I thought about livestreaming for the first time a few hours ago and about one hour later I was livestreaming FF7. I originally thought of excessively meandering around Cosmo Canyon, my favorite part of the game, to motivate me to continue on. Then I wondered: What if I meander around while livestreaming this experience with the vast unknown of anonymous and users with names? Plus, I can keep the recordings of both test videos forever.
There is, of course, a certain degree of clutter management I’ll have to do about that.
The two videos I recorded, a 15-minute video saved directly from OBS and a 28-minute video saved from Twitch, totaled 1.09GB in size. I have a 2TB hard drive but I’m not overly interested in saving videos like this on that hard drive, so I’m not sure if I’ll be looking for long-term storage on YouTube or other platforms, but for now, at least it was a fun exercise.
It was amazing, really.
The whole process was easy, which isn’t surprising considering the number of people out there livestreaming videogames or whatever, and the process was straightforward enough to where even if I didn’t have someone like Collector to help me adjust audio and video settings, I could have gone from never having streamed at all to streaming in a trivial amount of time.
I don’t know if I’ll be livestreaming much.
For something like FF7, I’ve been enjoying experiencing the plot on its own. Having my smartphone out to read people’s chat messages and interacting with the peanut gallery – I had one bot spam a URL that I quickly banned and reported – might not be what I want to do at this point in my life. I would like to do this later, and with writing, but not at this point.
Still, it was pain-free enough to where I could do it more often.
Although I used my old laptop to livestream, I could easily switch to my new laptop and probably have higher quality results. There are OBS options to record but not broadcast, so that might be one way to record the sorts of special moments I might want to revisit again. FF7 on Steam provides hundreds of save files so there isn’t much of a need for video recording.
Maybe I’ll livestream random things when I’m feeling social?
I’ve been getting into Twitch more lately because it’s a fun way to be social with others, whether strangers or people I’ve followed on YouTube or other platforms, and not everyone plays videogames. Some people broadcast them doing various work tasks or drawing. I’m not interested in the broadcasters that ‘just chat’ with audiences without doing much else.
Still, it’s fun practice for my long-term livestreaming goals.
I would eventually like to livestream writing sessions. I’m not sure if I’ll do that for Novel 02 or not. Actually, that seems like a more productive use of my video production and energy than livestreaming FF7. As much as I enjoy FF7, right now it’s 1am Pacific time and there are 4 people playing FF7 to 10 viewers, so there isn’t much of a need for me to performatively play.
Unless I feel like playing around in-game and through chat.
It’s amazing, to use the word again, to consider how easy this was in 2020.
Growing up, I had limited save files, so I had to strategically save based on my favorite parts in games. If there was a place I knew that had a one-off interaction, like the Observatory scene in Cosmo Canyon, then I had to reserve a save file for that occasion. Now, I have myriad save files available to me, if I want to experience it myself, or I can watch the many thousands of playthroughs, either with [mostly annoying] commentary or without.
There’s a phrase I like using: We’re living in the future.
What a time to be alive! In another ten years, this whole thing could be even easier. We tend to want to look at the present through our future lenses, where we might have performance anxiety over events we’re doing, as we’re doing them. Sometimes, it’s fine to jump in the deep-end and give it a go. I had been itching to play some FF7 and now I’ve saved around four times at Cosmo Canyon, so I feel OK with proceeding along with the plot.
I only get stuck because I want to fully soak in the experience.
Would livestreaming those events, to share with others, help me dislodge that feeling of needing to soak in everything, so I’d rather not? What I ended up doing during my livestream was what I might do when I first play a game: I explored everything. I went to the furthest corners of each part of Cosmo Canyon. I talked to everyone, slowly. I’m sure compared to most playthroughs, that would get annoying quickly, but that’s how I enjoy playing games. I like trying to break things, to explore things, and although I’m playing with a walkthrough, it’s only so that I don’t miss any of the arbitrary one-off treasures that were almost obligatory in ‘retro’ games.
That might be fun or boring to people, I don’t know.
When I write Novel 02, I will have a longer timeframe to write, and it might be easy for me to schedule enough time to livestream my writing sessions on a daily or near-daily basis. Let’s say I got home from work at 6pm. I could livestream my writing sessions from 7pm to 8pm, or if I didn’t feel like writing much, I could swap in a videogame, or something like that. If I approach the thought from that angle, it could almost be worth practicing livestreaming now, with FF7 or other games, so that when I go livestream my writing, I won’t have to worry about troubleshooting audio issues like I did today, and instead focus on the writing itself.
With the benefit of having recorded the whole process… amazing.
|Quotes: “What a time to be alive” is another phrase I enjoy, so I linked directly to the Clutch song with that lyric, “How To Shake Hands.”|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I went to use the toilet before playing some FF7, and on the way back, I had the idea about livestreaming it. The rest fell into place easily.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays. Only after I completed this essay did I realize that this could also be a Novel 02 thing, so, here’s the text for that: Essays helping build “Novel 02.” This novel is formally called “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety,” and is a sequel to “Novel 01,” which is part of the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Screenshot: Taken while playing and livestreaming. I included both the reduced to 600 pixels wide and the unedited version of the screenshot for readability.|
|Written On: 2020 October 30 [12:47am to 1:234567890am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 October 30 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|