I’ve decided to start Twitch streaming my evening gaming sessions. I usually spend a small amount of my evening playing games anyway, so broadcasting it to the world isn’t a big change to my routine, and hopefully I can improve my content creation skills at the same time. I play almost exclusively single-player games, particularly first person shooter, puzzle, and simulation games. I’m slowly building up my streaming stup and it should help with video creation too, which is something I’m excited about. I’ve already used OBS a lot to stream robotics competitions, so it’s not new to me, but Twitch is new, and so is being a personality.
My very first stream was two weeks ago (2022-01-05), where I streamed the game INFRA, a game I’ve never played before and only watched a very short let’s play segment on. I already have a low quality webcam (Logitech C270) that I bought to use with my 3D printers (but quickly found the Ethernet cameras far superior for that use case), and had it mounted above my desk facing my keyboard so I could record build videos on my desk, which is a bit of a weird angle to stream. But, I was eager to get into the game and play, and streaming was more of an afterthought, so I setup a view in OBS with the game and the camera, and went at it. It’s a bit weird since I play on an ultrawide (21:9) monitor, and the stream is normal width (16:9), so there are black bars in the top and bottom. I’ll decide later how to handle this.
My Better Setup⌗
After playing INFRA on stream, I decided to get a slightly better setup. I ordered the parts, waited for them to ship, and continued playing INFRA with a progressively looking better OBS setup in the meantime. I replaced the black bars to fit the ultrawide game with an orange background to match my website, with the stream name and my cameras below the 21:9 game screen. I think this fits fairly well, the game isn’t covered by anything (so I don’t have to rearrange the screen depending on where the HUD is in-game), and I like the aesthetic.
The parts I settled on are two Logitech C270 webcams (720p30 and dirt cheap at $25 each), along with one Logitech C922 Pro HD (1080p60 with autofocus and a few other nice features). I also got a Stream Deck, which is useful for more than just streaming (i.e. I can use it in Davinci Resolve, and I already paired it with Home Assistant using the open source plugin to control my room lights). I intended to use the C922 for my face, but I realized that the game is really front and center and the tiny face view quality isn’t super important, so I have a C270 looking down and C270 facing me. I’ll reserve the C922 for VR streaming, which I haven’t started to setup yet.
I’m enjoying streaming casually at this point with the two cheap cameras, and the stream deck is definitely not a requirement but it is helpful. Eventually, I’d like to expand into VR streaming, and depending on the game, there are lot of different camera layouts I could use. For a fixed location game like Beat Saber, a single camera with Mixed Reality works well. For a more open world game like Half-Life Alyx or Boneworks, it might not work as well, but I’ll play around and see. I’ll be sure to post more here when I get my VR streaming setup dialed in.