Twitch For Dummies book cover

Twitch For Dummies

By: Tee Morris Published: 01-14-2019

The first full resource to offer advice on tapping into Twitch

Twitch got its start as a live-streaming platform mostly populated by gamers and their fans. It's quickly grown to host streaming events of all kinds—concerts, conferences, production events like podcast recording sessions, and even pro sports.

Twitch For Dummies helps initiate those new to streaming with advice on how to launch and build a Twitch channel. Podcasting For Dummies author Tee Morris guides readers through the basics of starting a channel, streaming games or live events, growing and interacting with an audience, and how to overcome common tech glitches.

• Build a streaming studio
• Create your Twitch profile
• Find successful streaming strategies
• Interact with your audience

This guide offers friendly, reliable advice for broadcasters, marketers, and video fans on how to tap into the most popular online live-streaming service.

 

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Twitch For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-18-2022

Twitch is an exciting entertainment platform. With Twitch, you can watch broadcasters show off their talents as they live-stream themselves playing video games, playing music, showing off their hobbies, and so much more. And you can set up your own channel and start broadcasting your own content. The great thing about Twitch is that you can interact with your audience while streaming, which builds a sense of community.

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How to Stream Your First Gameplay on Twitch

Article / Updated 10-14-2019

With your gaming system set up, your Twitch Channel complete and thorough, and your game selected, it's time to start streaming on Twitch. Take a deep breath and then follow these steps: BEFORE YOU STREAM, jot down a few notes on what you want to do. Maybe you think you got this without a problem, but if you are not used to performing live or working with an audience, then you may want to have an idea of what you want to do in game as well as what you might want to say to people who come by and check out your stream. All this — the final check on your gaming setup, jotting down notes, and setting up your recording area — is called preshow prep. Start up your game. Tap the Share button on your PS4 Dualshock Controller located to the upper right of your “Directional Pad” (also called the “D-Pad”) to access the Options menu (see the following figure). From the menu, select Broadcast Gameplay to initialize your console’s streaming features. From the options listed on the PS4, select Twitch to grant your console access to your Twitch account and dashboard. For the Xbox One, tap the Xbox button located at the top center of your controller to access the Twitch app. Once launched, click the Broadcast button. As my console is a PS4, many screen captures will be coming from a PlayStation interface. Whenever possible, Xbox directions will be provided. From the options listed on PS4 and Xbox, give your Twitch stream a title. For the PS4, after naming your stream, scroll down to the social options and select Facebook, Twitter, or both to publicize that you are going live. For the PS4 and Xbox, select the Start Broadcasting option to begin streaming. For PS4, there is one more page of options offering you to do one final adjusting of your audio and video settings. You can either double-check your settings here or go live with selecting “Start Broadcasting” again. And with that, you are live. Game on! What do when you're live streaming on Twitch Being a podcaster or a Twitch streamer, you would think streaming is a walk in the park for me. Well, with podcasting, I have the luxury of editing, removing awkward pauses, and cutting anything that might have sounded witty in the moment but on playback comes across as crass or inappropriate. Streaming is a very different animal. Everything you think and do goes pouring out into the ether. You’re live, and you’re trying to play a video game all while adding some sort of value with your voice — and your image, if you are on camera — added to the stream. It would be reasonable to think, “Well, people are going to be there to watch my channel for the game … ,” but people are also coming to the channel to see what kind of gamer you are as well as what kind of personality you have. What are you going to bring to your channel? How will you stand out in the directory? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! Expectations, whether you think they are there or not, are omnipresent; and it is up to you to do a little more than just play a game. Any ideas what you want to do? Invite friends to your feed. If you know you have friends online, send out a call for them to join you. It's always easier to talk when you have people you know on mic with you, chatting about in-game activity or real-life going’s on. Having that back-and-forth banter will create a pleasant atmosphere that will encourage your Chat to participate. So bring in some people you know to serve as icebreakers, and then watch as your Chat becomes part of your trusted circle. Hanging with friends is a lot of fun. Making time for gamers new to your feed is cool, too. Just remember: It’s your stream. You are the host, you are the Fireteam leader, you are large and in charge. This is your show. Sometimes, new friends (and old) and gamers from all parts can try and hijack your stream. Sometimes, it's unintentional. Other times, it becomes a battle of wills. So, remember: your stream, your rules, your call. Have something to talk about. Did you catch a movie the other night? Are you trying out something new in your daily regime? What new cuisine are you sampling? Whatever is happening in your life, provided you are comfortable with it, could serve as a spring board for you and Chat to start conversation. Your feed becomes a sounding board for your own perspectives. In turn, Chat comes along with you, agreeing or disagreeing with your take on things. This can be a springboard of conversation. Talk about Twitch: As you are streaming, you will discover there is a lot to learn with all this: audience interaction, technical issues, multitasking between game and Chat, game progress. Your audience is genuinely curious about what you do and how you make it happen, so feel free to talk about your Twitch experience. It makes for good conversation. What is key in making a stream engaging and interactive is you, the host, talking to the Chat and keeping the conversation going. This can be easy if you kick off your stream with a healthy-sized audience. This can be hard when you are streaming to the void. Regardless of the size of your audience, you are on. If you don’t look like you are enjoying your stream, there is a good chance your audience will not stick around. Enjoy your game and your time with Chat. Twitch is a different experience for everyone. There will be streamers that will choose not to interact with their Chat. It's just the host and the game, and in some cases the host does not even appear on camera. This book offers not hard-and-fast rules but suggestions for making your stream more entertaining for your Chat and for you. If you’re okay with your Twitch channel consisting of only game audio, then game on and have fun. How to wrap up your Twitch stream You've been gaming for a good chunk of the day. You’re feeling hunger pangs, or maybe your significant other is giving you “the look” — and you know what I mean by “the look” — so you need to go and wrap up your stream. Sure, you can just stop the stream, turn off your console, and call it a day. Some streams do just that. I find that approach, while simple and efficient, a little distant. You’re spending time and energy with your audience, dealing with your game triumphs and pitfalls. They are getting to know you, and maybe even rooting for you to enjoy a moment’s triumph. You are creating a bond with your audience, and when you’re done, you’re just going to … get up and leave? It’s your call in the end, but going for something a little more personal only makes that connection with your Chat stronger. It also makes folks want more from you and your channel. When you are ready to finish up your stream: If you know your stream is coming to a close, let your stream know with the “I’ve got one more game in me …” and continue to play. At the end of your game, ask your Chat to stick around for a few more minutes. One way of introducing yourself to another stream, without being rude or inconsiderate to its host, is to host a raid. A raid is where you lead your audience to another stream, and you drop in with your viewers all while hosting the other streamer’s broadcast on your channel. Create a raid message for your Chat to copy. Type the following line in your Chat window: twitchRaid twitchRaid TwitchUnity TwitchUnity YOU ARE BEING RAIDED!!! TwitchUnity TwitchUnity twitchRaid twitchRaid Then single-click the Chat button, and tell your Chat to copy that line of text. While you can create a new message every time for a raid, you can create a command that can easily reproduce a raid message. Let your Chat audience know who you are going to raid and maybe even a few fun facts about the streamer in general. When sending your audience to a new stream, it's a good idea to consider to whom you are entrusting your audience. What are they streaming? What kind of personality is this streamer? Do you think this stream is a good association with your own stream? While it is always good to send your audience to another streamer who is in your Game Directory, it's always good to know something about that streamer. Nothing wrong with sharing the love to someone just starting out streaming. Just be aware that the stream could be a completely different experience from you. Type into the Chat field /raid [username] and then give a closing message to your Chat. The best closing script usually thanks people for watching. “Thank you, everyone, for watching. Your support helps this channel grow. Let's go raid this awesome streamer. See you all next game.” Single-click the Chat button to begin the raid. A countdown clock appears. Once the time ends, your audience is taken to the other stream. Go to the Share button on your PS4 Dualshock Controller to access the Options menu. From the menu, select Broadcast Gameplay and follow steps provided to stop your broadcast. For the Xbox One, tap twice the Xbox button located at the top center of your controller to access the Twitch app. Follow the steps provided to stop your broadcast. From here, your gaming session is free and clear. You are done until the next stream.

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Twitch Chat Commands

Article / Updated 07-09-2019

You might think that Twitch is just about streaming content to a passive audience. Far from it. The biggest draw of Twitch is that it allows you to find people that enjoy what you enjoy and establish connections. Twitch is all about interaction, and one of the key ways to interact is through Chat. What follows are useful Chat commands. For Everyone Mods — /mods Displays all chat moderators for the channel Color — /color Changes the color of your username. used are Blue Coral DodgerBlue SpringGreen YellowGreen Green OrangeRed Red GoldenRod HotPink CadetBlue SeaGreen Chocolate BlueViolet Firebrick Ignore — /ignore Block specific users in chat and whispers if you do not wish to see their comments Unignore — /unignore Lifts “Ignore” ban from specific users Me — /me Colors your text based on your chat name color For Broadcasters and Moderators Timeout — /timeout [seconds] Temporarily bans someone from Chat room. Timeouts last for 10 minutes, by default, or can be set by an optional [seconds] value. A new timeout command will overwrite a previous timeout Ban — /ban Permanently bans a user from the chat room Unban — /unban Lifts a perma-ban from a user from the chat room Subscribers — /subscribers Sets the Chat to only subscribed users Subscribersoff — /subscribersoff Opens the Chat to all users Emoteonly — /emoteonly Allows your Chat to use only emotes as messages Emoteonly — /emoteonlyoff Returns Chat to standard messages Clear — /clear Wipes Chat history For Broadcasters Raid — /raid Takes host and chat automatically to another streamer’s channel in a raid Mod — /mod Promotes a user to Channel Moderator Unmod — /unmod Demotes a Channel Moderator Host — /host Host another Channel on your own Channel

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The Games You Can Stream on Twitch

Article / Updated 06-18-2019

Along with looking at how you are Twitch streaming, you might want to take a closer look at what you are Twitch streaming. Yes, there are hundreds on hundreds of games currently streaming on Twitch. Some of these featured games are just newly released. Some may have been a hot title a few years ago. Some may even be a throwback to the classics. But what are their directories like? We’re going to look at the kind of video games that you can stream and talk about both the benefits and the pitfalls of what you could stream on Twitch. Before we turn that critical eye back to our own stream, let’s visit the Directory and poke around there a bit. Go to Twitch.tv and log in with your account credentials, if you haven't already. In the top section of your Twitch Directory, you'll find a carousel of streams to choose from. Click on the right or left arrow on either side of the carousel to rotate through the featured streams. The featured streams on the Twitch carousel are the top performing Channels. Programming range from tournaments to special reveals to popular streamers running live in a game of choice. Scroll down to Live Channels You May Like and take a look at who is presently streaming. Live Channels looks at previous streams you have followed or watched, and, based on those analytics, offers up several streamers for you that match your profile. Scroll down to review games you have previously watched that are presently streaming, as shown. Twitch looks at your viewing history — not by streamers but by the games that streamers featured — and offer up other streamers all playing games that fit your interests. Scroll down to the Games You May Like section to enter specific game directories. Again, Twitch looks at your recent viewing and offers you direct access to these game directories. Take another look at the figure. To the left of the Twitch Directory is a listing of your Followed Channels (the ones currently live highlighted), followed by Recommended Channels, and finally Online Friends. This side menu is just one more way to discover new streamers or new games. Through this sidebar, I’ve found some terrific streamers like OneActual and ZGphoto. Keep an eye on it for recommendations as it is always present, even when you are viewing your own or other channels. Now that you have a comfortable grasp of Twitch’s Directory, let’s return to our own feed and look a bit closer at what we are streaming. Twitch streaming popular games Fortnite. Hearthstone (pictured here). League of Legends. Player Unknown Battlegrounds (also known as PUB-G). You see these games dominating the top slots of Twitch’s Directory. There doesn't appear to be any sort of connection with these games, or at least it appears that way until you take a closer look at the games off-stream. The four games I mentioned earlier are all games that follow or are recognized by professional tournament leagues, or eSports, a multi-billion dollar industry. You might want to roll your eyes at the notion of “professional video game athletes,” but you would be rolling your eyes at a professional sport that is a multi-billion dollar industry. Along with individuals streaming these popular games, Twitch also hosts tournament play happening across the country and around the world. And you want to host a stream in this directory. Pro: Anytime you jump into the directory for one of the top games in the Twitch directory, you are targeting an audience that is hungry for this content. Twitch viewers actively jump into directories for Fortnite, Overwatch, Rocket League, and others as they want to see how others play. Pro: Twitch audiences may visit these popular game stream in the hope that hosts will open their streams to Chat and invite them to squad up for a few rounds. These games invite a crowd by default, and depending on the host’s trust in his or her Chat, are opportunities to learn a few new tips. Con: The inherent problem with streaming popular games? Popularity. Yes, you are streaming the popular strategy game League of Legends, but depending on the time of day and what is happening in Twitch, hundreds or thousands of others are streaming it. And if any of the eSports teams are streaming these games, either in competition or just for fun, audiences will flock to those streams without question. Popularity is a double-edged sword, and it may yield mixed if not disappointing results. Twitch streaming games you enjoy What about streaming games not necessarily in the Top Ten or even Top Twenty of the Twitch Directory, but streaming a game that you are driven to play? These games can run the gambit from turn-based strategy games, to epic adventure games, to MMO-style games: Destiny, Sea of Thieves, Horizon Zero Dawn, or the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft. On drops of downloadable content (or DLC), or the release of a new version of the game, these titles may rally for top slots in the directory, so they share the potential for stream growth as you would find with popular games. Pro: With titles like Destiny (versions 1 and 2), Horizon Zero Dawn, and Sea of Thieves, there is a grind aspect to the game. A grind in gaming terms is a stretch or a challenge in the game that involves a lot of repetition and tests a gamer’s drive and determination in order to earn a treasure at the end of said grind. During these moments, gamers find opportunities to connect with their Chat, jumping into conversations, kicking off a new topic, and eliciting a response from them. Grinds are great for streamers as it is easy to multitask during these long stretches. Pro: Twitch audiences are pretty intuitive and can tell when a streamer is enjoying themselves. If you are playing a game that you really enjoy, it is obvious. And if you are having fun, Chat will want to take part in that fun as well. While my own stream numbers fluctuate, I can say that some of my best, consistent numbers came when I was playing the 2013 reboot of the classic adventure heroine, Lara Croft, in Tomb Raider. Chat celebrated my “A-ha!” moments with me, and even reacted with me on some of my more tense, action-filled moments. Con: If a game is particularly engaging for you, you run a risk of forgetting that the world is watching. When I was streaming Detroit: Become Human, a choose-your-own-adventure-style of game, I had forgotten that I was streaming … for over half an hour. I blinked and suddenly realized, “Oh yeah, people are watching,” but even after touching base with Chat, I slipped into silent running once again because the storytelling in this game is just that good. While these games are excellent for you in your own gaming experience, it may not be the best kind of game to stream if you are so immersed that you forget about your Chat. Twitch streaming retro games It’s hard to define retro games, as a game can be five years old and considered “retro” by some gamers. For this book, I define retro games as being a game that reaches back to the early days. Titles like Tetris, Super Mario Brothers, and — if you can hook up that old ColecoVision — Zaxxon come to mind. These were the games that started as coin-operated video games and then arrived into homes coast-to-coast and around the world. These titles may be harder to stream on account of the hardware needed to make the stream happen, but there is an audience for these games. Pro: Summed up in a single word: nostalgia. Watching modern day audiences playing classics from the early days is just plain fun. As many of these games were built around a grind, the ability to multitask and connect with your Chat is quite easy. It can also be fun to watch players skilled with modern games struggle and noodle through what should be “simple” games but turn out being something of a challenge. At the core of this is an appreciation, if not a romantic look, at the games that came before. Pro: Playing retro games may not be high in the Twitch Directory, but on account of their iconic nature, people may actively seek out these titles. Retro games sometimes fall between popular games and those titles you enjoy playing, and it is that novelty and reputation in being throwbacks to video game history that make searches for these games worth mentioning. Con: As mentioned earlier, it’s not software that is a problem but hardware. Obviously, older games and the consoles they were built for were not necessarily built or optimized for streaming. So you are going to be streaming off a PC (which we will explore in Chapter 6), implementing hardware that you may have to seek out on eBay and other websites specializing in jury-rigging old consoles with new computers and making them work. So be prepared for some extra mechanical challenges ahead of you. Con: The retro directory is a collective This means instead of looking for a specific retro game in its own category, games like Metroid, Mario Brothers, Excite Bike, and Megaman are all found in one directory. If viewers are looking for a specific game, viewers have to work through the entire directory hoping to come across the retro game they are interested in watching.

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How to Create a Twitch Account

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

Streaming with Twitch does not demand that you convert your basement into a broadcasting studio. You do not need a set, lighting equipment, or multiple cameras to stream. You do not have to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to create the ultimate power stream. In fact, here’s a quick rundown of how to launch a Twitch Channel: Set up an account on Twitch with a preferred email account. Find on your gaming console where you can broadcast your game. Select something to play. Start streaming on Twitch. Insert coins to begin: The basics of creating a Twitch account Within moments you can have a Twitch account activated and running, but that’s all you would have. It would be an empty space with the most basic of contact info and no details to speak of. Right now, you’re thinking “Okay, so when do I start streaming?” Let’s start from the beginning and then spend some quality time filling in the blanks and understanding this platform. Go to Twitch.tv and select from the top-right side of your browser window the Sign Up option. You can still watch Twitch streams without being signed up with the platform. However, if you want to take advantage of the Chat features, you will need an account. Come up with a username for yourself on Twitch. This is how you will appear in Chat. This can be a nickname you go by, a play on words, or your own name. There can be a lot of different ways you can approach the Username. Just make sure you are not violating any Terms of Service on creating it. When establishing a username for yourself, avoid picking something overly generic. Usernames like “Fortnitelover01” and “LeagueLegend2245” isn’t going to stand out in a crowd and will lead to a branding change if your channel grows to something bigger. Additionally, if you are constantly changing your handle, it can become problematic with people finding you — and yes, trusting you — on Twitch. Create a password. Enter in your birthday. Again, this is based on an honor system, but the birthday is there to verify your age and that it is within the Terms of Service as established by Twitch. Enter a valid email. This email is where all notifications and any news from Twitch are sent. After reviewing the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, click Sign Up to complete the application. Congratulations! Your Twitch account is now active. Technically, from here, you are ready to start streaming. You have a place on Twitch, but presently, the state of your Twitch account is a lot like the state of a Twitter account newly launched where the Profile Picture is the egg, the bio is blank, and the username is your Twitter handle. When you come across Twitter accounts like that, you can’t avoid a hint of skepticism as to how genuine these accounts are. So begins the work on completing the Twitch account and understanding the platform. These are details that, if you forge ahead without tending to them, you will find growth a challenge, ease of use a little elusive, and overall performance lacking. The sooner you sort them out, the better of a first impression you’ll make. Maybe these details feel tedious, but they are the “wax on, wax off …” of Twitch. Completing these steps will grant you a deeper understanding of the platform. New Twitch, who dis: Completing the Profile Signed into Twitch with a newly minted account, you have a blank slate where you begin assembling a persona for yourself. The Profile is where you introduce yourself to the public, many times through a brief bio, maybe a few visual touches like a photo or a banner image. Think of the Profile as the interior decoration of your house. When people walk into your home, they will learn quickly what kind of personality you are. That’s what we are going to build for you right now. Go to your Twitch account and select from the top-right side of your browser window your Account Status’ drop menu. Select Settings (located near the bottom of the drop menu) to enter your Twitch account’s Profile. Your Account Status is always visible on the Twitch website. It tells you what is happening on your Channel and shares your activities with friends. You can also go “Invisible” or enable a “Dark Mode” scheme for the Twitch website. Find a good Profile Picture best representative of you. It can be anything (within reason), but it should be a simple image easily identified at a small size. Twitch recognizes images in JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats. The dimensions of the image should not exceed 256x256 pixels or be larger than 10MB in file size. As with other social media platforms, the best profile pictures are simple, basic images. You want backgrounds that aren't too busy and photos that are taken in close up. So long as you can tell what the image is at a glance, you have a good Profile Picture. Upload for your Profile Banner an image that sets a tone or an atmosphere for your account and Twitch Channel page. Twitch recognizes images in JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats. The dimensions of the image should not exceed 1230x380 pixels or be larger than 10MB in file size. Scroll down to Profile Settings and either review or enter in your desired email. Again, this email is where all notifications and any news from Twitch are sent. If needed, click on the pencil icon in the Username field to edit your Twitch handle. This email is where all notifications and any news from Twitch are sent. In the Display Name field, edit your Username to appear the way you want it to appear. For example, my username is “theteemonster” but “TheTeeMonster” is how I want it displayed. Scroll down to Bio and write up a brief biography of who you are. Single-click the Save Changes button to accept your changes. The Profile section of your Settings is now complete, and when people visit your Channel, either online or through the Twitch app, they will see a completed profile as opposed to the default settings. It’s always best to put your best foot forward, you know? If you decide that Twitch is not for you, go to Status →Settings →Disabling Your Twitch Account. You can follow the link offered to where you can shut your account down. All in the details: Twitch channel and videos settings Once your Profile is complete, you can progress to the right of the Settings options. The Twitch Prime option, quickly described, is the option for you to connect your Twitch account with an Amazon Prime account. This is an on-going special deal for Twitch users where various perks and deals are offered if you do this. Continuing past this, you have Channel and Videos where you set specific details about your Twitch Channel. While you now have an active account, that is not the same as having an active Channel. There is a subtle difference, and in Channel and Videos we will set parameters for our channel that helps you manage your Twitch Channel once content begins streaming. Twitch is always looking to improve their website and their User Interface (UI). That means some features highlighted here have moved from the “Settings” section to your “Dashboard” section. Throughout this exercise, we will be jumping between these two sections of Twitch. From your Account Status’ drop menu, select Dashboard and then select the Settings → Channel option. Upload or create a good Video Player Banner image (shown in the following figure) representative of your channel. It can be anything (within reason), but it should be representative of you or your channel. The Video Player Banner is an image that works as your channel’s placeholder when you are not streaming or hosting another streamer’s Channel. Twitch recognizes images in JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats. The file size should not exceed 10MB. The Video Player Banner, as shown, can also serve as banners for special events coming to your Channel. When creating banners, don’t be afraid to use them as promotional opportunities. Scroll up to Content Settings and either select Mature Content or leave the switch in the OFF position. Twitch’s Terms of Service dictate that, if your channel is broadcasting sexual activity, nudity, threats, or extreme violence, and your Channel is not marked as “Mature,” then Twitch can immediately and irrevocably terminate your account. Return to your Account Status’ drop menu. Select Settings and then select the Channel & Video option. Scroll down to Chat Options and either review or edit your settings. Many of these details in your Channel can also be managed by Virtual Assistants like Nightbot and Deepbot. Controlling the signal on Twitch: From privacy to connected third parties Twitch, and social media on a whole, is all about sharing. That’s the truth about all of these platforms: You reap what you put into them. So, garbage in? Garbage out. Quality talk? Quality stream. Twitch is an investment both on an emotional as well as a financial level. But what if there are details you don’t want to share, or visitors to your Channel you don’t want to share with? If you want to keep it private, keep it offline. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is no Prime Directive of Social Media saying you will be cast out if you do not share everything. And maybe you want to only be notified of certain details with your account activity, and connect with only certain third parties. Here’s the final steps needed in keeping control of your account. It’s good to know what is running by default, and exactly what kind of control you have over your Twitch experience. In the Settings window, single-click the Security and Privacy option. Under Password is where you change your password. Activate Two-Factor Authentication for additional security with your Twitch account. Two-Factor Authentication is where, along with your password on Twitch, you enable an app like Authy to generate on your phone a security key. This is an additional layer of security in order to protect your account, something I and other streamers strongly recommend. Review Privacy settings to see if this is how you wish for people to reach out to you. Whispers are direct messages between you and other members of Twitch. By default, anyone — be they Friends or not — can reach out to you and swap messages and URLs. If managing Whispers is not preferred, you can block that avenue of communications here. Single-click Notifications and review here all the different ways Twitch keeps you informed on what is happening in your account and on your channel. Twitch has broken down the various ways you are notified of people going live, when Whispers arrive, and when special events launch, into the following categories: On Twitch By Email On Mobile Advanced These are all the different parameters you can set up for Twitch to send you notifications of when certain actions occur. When a channel you follow goes live, when special events begin, or when Friends whisper to you, Twitch will send notifications. The Advanced tab lists of every channel you follow. If you decide, after clearing out your Inbox, that you would rather not be notified in email when Channels you follow go live, you can disable those notifications here. Single-click Connections and review here the various third-party extensions and services that you have connected with your Twitch account. These different connections — Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and so on — are like plug-ins for social media platforms. They all, in some way, help your channel in notifying others when you go live, making the most out of your console’s connection to Twitch, and much more. Think of these Connections as digital accessories to your Twitch Channel. The Profile section of your Settings is now done. This may not seem like a lot, but when people visit your Channel, either online or through the Twitch app, they will see a completed profile as opposed to default settings. It’s always best to put your best foot forward, you know?

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How to Follow and Subscribe to Twitch Channels

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

One of the best ways to really understand Twitch and understand this streaming platform is to learn from watching others. Whether you are watching someone with a massive amount of audience or perhaps enjoying some time with streamers that are more popular with intimate crowds, a lot can be learned from just being part of the community. But how do you join this community? It is so easy that it might surprise you. Twitch channel settings: Following on Twitch Anyone can watch. You can easily just jump into a directory and start watching some Twitch streamers do what they do with their game of choice. Depending on how much the streamer has opened up or locked down their Twitch account, you may even be able to chat with the channel host. So, let’s say you find a channel (or recommended a channel) and you want to support that streamer. The easiest way to do this is to give the Channel a follow. Go to Twitch.tv and find a new channel to watch. When you go the main page of Twitch, you will be presented with a variety of streamers and the games they play. The more Twitch programming you consume, the more your directory will change and adapt to your interests. Watch the streamer for a chunk of time. Give the stream thirty minutes at the very least, an hour at the most. It is always a good idea to give a stream a fair shake. You will probably know within a few minutes if the streamer you want to follow is either a streamer you connect with or is not running at your speed. If you decide to stick around for longer, engage with the Chat stream, see how that goes with you. At any new channel, though, give yourself some time to get to know the overall atmosphere of the Twitch Channel. Just above the Channel stream, you will see a white heart in a purple box (pictured in the figure). Single-click that purple heart to follow this streamer. Following a channel is free and one way of showing your support for a streamer. By following a channel, you will receive notices on when a stream goes live. If you opt out of receiving notifications, live channels you follow will appear in the “Following” tab in the upper-left corner of your browser window. Wait a few minutes, and if the streamer received an alert, he or she will thank you for the follow. Whenever your audience shows any sort of support — follows, raids, subscriptions — it is considered good form to thank the people showing support. Usually you will receive alerts either from Twitch or from third-party services like Streamlabs. With something as simple as a follow, you have given support for a streamer that is tracked both by the Channel host and Twitch. These statistics help the Channel grow, and increases the reach of the streamer. Whenever this streamer goes live, you will receive an email notification. If you want to disable the incoming emails, you can always turn off Notifications when prompted after immediately following a streamer, or go to Settings →Notifications to disable the email alerts for this Channel. Twitch channel settings: Subscribing on Twitch While a follow is the easiest and most cost-effective way to show support for a channel, a subscription is support for a Twitch Channel with a financial investment. Subscriptions are one way that streamers make money on Twitch. Yes, Twitch can actually generate revenue for streamers, and for some on Twitch, streaming video games and hosting Chat is a full-time job. Subscribing is a “higher level” of following as you agree to a monthly payment sent to Twitch, a portion of the payment sent to the streamer. In return, subscribers receive special benefits not available to people who just follow a stream. Subscribing to a stream is just as easy as following a streamer, but with a few extra perks. Go to Twitch.tv and either find a new channel to watch or visit one of the Channels you are following. Any Twitch Channel you follow, when live, will appear on the left-hand side of your browser window. To the right of the Follow button, you should see a purple Subscribe button. Single-click the button to access a drop-menu of options. When subscribing to a Twitch Channel, you have the option of subscribing at these levels: Tier 1 ($4.99/month) Tier 2 ($9.99/month) Tier 3 ($24.99/month) These tiered subscriptions unlock a variety of emotes, small animated messages or images, that are only available to subscribers. These emotes are great representatives for streamers, and in many cases reflect the personality of the stream itself. Select a tier. By default, you can select Tier 1 to subscribe, or single-click “More Paid Subscription Options” to select Tier 2 or Tier 3. Complete your payment either through PayPal, credit card, gift card, and so on. Once your payment is processed, return to the stream you have just subscribed to. Wait a few minutes, and if the streamer received an alert, he or she will in most cases thank you for the sub. At the lower-right corner of your Chat window, you should see two icons. The triangular one is for Bits while the smiley face icon is your Emotes. Single-click that to access Channel and Twitch emotes. While streamers offer their own emotes (exclusively for subscribers), Twitch offers to everyone with an active account a variety of generic emotes. You can use these emotes all over Twitch without subscribing or following anyone. Single-click the new emote from your newly-subscribed Channel to drop its code into your Chat field. Single-click the purple Chat button to drop it into the Chat stream. Now, with following and subscribing (or subbing, as you may hear streamers and Chat refer to), you can not only show your support for streamers but also become part of the greater community and maybe pick up a few tips on how to stream, interact with regulars and newcomers, and multitask between the activity you are sharing and the Chat happening just to the right of you. It is also worth mentioning that when you invest into a Channel with a subscription, bits, or even a follow, you are doing so because you want to. There is no expectation from either side (and if there is, these are issues that are best resolved someplace other than live-on-stream) that you always subscribe or throw bits your way. People show support for your stream because they want to, not because they have to. It is support like that which makes the relationship between supporter and streamer genuine. Something to think about.

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Streaming with a Twitch Account from Xbox One X or PlayStation 4

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

You can’t stream without a Twitch account, however, even if you got the Twitch account, you aren’t streaming yet. You’re going to need a stream machine to make the magic happen from, so exactly what is the plan? What platform are you planning to stream from? This, depending on what kind of investment and what kind of streamer you want to be, will be your first major chunk of change you are about to drop. No, it’s not as monumental as buying a house or a car, but it is a decision that will put you on a path. Before running out and buying up the first console that’s on sale at your local GameStop, you will want to consider the following criteria concerning your streaming setup: What’s your budget? You want the most affordable studio gear that will help you create the stream you want to create. In many cases, especially with cheap headsets and discount computer gear, you get what you pay for in quality of construction and range of capabilities; but a budget matters. Find out what you can afford and if it will help you accomplish what you want to do in streaming. What platform do you want for your games? There are three popular platforms for you to choose from: Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and the Personal Computer. There are other platforms out there that people are streaming, ranging from mobile devices to the Nintendo Switch, but the Big Three are the PS4 (including the Pro), Xbox One (including the X), and the PC. If you know you have friends on one particular platform, that may decide where you go. Weigh the pros and cons of all three, and then choose wisely. There may be a temptation for you to go all in, maximize your potential audience interaction, and invest in multiple platforms. Some streamers like the bearded wonder from Wales, The Bonj \or the always effervescent Tiddlywinks, to start their week on the PlayStation, then play on the PC midway though, and enter the weekend playing on an Xbox. Keep in mind, both Bonj and Tiddly are streamers who have the time and the talent to go from one platform to another without little to no effort. If you are not that confident in your skills on a certain platform, don’t make an investment into multiple platforms unless you are unquestionably savage on all of them. Stick with where you are most comfortable. Speaking of comfort … Where are you planning to stream? This may not seem to be a big deal, but an important one nonetheless. Where is this stream actually going to happen? From the couch (as in the figure)? Sure, not a problem (so long as you are able to give yourself proper support). Will it be in a proper office or studio? That works, too. Wherever you decide to stream from, remember you can always relocate (with some effort) your setup. Just be aware of what is around you, especially if you are streaming with a video camera. What are you revealing about you and your house? Is your setup tidy or a complete train wreck? Is your environment inherently loud or noisy? Are you okay with that? Find where you think will be the best place for your stream and then stake your claim. This is where you are going to get your game on! The easiest way to get streaming is to simply go into the console and start streaming. It is not out of the ordinary for streamers to dive deep into their consoles and find the options for streaming. Take a closer look at those two leading consoles and how to get them set up and ready for streaming. PlayStation 4 First introduced to the world at the end of 1994 (just in time for Christmas, kids) the Sony PlayStation is one of the leading console gaming systems in the world. In 2006, Sony launched the PlayStation Network (PSN), an online network of gamers looking for and establishing online communities around different games, and of consumers looking for new digital media. The idea of PSN was to encourage multiplayer gaming on the platform. Since its launch over a decade ago, over 110 million users have been registered in the network with over 70 million users actively raiding tombs, traversing the underworld, conquering outer space, and earning the coveted “Play of the Game” title. Along with a PlayStation console, you will also need a PlayStation account established. This grants you access to the PlayStation network (as seen here) and is free. PlayStation Plus is a premium service, providing access to exclusive content, complimentary games, discounts on games, and early access to highly anticipated releases. PlayStation Plus also grants you the ability to chat with other PSN members. PlayStation Plus’ counterpart on Xbox is called Xbox Live. On the PC, there are a variety of online networks like this, but arguably BattleNet (http://battle.net) from Blizzard Entertainment (http://blizzard.com) remains the most popular. The network is tied into many games developed by Blizzard and other game developers. Whichever platform you game on, these accounts should be active and running before you start streaming. Once you get your PlayStation out of its box, a few other cables, accessories, and details should be on hand: LAN Cable. This is something of a running joke on my podcast, Happy Hour from the Tower as my upgrade from a PS4 to a PSPro called for that which I didn’t have. Now, at random points of the show I will ask, “Do you need a LAN cable? Willa LAN cable fix that? Because I have a LAN cable!” A LAN cable is a direct, hard wire connection between consoles, or between your console and the Internet. If you are transferring data from one PSN to another, you will want this on hand. If not, it is still a good idea to have one on hand in case you decide to go with a hard wire connection to your Internet as direct connections to one’s modem provides faster internet speeds, important in getting better resolution and framerates for your stream. HDMI Cable. The HDMI cable provides connection between your console and your monitor. This connection is all you need for high-quality audio and video. While you may have a cable included with your PSN, depending on your studio setup, the complimentary HDMI cable may not be long enough to reach your console. Check the length of the cable and see if it fits your need. Internet Access. I don’t just refer to a laptop that’s connected to the Internet in case the enclosed documentation is not coming through for you. I’m also referring to your network name and password. You will need to get your console on to your network once it is all up and running. With your patience checking your expectations and excitement at the door, it is all now a matter of setting up your PlayStation. Power down all your equipment. If you are setting up your PlayStation as part of an entertainment or gaming center, you are going to want to make sure to avoid any sudden power surges. Check to see that all electronics are turned off. Look on the back of you PS4 for the HDMI port near the top-left. Go on and plug your HDMI cable into that port. Take the other end of your HDMI cable and plug it into an available HDMI port of your display device. Your display can range from anything to a computer monitor to a flat screen television to a wall-mounted wide screen. It all depends on the kind of studio you are making. Plug the power cable into the AC IN port located to the lower-left of the PS4. Plug the power cable into any electrical outlet. If you are intending to connect to the Internet through a hard-wire connection, plug the LAN cable into the port just right of the HDMI cable. Plug the other end of the LAN cable into an available port on your router. When it comes to streaming and the best quality stream, a direct connection between console and Internet is best. Connect the DualShock 4 controller to one of the available USB ports located at the front of your PS4. Your PS4 should come with at least one controller and a USB cable that will charge up your controller. Use this as a hard connection to your console. Turn your monitor on and press the PS button (the button with the PSN logo) to turn on your PS4. A single beep should sound, and then the PS4 should have a blue light appear across its face. The light will slowly pulse and turn white. You should see an introduction screen appear on your monitor. Press the X button and follow the initial set-up steps on your screen, which should include Selecting your language Setting up your Internet Connection (Ethernet or Wireless) Set your current date and time Read and accept your User Agreement Sign into PlayStation Plus (if you have setup an account) And that’s it! You’re ready to “git gud” on the PSN! Xbox One X Microsoft, on seeing the success of console gaming, entered the industry with their own offering: the Xbox. Running a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor and the first console to feature a built-in hard disk, Microsoft’s Xbox would make itself a force to be recognized in gaming. Currently, we have the Xbox One X, which you can see in this figure. In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, an online gaming service similar to PSN. Xbox Live granted subscribers access to new content and connect other players online. Coming to fruition four years before PSN, Xbox Live and Microsoft were early adopters of the online gaming movement, and the Xbox continues to be a major player in the gaming community with popular franchises like Halo and Gears of War. So let’s go on and set ourselves up with an Xbox One X. Power down all your equipment. If you are setting up your Xbox as part of an entertainment or gaming center, you are going to want to make sure to avoid any sudden power surges. Check to see that all electronics are turned off. Look on the back of you Xbox for the HDMI port labeled specifically for the TV. (It should be the left of the two available HDMI ports.) Go on and plug your HDMI cable into that port. Take the other end of your HDMI cable and plug it into an available HDMI port of your display device. Your display can range from anything to a computer monitor to a flat screen television to a wall-mounted wide screen. It all depends on the kind of studio you are making, but take a look at the side bar above about the up’s and down’s of using a widescreen home theatre to stream from. Microsoft recommends an HDMI Premium Certified Cable if the provided cable is not an adequate length. If you need a cable longer than 50 feet, find a cable that is Active High-Speed HDMI Cable certified. Plug the power cable into the AC IN port, the farthest left of connection ports. Plug the power cable into any electrical outlet. If you are intending to connect to the Internet through a hard-wire connection, plug the LAN cable into the port to the far right. Plug the other end of the LAN cable into an available port on your router. When it comes to streaming and the best quality stream, a direct connection between console and Internet is best. Turn your monitor on and press the Xbox button (the button with the Xbox logo) to turn on your Xbox. Press the A button and then follow the initial set-up steps on your screen, which should include: Selecting your language and language variety (Is it “color” or “colour” where you are from?) Setting up your display settings Setting up your Internet Connection (Ethernet or Wireless) Setting up your location Updating your console’s system software, if necessary Setting up your Xbox Live account (and note the “Branding” callout in Chapter One) Read and accept your Privacy and Account Settings Set your current date and time Set your Power Preferences Set your Updates preferences Sign into your Xbox One X Now that you have gone through this detailed setup of your Xbox, you are all set and ready to game. Good luck and game on!

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How to Create a Complete Twitch Channel

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

After you've set up your Twitch account, the basics of your account are established. Your Channel is still an idea in the making. The account grants you access to those streaming content through the Chat function, but if you are entering the Twitch arena as a content maker, your Channel beings here. How to Create an Info Panel in Twitch When people click on to your name to visit (and hopefully, follow) you, your Channel should tell them something about you, about your stream, and about your approach to the platform. Info Panels are blocks of real estate on your Twitch Channel that allow for you to tell visitors to your page something about you, your content, and how to connect with you away from Twitch. This grid serves as your ambassador when you are offline. Scroll past the screen where your feed would appear and click on the switch that reads Edit Panels and then click on the Add a Panel area. For this exercise, you will set up an “About Me” page, using my own information as stand-in text in order to teach you some of the nuances of what Info Panels can do. In the Panel Title field, type “About Me” for your bio title. A good amount of Twitch Streamers create custom graphics to reflect an established theme of their Channel. These graphics add a touch of flair and design to your Channel. There are also artists available for hire (or maybe some eager fans in your stream) who will apply their talents to your page. In the Description field add in the following text: “Hey, everyone. Welcome to the official Twitch stream for Tee Morris (a/k/a TheTeeMonster) and the Happy Hour from the Tower podcast. I am an award-winning writer of Steampunk and non-fiction. Being a productive writer, though, is hard when you're gaming. And I love Destiny. And Fortnite. And … I'm starting to venture into other games on my RADAR. No, I'm not the best gamer, but I do love video games. So stick around and have some fun.” What you put into the Description field can be as brief or as in-depth as you like, but you should not make it a deep dive into who you are, what your astrological sign is, who is your favorite boy band, whether or not you like Piña Coladas, or why getting caught in the rain is your jam. Maybe three or four points to let people know something about you. Something simple as a takeaway for your audience. This should be the approach for all the Info Panel Description fields. Go back to the bio and edit the phrase “Happy Hour from the Tower” to read as follows: [*Happy Hour from the Tower* podcast](http://happyhourfromthetower.com). Twitch offers some ability to apply Markdown (a coding language, seen in the figure that follows) into your Info Panels to add in basic formatting and active hyperlinks into your Info Panels. By placing asterisk marks around a phrase, you apply italics. Placing a word or phrase within brackets designates that word or phrase as a hyperlink. To set a destination for your hyperlink, place a full URL within a set of parenthesis. Edit the phrase “award-winning writer of Steampunk and non-fiction.” to read as follows: [award-winning writer of Steampunk](http://ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com) and [non-fiction](http://podcastingfordummies.com). Edit the phrase “No, I'm not the best gamer,” to read as follows: No, I'm not the **best** gamer, If you surround a word with a pair of asterisks, you bold a word using Twitch’s markup language. Click the Submit button. Now take a step back and look at your first Info Panel. This is one of those “Wash. Rinse. Repeat.” things you’ll be doing in the building and developing of your Channel. It takes a chunk of time to sit down and get your page laid out to the way you want it to look, but this is how you represent you and your Channel in between your streams. So now that you know how to make Info Panels … What Info Panels should you create in Twitch? Across the Twitch platform, there are a few common threads that you can apply to your own up-and-coming Channel. These Info Panels I suggest as a starting point, and if you come up with ones not listed here, then by all means, go on and create your own. This is your Channel. Make it yours. You got this. But if you are looking for a few ideas, your Info Panels should cover … Streamer’s bio. We did this one already but it might surprise you how many streamers don’t share a bio on their page. I believe it’s a great way to get additional background on the streamer hosting this Channel. As mentioned above, this is not War & Peace or Les Misérables that you are writing. This is a brief “Who is …” and your audience is more accustomed to Twitter than they are to blog posts. So let people know who you are, what it is you do, and what people might expect if they hang out on your stream. Streaming schedule. There’s a real mixed opinion about streaming schedules. For some people, they just fire up the stream machine and go! For others, it’s a special occasion that they go out of their way to promote. The good thing about streaming schedules (for an example, see the following figure) is you are making a promise to your loyal and potential audiences when they can find you online. Think of it as your favorite TV show just going live when it did. How would you catch it, unless you keep a schedule? Of course, they will get the Twitch notifications when you go live, but a schedule also serves as a routine for you and helps you find a rhythm for streaming content. Rules for Chat. It’s never a bad idea to make it clear that you have a zero tolerance for certain things. This is, after all, your stream. Your stream, your rules. Skip around from Channel to Channel, and you will find that a good amount of streamers adhere to a few simple tips on creating the best kind of Chat: 1. Have fun. 2. Stay positive. 3. Don’t be a jerk. There are other rules you can probably think of for your own Channel, and if a follower or subscriber can’t abide by them, then okay. No real loss. This is your scene, so set the stage the way you want it to be. Not just for you, but for your Chat as well. Social media links. Are you online? Got a podcast? Then go on and list your various social media links here. While you can list all of your various social links in one Info Panel, I have found that separate panels for individual platforms — especially if you decide to create custom art for your stream — work best. So decide what other social media platforms related to you and your stream you want to share with your Twitch stream, and point people in that direction. Yes, technically people can contact you through your Social Media links. People can also contact you directly through Twitch itself. In this particular case, the Contact panel would be a direct contact between you and those visiting your Twitch Channel. Most of the time, the contacts listed here are more for professional queries, but maybe the odd fan letter or voicemail option will appear. That can happen, but that is the approach with a Contact panel on a Twitch Channel. Amazon Wish List. Maybe this isn’t your thing, but go on and create your ultimate streaming studio as an Amazon Wish List; and then set up an Info Panel sending people to it. The generosity of others just may surprise you. I have donated accessories to other streamers, and streamers have stories of other viewers contributing to their dream setups on account of shared Wish Lists. The Twitch Community has a lot going for it, and having your Wish List on your Channel also gives you and your Channel goals to strive for that you can reference anytime. From here, you can decide what other Info Panels you need to represent your Channel in the best way. With studio updates and changes in your Twitch stream, you will add, edit and delete Info Panels. All this is part of the evolution of your Channel and you as a Twitch streamer. How to edit and delete Twitch Info Panels Creating Info Panels is the hardest part because you’re trying to deduce what you want to share and how you want to convey your message without sounding verbose but not so terse that you come across as vague. Once the panels are created, editing and deleting are a cinch: Scroll past the screen where your feed would appear and click on the Edit Panels switch to get your Channel Page into Edit mode. In About Me’s Description field, edit the text to read: “Hey, everyone. Welcome to the official Twitch stream for Tee Morris (a/k/a TheTeeMonster) and the [*Happy Hour from the Tower* podcast](http://happyhourfromthetower.com). I am an [award-winning writer of Steampunk](http://ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com) and [non-fiction](http://podcastingfordummies.com). Being a productive writer, though, is hard when you're gaming. And I love Destiny. And Fortnite. And Tomb Raider. And Detroit: Become Human. And … I'm starting to venture into other games on my RADAR. No, I'm not the **best** gamer, but I do *love* video games. So stick around and have some fun.” As you find, editing the text is easy. Just like working on a word processor or simple text editor. Single-click the Submit button to accept the changes. There is, at the time of writing this book, no universal “Accept All Changes” command for the Info Panels. They all are accepted one panel at a time. Click and hold your mouse on the gray area of one Info Panel, and then drag the panel into the direction where you would like your panel to reside. If you want to change the arrangement of the Info Panels, it's a simple click-and-drag method (pictured in the following figure), where you can move panels in any direction. You will see other Info Panels adjust automatically as you do so. When you begin moving panels around, the reshuffling of your other panels may completely throw the order you’re wanting. This may mean toggling back and forth the “Edit Panels” switch to see what the layout looks likes and how you need to compensate. There’s a bit of fiddling and some trial-and-error in this process. Just know that Info Panel arrangement is more about patience and determination rather than design. To remove a panel from the page, find the Info Panel you want to delete and single-click the Remove option at the lower-right of the Info Panel. Toggle the Edit Panels switch back to the Off position, and then review your Channel layout. With your Info Panels all set, your Channel is almost ready. Yes, almost. We have set up our Twitch account, filled in all the important details we need to make the right impression with people new to our Channel and our stream, and have a sharp channel ready to show off. What we need to do is connect our consoles, and then we make our first stream happen.

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How to Set Up Your PS4 and Xbox One X for Twitch Streaming

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

The first Twitch stream is always the trickiest because you are going live with your gaming skill and your personality. You want to make sure you are ready and able to kick off your stream with style and confidence. Both of those attributes will take you far in streaming. So, for now, let’s set up our consoles for streaming. After we get those up and running, we will get to the actual process of streaming and present to the world our first stream. Set up your PS4 for streaming You have the basic studio, set up and you have completed your profile. Now you are going to get your consoles synced up with your Twitch, starting with the PlayStation 4. Launch the game you wish to stream. For many of the screen captures, I will be streaming from the game Destiny 2. It does not have to be Destiny, Fortnite, or God of War. The game should be the game you want to stream. On the PS4 DualShock controller, press the Share button, located to the top left off the directional pad. From the menu sliding from the left of your monitor, select the Broadcast Gameplay option. Streaming services will appear on your screen. Select Twitch. PSN will access the http://twitch.tv Login/Sign Up screen. Enter your username and password here. Once logged in, your Broadcast Page (shown) appears. Review to make sure you are include video from the PlayStation camera (if installed) and audio from your microphone. There is another option where you can include Chat Comments in your PSN display. Make sure that is turned off. Scroll down to review the title of your stream. Select the field with your stream’s title (right joystick) and press the X key to edit the title. To edit and type a title on the PS4 using the DUALSHOCK controller can be a little awkward and may take some getting used to. You can either introduce a USB keyboard to your console setup, or go into your Twitch Dashboard online and set up a title for your stream. Scroll down to look at the resolution of your gameplay. Depending on your Internet connection and the make of your game, resolution may vary. For higher speed connections and recently released games, your game will broadcast at 1080p resolution. Continue to scroll down to Social Links to Facebook and Twitter. Select both platforms for you to notify followers in your networks that you are going live on PSN. While there are notifications sent out on Twitch, sending out a message on Facebook and Twitter can help boost your signal or attract new viewers to your stream. Under the Twitter and Facebook options is the Comment window, the message you would like to send out with the announcement of your stream. You can either leave the default message of “Check out my stream …” or create a custom message accompanying a link to your Twitch Channel by pressing the X button. The Comment you go with here is the message shared on Facebook and Twitter. At the bottom of the screen, select the Start Broadcasting button. You’re taken to a final option to either change your audio settings or start your broadcast. Once you launch into your stream, you are live with your game. Now it is time to play your game, interact with your audience, and have fun. This is how we stream from a PlayStation, but what about an Xbox One? If you “bleed green” as some Xbox gamers attest, the steps you follow are not too far from those of us who bleed blue. Set up your Xbox One for streaming Now let’s get that Xbox of yours set up to streaming. You will note that the steps are similar to the PS4 but with one exception: While the PlayStation has a built-in streaming capability, the Xbox requires an additional software install and a few more steps. At the end of this set-up, though, you will be up and streaming. Start your Xbox One console. From the menu located above the Xbox home screen, navigate to Apps. At the Xbox home screen, you can browse through Games, Movies and TV, and Music, all made available though Xbox. The Apps directory are additional downloads that allows your console to go above and beyond media entertainment. Look under the Apps for Gamers section for the Twitch app. If you cannot find Twitch, you can always navigate to the top-right of your screen and select the Search icon (the magnifying glass) and search for Twitch. You can also download apps at the official Xbox website. Once you find Twitch, select the Get option to download and install Twitch on to your Xbox. Before launching the Twitch app, go online and make sure you are logged into your Twitch account. Once confirmed, launch the Twitch app. Select Login. Then go online to twitch.tv/activate to enter a 6-digit code that appears on your Xbox app. This code will link your Twitch account to your Xbox Live account. This is a one-time set-up, so you should only have to go through this two-fisted approach of Xbox and online device (desktop, laptop, or mobile device) to Twitch is not a regular thing. Access your Profile by pressing the Xbox button on the controller and selecting your profile picture. Then pressing the A button on your controller. Make sure the Appear Online option is chosen. If you appear offline, your ability to stream from the Xbox is disabled. Still in the Profile, go to your Privacy settings and set up your account as follows: “See if you are online” option: set to Everybody “Broadcast Gameplay” option: set to Allow Return to the Xbox home screen by pressing the Xbox button on the controller. From the Preferences, make sure the Allow Broadcasts … option is selected. You may also see settings and options in this section of your menu for the Kinect. This is a camera specifically designed for the Xbox. Originally designed for Kinect-style games (where your body is the controller), the Kinect also works as a camera for your stream. On launching the Twitch app, Twitch will start a test to recommend the best bitrate for your stream. You can either agree to the suggested bitrate, or go with something lower or higher, or request a new test for a new recommendation. Bitrates in streaming is the amount of data your router is managing while you stream. This setting is going to dictate how smooth (or how choppy) your stream appears. The higher the bitrate, the better your stream plays. Once all network settings have been confirmed, a panel should appear, shown in the figure, asking for placement of Kinect video and settings for Microphone. Select the Enable Microphone option so that your audience can hear you. Set your microphone level at this step. Make sure that your voice is not constantly peaking into the meter’s red zone. With audio levels set, you can then choose to have your Chat on screen, or you can go with a full screen view with Chat minimized. Instead of limiting the real estate of your game on a monitor, I recommend you have Twitch running on another device, like a laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Monitor Chat on a second device while you stream and interact with your audience on mic. By keeping your Chat on a second device, it is easier to manage. The next option is the Broadcast Title window. Select the field where you would enter in the title of your stream or the game you are planning to stream. Select Start Broadcast to begin your stream. Take a deep breath and get your game on, because once you hit “Start Broadcast,” you go live! It’s you, your Xbox, and your game. Go forth and be awesome. The Twitch Channel is up and running. Your console is set up. If you are following my steps from beginning to end, you’re streaming at this very moment. And I hate to break it to you, but as much as I would love it, reading Twitch For Dummies as a stream might not be the most engaging of content. Whether you jumped in with both feet after setting up your console, or if you took a breath and said, “Maaaybe I should wait before I hit that ‘Broadcast’ button,” then let’s take a moment to break down and figure out how a stream goes. There is an approach. There is a science. Nothing’s wrong with jumping into the stream, letting the current take you where it flows … … but there is something to be said about knowing how to work the keel and having a sense of direction.

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Adult Language and Content on Twitch Streaming

Article / Updated 04-23-2019

Much like a podcast, Twitch went online with no rules about adult language. There are rules about adult content, but language? Go ahead and spout George Carlin’s list (the amended one) of words he can’t say on television. It can be pretty liberating being able to swear without a care … … but this is not the same as no repercussions. Since the beginning of the Twitch Unity Movement on May 12, 2017, there has been an effort to hold people accountable for salty language. Other problems can occur for you and your stream when your language and conversations stray out of PG-13 territory. Front Page Feature: There are many occasions where Twitch will reach out to new and engaging personalities on their network and say, “We would like to feature you on the front page.” This means that for a designated time, when people go to the homepage, you will be one of those select few featured. That sounds cool, but that time featured may be severely cut if you're dropping the F-bomb like it's going out of style. If you're going to represent Twitch, then Twitch will want you to clean up your act. Something to consider. Charity Affiliations: As you have read, one of the more popular charities that is affiliated with Twitch is St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Think about that for a moment. You’re on your stream, an opponent gets an unexpected upper-hand on you, and you scream, “[CENSORED]! You mother-[CENSORED]! Bet you [CENSORED] like a little [CENSORED] while you’re [CENSORED] a [CENSORED] [CENSORED]!!! Oh hey, Chat, we’re still raising money for the kids of St. Jude’s, so dig deep and donate the link in Chat … unless you’re cheap [CENSORED]-ers.” Yeah, that sort of talk may not go over well with a children’s It may not go over well with many charities, and charity streams are a good way to introduce yourself to the larger Twitch Community. Sponsors: Sponsors are those vendors who look at your stream, look at your followers, and think, “There’s an opportunity here.” The double-edged sword of sponsorship is that you are accepting either a stream of revenue or some sort of financial investment in your stream. This means, depending on how deep on an investment your sponsor makes, the sponsor now has a say in how things work on your stream. Certain subject matter and favorite vocabulary may not be tolerated. Even before you start seeking out a sponsor, your demeanor on the stream may affect your chances in finding a backer. Your mileage may vary; and while some streamers are able to bend the understood rules to a point where they don’t break but strain under the stress, categorizing your stream as “Mature Content” or “Open to General Audiences” can affect how marketable your stream is to outside parties. What about these General Audiences? How does the Twitch Community on a whole view working blue, a distinction in the stand-up comedy industry for adult-only acts, when streaming? In the end, depending on your concern over the factors mentioned above, you are the host of the stream, and it's for you to decide if you want to enjoy the dance between PG-13 and R or simply go all in and not worry about how you come across. If people don’t like the way you carry yourself, then maybe your stream isn’t for them. Then there's the option of self-moderation, working blue when and where it's appropriate. SheSnaps, in her recent 2018 GuardianCon charity stream, cleaned up her own stream, avoiding mature content while she represented St. Jude’s. ZGphoto tries to clean up his language when he deems certain days as “Disney Days” for song requests. “It feels weird dropping F-bombs,” he says, “when you have Moana or Frozen playing in the background.” It all depends on how you want your stream to be represented and perceived. How to set the Twitch Mature Content option If you decide that you want to hold nothing back, you will need to take care of one particular detail on your account: Go to Twitch.tv and access Settings from your Account drop menu located in the top-right corner of the browser. In the Settings window, single-click the Channel and Videos option. Scroll down to the Content Settings and — provided you know you would prefer to work in the raw — switch the Mature Content option to the ON position. Twitch’s Terms of Service dictate that, if your channel is broadcasting sexual activity, nudity, threats, or extreme violence (in-game activity included), and your Channel is not marked as “Mature” then Twitch can immediately and irrevocably terminate your account. The parameters of “Adult Content” When it comes to “adult content” (that step beyond “mature content” where it’s no longer about the language) and what falls into that category, where exactly are the limits? Does that mean content in the game, from the streamer, or both? Twitch is more than aware this could be considered a gray area and they explain in "Nudity, Pornography, and Other Sexual Content" exactly what their policy is. Concerning the game itself, Twitch states: Games featuring nudity, pornography, sex, or sexual violence as a core focus or feature, and gameplay modified to feature these elements are entirely prohibited. Occurrences of in-game nudity are permitted, so long as you do not make them a primary focus of your content and only spend as much time as needed in the area to make progress. Games rated Adults Only (AO) by the ESRB are not permitted in gameplay-oriented broadcasts or complete or unedited format on Twitch. While some games may go for extreme violence (Bioshock, Tomb Raider, God of War) or sexual situations (Castle Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, The Order: 1886), other games focus less on adult content as a story telling device and more as the focus of the game. This is why Twitch maintains a list of games prohibited for streaming on their service. If you are concerned about whether or not your game would be allowed on Twitch, a visit to a "List of Prohibited Games" will answer that question. Also at this URL, you can access the online documentation if you feel there is a game that warrants a review.

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