No one said coming up with ideas to run a website would be easy - and even if they did, they probably said it on some informational blog filled with SEO adverts which I haven't read so bleh (sticks out tongue). Anyway - a few weeks ago when I started digging into YCB as editor to work out what content was going to work well, I started to put together ideas for things;
- We have the Road to SFM - an interesting idea where yours truly here accompanied a young gamer who is interested in starting to learn more about gamedev by working with the tools that come free from Valve for making animations and posters.
- We have timelapse cooldowns - a relaxing way to spend 15 minutes or less watching something pretty get made while listening to music.
- We have guest articles coming in and published - including some really insightful stuff on working in the industry and what you can expect (the worst bits).
- We of course had some artist profiles and will be getting new ones soon.
- Timelapsed and full length tutorials on making things in UE4.
Well that's all well and good however I asked a well known editor his advice and he said that YCB should focus on what it can do that not many other sites can do. Well the benefit is that I enjoy making lessons and I enjoy engaging the viewers and there is a great way to combine that - live streaming! Using Twitch I can stream gamedev and 3d in it's many iterations and talk about it and interact live with users - as well as that I can archive the streams over to YouTube and build up a selection that viewers can watch in their own time without having to adhere to my timetable (which is UK based and sadly not great for people outside my tiny island).
You may wonder (as of the time this was written naturally) why you have not ran streams and this is because of a rare beast called 'planning' - one that rarely reared its head in our grandfather site 3d-palace. Yes I can just throw on a twitch session and record using OBS however over the Christmas holiday season software was assessed, streaming speeds measured, templates built and plans made so that we end up with something that is way more branded, smooth and professional looking. Have you seen how gamers stream? The guys (and girls) that stream and are popular do not just throw on a stream and hope for the best - they approach it like you would anything, with organisation and care. They have plans, tests and templates and we should be the same which is why this was entered into carefully.
So what can you expect from the YCB streaming? Well... I think this is something that we can do well so why not jump in with both feet. Even if we just stream for 4-8 hours a week that is a lot of new content that will be coming in - plus we can do requests and we can share created assets even (some of the time anyway!). In a normal tutorial you will see an artist make something over several parts with no interaction. With the streaming setup, if you are up and watching while I am working you can help direct the flow and see the lesson turn into something that you will benefit from more. Then the streams will be indexed and popped straight into the archive and you can watch them any time! And without paying anything too...
Now don't get me wrong. We need money badly so Patreon and donations and so on are essential for our growth. I am looking to monetise use of the Twitch system, I won't avoid mentioning that, however at the same time I want education for all so it is a hard balancing act (and as usual ideas are welcome).
So - that is what has been happening for the past 4 weeks here. Planning, development and testing. I think you will like it. If you are chatting then your conversations will appear in the video stream, if you subscribe to the twitch you will get a shout out in the stream automatically and there are lots of other fun and silly features that will hopefully make this more interesting for you! I still have a few days worth of work to do however the majority is done and I will be releasing streams into the wild for our first full test this afternoon.
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