Updated: Feb 7
If you've been keeping up with me lately especially via the streaming platform Twitch, then you know I've kept myself pretty busy these past six weeks. In all honesty, jumping into the Twitch world took me a year just figuring out what my streaming schedule would be like and what exactly did I have to offer outside of games as an upcoming content creator? I mean the possibilities were endless. So, I dedicated a lot my time offline doing some studying and creating graphics for this soon to be channel. And even though I had it all planned out from the jump, once I began streaming I still ran into some hurdles. The three main issues so far were (1) Picking a good game (2) Getting the right applications, and (3) Setting it all up successfully.
Issue #1 - Picking a Good Game
It's probably a given by now that I'm a huge Legend of Zelda fan but who isn't right? So, when it came to picking good games to play that part was almost set in stone except for the part that the ones I owned were outdated. As we know the decent term is retro and there is a huge community (alive and well - off/online) that I am delighted to be apart of. However, I was looking forward to trying new games on Twitch and it wouldn't hurt to give my viewers an authentic streaming experience learning something new as well. Plus, I thought I knew the LOZ story well; however since the LOZ franchise has expanded over the years (tremendously), I had a lot of catching up to do. Before the Summer of 2021, I was only playing the original classics on the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64. Of course, games like A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time would be my first picks, but I had to think ahead; what will I be playing after I beat these particular games? So I bought a Nintendo Switch and this decision alone brought up more options outside of the retro games I already had in my arsenal.
Below are the current games I chose to stream so far. Also, these games are subject to change after all, I am just getting started. I also plan to do some live art on Twitch this week so be sure to connect with me on my new established Twitch channel.
Game choice 1 - A Link To The Past
Originally released in 1991, it still remains a classic from the Super Nintendo era of games, I grew up playing ALTTP but never successfully finished it without the help of my older brother, so I hope you enjoy me taking on the challenge. Just 6 weeks in and I am almost done with ALTTP now. You can watch my current progress every Thursday from 1:00 - 3:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time via Twitch, Click here to see my current progress as of this blog.
Game choice 2 - Link's Awakening
Originally released in 1993 on the Gameboy Advance, we now have the opportunity to play it on the Nintendo Switch and I'm enjoying every second of it. I play Link's Awakening every Monday from 12:00 - 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time via Twitch. To see my current status click right here . To get your own copy of Link's Awakening you can also click on the image above.
Game Choice 3 - Ocarina of Time TBD
I originally chose Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 system to stream on Mondays but my emulator OpenEmu gave up on me during the second week of my Twitch streaming. Since none of my progress was being saved I swapped it out for Link's Awakening for the time being. Nevertheless, I have recently found an alternate emulator that works like a charm so I'll eventually revisit the N64 classic soon for upcoming Twitch streams. That is a promise!
Issue #2 - Getting the Right Applications
My setup for streaming is simple to say the least. See figure A below. At this point I will talk to you as if I am walking you through my own setup. So bear with me please. lol
1. If you haven't done so already, download the Twitch app on your phone so that you can easily alert your followers whenever you go live, especially between the social media apps you already use. This will help increase viewers and especially followers. Though the application lacks certain editing features you can at least keep up with your following and content when you're on the go. I use it quite often to discover new streamers and chat with my followers when I'm not at my work station. However, it is important to note: in order to get full accessibility regarding your profile settings be sure to check out the various streaming apps and tools available on the Twitch website.
2. One great application I'm completely committed to is Streamlabs, which happens to be an extension app for OBS. Even though there is a great app available for mobile devices, (similar to Twitch's app) I'd recommend using the computer software in order to gain its full potential. Streamlabs gives you the ability to put up a customized chat box, alert widgets, and build other cool items into your streaming experience. Streamlabs does offer paid options that allow you to access more advanced features called Prime but I found the free account to be good enough to get a successful stream going. Once you have the app downloaded on your computer, login into Streamlabs using your Twitch credentials so changes you make on the app will automatically appear in your stream through OBS. They even have a helpful test feature which provides widget previews so that you can test-run edits without having to stream it live to see it in action. >>Download Streamlabs here <<
3. OBS which stands for Open Broadcaster Software , is probably the easiest streaming software I ever used and even better it is open source which means it is completely free. If I ever ran into any issues with any of my gear, I would just avoid using this particular item altogether specifically through OBS; or find an alternative that works good enough without any hassle. Believe me it will save you a lot of time just by keeping things simple. OBS is a powerful resource for all sorts of streaming purposes but I'll go ahead and explain how it came in handy for my particular setup.
Issue #3 - Setting it all Up
Below is a screenshot of GENERAL SETTINGS tab in the OBS software. By default most of this is already set-up for you, but feel free to customize it. Also, be sure to hit OK to apply those changes. You can find this window by clicking on OBS on the top of your screen and selecting Preferences > General Settings.
(Above) I highly recommend enabling both Snap sources to edge of screen and Snap Sources to other sources in the Source Alignment Snapping section. This way you can easily scale your windows or graphics in perfect proportions to avoid any gaps on your screen while live streaming.
(Below) Here is a screenshot of my AUDIO SETTINGS. I kept my Desktop Audio at Default and the Mic/Auxillary Audio at Built-In Microphone which utilizes the microphone on my iMac. So far I found these particular settings to work best for me. Your settings may be a little different especially if you plan to use more than one mic or other gear for whatever reason.
Below is a screenshot for the VIDEO SETTINGS. By default, most of this is already set-up for you in OBS, but you can make changes as you please. You can also change the Nintendo Switch (Frames Per Second) on the Switch console alone if you happen to prefer different FPS settings. Even though I play my SNES and Nintendo 64 games through certain emulators (except for Switch) in my setup; 60 FPS seems to work fine with all three gaming systems regardless.
If you have any gear that you're not using make sure to disable their sounds by clicking on the Speaker Icon in the Audio Mixer panel right below the channels name (Above) until it turns red with an x next to it. This will prevent any echoing or feedback from occurring. I ran into this feedback/echo issue a lot, so its a good idea to always keep an eye out on your sound levels through the OBS Audio Mixer.
(Below) relates to the Advanced Audio Properties as follows. Just click on the gear icon next to an audio channel to open the menu and click on Advanced Audio Properties. Note: your settings may be more complex and will need different adjustments.
The image ABOVE is the Advanced Audio Properties panel. If you want your Desktop Audio sounds to come through your monitor speakers make sure Monitor and Output in the Audio Monitoring section is selected. The numbered boxes on the right apply to how many speakers you have plugged into your monitors so make sure you have at least box 1 and box 2 checked to hear everything on the left and right speakers. I left my Mic/Aux settings at Monitor Off to prevent feedback from occurring. On the bottom left, my Nintendo Switch has an audio channel of its own which is also set to Monitor and Output; so I can hear the Switch sounds through my speakers as well. For organizational purposes, rename the audio channels by right-clicking on the item in the Audio Mixer panel.
Thats pretty much all I have to offer to you regarding my setup in this first six weeks blog. Like I said before your setup may be a bit different but these are the settings that worked best for me and my current situation.
Lastly, I bet you are wondering how I got my retro games to work through OBS from my computer and which emulators I decided to use... I will be saving this Emulator topic for my next blog. Even though, I'v gotten past these 3 issues (so far), I am always open for any input from my readers. So if you have any suggestions whatsoever please feel free to contact me via the contact page in the main menu. Or you can message me on any of my social media pages as well.
Also, (as mentioned earlier) starting this week I will begin streaming some live Theatre Mutiny art sessions. It could be graffiti, it could be graphic design related, paintings perhaps, or it could even be some improvisation of some musical sort, so be sure to follow me on Twitch.
Talk to you all soon.
- Art. Love. Unity.