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It's stupidly hard to make a "Twitch Plays" anything
by Toby Lurio on 03/06/14 04:38:00 pm   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Twitch Plays is an interesting concept, but it's using terrible technology to do a seemingly simple process.

I and a couple team members tried to get a Twitch Plays game working yesterday. Suffice to say, it was a nightmare.

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First of all, the lag destroys everything. Twitch adds about 40 seconds of lag onto every stream (which was recently introduced to "improve video quality"). This is annoying in every stream, but also makes the game almost unplayable without many people in the chat room. You also can't put the same message repeatedly into Twitch, so it's ridiculous to even try it with few people.

image

Second of all, streaming games varies in ease from game to game. With simple 2D emulators, the only way to stream is to capture the window itself, which also capture windows on top of it, so you can't have it running in the background. The ultimate solution was to run the game on our Rift screen (my only other monitor).

image

The third problem was that in the Python script, the commands do not go directly into the emulator, but rather issue keyboard commands. So I cannot get actual work done while playing this game unless I want blog posts filled with "As" and "Bs". The script also tended to stop working every so often, so there was no way to know if it would work for more than a couple minutes.

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In short, if you want to make a "Twitch Plays", WAIT UNTIL A BETTER WAY COMES ALONG. The system in place actively works against the game and I'm sure there will be a better solution to this within the month.


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