Everybody is on Twitch these days. From players to developers and talk shows to tabletop it seems like everyone has a seat at the big purple table. But what does it take to really show the project you're developing? I've got some experience running one of the largest Twitch channels ever and I've invited a panel of expert developers to weigh in.
1: Consistency is Key
JW Nijman of Vlambeer is no stranger to livestreaming development. After all, he streamed Nuclear Throne development for nearly 2 years before the game came out. JW says: "It's super important to be consistent: stream at specific times so people know when they come hang out. Also realize that entertaining, explaining, and working on a game all at the same time is like doing three jobs at once. 3 hours of streaming can feel like a full workday, so take proper breaks and take extra good care of yourself!"
2: Remember that you're putting on a show
It's all well and good to stream like nobody's watching but if you want to grow your brand you'll need to keep the viewers entertained. Yes, you're developing a game but as soon as you hit the go live button you're also asking people to watch you. Andy Schatz has been streaming development of Pocketwatch Games' upcoming Tooth and Tail and says, "The best development streams are ones where the streamer is actively reading chat and answering relevant questions, but it simultaneously working on an interesting self-contained problem… Prepare your thoughts beforehand so you can interact with the audience without losing your flow!"
3: Be a part of the program!
Piggybacking off of our last point, streaming development isn't just about creating a game -- it's also about you, the developer. Take a second to think of all of your favorite streamers. Think about all of the best shows you've ever seen. I'm guessing you're not thinking about what game they played, but what they did. Streaming game development is the same! Bodie Lee of Lunar Ray Games suggests taking it slowly, "If you feel self-conscious being creative in front of people, try talking out your thoughts- tell people what you're thinking, what your dilemmas are, even sketch up diagrams in Microsoft Paint if you normally use a paper notepad!"
4: Have fun with it!
Remember, nobody is forcing you to stream your development. If you feel like you work better without strangers' eyes watching you, then do it! That said-- be yourself and remember that if you're having fun it's easier for your viewers to have fun with you. Put on your favorite music, wear a stupid hat, do whatever you need to do to keep yourself from going crazy on camera.
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