Live streaming has rapidly become the go-to source for gaming information but it has also become an integral part of the game design process and a big consideration in the design of the consoles too.
Games designers are incorporating streaming extensions into their games and consoles
Gaming has had a big influence on the way video content has been created; there is almost a never-ending stream of viewers watching and learning how to play games online through live streaming. In fact, game streaming is already changing the way developers are making and designing their games and consoles.
Twitch is definitely impacting the development process of games. The platform itself is becoming a playground of theirs. For instance, Ubisoft has already become one of the biggest streamers of the Ghost Recon series, even offering weekly scheduled live streams. Developers are also using their channels to generate interest and excitement for their forthcoming titles. And then there are design studios building live streaming functionality directly into their games, with Minecraft probably the best example of his.
It’s only natural that game developers are concentrating game builds with audience viewing in mind. Live streaming capabilities means keeping their games at the forefront of the games community so people can continue to watch, learn and buy them.
In addition, it is surprising that more people don’t know the live streaming capabilities already built into popular gaming consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. People with one of these consoles can actually stream directly from the console without any additional hardware or software. On the Xbox One, it needs the free Twitch app while the PS4 enables users to go live directly from the system’s Share menu.
Hardware required to live stream like a pro
While using a console doesn’t allow wider customisations like a PC would, it still allows users to do so without the need for additional equipment. However, if using a PC, then the demands of live streaming mean specifications need to be on point.
Literally anyone with a half decent PC can become a Twitch contributor and live stream their gameplay. Of course, it depends on what gameplay is being live streamed. Basic hardware requirements include having a CPU (processor) and a GPU (graphics card). The processor is the part needed to keep track of, and keep up with, the game’s action, while the graphics card makes the game look as realistic as possible, as it needs to handle the sharpest pixels and the most realistic visual effects.
But having an adequate memory will also play a role. Twitch recommends having at least 8GB RAM and the newest version of Windows. The graphics card should also be able to support DirectX 10 or higher, and, of course, the faster the internet connection, the more seamless the upload – an upload speed of at least 3MB a second is strongly recommended.
Some of the most popular Twitch live streamers will probably use two PCs to relieve the system load; one for the gaming and the other for the live stream broadcast. Which is what might be needed to live stream one of the immense multiplayer games like League of Legends or Fortnite.
For less demanding streaming like live casino gaming, which has started to become a lot more popular on Twitch, a PC or laptop and good internet will suffice. This allows games like live blackjack, already using similar streaming technology, to be live streamed to a user’s audience too. This offers the benefits of watching a real casino, in real time, at real blackjack tables with real dealers; perfect for Twitch streaming. Like many video games, blackjack is a game of both strategy and luck and there are benefits to learning good technique, in particular for beginners. Watching live streamed play on Twitch and other platforms is as enjoyable as watching game strategy streamed by the elite players on Apex Legends.
There’s no question that live streaming has become an integral consideration for games designers, with software houses creating live streamed content for their games, incorporating it into the game itself and adapting their consoles to use this feature. Game developers will continue to follow this trend or risk losing their market share to those that do.