Improving the Experience!

Today I wanted to talk about the feedback I got for the stream as well as Infinite Quality, a Twitch team that I’m part of. In essence, I joined IQ a while ago in an attempt to further improving my stream. I’m having fun with it – but I want the people that stop by to have a lot of fun as well… So improving the quality is important! Stagnation is bad, innovation is great! Right? Either way, if you want to, you may wanna check out IQ yourself over here. Last Friday, Sunny from IQ did a review of my channel and basically talked to me about possible things I should or could change.

I’m more of a serious hobbyist when it comes to blogging and streaming. I don’t want to turn this into a job or anything… But I also am actively looking for ways to get better. I feel like that can be really important in any hobby but it naturally doesn’t have to be. If you enjoy cooking but you don’t care about how it tastes, then just keep on cooking, I guess? So, as far as my stream goes, I want to provide a lurker-friendly environment free of toxicity or bigotry where people can enjoy games together, distract themselves, and have a nice time overall. To do that, I know that my audio and my commentary need to be better. My voice is somewhat deep, so I’ll have to tweak my microphone further to prevent it from doing weird things. There are also other issues with it but it’s too much to talk about right here: I just know that there are ways of improving the quality of the microphone and I just need to sit down and do it! 

But Sunny actually went into more detail than just that for the feedback. Right from the getgo, he spotted that my panels are all over the place. There was a lot of text and it generally didn’t look too welcoming. While I thought that I already shortened it enough to be comfortable, it apparently was still too much. Hence, I moved the rules section of the stream over to a separate page of the blog right here. There I talk about my values and rules in the stream as well as some other information and I’ll keep it updated over time. And well, I have this “tunes” panel where I link to the social media and other links of the artists whose music I’m using on Twitch (with their permission)… Well, that’s now also on another page on the blog. I mean, a lot of people do that actually but, for whatever reason, I didn’t have the idea despite using a blog already. I like the change and it’s more streamlined now! There are also still a few other graphics that I need to change around and stuff but it’s nothing too major and it can wait until in a few days as there are more important things left to do.

What’s more important than that, though, is the stream quality as well as the audio quality. The audio quality is a weakness I’ve known about and a lot of it can apparently be changed with different filters/settings as well as a boom-arm instead of a desk stand. It’s easier to control it that way and it’s not too hard to set up. More importantly, my OBS settings weren’t set up properly and because I read so in some article, I was actually streaming at 60 FPS which is silly for a plethora of reasons. Mainly, the encoder is lazy and creates this awesome view when you’re standing still… Once you move around, the quality tanks though, which is why it’s not all that good to stream at 60 FPS with my setup and the current encoding technology. Rather, I was told to switch to 30 FPS and to keep the bitrate at (at least) 3k kb/s and it actually did wonders today. Yeah, sure, I didn’t play the most intense games in the world (Pony Island and Luck be a Landlord) but the stream wasn’t dropping any frames and the stream didn’t have potato quality all of a sudden. Since it’s less of an internet issue and more of an encoding issue, I guess I may be able to stream in the evenings again from time to time… Potentially I could do a horror stream or something in the evenings from time to time. Apparently, streaming at a higher frame rate can cause accessibility issues as well though since games with fast movements are problematic at times. When you play it yourself, you don’t notice it because you can move around the camera as you want. As a viewer, you don’t have the control, though, so it can be an issue with motion sickness and that sort of thing. Hence, it’s quite important for accessibility to dial down those settings and stream at a more consistent rate rather than a high frame rate with many fluctuations.

And there were other issues as well that we got into but frankly, the most important bits were my audio and the OBS settings. Sunny helped me a lot with that and IQ has a lot of resources for it, which is really helpful! I’m looking forward to streaming more and actually working on the quality of it all. It’s nice to get feedback from time to time and I just figured that it would be cool to write about it today.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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