STREAMING TIPS FOR DEVELOPERS ON THE BRIGHTLOCKER PLATFORM
Interacting with your subscribers via chats and streams is one of the most valuable tools provided on the BrightLocker platform. Make sure you’re getting the most out of it by following these simple guidelines:
Equipment and Software
Microphone: If your voice isn’t loud and clear, it’s going to be hard to convey your message accurately to your fans. In order to ensure nothing gets lost in translation, make sure to invest in a quality, mid-range USB microphone. BrightLocker recommends CAD-u37, Blue Snowball, Blue Yeti, and the Audio-Technica AT2020. However, you can get by with just a standard HD video camera with a built in microphone. It’s also important to set up your microphone correctly. Make sure to position the microphone close enough to you so your voice is audible. You may want to run tests and experiment with your setup before your first steam to guarantee the settings are sufficient.
Camera: Investing in a good HD camera will maximize the impact of your stream, especially if you plan on doing over-the-shoulder demonstrations or tutorials. Make sure you position your camera well and be aware of anything unappealing that the user may be able to see (in the background, on the desk, what you are wearing, etc.). The more high-end your stream looks, the more likely you will have repeat customers -- so make a good first impression.
Screen Space: You need to be able to play your game, adjust capture settings, and read chat while you’re streaming. Doing all that from a single monitor is a challenge. Ideally, you want at least two monitors when you broadcast (or if you have a laptop available, consider using that to view chat).
Internet Speed: While performing video chats or streams, keep in mind that if your internet speed is slow, or if you have heavy traffic going on within your home or place of business, it can result in bad lag and a poor experience for the customer due to choppy video and audio. Make sure to shut down anything that is using up internet bandwidth while performing a stream or video chat if possible.
Be Prepared: Have a gameplan for what you want to cover beforehand. It’s better to have too much content to discuss and not get to it then run out of things to talk about before the stream has ended. If you have a specific topic established (for example, level design), stick to that topic as much as possible. To avoid any issues, log in into the stream a solid 15-20 minutes before the scheduled start time.
Bring High Energy and Have Fun: Make sure you are overly positive with high energy, as this helps keep your guests engaged and have an overall good experience. The goal is getting them to come back for more, so each positive streaming experience is important.
Make Your Guests Feel Welcome: People are paying for that unique intimacy with developers. Greeting guests, calling them by their names and acknowledging their presence in unique ways is a powerful way to do this. Make sure your chat is always open, and if a new viewer chimes in on a subject, try to make them feel as welcome as possible.
Leave Lurkers Alone: While some of your guests will undoubtedly purchase chats for the interaction, others will simply view your stream silently. In the streaming community, these people are known as “lurkers”, and they are extremely valuable. Though they may never chat, they enjoy what you’re doing and will likely come back repeatedly. Even if it’s with good intentions, be cautious about calling out lurkers or trying to make them into active chatters. They simply might not be comfortable with that experience, and you run the risk of upsetting them and turning them away for good.
Don’t Get Mad at Your Customers: This is obvious, but worth mentioning due to it’s importance -- never, under any circumstance, verbally attack a guest during a stream. It’s inevitable that some viewers will do things that annoy you, whether by accident or with purposeful intent. Regardless, verbally accosting a paying customer leads to nothing positive. Treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and if/when someone is disruptive, attempt to pacify the offender in as calm a manner as possible. If the offender continues to disrupt the stream, notify BrightLocker after the stream concludes and the appropriate measures will be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Keep it Legal: This is also obvious, but make sure nothing you’re doing during your stream is against the law. Do not slander people or corporations, plagiarize other people’s content or violate copyright.
Make Your Viewers Feel Unique: The BrightLocker platform is designed around community building. The better you ingratiate your fans into your network, the more successful you will be long term. During streams, make your viewers feel special. If you have a group of regulars, tell them how important they are and how much their support means to you. Don’t be a robot on these streams. Be human, be real, and connect.
Be Yourself: While being as friendly as courteous as possible is strongly encouraged, it’s very important not to be fake. If you have a more wry, sarcastic personality, it’s totally fine to let that show through. There are many acceptable tones that can be used on the platform, so be yourself and your audience will respond to it. Fake flattery can be positive if used occasionally, but being disingenuous, even if it’s with good intentions, can lead to alienating your followers and turning them off to you completely.
Lead By Example: This is your stream, so you have the opportunity to set the tone for what is expected. If you’re professional and positive, it will embolden your viewers to act in the same manner. If you’re constantly late for streams, disorderly or rude, you’re telling your audience that this is an acceptable way to behave. Viewers will look to you to set the precedent, so lead by example.
Encourage Interaction: Creating an open, active forum for lively discussion is essential to creating a winning stream. As previously mentioned, some guests may not wish to speak during the stream, but many others will be eager to join the fray and engage in the chat. Having a prepared discussion gameplan is important, but don’t be afraid to occasionally veer off topic and riff about pop culture or trending topics. Ask your guests to share their opinions on important subjects. If someone greets you or asks a question, respond warmly. Getting one or two people engaged will often lead to more joining. It’s better to have small, active community than a large one that never engages.