Becoming an online streamer takes a lot of commitment, it’s not just a case of turning on a webcam and pressing start! We’ve pulled together the best tips from this panel for all you budding gamers out there.
The Streaming Online panel at Social in the City: Winter Edition was chaired by Liam “AceTrainerLiam” Scott Edwards and featured Callum “SeaPeeKay” Knight, Jesse “Plumbella” McNamara and Scott “Dangthatsalongname” Major.
The panellists discussed what it takes to be an online streamer, from finding your niche to the practicalities of planning and setting up a stream.
1) To plan or not to plan? It depends on what works for you…
Making consistent gaming videos has to have a thought process behind it, from curating a gaming video series, to disciplining yourself to stream and edit videos on a regular basis.
Scott said, “I’ll plan ahead of time with a lot of background info and searching for inspiration and just film for 40 minutes and eventually have it edited it down to around a 12-minute video”. Jesse added: “sometimes I have to plan and write a script for hours, but sometimes I also just wing it and have no plan.”
2) …but sometimes the game itself will make series planning much more straightforward!
“I play a lot of Pokémon where the story pushes you along itself,” Liam explained, “so it becomes the content itself and you end up following the story.”
3) If you’re playing popular games like Minecraft, you need to find your own spin
The panel discussed authenticity and originality. They agreed that you have to differentiate yourself from other creators in the gaming community in order to stay afloat. And this becomes tricky when a lot of people are playing the same game.
Liam asked the panellists “how do you differentiate your content from others on the platform?” and Callum said, “I’ve played the game for six years and I don’t know anything about it, which I think is a funnier perspective to watch.”
Scott said, “I think there’s a lot of different traits that work together, but a lot of the community aren’t good at specific things like player versus player and it’s funny and we like to mix that together.”
4) Setting up your first Twitch stream is going to be… stressful!
Making the first step into Twitch streaming can be tough, especially with the chance of several technical issues on the day. For Scott, it was very nerve-wracking at the start: “because everything is on show, you can’t take a break.”
“I upload every day and there’s only so much you can do before you go insane,” said Callum. “I don’t know tech and the worst thing is where there are issues during the stream to sort out.
5) It’s impossible to predict what’ll do well
Whether it’s a completely new concept or part of a longstanding series, it’s still hard to know what will and won’t land online. It can also be difficult to balance growing a following that enjoys your content, with enjoying making that content.
“People want what they want,” said Callum. “For example, the other day, a Minecraft video in a new series I uploaded didn’t do the best, and that’s fine, not all videos have to do the best.” Scott agreed, adding that “you never really know if videos are gonna blow up or not.”
6) Remember your motivations – they’ll help get you though
Maintaining an ongoing schedule for streaming and editing can be difficult, so you need to remind yourself why you do it. “When I’m playing games it doesn’t feel like a job and its the best,” shared Callum. Jesse added: “I’ve played The Sims for nearly 20 years and the fact I get to do it as a job is insane.”
For Scott, it’s his viewers that motivate him. “When people email saying they have had a rough time and my content has helped them it really keeps me going,” he shared, “even if it’s an escape for them for half an hour.”
Words by Benji T Fox and Poppy Dillon. Photos by George Yonge.
If you missed out on all the fun this year, or want the chance to reminisce, read Our 12 Favourite Moments from Social in the City: Winter Edition 2019! Or check out Five Things We Learned from the Streaming Panel at Summer in the City 2019.
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