What effect did the changes and products that I made? I will run through my products with how they were received and how effective they were.
The Discord changes were very well received, pretty quickly the Discord was used by lots of people from our community. The Streamline broadcasters really liked the broadcasting role as well and it was easy to see which Streamline broadcasters are live on Twitch. The community also became more active in helping other players who had issues which was great. Especially the feedback channel was used a lot, it seemed to be one of the main feedback platform choices of our players because it’s easy and fast especially since other users can reply straight away even when one of the developers are not around. Quickly after we also got our Discord Partnership which gave us better voice servers and a custom URL which was great for easily inviting other people to our server. As you have seen in the Twitch redesign for our channel we also added a Discord button to our server.
Twitch channel design
The Twitch channel looked much better, after the first design changes I didn’t get as many responses on the new design but once the reworked panels were live people were very happy with the cohesive look. We also removed a lot of extra clutter on the page that was distracting which made everything just look extra nice and clean. Twitch panels with lesser text with mainly panels seem more professional and are easier to navigate.
Some broadcasters picked up the broadcasterkit and used it on their streams, although there are still a lot of broadcasters who seem to use their own overlays and design. I feel it’s just a helpful tool for broadcasters who don’t have any graphics and aren’t good at graphic design themselves. Since most graphic designers charge money for overlays having an option for professional design is a nice extra . The most positive benefit that I observed was that people had the freedom to choose which parts of the overlay to use, I have seen that people mainly use the top banner.
I got the idea to create a lookbook from one of my former jobs at a different game developer prior to my time at Proletariat, they used it in a very successful way to recognize faces of different broadcasters during our time at gaming conventions, even the programmers were able to recognize broadcasters and talk to them when the community developers weren’t at the booth. The lookbook for Twitchcon was added to our Excel sheet to prepare for the con, some people looked at it but I’m not sure if they remembered all the broadcasters that were on the list. From this I learned to print the lookbook for conventions and have it at the booth so that everyone on the development team can check it whenever they got some time.
Loyalty badges Twitch
As already quickly mentioned people were excited to show off their long term subscriptions to our channel and people were already aiming for the next tiers!
Rework for OBS/Stream
This is what most people were very exited about, not only on our developer team but also people that were watching the streams it was one of the bigger products and changes that I made. People really liked the new look and Break ‘n Bread don’t use their ugly gradient texts anymore so yay for me! I’m really happy how it turned out and it was better than I even expected, so I am happy to know that people like it. I’m also happy that I was given the freedom to work on restyling it.
Our Extra Life stream was a success and we raised a lot of money, I didn’t get that much feedback from the Proletariat stream but that was also because obviously the main theme was charity for the KIDS! But I did get some compliments on the overlay together with the timer on my personal Twitch channel on which I also streamed parts of our 24 hour stream.
The Streamote guide was approved by my Community Lead, it was clear and the guide looked good and in style with Streamote. The guide was sent to our users via our mailing list where they could either watch the GIF straight from the email or download the PDF if they wanted to read it slowly over.
The infographic was my final product, a system/tool that should help developers with targeting the right broadcasters for their game and also advise them how to work with them. As well as some tools that should improve the contact or help build their own community. As I didn’t get to test my product as much as I wanted during my time at Proletariat. I have asked for opinions and feedback from our team at Proletariat and the community of our game as well as conclusions based on my research. The community team that I was a part of was very happy with how the infographic looked like and they feel it makes it easier to target broadcasters.
Choosing the right broadcasters by using the broadcaster types
My research shows that it is important to choose the right target audience, because you don’t want to get into a situation like the game developer that showed his Steam Greenlight game to a broadcaster to check out before it launched. The developer ended up getting really upset and behaved unprofessional while he could have prevented this by choosing the right broadcasters for his game. Looking at the Twitch channel of the broadcaster that the developer sent his game to you can pretty quickly see which types of games he plays and be able to see that it wasn’t a great fit. He also didn’t use the correct way of contact which both could’ve been prevented if he used my infographic, instead he just send it to him in his stream and got a direct negative reaction instead of first contacting the broadcaster about the game so he could judge it off stream first. If a game developer were to use my advice on what broadcaster types there are around Twitch they would have to spend some time checking out broadcasters and spend some time in their channels. This might take away time from development but it can easily lead into a profit when their game is spread on Twitch. If they find the right broadcasters that fit their game, they’ll get genuine responses of people enjoying their game because they were the right choice, viewers can see this. This is also something to keep in mind regarding paid broadcasters. Even if some broadcasters get paid to play your game that doesn’t always mean they are the right choice. In case of our own game we had a few broadcasters sponsored that played our game that I did not get to choose sadly. One of them ended up making fun of our game, since sponsored broadcasters must have the hash tag #ad showing that that cast is sponsored in their stream title, that became the main focus of the stream not the game itself. Some broadcasters that I did advice to choose were fun to watch and their audience was into the game as well. I took time looking at broadcasters that stream similar games and focused on their community just like the Community driven broadcasters in my infographic. The games that the other broadcaster normally played in the negative example didn’t fit our game and we could’ve prevented this by choosing another broadcaster (even with lesser viewers), that could lead in more positive reactions because it’s a genuine response of fun playing our game. Something that came back in Raqib’s interview was that he in general doesn’t work with indie developers and when an indie developer does come to him he directly knows that they didn’t study him as a broadcaster because the content he makes as a broadcaster does not connect with these types of games.
The right way of contact with broadcasters
What is the right way of contact for broadcasters? During my time at Proletariat I was in contact with broadcasters together with Jennie our Community Manager, we usually emailed people to invite them to play our game. Sometimes it could take awhile before broadcasters would reply, while some you had to send endless reminders because they were busy or some didn’t reply at all. While doing my research during the survey as well as the interviews I realized how many different ways of contact broadcasters preferred. I personally as a broadcaster have always been very quick to respond to emails and always made sure to be a little early on meetings or interviews. If I would have been late because of reasons I would always let that be known in advance. This is not standard for a lot of broadcasters though, because of that I really realized how important it was to have an overview of how some broadcasters prefer their contact with game developers to be. As a developer you will have to also have to think of the pro’s and con’s of choosing paid busy broadcasters that might take a while to get to you or maybe go for a smaller free broadcasters that could jump into the game for you straight away. During the survey I had a big group of broadcasters tell me what platforms they prefer to have contact on, how frequent and what way of contact like what type of platform but also the behavior by developers towards them. During the interview that I had with Radderssgaming she mentioned “Some developers just talk in memes and act like they are your best friend, but that just comes off as unprofessional”, sometimes game developers want to get too friendly or talk too much in memes which could be seen as your father trying to act cool with you and your friends, as you can imagine that can cause for awkward situations. This is what I want to prevent with my infographic and give game developers a good image of what channels and ways to use when contacting a broadcaster.
In addition to the types of broadcasters and the ways that they like to have contact with game developers I’ve also added some tools to advise and improve the process of dealing with broadcasters as well as build a community in relation to Twitch.
As mentioned earlier during my tests I got the idea of working with a lookbook from one of my former old game developer colleagues, they had been working with a lookbook for some time and it really helps them recognize other broadcasters and influencers that would be a good fit for their game. I’ve help set up a lookbook for my former job at another game developer while they were working on their new game and I have done so during my time at Proletariat for Streamline. I did wish that we also printed the lookbook out and had one at the booth at the time of Twitchcon, but at least Jennie and I took a look at it prior to Twitchcon and talked to a bunch of these broadcasters at the convention, when Jennie and I had to split up she could still walk up to the right broadcasters that I added to the lookbook as recommendations. We met a bunch of broadcasters at Twitchcon that we introduced to Streamline and that streamed our game after the convention was over.
- Custom stream design
Having something like a broadcasterkit or special subscriber sounds to offer to your broadcasters but also for your own channel. As TheRedVipre mentioned in his interview the developers of the game Darkest Dungeon made special custom subscriber alerts with the voice actors of the game that broadcasters could use, this was a huge success and also made more broadcasters interested in the game. Custom stream design is also mentioned in the video done by Intel gaming under the point of Presence. It’s important to have your broadcasts look and feel the way that you want to represent your game and company. During my time at Proletariat I worked on custom overlays that were put into a broadcaster kit that broadcasters could freely download and use while streaming our game. Broadcasters like it when you do something extra and design work can cost a lot for broadcasters, so providing materials upfront can start the mutual relationship strong. We also had a way more professional look for our own personal Twitch channel for Proletariat when I redid all the overlays for our own broadcasts which gave extremely positive feedback from our community.
- Live stream your development
It is really helpful to live stream your development on Twitch, not only has this been mentioned in the panel by Twitch at GDC with some great success stories but also in the video of Intel gaming. By broadcasting your development you can easily get feedback from your viewers and change things early on in development before you fully release a game. Besides that you also build up a community for yourself not only from other outside broadcasters. As seen in our own live streams during my time at Proletariat we had build a community firsthand with fans that would play our game, ask their friends to play but also give feedback during our play test streams that we could use to adjust the game to the players needs. It’s important that you keep a schedule and find the right way of broadcasting for you as a development team. Obviously you don’t have to stream daily but as long as you have interesting content and show that you listen to your community broadcasting your development can’t go wrong.
How to create a successful system that can be used by multiple game studios to engage with broadcasters?
- What types of broadcasters are there?
- Which social media platforms do these broadcasters use and what are the best ones to reach them?
- What is the behavioral pattern of broadcasters?
- What are successful examples of the use of broadcasters for game promotions?
- What drives broadcasters to play/broadcast your game?