What Should You Stream?

I see this question or a variation of it pop up fairly often in my Twitter timeline: “I’m thinking about streaming. What do you want to see?” Most recently @Jaedia brought this up yesterday:

I’m not an expert on this, and I’m sure my preferences on streaming don’t align with the majority of kids today. But here’s what I like:

I like to see games with a beginning, middle, and end. I don’t like to see repetitive gameplay, at least not for more than one or two videos. If the story is good, but the gameplay is repetitive or not viewer-friendly, I prefer that unnecessary gameplay be cut out.

I like to see “regular” people playing games. I don’t particularly like to see “radio voice guy or girl” playing games.

But still, I like to hear the player clearly over the game audio. (While still being able to hear the game audio clearly.)

(I do not like to hear eating, coughing, sneezing, or other weird bodily noises.)

I like to hear the game music, but not too loud. I don’t like to hear whatever the favorite playlist of the day is.

I don’t care if a web cam is used or not. If you do, don’t cover anything important on the game screen. Just my two cents but it’s a waste of screen space unless you’re planning to interact with the camera or make funny faces or something.

I don’t like to see people hyped up on Red Bull or whatever it is the kids get high on these days. (Although they are very funny to laugh at in Twitch Fail clips.)

I hate overlays on streams. I don’t care who your last subscriber was, how much they donated, etc. I definitely do not want to see the chat on the video itself. It makes the stream look like a bad game show or a QVC channel. The important thing to see is the game.

I like to see episodes around 30-45 minutes long. Less than a half hour if the pace of the game is fast.

I like to see the player’s enthusiasm for the game they are playing–to know that they are having fun with the game, and not playing it as a chore because everyone else is playing it or to get more viewers or partnerships or whatever.

I like to see the player’s first attempt at playing the game blind, with no foreknowledge of anything in the game. I want to see and hear their genuine reactions and their thinking process for learning how to play the game and solve the game’s challenges.

I like to see exploration of the game environment.

I like to hear the player explain their strategies and why they are doing the things they do.

I like to see and hear every cut scene and every piece of dialog from the game, uninterrupted by the player as much as possible.

This might be controversial, but if there is text-only dialog in the game, I like to hear it read out loud. I am usually listening to game videos, not watching them, and even if I were watching, I wouldn’t want to read the text in a blocky YouTube video anyway.

As a followup, because I’m usually listening to these videos, I like to hear the player describe what they are seeing in the game so I can get a sense of what is going on without having to look at the screen.

I like to see the player interacting with the game, not the chat. (I am constantly talking to the characters in the games I play.)

I like to see what the player likes and dislikes about the game mechanics and the story, and what they might do differently.

Of course everyone should ignore all of this and do whatever they want, because the most important thing when creating content is to do whatever you want to do. The best advice is to make content that you want to see.

Featured image from ustream.tv.

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