#BloggersWhoStream is a community event this week started by Later Levels and Hundstrasse for bloggers to share tips, tricks, and set-ups for when they also stream. If you’d like, give the hashtag a follow on Twitter to see other awesome posts from the community!
Streaming was something that was always in the back of our minds ever since we started this little blog back in 2016. Early commenters and readers asked us if we were ever thinking of joining the streaming world and, once we got some of the basic equipment down, our Twitch channel became a thing. We started streaming in August 2018 and our set-up was basic, to say the least. We have a desktop PC that we crowded in front of together to play a few games that the PC could handle along with Stream Labs. The first few tries were messy, as we weren’t sure what we were doing when it came to the mic and the audio and video settings for the games and webcam.
We have a Logitech Webcam that sits atop of the monitor and plugs into the tower via USB and, at the time, it was pulling double-duty for both our audio and video. It wasn’t the best quality for streaming, but it worked well enough until we had the funds to upgrade some of our equipment. The PC is still used for streaming occasionally, especially for games like the Sims. About a month later, Rachel received a new laptop from Kris and our parents, mainly for her personal creative endeavors. However, the laptop was also powerful enough for streaming and Rachel generously offered “Lilah” to be used for it. With Lilah, we were on our way to streaming games from consoles. It was a bonus that we would be playing and streaming said console games from our couch — it gave us more wiggle room than the two computer chairs squished together in front of the PC! Along with a laptop, we needed a capture card for console streaming, and our choice was the Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S. Rigging up the laptop with the elgato and the webcam is a chore in and of itself, and yet another wire became involved when we got the blue snowball microphone to add to the mix. The snowball mic produces better sound quality for us yakking with chatters in the streams than the webcam did, which is great.
Our main issue, however, was always our Internet. Dropping frames and cutting out occasionally honestly became enough of a running joke that our first emote when we reached Twitch Affiliate was a “no wifi” image that, unfortunately, still gets some use today. For the most part, though, our Internet fares better nowadays, especially once we got a few wifi extenders to help our wifi signal reach the top floor of our house.
Within the past couple of weeks, we’ve actually had a new gaming laptop arrive for our streaming endeavors, and it’s beautiful. Lilah can retire as a streaming laptop and continue being Rachel’s personal writing laptop as it was always meant to be. The new laptop was deemed Ripper after the wolf NPC that our D&D characters have tamed in our current campaign (don’t think on that too hard). All three USB ports in the laptop are used during each stream session — one for the webcam, one for the mic, and one for the elgato, which in turn is hooked up to the HDMI to the television and the console that is being streamed. When we stream from an older console, we have an HDMI adapter for the consoles that use the colored component wires instead of one HDMI cord.
Our stream set-up is small, but mighty, and it works for us and our current living arrangements. Eventually, whenever we get more space, another monitor and possibly an extra camera or two for more angles would be wonderful. For now, our set-up works well for where we are, and we’re glad we’re able to stream and chat with friends and fellow gamers around the world.
Do you stream? What’s your set-up like? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
We began live streaming on Twitch in August 2018. It’s been a little over a year and while we haven’t been the best with our schedule, we’ve done a lot of live streams in the past 12 months. We aim to live stream three days a week – one together and each do a solo stream. When we first started, a friend asked me, while I was doing a solo live stream, “What does each of you bring to the table when you stream?” What makes our solo streams different? What makes our streams together click? I didn’t have an answer. We were new to streaming and we’re both so similar to one another, I had no idea what to say. Well, a whole year later, we finally figured out the answer to that question.
We work really well together, hence why we started doing this blog and streaming with one another. Trying to figure out our personal strengths when it comes to streaming threw us for a bit of a loop. Talking about it more in-depth the other night, after about a year’s worth of streaming under our belts, it became a little clearer. For one thing, while our taste in video games is similar, our play styles aren’t. My streams tend to be ones that focus on some story elements, games that I want to complete and share the journey with those in the chat.
We do work really well together. It’s fun to bounce ideas and conversations off one another while we stream. We do have a difference in opinion once in a while too. I think, when the question was first asked, I said we chose to do our stream schedule the way it is because of time. We wanted to stream a few times a week, but both of us doing three streams a week was unrealistically due to work and other life obligations. For the most part, we’re each able to commit to two streams a week. Through our solo streams, as Kris said, we realized we have totally different play styles. She always focuses on beating the game while I tend to play more “ongoing” games. I don’t 100% games, but I do try to collect as much as I can during my play through. I do my best to make certain games last.
Yes, Rachel is the collector while I’m more invested in the stories and characters. We both enjoy exploring in games but for different reasons. Mine is to find secrets that have to do with the adventure, while Rachel generally enjoys getting as much money as possible, haha! Case in point was when we did our joint Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures streams. Rachel was focused on the Force Gems — which, technically, wasn’t money in the game, but the essence was the same — while I wanted to move the plot along. Both of our play styles were necessary for continuing the game.
I also wanted the Force Gems because there was a small competition between multiplayer to see who got the most. So, my competitive side definitely came out for that. Anyway, we came to this conclusion the other day when we were trying to figure out our stream schedule for the following month. I noticed Kris’s game are plot-based and have a solid end goal. For example, Super Mario RPG. Most of the games I’m playing are ongoing. For example, The Sims 4. I’m doing the 100 Baby Challenge at the moment, but it’s a longer goal and even when that’s complete, there’s so much more to do in that game. Kris played through Donkey Kong Country and I started Animal Crossing. We have vastly different goals when it comes to “completing” a game or simply playing a game for the long run.
And, while we have similar taste in games, the genres that we prefer do vary. During joint streams, Rachel always beats me in the races in Mario Kart Deluxe 8 and I do better during the platforming levels of New Super Mario World Deluxe. Super Smash Bros. is a toss-up, a cross between luck and skill, while our early Nuzlocke adventures had me at the helm talking to the NPCs in the RPG and Rachel wanting to just see what Pokemon we can collect in each route. Our About Me page has mini bios with some fictional game stats but, honestly, they’re pretty close to home.
I find it amazing that streaming – and even the blog as well – has made us realize so many things about ourselves and each other. We often have a hard time coming up with post ideas, especially debate topics, because we have such similar tastes and opinions when it comes to certain video games and gaming in general. Though we do not “play” the games in the same way even if we may interpret certain plots in the same way and have a similar meaning to them, if that makes sense. And it makes me wonder, how we each got to play games the way we do? Is it a player-one, player-two thing? Just our personalities? I don’t know.
That’s a fascinating topic in and of itself. Do our play and stream styles come from a nature or nurture standpoint? I grew up playing games like Super Mario RPG and Ocarina of Time, while I believe one of Rachel’s first games was Diddy Kong Racing when she could first pick up a controller. While I don’t believe you understood what was going on, Rachel, you enjoyed zooming around, eluding Dad and me, while collecting all the pretty balloons, haha!
When I was younger, I gravitated toward games that I thought were “easy.” I loved watching you play Zelda, but the bosses and puzzles intimidated me. I wanted to stick with Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, and casual games like Pokemon. Of course, all those games aren’t too plot-based. In Mario Kart, you work to unlock new race tracks, karts, and characters. Smash is similar. Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all. I remember playing Gold & Silver and trying so hard to do just that – catch them all. I also didn’t talk to people either. I just went through the motions and you needed to tell me which people to talk to so I could get certain HMs to progress the game.
Which is interesting to think about, as you don’t seem to mind puzzle games now, but I suppose many of those tend to rely on collecting and unlocking more items and levels, which is on par for you. As for me, talking to the NPCs and exploring the areas to dig deep in the games’ stories are what I’m all about. With that said, our streams tend to benefit from our play styles. With Rachel’s excitement with collecting, that energy follows her into her streams and allows her to be so engaged with the chat and her personal goal with the games. While I do well with the chat, I’m interested in bringing the topics around to deeper questions about the games themselves, maybe gaming news that we’ve heard recently and what that may mean for how we play games. During joint streams, I play off of Rachel’s energy but I also tend to focus on the gameplay, especially during single-player games we may be streaming.
The puzzles, as I move up through the levels, give me a good sense of accomplishment and I feel like I’m making progress, which is a similar feeling that collecting things makes me feel. Because yeah, I do enjoy puzzle games now even if I’m terrible at them. Also, “energy” is a good word to describe the way I stream. I love engaging with the chat about the game I’m playing and also general chit-chat, but I also get super distracted. I either lose my place in the chat because I’m focusing on the game or I screw up in the game because I’m too busy reading chat or responding to something. My brain can’t do both.
Your energy is something I want to try to mimic during my solo streams, haha! Granted, when streaming together, it works great. Your energy and my focus on the gameplay keeps both the chat and the game moving, which hopefully creates entertaining streams. As we keep streaming, both together and on our own, I bet we’ll mold our own entertainment brand. We’ll see what another year of streaming brings!
If you live stream, do you find yourself fitting into a certain “play style?” Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Yesterday was our 6-hour long stream, and we considered it a success!
The stream itself was to celebrate our personal 2-year anniversary with our Nintendo Switch, and we had a great time playing through a bunch of the games. We did some Mario Kart racing, somehow made it through a few levels of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, did a tourney in Smash Bros. Ultimate, did a quick round of Super Mario Party, and completed a couple of levels in Yoshi’s Crafted World. Our cousin Kat joined us for most of the stream, and we had a great time!
We were also thrilled that our WiFi did not cut out at all during the stream, haha! We got a new WiFi extender that seemed to work really well yesterday, keeping our Internet nice and steady during all that gaming.
Many thanks to everyone who happened to pop in and join us in the chat, as well as the half a dozen new followers! We’re excited to reach out and connect with even more fellow gamers via streaming. If you happened to miss the stream, feel free to go to our Twitch channel and watch the VOD.
Hello everyone, and happy 2nd birthday to the Nintendo Switch! We really want to do something special to celebrate such a wonderful console, and we finally figured out what it is.
On Saturday, April 6th, we will be having a six-hour stream on Twitch to celebrate our personal anniversary of getting our hands on the Nintendo Switch console — with how popular the Nintendo Switch was when it first came out, it was common to hear it being sold out. We were a little bummed for a while, but we eventually got the Switch through a bundle offered from GameStop.
So, if you want to see the collection of Switch games we have amassed over the past two years, and just want to hang out and talk about video games and life, come join us at our Twitch channel on Saturday, April 6th, from 9am to 3pm EST! We may do a bit of Super Mario Party, some Smash Ultimate, maybe a little Mario Kart, and we have plenty of awesome indie games to show off!
Are you doing anything special to celebrate the Switch’s anniversary? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
While every gamer has their favorite console, PC games and services that help to stream the games to computers have always been a contender in the “console wars” as well.
Google is joining the streaming field with a little thing called Project Stream. It aims to be able to successfully run any game on any laptop or PC. It’s in beta mode at the moment and only runs Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but if it works like it promises, it could be yet another platform to play games.
Has anyone tried out Google’s Project Stream? I’ll admit that I haven’t. The writer of the article that I saw about it found it favorable, though. It’ll definitely be an interesting option when it comes to playing video games. We have Steam to help keep our PC games all together, but just going onto our browser to play a game may be the simpler way to go.
How would this change the home console scene? If we could just stream games from our laptop browsers, would home consoles become obsolete? Not only that, but more and more games are coming to mobile. In fact, Microsoft is starting a project as well that will bring AAA games to mobile, helping to broaden where and when players play their games.
It’s a wonder how browser streams will effect the home consoles.
Have you tried Google’s Project Stream? What do you think of browser streams for video games?
That’s right, Double Jump is officially on Twitch! Yay!
We’ve actually streamed for the past couple of weeks now, getting into a small routine while figuring out technical difficulties, but we’re learning and want to share us playing awesome (and sometimes not so awesome) games with you all!
You can find us at Twitch.tv/xDoubleJump! Please give us a follow if you’d like to see what kind of shenanigans we get up to and because, hey, we want to talk more with you guys too. We’re planning on streaming at least three times a week, trying to swing a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule — Kris on Mondays, Rachel on Wednesdays, and both of us on Fridays. We’re on the east coast of the US (EST), so Mondays and Fridays will probably be sometime during the evenings while Wednesdays will most likely be in the mornings.
(Also, it’s Rachel’s birthday today, so give her some extra love!)