A while ago, I wrote about oversaturated game categories and one strategy of choosing games to play on Twitch. Obviously, no solution works for everyone, so I’m now explaining what I’m currently doing in terms of streams and categories and what works best for me right now… mainly because it’s not optimal,… but I’m more than happy with the way I’m running things right now!
So, for starters, I still like to play a lot of story-driven games on stream. The other day we finished up Backbone, Smile For Me, and Tell Me Why. Not too long ago, we played through Bioshock Infinite. The next story-driven game/longer playthrough will probably be Hollow Knight followed by Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea (Ep. 1+2). My community liked Bioshock Infinite, so I’m looking forward to playing the DLC that supposedly rounds up the story completely and ties the knot on Rapture and Columbia… but before that, we’re playing Hollow Knight and since it has been ages since I played it, we may actually start a new playthrough from day 1 – and Hollow Knight was an incentive for the charity campaign we did recently, so figured it’d be a bigger priority right now. Apart from the story-driven games (usually once or twice per week), I also do at least one stream with Indie Games and one Art Stream per week, meaning that we have some roguelikes or whatever going on at least once and some chill times with Art at another day.
So, my strategy essentially is… hold onto your socks because this one’s a wild one: Do what I like doing and don’t give a fuck about numbers!
I disabled all my Twitch Stats in OBS, meaning that I don’t know if anyone or how many people are watching. I’ve gotten rid of panels like that in the dashboard, too, as it causes me anxiety. My anxiety is already bad enough, so I can’t stream some games because of some of my triggers, and that’s fine. I think worrying about the numbers too much rubs people the wrong way and it messes with your head. You stream at your best, don’t get the expected viewer count, worry about it, people catch on, and then… Self-fulfilling prophecy! The viewer count actually drops. A lot of people don’t really know that but the viewer count has been borked for ages, so you may have 7 people lurking and it only displays one person in OBS or on Twitch for you… or you have 20 people there but the stats display more. In the end, it doesn’t matter because of that what gets displayed. If it causes you issues, disable it and throw it out of the window. Stream expecting nothing. Give your best as if the whole world was watching.
So, I play games that make me comfortable and games that I personally enjoy a lot. I really enjoyed HUMANKIND‘s Closed Beta, so I shared it in my streams. I loved it. People enjoyed it. We even got to meet a few new friends that like the genre. I love working on Emotes and it attracts new friends, again, because a lot of people like the creative process going on behind artsy stuff. I can turn on some City Girl or Pentakill and just vibe while I chat with people about all sorts of things and I work on graphics for my channel or for other people. I even have a collab Art stream planned for the next week.
Tags are important, too. Most of my viewers find me through the tags and not actually the directory… Hence, when I stream a game I like and they find me in that category through a tag, it assures me that they’re most likely okay people because they like something I like and they’re LGBTQIA+ or Mental Health advocates or people that also struggle. Sometimes you get trolls, obviously, but I believe that it’s worth it to have the tags and find like-minded people.
In essence, I’m having fun streaming and that’s mostly because I’m not worrying about stats anymore. I play what I enjoy which is Indie stuff and stuff from my backlog. I play older games… I will spam Humankind once it’s out in August because I loved the closed beta and because I’m super hyped about it! Really excited overall about streaming and I can recommend just streaming what you enjoy instead of getting onto some of the hype trains. I mean, sure, you want to be in the first two rows of directories usually but recently, Twitch has been recommending channels a lot more to people that are smaller (based on their preferences obviously), so that’s a great thing for discoverability, in my book.
And obviously, keeping consistency up and sticking to a schedule helps, too. Networking (I hate the term) is important, so raiding some people that you like and stuff… Raids don’t help you necessarily but it supports others and that’s a great thing, in my opinion. Supporting others and lurking in their streams, retweeting their going-live tweets, etc. All of that can help a lot!
Let’s sum this up again! What I do is:
- Do what I enjoy!
- Ignore Stats while I’m live!
- Focus on the moment instead of the “long run”!
- Play what I like!
- Use Tags!
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post. I changed my mindset a little bit over the last two years and been going back to games I enjoy a lot more recently, especially as it’s better for my mental health. Can recommend that!