amount to my fundraising page will be permanently credited on the list of sponsors on my Twitch channel and within the next six months if we hit the fundraising goal I promise to stream my 24 hour day of play on Twitch as a reward for everyone’s generosity.

I did it last year and I will do it again

I did it last year and I will gladly do it again

If you have been following my adventures through my blog or Twitch stream sessions and if you have even thought of supporting me beyond being an active reader or viewer please consider donating to a this charity in my name as a morally health alternative.

Extra life wants to try to have people sponsor players by the hour but as you can see there is a variety of different options. including a custom amount to donate.

Extra life wants to try to have people sponsor players by the hour but as you can see there is a variety of different options. including a custom amount to donate.

If you would like to donate to this wonderful event, my Extra Life donation account can be found HERE. The site currently accepts all credit cards. This won’t be the last time I mention this event but the sooner I reach my goal of $200 the sooner I can stop asking for donations.

And to any other gamers out there that found themselves interested in this event and want to try their hand as raising money for a local hospital the extra life FAQ and sign up can be found HERE.

Thank you all in advance for your interest and consideration.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#528 Twitch Trilogy: Personality

Welcome back to the final installment of the week of Twitch blog posts. Monday we talked about hardware, Wednesday we looked at software, and now we get to talk about the most subjective part of streaming; finding, creating and cultivating a personality for your stream broadcasts. The first thing you want to ask yourself is, “What type of streamer do you want to be, and CAN be?”

I break down almost all streamers into two major categories. The Hardcore, pushing the end game/meta to the cutting edge, the MVP for ever match, or the eSport champion streamer and the more casual, laid back, social streamer.

You can choose either one, there is a crowd and demand for both type of streams but you have to realize there are costs AND whichever one you choose to be you have to walk the walk to back up the talk.

I can not help you with being a good hardcore streamer. I realized early on that I could never be on the cutting edge of endgames so I elected for the social school of streaming, that was realizing my limit of free time to invest in the meta, practicing and realizing I could not be competitive enough ranked matches.

Start out by mainly playing one game, gets yourself cred and settled within a games community, after that you can branch out with other games that you and your viewers might find interesting. I had a short stream session at the very beginning  on Wednesday called “Wildcard Wednesdays” where I would stream a game I wanted to stream or that I found interesting to stream, indie games, TF2, and games kicking around in my backlog. I soon noticed that when I switched from game to game for every stream had significantly less viewers and participation than my regular Infinite Crisis nights.

No matter who you are or what type of streamer you want to be you have to find something to make you unique. I have seen some people adopt alter egos, other speed run classic games, some streamers have giveaways on stream, and a few who cosplay while streaming. I, from the start, have made good use of my positive personality, my corny jokers and extensive comic book lore to make myself out as a sunny, charismatic, and wholesome comic book geek who stream to talk about nerdy stuff, which worked really well with the game I have been streaming since day one, Infinite Crisis.

I also view my stream sessions as shows rather than live feeds of my gameplay and I draw inspiration for my on air personality from listening to how Political Speakers and Radio DJs talk and interact with their crowds.

When you start streaming you need to realize that people will be tuning in to watch you stream and if you want them to stay you need to provide a way to entertain them. That means not fumbling around with your broadcasts and doing your part to avoid extensive periods of Dead Air.

To help you with this, learn how to monologue. Go to YouTube and listen to public speakers and actors, see how they hold themselves and pay attention to how they talk to a big crowd, especially with politicians when taking questions from an audience. And always stream like the world is watching, never do a half-hearted stream just because only 2 or 3 people are there, instead cherish those few people who choose to spend their free time with you.

That being said it is normal and natural to completely botch your first few streams. When I was starting out my stream was a nervous mess and very early on I went into my setting and disabling the “record past broadcast” button, taking comfort in knowing that even if my stream session was terrible nobody would be able to find it after the stream ended.

If you get past your embarrassment and push yourself to keep streaming and keep talking, even if nobody is there, you will build confidence and you will develop a voice that warrants viewership. If you are still having problems set some time aside before streaming to make a short list of talking points and topics to mention and monologue on air. I did it when I was starting out and still do it now, it stops you from trying to scramble on air for interesting topics to talk about.

Outside of streaming be sure to deck out your channel’s panel area below, make sure it has a F.A.Q and links to all of to contact you, and make it professional looking. Also brush up on you knowledge of framing with your camera. Make sure you have a clean background, find the best position and distance to sit from the webcam and learn where your camera box ends so if you, like me, use your hands when you talk your hands do not fly out of frame.

Another solid tip I can give to all up-and-coming streamers is to have a great intro and outro for every stream session. For me, at the start I greet everyone with a “Good Morning everyone! My name is Spencer Nozell, this is Be MOP streams, and today we are playing ”

At the end of my stream I go full screen with the webcam, so it is just me at center stage to thank everyone for tuning into today and then transitioning into my ending monologue that covers; the suggestion to hit that follow button as a way to see me again, how to friend me on all the gaming platforms I am on, and plugging all of my social media links, followed by a hearty ‘Good Night’. At the beginning of my time streaming, I would also do a little comic/video game show and tell as a special thank you to the people who stayed until the end. I did that streaming segment until I ran out of stuff to show

This next tip is a big one from me, is use your chatroom on your stream. This works great with your second monitor that I suggested earlier this week, no matter what game you are playing people will eventually swing by your stream and chat room and when that happens be sure to be on the proactive and engage with them the moment you detect them, by saying hello and asking how their day has been, and thanking everyone who press the follow button (I always have my phone or my mailbox inbox at hand to see Twitch’s automated ‘New Follower” email come in real-time).

People tend to stay longer and follow you if you have a genuine conversation with them. Talking to your chat room will also make it easier to stream, by having a conversation it leads into topics and discussing you just could not reach just by yourself.

My greatest tip is do not imitate someone who is already important, instead draw inspiration and wing it and see what sticks and what doesn’t. What works for me might not work for you and your game’s Twitch community, but regardless of the community be transparent, especially if you do a one time company sponsored promotional stream or joining a partnership program. Be sure to disclose those fact from the start. It is alright to make connections with gaming companies, it is NOT alright to withhold the fact  and not disclose that information when streaming or when you give your opinions or review of the game. Trust me when I say you do not want to get caught up with conflict of interests accusations, those sort of things can destroy the year and years of faith and trust you built with a community.

For reference THIS was the YouTube video that help me understand Twitch and helped me to develop in the streamer I am now and he might be able to better better communicate some of the points I made here today

But with that I hope this mini-series worked and good luck with your own streaming adventures.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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#527 Twitch Trilogy: Software

Welcome back to the second part of the week long Twitch blog post series. Last time I talked about the bare minimum hardware that you will need to stream well, now we get to look at the other side of the computer coin and talk about the software needed to streaming.

The first and most important software you need is a game you want to stream. There are a ton of games out there that you could play and there are games that are ideal and some that are not ideal. From what I have seen and streamed a rule of thumb for games to stream, you want a game with high replayability and very little important voice dialogue and cut-scenes.

There is a reason why ARTS/MOBA games like League of Legends, Dota 2, & (my main streaming game) Infinite Crisis and FPS games like C.O.D, HALO, and Battlefield are preferred games to play on Twitch. All of those games have a next to no story lines, high amounts of action, and a nice amount of consistency that allows any viewer to tune in even during of a middle of a match.

Games like TellTale’s works and the Final Fantasy series with heavy story campaigns with no new game plus are not ideal for streamers starting out looking for a game to constantly play on air. Those games are great the stream once you have a viewer base and want to do a one-off gaming mini-series.

When I was preparing to start my own twitch page, I had a short list of games that I wanted to stream that fit into those parameter and in another life I could have been celebrating my one year twitch anniversary as a League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Heroes of Newerth or Binding of Isaac streamer.

I will mention this in Friday’s post about the social side of streaming but you will need to find a game and play that game near exclusively until you attract a following, and you will eventually. Then you can branch out into other games, that is why it is important to find a game that you actually enjoy and feel comfortable playing, but never feel like you are locked into one game forever.

The second most important bit of software you will need is a streaming program. Twitch has a recommends a few on their site, I personally use Open Broadcasting Software (OBS). For first time streamers that choose OBS I recommend THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO. If you choose another streaming program I am positive that you will be able to find an online tutorial on how to navigate through the broadcasting and resolution settings.

Before you start streaming on your official debut stream, make sure you know the ins and outs of your preferred broadcasting program. That means fiddling around with your resolution, the layout, where to put your webcam and everything else and making sure you can connect to the Twitch servers. Mock my words, there will be times when you are live and something malfunctions and it will be up to you to fix the problem, ideally without interrupting and turning off the stream.

And pro tip: listen to past broadcasts to check if your gameplay and voice sound levels are balanced, for the longest time my game volume was drowning out my voice on air.

One last thing, because I this streaming tip won’t fit into anywhere else in the three categories: Make a solid streaming schedule that has Days the Hours you start streaming and stick to it. People like consistency and it helps the people tuning to know when they can catch you on air again.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.


This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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#526 Twitch Trilogy: Hardware

This week I am going to be reaching an very important milestone with my Twitch stream. Come this Tuesday I will be reaching my one year anniversary of taking the plunge and diving head first into the world of live Streaming on Twitch. As a treat, here’s last year’s blog announcement about Twitch.

Since then I have been streaming almost every Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and because of my adventures I have made some new friends, have become a member of the Infinite Crisis Community Stream Team, and even received some fan art from the people who watch me stream.

I have a folder full of fan art. This is the most nomral

I have a folder full of fan art. This is the most normal

So to celebrate my one year stream anniversary I am going to spend this week’s blog posts breaking down everything I did when I started streaming, from prep-to-execution covering everything I have done from hardware to social interaction.

Today I am going to be focusing on just the hardware that I feel like you need to competently start streaming.

Let this week serve as a giant responds to anyone who might ask the question, “Spencer How do I start streaming?” or “what streaming tips would you give me?”

Hardware

My advice to anyone interested in streaming is to get started RIGHT NOW. Despite what you or I might have initially thought about the requirements of streaming, you do not need a super high-powered computer to start streaming. Start streaming now, get your name and your face out there in the community with whatever computer you currently have right now and slowly upgrade from there.

That being said, do some trail runs first to make sure that the computer setup that you have can handle the resource inventiveness of streaming. Don’t worry about the graphics, just make sure that you can meet the bare minimum before setting out and then working up from there

A decent computer is necessary for streaming, but there two additional accessories and one luxury item that are must haves if you want to start streaming, at least in my book.

First grab a decent headset with a mic. This is a no-brainer, if you are going to be streaming, you will be talking, and you will need to make sure that your voice is being properly picked up by the mic without much background sound. Just grab a sturdy headset from a Walmart or local electronic store for $5 – $15.

Next you will need a webcam. I can not stress this enough, you NEED a webcam if you want to attach viewers. Speaking from experience, and I am sure you can attest, it is much more enjoyable watching a stream with a live webcam feed in the corner than just watching a feed of some narrated gameplay. People on Twitch want to match a face to a voice, and to see people actually talking to them and more importantly people will tune in to see your reaction when you make a big play or fail expressly hard in a match, it is part of the Twitch experience.

Most laptops have webcams built-in, if you do not have one, again they are not too terribly expensive at the stores.

The luxury item that I mentioned before is a second monitor, for me, personally, it is a must have. This second monitor I have attached to monitor output on my laptop lets me play and stream the games I want at windowed full screen while still being able to look at the chatroom, check on my Twitch Dashboard, and see the status on my OBS without ever alt tabbing away from the game. It does not matter what screen resolution the second monitor is and if you have a tech savvy Goodwill/Savers/Salvation Army shop you can grab a second hand 720p or 900p screen for pretty cheap. Besides all the benefits of streaming a second monitor serves as a nice personal upgrade for your computer.

To get back to the main point of this blog post, it does not matter if your computer is not cutting edge in the hardware department, I am speaking from experience with this. I am, at time of writing, currently streaming on a four-year old gaming laptop (an Asus G73Sw). She is a beauty and she has been able to play most proper games at around 30-60 frames per seconds at medium graphics but once I started streaming and getting the rest of my set up running I had to crank that graphic setting of my main streaming game, Infinite Crisis, to VERY LOW, just to achieve stable frame rate so I would provide a fluid gameplay on stream. Even then I have been running into issues with my CPU hitting it’s limit and for the first six months of streaming I was using the built-in 480p webcam, but people still watched me and came back for future stream sessions.

People do not realize it but the people on Twitch do not tune in for the graphics, they watch for the gameplay or for the personality, I know I’m living proof of it.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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#472 Where are you Steam Sales?

As predicted, the yearly Steam Winter sales has hit the servers and as the norm most of the PC games in Valve’s store catalog went on sale at incredible prices.

I am a tad sad that not ALL of the games on my list are discounted

I am a tad sad that not ALL of the games on my list are discounted

As of writing, we are four days into the two week extravaganza and not to sound disingenuous because I appreciate what GabeN and the rest of the Steam Team has done to get all these game developers to discount these games a such steep prices all at the same time. But I feel like, for me, the magic from the sales are gone, the anticipation I felt when I refresh the store page at exactly 1pm is no longer there.

I do not know why, I have bought a few games titles this past week but something is missing, I am not going as crazy with the sales as I previously remembered . I am trying to remember the past sales with non-rose colored glasses, but I do remember that I had felt some suspense with each new day.

I might be feeling this way because I have already gone through this song and dance a few times before. For example I already bought most of the games featured in the Featured Deals as I looked through the Daily Deals, Flash Sales, and community voted sales the “In library” tag attached to most of list

And the few other games that I want to buy have "early access" tags on them,and I have a personal policy against buys games that are not completed yet.

And the few other games that I want to buy have “early access” tags on them,and I have a personal policy against buys games that are not completed yet.

I already have all the “Staple Steam” games, I have Portal 1 and 2, The Half Life series, Super Meat Boy, all the other must haves and all the best games of my favorite genera currently tied to my Steam account, so I see them again on sale this time around I just view that game as a blank space. It is the inevitable result of going through and buying all the games that looked interesting to me the last time around and currently there are recent AAA games that I have interested in buying now, Aliens Isolation and Skyrim might look like a nice stocking stuffers for some gamers but I only gave them a passing glance because I know I would not enjoy playing them.

I have a creeping suspicion that the slightly lackluster emotions I have for this year’s Winter Sales is because I have experience so many of these steam sales that I started this Winter Sales event as a veteran, with experienced gamer eyes (Be MOP #436). It is probability the same reason why Christmas as an adult is not as exciting compared to the Christmases you experienced as a child.

I want to know if I am alone in this way of thinking, are there other games out there that feel the same way about this year’s of steam sales. If so leave a comment down below and with your comment please include how long you have been in Steam and how many Steam Sales you have went through.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#471 Three Years

Today is a day for celebration, because today is the three year anniversary marking the event when I created this Be MOP blog and published it’s first post on WordPress. As I said in last year’s post (Be MOP #315), this blog was created after my Junior college midterms after I experienced a very early quarter life crisis.

What is impressive is that in my three years of blogging I still have the bragging rights of not missed any of my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blog post deadlines. Three years of trying to balance college midterms, finals, graduations, dealing with the transition away from college life, and all of the random inconveniences that popped up along the way I was still here, updating my blog on the same schedule I created for myself since Day One.

Be MOP Banner

Since my last 2013 anniversary post and now, what now has changed with me and this blog?

At the start of the year I received a 3DS handheld system with a copy of Pokemon Y for Christmas (Be MOP #318) with lead to influx of various Pokemon and Mario posts appearing on this blog. Later in the year I went out and bought a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle (Be MOP #391) and went full Nintendo Fan Boy with this blog by writing about almost nothing but Nintendo from October to December.

But how can you blame me? All of those Nintendo exclusive games were fun from beginning to end and it was a refreshing change of pace from almost anything else I played through on my PC. Nintendo was something I did not know I needed until I got it, now it has been a staple of my weekly free gaming time.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

This year I also celebrated my one year of unsubscribing from Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, an impressive feat. As I wrote in my post blog when I talked more in-depth about the year from the MMO (Be MOP #408), but enough things have gotten inbetween me and WoW the resubscribing would be a waste of money.

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

But out of everything,my most impressive development this year was development of my own Twitch Channel, branching out the Be MOP name from beyond text to video. Since late April, when I was announcing my plans to do start Live Streaming Infinite Crisis and other videogames (Be MOP #370). I have participated in my first 24 hour stream for Extra Life charity event, helping raise $290 dollars to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital. I have also recently reached my 100th day of streaming (Be MOP #454) and shortly after that I hit 100+ followers on my Twitch Channel.

Since my debut as a streamer and now, I have; accepted into Turbine’s Infinite Crisis Twitch Partnership program, joined the Infinite Crisis Community Stream Team, and have even been invited to stream on the official Infinite Crisis Twitch Channel every week as a Community Streamer.

And I got cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out all this weekend.

Fun Fact: Because of the old Streaming schedule (M/W/F 11:30- 2:30am and Sat 11-2a) There was a time when I was technically streaming seven days a week

I wonder how long I have to be on Twitch before I can confidently add “Twitch Streamer” to my LinkedIn profile?

Just like my previous yearly posts,

To make this go full circle here’s a the link to my first post on this blog. Enjoy and I’ll see you back here Monday.”


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#470 Dusting off my Steam Wishlist for the Harsh Winter Sales

A little birdy told the internet that the 2014 Steam Winter Sales will be starting this Thursday, and that means that soon all the good little boys and girls around the world will open their Steam clients at 1pm EST to find all of their favorite games on sale at ridiculous prices for the next few weeks. With that I need to brush off my steam wishlist to start my pre-steam sale celebration.

For a while now I have been using my wishlist as a quick cheat sheet of the interested games use it to easily check if the game is on a daily or flash sale. Since I first heard the news that the Great Winter Sales would be upon us soon, I have went through the Steam Catalog and started added games that will hopefully go on sales during this year’s winter sales.

This chart: know it. love it

This chart: know it. love it

I still have Fallout 3 on the wishlist and Deadrising 2 from my missed opportunity from the last -few- seasonal sales, along with a few Indie platformers like, Electronic Super Joy and Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.

Recently I have added OVERKILL’s PAYDAY 2,and Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People from TellTale. Strong Bad’s game is on my wishlist because I have been wanting to stroll down pre-YouTube internet memory lane for quite a while now and HomeStar Runner’s cast of character will hhopefullybe the means to scratching that itch

I have also added METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE and The Legend of Korra to my wishlist because after playing through both Bayonetta games I have officially hopped on the Platinum * Games hype train. Even though I am not never played any Metal Gear game or watched the Avatar cartoon series beyond Book One I have complete faith in Platinum’s ability to draw me into the game and ramp up the excitement with each passing Boss fight.

Between those P* games and Wonderful 101, a game that will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree for me, I will be all set with action-fighting games for a while. 

Between those P* games and Wonderful 101, a game that will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree for me, I will be all set with action-fighting games for a long while.

Between that I have also been using the new Steam Curator feature for suggestions and added the indie games like 1001 Spikes and Divekick, two games I have seen given much praise from the Curators, various Youtube stars and news outlets.

But I am also curious on what games you are waiting to waiting guy to buy from the Steam Winter Sale, leave a comment down below on the titles you hope to pick up and play during this Winter Season. I am interested in seeing what you all are waiting to buy.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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