How to Get Started on Twitch as a Game Developer!

Should you stream on Twitch as a game developer? What are the reasons you'd want to put yourself and your game out there for the world to see? How should you go about getting started? We got some successful Twitch streamers answer those questions and share their tips and tricks to help you build a presence as a game developer on Twitch!
Follow these fine folks on Twitch.TV:

Viking Lass
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Learn about the Portland Indie Game Squad
Checkout Imagos Films

How to Get Started on Twitch as a Game Developer!

This is a big opportunity for you as a developer to show off your incredible game to a huge group of people. There's just one problem-- getting started. People think they need a fancy computer, webcam, microphone, green screen, gaming headset, gaming mouse, gaming keyboard, gaming mouse pad, gaming everything. 

Focusing on these items is just an excuse for you to avoid the really scary parts of streaming, like having a personality, and keeping a schedule. There are five quintessential things that you need in order to start and maintain a stream. When the new viewer comes to a twitch channel, they may initially come for the game, but they stick around for your personality. 

Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them feel something, and they'll come back day after day. 

And one of the ways of doing that is by establishing your image in the channel. For me, I'm a pirate captain. It doesn't matter what that personality is as long as it's something they can relate to. 

They need to be able to feel like they can be your friend, feel like they know you somehow. 

What you need to do is just have your regular personality but overexaggerated. 

If you're scared, be horrified. If you're amused, laugh your butt off. Whatever you're feeling, you need to bump it up a little bit to make sure that comes across to the viewers. 

And if they go crazy over something, you need to latch onto that and play it up. My subscriber is called Spubscribers. This came from a random event where a viewer came in and asked to see a potato. Now as a developer, you can take those memes and integrate them into your game even. Whatever you can do to embrace the community and make them feel like they're part of your project. 

Think of your twitch channel as a 30-second commercial for your game. The reason why you want to have good content is that you're essentially showing your product. You'll notice a lot of twitch streamers add a reward system to people who are regular viewers. 

In my stream, I have banzai buck where people can interact and basically buy moves on a Connect Four, get a spin at The Wheel of Fortune, and potentially get a give away item of my personal creation. You could do the same thing. You can hand out free copies of your game. 

The only way for them to get it is to pay attention to you stream. Put that time and effort. Talk and chat. Reward your gamers. 

When it comes to streaming, there are several key elements that are very important, such as maintaining a schedule and streaming on time. If you're unable to stream on time, you will be disappointing viewers when they show up and you're not there. 

Say you're going to be late. Let people know. Send out a tweet. 

You can add it to your stream wall on Twitch now, which is a fun new feature. Your time is valuable. Your viewers' time is valuable. So let them know that you appreciate them for being there just in the same way that they appreciate you for streaming. 

Now I'd like to talk to you a little bit about presence. Presence is how you present your concept. Now this starts with how you look. 

Are you dress in a way that relatable to the content you do? But it also goes to how you present the actual content in your stream. 

Have a nice intro-- something to get the viewers hyped up before you even start your stream. This can be music and video content, maybe some stills or some preview of your gameplay-- something to get the viewers excited and you give them an idea of what they have to come. 

If something happens that's memorable, something that's worth celebrating, then have something to celebrate that-- with sounds, with graphics, with animations, or with just the way you act. And have a nice way to end the stream-- have an outro video. Have some content to say thank you for being here. So really think hard about how you present yourself and you present your content. 

So you might be asking yourself, why as a game dev would I be giving up the time and the resources to stream? What benefits could this have for me and my game? 

Well, there are actually plenty of good causes. First off, you have a game to promote. That's perfect right away. 

Another cause that you could have behind your stream is to build a community, to allow people in it to feel a part of the game that you are developing and building before you even launch. You could be developing a game and show it to people and have them be, like, hey, I don't understand the timeline here or the storyline. And then you can be, like, oh my gosh, I forgot to do blah, blah, blah. And you could go back and fix it before it ever becomes a problem. 

It's really important to have goals and milestones during your streams. And while you hit them, you can celebrate them with the community that you build during these streams. Streaming without a cause is like streaming without a point. 

You have a product. You have your game. You get to let everybody in on the creation and the journey that you go through to make that game. 

There you have it-- personality, content, schedule, presence, and cause. Now you just need to get started. And remember-- the only mistake you can make while streaming is not streaming at all.