I’ve written about streaming games here before. Watching and interacting with streamers and their community on Twitch.tv has given me a lot of good moments. One streamer and his community even became good friends, and we did meet up and had a good time. Some of the people in his community have (re-)started streaming themselves, and watching them is a lot of fun too: no matter what the game, it’s good to hang out in chat.
So I got that itch to stream too. I used to, but the only machine that is capable of running games is in the living room (it’s an AMD A10, with integrated graphics), and that means slogging a lot of infrastructure to and fro. And I couldn’t add a face-cam to the feed, because it would also show the living room (with klik on the couch behind me).
And then I realised that I still had an A8-based system, complete with motherboard and memory, just collecting dust in the attic. The A8 is the smaller sister to the A10, but it’s powerful enough to play videos, which is what we use the living room computer for mainly. So why not swap out the A10 for the A8, and build up a small system to sit on my desk? That way, I can have the infrastructure semi-permanently in place, and I can use a webcam to more directly interact with my viewers (if there are any…) and hide the rest of the house behind a chamber screen.
So in between the Scylla of Christmas and the Charybdis of New Year’s, I ordered some parts, build up a system, ordered some more parts, returned another part, installed, installed and installed some more software, ordered some parts again… The things never seem to work out the way you intend — though perhaps I could have been better prepared by comparing several measurements.
But in the end, I built up a small little desktop with the A10 and a fanless(!) GTX 1030 card. I need to do the streaming itself through klik’s laptop, but after configuring it all (mostly syncing the facecam and the microphone up with the video feed from the game machine), I have a neat little setup from which I can stream.
It’s a lot of fun, especially with the usual suspects dropping in and hanging out in chat, commenting on the gameplay or on general occurrences. I don’t have a schedule, but I’ll stream when the fancy strikes me. If you’re wondering what it’s all about, you could drop on by on my Twitch.tv channel and follow me there.