New! I have set up a streaming schedule calendar for my Twitch Stream.


What to help out? You can send me tips via PayPal.

Follow me on Twitter to know when, and what, I am streaming.

Join the discussion at the Phantascene Productions Discord server.

More screen captures of the games I play and pictures to inspire 3D modeling can be found at the Phantascene Productions Tumblr.

Become a patron and support this site for as little as $1 a month at Phantascene's Patreon page.

Please note: While they are truely appreciated, any and all tips (or other funds) are non-refundable gifts that will be used to help me pay my bills, improve my stream, and work on writing novels. I say this because I simply can not afford to refund money I have used to pay a bill, so please understand that such donations are non-refundable when you make them. Thank you.

Installing Unreal Engine 4.25

I have began downloading Unreal Engine 4.25 onto the computer. This will allow me to start learning how to build games in Unreal Engine, which will be added to my streaming channel on Twitch as soon as my internet allows me to stream at reasonable quality from the computer.

I have just under 10 GB remaining for the download, so am very hopeful that it will be done in the next few days; if I can manage to keep the download going when I am not streaming and my roommate is at work or sleeping.

It is my hope that by my birthday, June 16th, I can have a start on building a game environment to compliment the novel I am writing.

My goal is to build an open world game environment that parallells the events of my novels. An environment that will allow me to create action shots from my stories for book covers, website images, Twitch screens, and so much more.

More than that, it is my hope that it will also, eventually, allow fans of my novels to have a chance to interact with the locations of my stories and experience an evolving setting that brings the world of my stories to life.

I think Unreal Engine might be the best choice for creating that setting.

ArtStation Lightbox Expo Box of Mystery Challenge

The next ArtStation challenge is finally here and I am going to be diving back into things. I have entered several ArtStation challenges over the years, unfortunately life has a way of upending my plans and preventing me from having a finished project to turn in when the challenge comes to an end.

Even with those stumbles, I have learned so much about art, 3D design, and game creation in the challenges that I have been able to be a part of. Every one has not only been a way to challenge my skills, but to learn new skills and expand my knowledge of creating art, characters, and environments.

I do not enter the challenges to win prizes, I enter them to challenge myself and make myself a better artist.

The newest ArtStation challenge is going to start on June 1, 2020 and I intend to enter three of the challenge categories.

Environment Design

The environment design challenge is usually to create one or more environments that fit within the theme. Each environment is to have a callout sheet for the elements that make up the final environment. These serve as inspiration for the creation of the environment in 3D and should set the mood and provide the 3D modeler with a sense of how the environment should feel; colors, lighting, atmospheric effects.

Character Design

The character design challenge usually requires the creation of several characters that would fit into the theme. A character turnaround sheet will be needed, showing each character from several angles (front, side, back) to give 3D modelers a good idea of how the character should look and what the proportions are. There should also be a comparison chart in the case of multiple characters, to give an idea on the scale of characters in relation to one another and provide a standard scale object for the 3D modeler’s to use as reference.

Prop Design

The prop design challenge usually asks for the creation of several unique props that fit the theme and, in some way, tell a mini story about the challenge theme. As with the character design challenge, the prop challenge will require the creation of a vector sheet for each of the props, showing the prop from different angles (front, side, top) to aid 3D artists in recreating the object in 3D. And as with the environment challenge there should be a sense of mood to the artwork, giving the artist a good understanding of the materials and any lighting or effects that will be needed to be a part of the prop.

I will provide more detailed information on what I will be working on after the first of June, when the briefings for the challenges has been released on ArtStation.

It is my hope that I will be able to stream the process on Twitch or YouTube, but for now I am just going to be content with possibly being able to familiarize myself with the latest edition of Blender while working on what I hope will be a fun yet challenging project to create environments, characters, and props.

Days Gone: How to Fight a Horde at Low Level

A few days ago one of my viewers asked me if it was possible to defeat a horde in Days Gone at low levels.

Indeed it is, but it requires careful planning and the use of geurilla tactics when fighting them.

The first thing that you need to know about fighting hordes at low level is that if they catch you – they will kill you. So make sure that you save your game before you go up against one, and don’t get caught. (If you do get caught, however, don’t give up. It is possible to dodge, roll, and shoot your way to safety… just, not all that easy when surrounded by twenty or more upset freaks.)

Before you set out to take on your first horde you should gather what gear you can and decide on what your tactic will be. Your tactic will depend on your play style, but at lower levels you might need to adjust your tactics a little to assure victory.

Charging headlong into a cave, or hunting the horde where it seeks food or water, might not be the best of methods, even if you are the kind of person who likes to grab a big gun and hold their own against superior numbers of enemies.

Study Them

The first step in fighting a horde is to know your enemy. Take the time to study the horde and get to know what it is that makes that particular horde tick. Where do they seek out shelter during the day? Where do they go to eat? Where do they drink? What path do they take between those three areas?

Every horde will have those points: Food, water, shelter. So get to know the horde you have selected and understand where you can find them.

Also make note of their size and if there are any additional dangers or potential advantages in the area.

  • Is there a second horde in close proximity?
  • Is there an enemy encampment in close proximity?
  • Are there terrain features that you need to be careful of such as water or cliffs you can be trapped against?
  • Are there any places where items might be dropped behind you as you pass to stop the horde from following you through an area?
  • Is there a structure that you can climb, or a narrow path you can get through? Search for any terrain features you can scramble over or through, but that would slow down or stop the horde.
  • Are there environmental aids that you can use?
    • Bear traps
    • Exploding canisters such as:
      • gas cans
      • oxygen tanks
      • red barrels

Get to know the area before you take on the horde.

It’s a Trap!

If you have proximity mines, use those to your advantage as well.

Set mines along the path where you will flee to escape the horde so that when they run after you, they will run across the mine field. Just… make sure you are far enough ahead that you are not also caught by the explosions.

Also, make sure that you take out the leaders. You want as many caught by the explosions as possible when using proximity mines, so try to shoot any lone freakers that run for you before they can trigger the proximity mines.

If you have found their cave, and they are asleep in it, then set a few mines near the entrance. If you can get them to come out of the cave in a cluster, you can get a few of them at a time with the proximity mines.

Run For Your Life!

If you know that you are going to be taking on a horde, then you want to prepare for that by saving any Stamina Cocktails that you come across.

If you’re lucky enough to have found the recipe, then make sure you craft as many as you can and keep spare ingredients on hand to make more when needed.

NOTE: Stamina Cocktails take the same basic ingredients as other cocktails and bandages, so use your ingredients wisely.

Freakers Hide from Door to Door Salesmen

I have discovered that hordes retain some measure of humanity and memories of how things were before they became freaks. It has been my experience that if you visit a horde cave during the day, there is a good chance that you will find it empty. At least that has been my experience.

I have gone to caves where I know hordes sleep, middle of the day, sun is out and no clouds in the sky, and… there were no freakers anywhere to be found.

I have decided that this is because they hate door to door salesmen. So, when horde hunting, keep in mind that while every cave must be entered with extreeme caution: there is also a possibility that you might not find them sleeping in their cave when you want to.

Your First Horde

Now that you know where your chosen horde is, and you know their habits, and you have gathered everything that you can to fight them… it is time to kick that hornet’s nest.

Approach the horde at your preferred time and make sure that they actually are where you expect them to be. (Remember, they might not be in their cave in the middle of the day.)

Test Things First

Before you set your traps or rile things up too badly, you want to make a test run. Save at your bike, (If you can’t save there is an enemy too close to you.)

Now, get your longest range gun and shoot a few freakers from a good distance away. Rile them up and get some of them chasing you, then… RUN! Your goal is to test how far this horde will chase after you when you rile them up.

Note the path they take when they come after you, do they always go the same way around obsticles? How far until they give up the chase and head back to their den or feeding area?

There will be stragglers, so pick off as many of those as you can as you follow the horde back to their gathering point. Silenced weapons and your stealth knife kills help here.

Now You Know

You’re ready. You are as prepared as I can make you for this, so… time to do it.

Set out your traps if you have them, position bear traps where the freaks will run on the path. Careful that you set them where you will be able to re-arm the trap after you have caught a freaker in it.

Place proximity mines in strategic choke points, but be careful they are far enough apart not to trigger a domino effect.

And speaking of domino effects: line up gas cans leading back away from the proximity mine if you can. You want the freaks to pass the gas cans, then set off the proximity mine. This way the mine will blow up the gas can, burning more of the freaks as they rush toward the explosion.

Ready, Set, GO!

With everything set up, sneak to your chosen vantage point – somewhere that you can throw items at the horde and then run. Maybe a cliff overlooking them? On top of a building? Wherever you pick, make sure you can toss items into the area of the horde from there without them rushing for you before you’re ready.

If you have it, throw out an attractor or attractor bomb. As soon as the horde is gathered at the attractor start lobbing what throwables you can:

  • Molotovs
  • Pipe bombs
  • Grenades

If it explodes or does area-wide fire damage – toss it in there. You should be able to lob two or three items before the horde realizes where the destrution is being rained down on them from. Once they make the connection and head for you, take off running yourself!

Don’t wait for them to get to you, they’re faster than they look.

Repeat as Needed

Get to a safe distance and, same as before, pick off the few stragglers as you follow the horde back to their gathering point.

They might not go back where they were, however. The horde might head for their sleeping point if they were feeding, or perhaps to their water point. Just follow them to wherever they go and repeat the tactic of luring them together and lobbing thrown damagers into their midst.

You can shoot them as well, but make sure you save the gunfire for after the thrown items, because that alerts them to your position faster – even with silenced weapons.

Yes, You Can Resupply

It has been my experience that you can leave the area to resupply if you need to run out for more ammo or explosives. The horde will not respawn if left alone for a little while – at least I have not had one respawn while I was off buying bullets or getting healing supplies.

Let Me Know How This Worked

Share your experiences horde hunting in the comments. Was there a different method you used? Do you have tips for any specific hordes? Have you experienced any unique things?

Never Give Up

Using the same hit-n-run techniques like I outlined above, I have saved civilian’s trapped inside cars with a horde swarming all over the car the poor guy was locked in. You can not leave the area when someone is caught in a car, but you can circle around and hit the horde, run, repeat, until the horde has been defeated and the poor soul can get out of the car.

Let me know what your craziest horde moments were!

Days Gone stream

Join me for a ride on the Broken Road in Days Gone on my  Twitch Channel at Twitch.tv/phantascene. (Click the Google Calendar link to add this event to yout Google Calendar.)

Days Gone
by Bend Studio

Difficulty setting: Survival II
Character: Deacon St John

Possible Activities:

  • Visit the Lucky Lad Mine with Skizzo
  • Exploration
  • Horde Hunting

It has been 808 days since Deacon placed his wife, Sarah, on a chopper leaving Farewell, and it has been a tough journey for Deacon in recent weeks as he has struggled to survive and keep Boozer alive.

In my previous few streams for Days Gone, Deacon took Boozer to Lost Lake to find help, then made a run to Ripper territory to secure antibiotics. It was not enough, Deacon was forced to help as Addy, the doctor at the Lost Lake encampment, cut Boozer’s arm off to save his life after the infection from the burns spread despite the antibiotics that Deacon recovered from the crashed Red Cross plane.

Boozer has been released from the infirmary and he and Deacon have now taken over a small cabin at Lost Lake. In exchange for a place at the encampment for Boozer to heal, Boozer works at the encampment’s farm and Deacon is doing runs for the Lost Lake encampment.

Tensions are rising with the Rippers. Deacon and Rikki took a ride to the power plant in an effort to restore power to Lost Lake, where they encountered a group of Rippers who were carrying a rough note that made it clear they were searching for two bikers wearing Mongrels cuts. 

Meanwhile Deacon is spreading himself thin as he helps out a NERO agent by the name of O’Brian in exchange for the man finding out what he can about what happened the day Deacon’s wife, Sarah, died.

As Deacon returns to Lost Lake, Iron Mike and Skizzo wait to speak with hm at the lodge about Deacon’s plan to seal the caves that the freakers sleep in during the day.

COVID-19: Could We Have Seen This Coming?

Today I went to Facebook and was reading a post by one of my sisters about how she had made a dash out to the store at long last yesterday to see if she could get needed supplies. Among the items she wanted to buy were sugar for her tea and flour to do some baking. The store had neither.

Comments from others in the family attested to a lack of sugar and flour to be found elsewhere, including the area where I live in Alaska.

This got me to thinking about the other things that have happened since January, and that has brought me to want to follow my own advice and start keeping a record of what I am seeing happen around me and in the world.

I would like to say that this is for future generations, but… I am a writer, I am a gamer. While I prefer to read fantasy mostly, I love the games that explore what might happen in the wake of a global pandemic. I am, truth be told, leaning more toward reading such things as well. So… this is less a record of events, there are many who are keeping those, and more of a look at the pandemic from the eyes of a gamer and writer. A look from the eyes of a natural born researcher who wants to know more.

Among the games that rank as favorites of mine is Tom Clancy’s The Division. A game about the aftermath of a global pandemic.

The description of the game from Amazon.com reads:

“In the wake of a devastating pandemic that sweeps through New York City, basic services fail one by one, and without access to food or water, the city quickly descends into chaos.”

Would that happen? Would we see in this real world global pandemic the kinds of things that were shown in the 2016 video game by Ubisoft?

Well…

Did you know that the World Health Organization stated in March that COVID-19 was being transmitted on currency? If not, don’t worry, the WHO did not know that themselves.It seemed to be a case of mistaken translation from their having been asked if it was possible for bank notes to carry the virus and their spokesperson having noted that it was good practice to wash hands after handling currency, especially before handling food or eating.

I took notice of the suggested connection to the spread of COVID-19 and currency because in The Division the pandemic that swept the world was known as The Dollar Flu. This is because it had been spread via infected currency that was traded at a busy store in New York City on Black Friday.

The next point that caught my attention was a report in March that an ice rink in Spain had been transformed into a makeshift morgue. According to an article in Forbes:

On March 24, the Health Ministry announced around 500 new deaths and 6,600 cases overnight.

The Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace, began receiving the caskets this week after the regional authorities approved the temporary operation.

Once again my thoughts went to the video game The Division, where Madison Square Garden in New York was transformed into an emergency field hospital to treat the infected. US Gamer posted this walkthrough for Madison Field Hospital on March 7, 2016.

And most recently was the report out of New York a few days ago that, according to an article in Business Insider, a councilman had claimed there was a plan to bury those who died of COVID-19 in trenches in the parks.

“This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right),” Mark Levine, the chair of the New York city council health committee, tweeted. “Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line. It will be done in a dignified, orderly — and temporary — manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take.”

(Note that the linked tweet in the Business Insider article has been removed from Twitter since the article was posted.)

It also needs to be noted that both the New York medical examiner and the mayor of New York have stated that they have heard of no such plans. So it seems to have been nothing more than a passing rumor with no real backing to it. Still… those familiar with the game The Division will know that quick burials in city parks were a thing in the game as death tolls rose in New York. Trenches much like those described by the initial Tweet are seen in the video game.

Should we have seen something like this coming? Novel corona viruses are nothing new. It has been many years since the last time a virus has proven so difficult to battle, but the world has known for some years that the threat is out there. If it has been written about in books, transformed into movies and video games, used as the basis for so many zombie scenarios… surely the WHO and CDC and others have known it was a possibility and have planed for such things.

For now, all that we can do is keep the suggested distance from one another, wash our hands frequently, avoid touching our faces, and take care of one another the best we can in this difficult time.

Find out more about COVID-19 and staying healthy from your local health department. You can locate your local health department via a search for your country or state, or visit directories such as the CDC Health Department Directory to locate your local health department’s website.

Also check the WHO Coronavirus page for COVID-19 for up to date information on staying safeduring this outbreak.

I will be writing up more articles about this in the days, weeks, months and possibly years ahead and tagging them all under the “COVID-19” and “pandemic” categories here on my site.

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts and what you have seen. Are there sugar and flour shortages where you live? Are other products hard to locate? What do you think of the immediate shortage of toilet paper in the wake of the announcement of a pandemic situation? (I’ll cover that toilet paper crisis in another post sometime.) Share your thoughts and comments below. And if you enjoy my articles consider visiting my Twitch channel and following me there, where I play games such as The Division, Days Gone, The Last of Us, and other games about global pandemics daily starting at 2pm Alaska time. (-8 GMT)

The Division 2 Warlords of New York

I have finally got The Division 2 updated (took forever, literally: 38 days, 16 hours, and 55 minutes since my last login on The Division 2. And all of that time has been in waiting for a few other game updates ahead of it and for the Disivion 2 game update to finish. (I seriously need better internet.)

I am back in the game today though, and will be booting up The Division 2 after my stream and streaming it starting at 5pm Alaska time today.

I’ll be seeing if I can access the Warlords of New York, if I can’t then I will just play around some. From what I can tell, however, I should be able to just hop into the Warlords of New York without having to download anything else.

Tune in at 5pm Alaska time (-8 GMT) to watch me stream Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York at twitch.tv/phantascene.

The Last of Us Part II delayed – no new date set

In posts today on their website and Twitter, Naughty Dog announced that the decision has been made to delay the release of The Last of Us Part II.

In a statement on their website, Naughty Dog said that logistical issues beyond their control prevent the launch being done how they had hoped to do it, so the decision to delay the launch of the game was made.

Twitch Short Story Challenge: Sci Fi

On my Twitch I have a points system that allows my viewers to redeem various things, including a request that I write a short story for them.

Today one of my Twitch viewers redeemed a short story request. Their challenge:

Two to five people, of an undesignated alien race, are crash landed on a tropical moon for 5 days until an extraction force can arrive. They will deal with Hostile Flora and Fauna.

I have started contemplating the story and the first task I assigned myself was to decide how many characters would be needed, so… what do you need on a spaceship? I made a list:

  1. Captain
  2. Pilot
  3. Navigator

I then decided that this ship needed a reason to not only go somewhere, it needed a reason for a rescue mission to be sent for it. Why not up the imporance and make the passenger someone who would prompt a quick rescue – or at least make the passenger someone who would assume that a rescue would be quick.

  1. An Aristocrat / Diplomat
  2. Diplomat’s Aide
  3. There I have it. Five characters who are the crew and passengers of the ship.

    Or are they the survivors? Was this a crash that left only a few people alive? I could switch out the character types now that I consider that option. Maybe the captain did not survive the crash, maybe it was someone else?

    I like the captain though, and the diplomat, since this gives me the option of a power struggle. Were only one of them in the story, then it would be clear who was in charge.

    Another option is to ditch both of them and have a power struggle between the crew of the ship, who are now trying to maintain authority over the situation, and the staff of the diplomat, who are of the opinion one of them should be in charge of things since the group is on the ground.

    I will play with these ideas and see which I prefer, what one offers the most scene ideas, and what possible endings I can work toward for the possible character lists.

    My next task is to come up with enough scenes to fill in a short story. I already have an idea for how to start the story, so now I just need two to three scenes to fill the middle out, then I can decide on an ending once I have a rough outline I like.

    I’ll post more on this tomorrow when I have got some more work done on it.

    Feel free to share your own thoughts and ideas about this challenge idea in the comments.

What’s Twitch?

I have been thinking for a few days to write an article that not only explained what Twitch is, but that explained what it can mean for people in this time of self-isolation. Then, as I woke up today thinking I needed to get the article wrote out, I found this question in my Twitter feed.

There were a couple of responses, but can Twitch really be defined in as few characters as Twitter allows?

It’s A Streaming Site

This is perhaps one of the simplist ways to define what Twitch is for someone who has never heard of it.

Yes, Twitch is a streaming site where content creators and gamers can stream videos that others can watch.

What does that mean, exactly?

Oh, Is It For Gamers Who Play Fortnite?????

Yes… and no.

While Fortnite is very huge on Twitch, it would be a huge disservice to Twitch to define is as “A streaming site where gamers play Fornite.” It is so much more than that.

Twitch Is For…

Just Chatting, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, FIFA 20, Grand Theft Auto V, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Destiny 2, Minecraft, Escape from Tarkov, Rocket League…

Uh… Okay, let me make this easier with a screencapture of just a very FEW of the games that are streamed on Twitch:

I called up the game list and reduced my browser magnification to 25% to get that image. That is a small fraction of “what is Twitch?” and kind of a disservice still to what Twitch could mean right now, during this time when we are seeing hashtags like #StayAtHome and #StaySafeStayHome trending worldwide.

So wait… What’s Twitch?

Just Chatting

Twitch is a place for people to come together and chat about a wide range of topics. This is a great category for those who are in self isolation but want to find others that they can connect with.

If you don’t want to go live you can find people from all around the world ready to chat in the Just Chatting category, stop in and talk with the streamer and others in their chat.

Here is a screenshot I took a few moments ago of those in the Just Chatting category:
(I really want to stop writing and watch that NYC Bike Messenger at the top center.)

Tabletop RPGs

Tabletop RPGs are alive and well in today’s gaming environment and Twitch has become a way for gamers to get together and stream their game sessions to their friends and the world.

Critical Role is one of my personal favorites, but there are a lot of gaming live streams to chose from if you are looking to watch people play good old fashioned tabletop roleplaying games.

And what better way to keep your own campaign going through the COVID-19 pandemic than to set up an online session? Browse some videos in the Tabletop RPG category and interact with groups on social media such as Facebook, Discord, or gaming forums to find out how you can set things up to allow your own group to start meeting up in live streams and play your campaigns while adhering to self isolation.

Music & Performing Arts

Twitch is a great place for small performers to find an audience and share their passion for music and performing arts.

It’s not karaoke or singing along to the radio, although I am sure those are probably in here as well. No, this is big bands and small bands and people who want to learn to play instruments or want to help others learn. This is dancers and performance artists.

This is the small bands that you love to stop and watch on street corners, the people who are trying to share their new songs, dancers trying out new routines, and so much more.

Here is a peek at what I saw when I did a quick browse of the Music & Performing Arts category:


Travel & Outdoors

What do you get when you tell a bunch of travel and outdoor types to sit at home? Well, from what it looked like when I visited the Travel & Outdoors category at Twitch you seem to get a lot of people trying to help others find ways to stay active indoors and keep in shape until COVID-19 has been beat and everyone can get back to their lives out there exploring this wonderful world.

Some of my favorite streams in the Travel & Outdoors category are long distance truckers who stream from a camera aimed out the front of their rigs. You can see one of them (xmasia) in the center of the above screencap.

I am in Alaska, so for me outdoors makes me think of dog mushing. Can you imagine if the Iditarod and Yukon Quest mushers had cameras mounted on their sleds, helmets, or lead dogs? That would be kewl!

Art

Painting, drawing, polymer clay, 3D modeling… whatever art you are intersted in, there is a good chance that someone on Twitch is streaming it. (LOOK! Bob Ross videos!)

Twitch is a great place to watch artists work and learn new skills or tricks. Here are just a few of the art channels that were live a few moments ago on Twitch.

Politics

Wait… what?

That’s right, you heard me. Twitch has a category for politics. Not a lot of people seem to realize this one is there, but it is. It was not too active on the live streams when I visited it, so I hopped into the videos category and grabbed a screencap of recent streams that have been aired in the politics category:

Beauty & Body Art

This is another one that was not that active when I was at it, so I grabbed my sample screencap from the previously aired videos.

Not just about applying makeup, I have seen a lot of different things in the Beauty & Body Art category, including tattoo artists who stream their work as they tattoo people.

So… what is Twitch?

Yeah, not so easy to answer in just a few characters. I can’t even fully answer what it is in my article here.

Twitch is whatever creative minds want to share.

I have barely hit on the possibilities in this article, so I encourage you to check out Twitch and see for yourself what it is and how it might be of interest to you either as a creator or supporter of the creative community.

And the best part?

Twitch Can Be A Small Business

Yes, that is right, while most of the streamers on Twitch are only streaming for their own enjoyment or as a hobby, it is entirely possible to earn a small side income on Twitch.

Most of the people who are on Twitch make only a small amount, maybe enough to buy more art supplies or a new game to play. Most earn nothing at all. But… there are some who approach Twitch streaming as their job and build up a true second income on the streaming channel.

DO NOT quit your job and think you will make it big on Twitch (or any other streaming service), that’s not how it works. But it is possible to make money on Twitch; if the streamer is willing to put in a lot of hard work and years of dedication to making it happen.

Part of what I am doing with my website, Phantascene.com, is creating articles that can help people who want to buckle down and get serious about streaming on Twitch to help pay for art supplies, games, or maybe a single bill a month.

Is more possible? Yes, but start small. Start with just your interests and passions and do not think about the money. If you decide that you want to commit (and it is a commitment), then you can build it into a business.

I’ll do my best to help and share what I do to build a business as a streamer.

Share Your Channels And Thoughts

Share your favorite channels in the comments and let us know what you think about Twitch and how it can help with feeling less alone during social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for me, I stream games like Days Gone, Dishonored, The Division, Thief, Uncharted, BioShock, and The Last of Us daily at Twitch.tv/phantascene.

7 things you can do when your Twitch chat is not active

It is nice to have an active chat while you are streaming, but it is far more common for Twitch streamers to go entire streams with no one speaking up in their chat. Many streamers find it disheartening to sit and stream for hours on end without anyone saying anything to them and some have asked for advice on what they can do to keep their stream engaging, even when no one is talking in the chat.

These seven tips will help you create a Twitch channel that is engaging and entertaining, even when no one is watching.

Why is this important? Because you can not control when someone might enter your channel, or if they watch you live or watch a highlight days, weeks, even years later. So you need to be prepared to keep things entertaining when there is no conversation going on in your channel’s chat.

Here are seven tips to do that:

1. Talk About The Game

Find things that you can say about the game you are playing.

Is this the first time you have played it?
Have you seen others play it before?
How did you learn about the game?
Have you played it before?

If you played the game before, then what is different this time? What happened in the area you are in on previous play-throughs that is different this time?

Example: When I was playing Dishonored recently I made note of a room where, on a previous run, there had been several bloodfly nests and a person had hung theirself.

2. Share Trivia About The Game

We all absorb trivia, sometimes without realizing it. While you are reading about a game and deciding if you want to play it, collect tidbits of trivia that you can use in your stream. Have you learned something interesting about the game? Did you discover something that not many people know about the game? Share it and talk about what you think of it.

This is not restricted to just trivia about the game; if you have a passion that the game taps at, then you can talk about trivia the game has in it as well.

Example: I had to end a stream one time because the game’s designers actually made me start crying on stream.

3. Do A Mini Review of The Game

A lot of people watch Twitch streams to help them decide if they want to buy a game, so review it while you are streaming. Talk about what you like, or don’t like, about the game.

Make a note of anything that might help your audience decide if they would like the game. Some examples of what you might consider commenting on include:

  • Is it like another game?
    • If so, how?
    • If not – what makes it unique?
  • How is the control for the character?
  • What is the AI of the enemies like?
  • Are there any hidden issues? (Such as lighting that hurts your eyes in a dark environment?)
  • How enjoyable is the story, if there is one, for you?

Try to balance your criticism; when you find something that you don’t like, try to note something that you like. No one wants to listen to a long list of complaints, but they do want to hear your insight on what you think is good and bad about the games you are playing.

4. Have Fun With Glitches

Did you find a game breaking glitch? One that is just amusing? One that baffled you? Share something about it that you find amusing, don’t just complain about the glitch.

Example: While playing Dishonored 2 I encountered a rather wierd glitch concerning Mindy Blanchard. I’ve never seen it, or anything like it, happen before and this is how I reacted to it.

5. Prepare Topics For Discussion Based On The Game

The best way to maintain a good flow for your stream is to spend some time preparing before you start it up. Ideally, prepare for this a few days or a week in advance.

Start with the assumption that no one will talk to you during your stream. What will you do?

When I know that I am probably going to have to fill the whole stream time on my own, I like to use topics based on the game to prepare things I can fall back on.

Example: When I started out I was playing Days Gone. I prepared narrated articles on topics inspired by the game.

Those included:

  • Bear Safety
  • The Healing Properties of Lavender
  • What People Need to Know About a Viral Outbreak
  • The Real Science Behind Zombies

6. Share Stories From Your Life That Connect In Some Way With The Game

Have you had something happen in your life that is relevent to a part of the game you are playing? Are there amusing stories your family shares that you can share on your stream?

Example: Two of my topic triggers are home decor and hotsprings. Those are things in various games that can inspire me to talk about things from my life or stories my parents told me.

Home Decor: When I was playing the start of Fallout 4 I talked about the decor and my recalling that kind of decor in TV shows and houses when I was a kid in the 70’s.

Hotsprings: A few times I have come across hotprings in a game and mentioned a story my dad told me about the weird looks people driving by gave him one time, many years back, because it looked like he was fishing in a hotspring.

7. Tell Your Viewers About You

Occassionally re-introduce yourself and what you are playing, and maybe let your viewers know where they can find out more about you and the things you stream.

This is especially useful after new viewers have arrived via a raid or after you have returned from a stream break.

Another time that this can be useful is at the start of a new mission or area in a game, that way if you later want to break the stream up for YouTube you have your introduction at the start of your videos when you upload them to YouTube.

Example: When I take a break I will come back and say something along the lines of:

For those of you who were not here when I started my stream, well met and welcome. I am ShadesDaughter, on the mic my handle is Shades, and I am playing…

Not as long as my intro, this quick re-intro not only tells people who they are watching and what game I am playing, it gets me back up to speed on talking after I have taken a break to make tea or use the restroom.

What have you done? I would love to hear how you, or your favrite streamers, keep up the flow on stream. Share your suggestions, ideas, and experience in the comments.

Archives

Categories

Resources