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What Makes a Game Streamable?

A topic by Krunchy Fried Games created Apr 27, 2019 Views: 176 Replies: 7
Viewing posts 1 to 4
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So, we put out our first game, Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My) on here a while back. One Youtuber- Tom Cheshire- streamed it (below) but had to spend a bit of time messing about with his computer settings to make it bigger. A couple of other streamers also said they enjoyed it, but that they didn't want to stream an online 640 X 400 game (or 600x 400, I forget).

We're working on the next one now and want to make it a bit more streamer friendly, so my question is, very simply: what's the best way of doing this?  Is there an optimal resolution? should the game be downloadable? Should it be windowed or full screen? etc. it's a graphic novel, choose-your-own-adventure game which will put some people off (a lot of reading!), but I suppose everyone likes different genres.

And if you are a Youtuber who doesn't mind reading a lot with a 640 x 400 game, feel free to give Witches... a play!

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1280×720 is a pretty safe bet; streamers who use either Twitch or YouTube will have no problems and if you go with Downloadable rather than Browser they'll be able to capture/stream via the active window easily.

Best of luck with Witches - we're a big fan of choose-your-own-adventure games (our first ever game, Swipe Manager: Soccer, was one) so hope it does well for you! 

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Cheers!

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I'd actually like to respond with a bit more detail.

-Borderless Fullscreen-Windowed and just regular 'Windowed' modes are crucial to have.  If there is only exclusive full screen as an option then it can't be streamed easily without hack-y workarounds.

-There should be resolution support up to and including any monitor resolutions supported by the OS/GPU/Display.  There is no excuse.  Anything less is laziness because most (decent) game engines come with that level of support right out of the box.

-If applicable, there should be the following options:


Text customization such as font, size, style (bold/italic/etc), color
An in-game gui method to alter the FOV for any 3D games
Colorblind options for visual elements
Text alternatives for audio elements
Cross-platform support for Win/Mac/Linux-based OSes and possibly mobile devices if applicable


-Browser games typically don't command the type of audience that also watches these YouTubers/Streamers (aka enthusiast/hardcore audience).  You'd honestly be better off putting browser games cross-platform on mobile as well and making money through passive (sensible) adverts; avoid the rapidly-flashing crap please.

-Try to stream the game yourself with OBS (Open Broadcast Studio) and see how well it works.  Having 'streamer friendly' instructions for OBS ready-to-go will also be a nice way for new streamers to jump in and try it out.  ^_^

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Thanks! That's all really helpful :)

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One last bit I'd like to add:  When trying out test streams for yourself, make note of any issues/workarounds and include them in your 'streamer friendly' instructions when asking streamers to do their thing.

Also include a clear unambiguous 'free use' content license so that there's no issues.

Here's a dev that has a dedicated page with streaming/recording permission.

Streaming & Let’s Play Permissions
With the issue of legal threats being leveled at YouTube and Twitch broadcasters, we want to make sure that we give everyone permission to broadcast Race the Sun.
Flippfly, LLC hereby gives permission to:
– Record and publish video of Race the Sun gameplay along with accompanying sounds and music.
– Monetize said video with advertisements or promotions.
Notes: All of the music in Race the Sun is original and is exclusive to the game. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us! We are happy to provide review copies of Race the Sun to the press and YouTube “Let’s Players”
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Going beyond the technical concerns, the thing that tends to make a game streamable is if either it offers the chance for exceptional, visually interesting play (take something like Ikaruga where it's just a pleasure to watch someone play) or if the game is so fatalistic, and has so many outcomes, that no two games are exactly the same and a game comes with many surprises. This latter reason is one of the main reasons that Battle Royale games have become such a big part of streaming.

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Good point. It now feels like some games are made almost entirely for streamers- like Goat Simulator. A lot of other modern indie games seem to be trying too hard to be weird for the sake of getting attention (but, then again, pretty much the only streamer I watch is Vinny Vinesauce, so I do see my share of crap games).

Since I only tend to work on graphic novel games, it's much more of a niche market (in terms of writing them, it's sometimes a balancing act between having a coherent story and an open world), but there are still variety streamers out there willing to give them a go...