One of the obstacles with getting started in streaming is figuring out a system that works for you. A big part of that system is finding out what sort of streaming content makes you feel most at home. Streaming is a bit tricky in the sense that, just like speedrunning, your favorite games may not always be the best games for streaming. Your role as a streamer is that of an entertainer; video games are just the medium that unites you and your audience. The focus of this article will be on two major sections. The first will get you thinking about your personal history to steer you onto a path. The second will discuss experimenting and how you can make the most of it.
The first and easiest step in personal assessment is considering your favorite games and genres from your library. The number one policy is to have fun with what you’re doing, so go ahead and push aside all the games that don’t match you. The next two parts are a little bit more complicated. Kind of like picking your favorite Race and Class in an MMORPG, you now need to start finding your Approach and Personality.
Approach is the term that I am coining for actual stream content that you pick. Since you’ve likely already established games you would like to stream, now it’s time to figure out how to approach streaming them. There are a ton of categories to consider, but for the sake of example I’ll condense it into a few common ones.
Blind playthroughs – Great for someone who enjoys the start to end journey in video games and variety in general. Be open to picking up games both old and new while having patience to really suck in the experience with your chat.
Challenge runs – Play games in a way that others may or may not have considered. Invent meaningful restrictions or objectives and add them to the standard rules of the games you enjoy.
Completionist – Have the interest and endurance to experience everything a video game has to offer.
Speedrun – Become a master of a select library in both execution and knowledge. You must be willing to grind, open to learning, and learn to love the reset button.
Not every approach will be suitable for you in a streaming context, and being willing to do anything and everything won’t necessarily be the best thing for your stream either.
The next thing to consider is your own personality. It is likely that your personality will decide your approach, but you may also find that your approach will alter your personality as you stream in front of an audience. Being wary of the combination of your approach and personality will be essential to determining the direction of your stream. Like the approach section, here are a few common and extremely generalized streaming personalities.
Reactive – Having strong reactions to unexpected fortune and misfortune comes naturally to you. At the same time these reactions are appropriate and entertaining.
Analytical – Gaming drives your mind machine as you try to read what the game will become before it happens. Thinking aloud helps with your analysis and offers interesting insight to your audience.
Conversational – Games provide an environment for generating conversation whether it’s relevant to the game or not. Having a game before you leads to interesting storytelling and reflection. Your video and audio offer different forms of entertainment.
Adaptive – Live and learn from your gameplay and be capable of staying open minded and trying new things. This can stem from the desire to explore strategy and read between the lines of the rule book.
Focused – Highly dedicated to execution and skill level in video games. Focused streamers sometimes sacrifice involvement with their chats, but instead have moments of concentration and moments of conversation to accommodate.
Again, the point is not to feel like you have to have all of these traits in order to do well. The point is to figure out where you stand and perhaps how you may want to change to accommodate your approach. Remember that these 5 approaches and personalities hardly cover everything, so feel free to add your own! So now that you’ve come this far, let’s start putting things together.
Putting your Approach and Personality to the Test
At this point you may have conjured up a few ideas of how you want to do things, and hopefully you’re excited about them too! The next step is to get everything set up, spread the word, and give your idea a shot. Here are a few things to pay attention to in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your stream time for both your own growth as well as the stream’s growth.
- Make sure your viewer base knows what you are planning on doing. Sometimes this means doing a dummy stream or a “filler” stream to make sure you are catching people. Other times this means being ready to explain your plans concisely to new viewers who come into your chat.
- Whenever you cut stream, take the time to consider how things went. Always monitor your own performance, expectations, and things that were unexpected. Be open to changes, but make sure you never sacrifice your own enjoyment to make them.
Follow us on Twitter so you get all the latest updates! @StreamBigNET