Choice of Games Twitch Streams

We’ve recently been considering new systems for reader engagement, and are currently planning on making a official Choice of Games Twitch channel where we (that is, we the CoG team), authors, and some of our most prolific users can stream readings of our games. If you’re interested in this, we’ve got a few polls that may help us in figuring out exactly what we’ll be implementing. (Obviously this goes without saying, but this is just collecting information at this point, we’d still have to check this information against the feasibility of doing certain things.)

Would you tune in?

  • Absolutely! I’d subscribe to a CoG channel on Twitch.
  • Probably. I’d catch it if I can remember, or watch it later.
  • I’d only watch if I can catch it live (i.e. depends on the schedule)
  • I wouldn’t watch a live stream, but I would watch a recording.
  • Yes, but only if… (Comment below)
  • No, I’m not interested.

0 voters

How often/when/how long would you like to see streams?

  • An hour every weekday.
  • A couple of hours every few weekdays. (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  • Long (3 or 4 hour) end of the week streams. (Fridays)
  • Weekends.
  • Monthly.

0 voters

Who would you be most interested in seeing reading?

  • Choice of Games staff.
  • Game authors.
  • Community members.

0 voters

4 Likes

Definitely up for it.
Maybe post the question/link here on twitter too?

Hah! I knew it was a good idea. :smile:

I believe I first suggested it here:

1 Like

Only if the reader does different voices for characters! :smile:

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To me, “Twitch Plays Pokémon” proved the potential of collective Gameplay, but can the same be applied to Storytelling? Can a large group of spectators be engaged at the same time by the same plot within the same game? We know that there are people who stream pen & paper RPGs, but how much of their views come from the fact that these people have established themselves as personalities in the medium already?

I believe that one way to make the story “connect” is to let the audience provide the input as to which choice should be picked, preferably by automatic voting so as to not to create a scenario in which the “Game Master” has to deviate from narrative in order to count the votes or read everyone’s opinion on the matter.

And yes, people on the chat SHOULD be writing their opinions. They should be debating the choices and advocating as to why Option B is better than A, trying to muster voters for their cause and even bringing people from outside of twitch into the stream because they need more voters for Option B.

People love picking sides, and that is why I think that High-Polarizing Choices would be the way to go. It might be the case that a IF designed from the start with the “twitch audience” in mind(low attention span, high chat activity, tendency for collective mentality) would prove to be a good approach, but I don’t think that creating a game from the scratch is even being considered here.(I think it should! XD)

Regardless, for better chances of going viral, I think the games chosen for streaming should be ones where the choices are simple to understand yet hard to make, with eminent consequences where people can say “I told you so” not long after.

Also, if visibility is the goal, it might be the case to consider to approach some famous streamer to play ChoiceScript games. It’s one of the best ways to let people know about games nowadays.

7 Likes

I love this idea! I love reading aloud in group settings; I actually took some courses in it and do dramatic readings publicly from time to time. And I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, radio dramas, et al. I’d love to listen (or participate in reading, if the opportunity came up!).

Also, I really enjoyed watching @Lglasser’s streaming of the CS Comp games from last year. I thought it was a great way to experience a CS game and discuss it in more detail than is usually possible—especially since everyone sees that one particular storyline, which of course isn’t usually the case. Plus then you can contrast with individual storylines for those who’ve already played through a few times.

I’m excited this is a possibility!

3 Likes

I can almost already see your post in the Professional Services category with a link to a few readings as a portfolio, offering voiceover / reading services for hire. :star_struck:

1 Like

Increased viewer involvement would be great, yeah. I would definitely try to catch it live if that was a thing.

I think it would also be nice to see an author play their own game, and comment on it in a behind-the-scenes way to get an idea on their inspirations and such. It would also be great to see another CoG author play someone else’s game, of course. Say Cataphrak trying out The Eagle’s Heir, for example.

Great idea overall!

4 Likes

I’d like to add that super-verbose story might not be the best story to stream, especially when someone reads it to the audience. That being saiiddd… a story written specifically for a livestream sounds fun :grimacing:

And while I’m at it, I’ll put a video at here to give you guys some insight on how does a CYOA/IF livestream looks like.


Trigger warning: lots of keks and tongue-cheek jokes

3 Likes

Most of the stories are just so long. If the reader stops, even for 30 seconds per choice, to wait for some sort of live feed choice vote tabulation thing, it will stretch it out even more. If the reader adds analysis or additional stream-of-consciousness commentary, it will stretch out even more.

But without viewer voting, and without an entertaining reader who adds their own views from time to time, it could get really boring really fast.

Seems tricky to balance “Entertainment” versus “Viewer Involvement” versus “Actually Finishing the Reading.”

This YouTuber read ALL of CCH1 and it took a looooooong time. Over 24 videos. And I thought he was pretty darn entertaining too but it took over 10 hours, and in today’s world, who has time to watch all of those? Even I didn’t! (although I watched quite a few of them). Other stories are much longer! I can’t imagine how long it would take to read them out loud.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=GoatzeatCarrots&qft=+Filterui%3Auserpage-ucuxaadhonjtm_v_nbxcy7xq&view=detail&mid=7BCF28EA66A4C39331AD7BCF28EA66A4C39331AD&FORM=VRDGAR

@Szaal, and I agree with you about perhaps developing stories specifically designed for online readings. Like a short story where the reader would encounter about 2,500 words (and about 10 choices) would be PERFECT for a Twitch reading. It might even build buzz with the CoG fanbase if they could hear new short stories exclusive to Twitch!

And it would make it actually doable; something the viewer could take part in and enjoy in less than an hour!

EDITED TO ADD: And CoG could even invite authors to submit short stories (that could probably be designed/written in a few weeks). CoG would benefit from exclusive Twitch content, and authors would benefit from the exposure and getting to read their short stories on Twitch. A win/win!

10 Likes

You’re right, it kind of lends itself to short or episode type choice games (Like Starship adventures or Lost in the pages) where a single episode can be completed in a relatively short amount of time and is contained all by itself. I kind of agree, most choice games would take hours to go through with the stops for voting. I noticed the one posted above went for 2 hours and was stopped unfinished.

4 Likes

I thought about this some time ago- having some sort of Youtube channel or something dedicated to doing “Let’s Plays” ( or maybe “Let’s Reads”?) soley for CoGs and HGs. I would be more than happy to see that become an actual thing.

Speaking of, @Szaal, nice link. I didn’t really know things like that actually happened. I’m gonna need to do a bit of searching around Youtube for more…

A thought on how to limit the length of these videos without completely throwing viewer participation out the window, though, is simply to eliminate having the crowd vote for the options. The reader could simply play as a pre-planned MC, and instead the viewer participation would focus mainly on the discourse, jokes, and commentaries between the reader and the viewer.

I guess this might alienate the people that enjoy voting, but I thought this might be a workable compromise?

I think in the end there are two approaches to this:

The “comfy” approach: A channel where people can just sit back, relax and enjoy narrative being played out in front of them. The obvious setback is the fact that the linearity of the tale might alienate those who weren’t there from the start, hence the suggestions to either use something short/create stories just for the occasion.

The “edgy” approach: A channel where people can have a direct impact on the story, that promotes user engagement and collective decision making.

(And yes, you can obviously take elements from each of them and make something different)

We’re dealing with assumptions here, but I personally would rather play the second option than watch the first, and I think that’s true for the majority of people out there. Still, I don’t undermine the value a “comfy” approach could have, with a good community centered around it. I just think the other option is more fun and “marketable”.

Some people narrating text games without the players having a say might not call for as much attention as "INTERACTIVE FICTION COMPANY PROMOTES MIX OF “CYOA” AND "TWITCH PLAYS POKÉMON “AND YOU HAVE TO PLAY OR MELISSA WILL MARRY ADAM” Buzzfeed-like headline.

Also, I hate the kind of ideas that just demand a lot of work from people who didn’t exactly asked for those suggestions in the first place, but we have a community of creative people here and I think those things are worth it, so I’ll allow myself to go wild:

1 - Twitch-Specific Content:

I mentioned that there are some generalizations that can be done when describing the twitch audience, and I think they are true. A small game that tries to plays on those elements could be a good thing. This could be applied, for example, on a game about “species building”, similar to Spore.

Imagine a pool of playings crafting the story of an organism evolving across millions of years through a sequence of decisions based on things like feeding behaviour, habitat and interactions with other species. What kind of evolutionary traits would come up based on their decisions on things like feeding behaviour and habitat? What kind of species would evolve from that? What conflicts would arise in its struggle for survival?

But things don’t have to be so weird. Small and simple narratives about someone doing something somewhere could be just as compelling, if not more. What matters, IMHO, is projecting the sense of shared experience, of being part of something that is unfolding.

Players will care about something if they are part of it, especially if they are doing it collectively. Integration is the key in this platform. There are ways to do that using commands from the chat, donation buttons votes, etc.

2 - Revenue from Game Sales/Using Popular Streamers:

I think that’s one of the best counter argument that can be made against new IPs being created for Twitch(Point 1), but It’s a valid point nonetheless. When you play something, you can sell it through Twitch, basically. I don’t think that is true to all games and all platforms of sales yet, but it might be one day.

I’m mentioning it because I think that eCelebrities are really the best way to promote “small” games nowadays, and there might be some popular streamer out there who would certainly like some type of deal to play CoG games for 5% of each sale through Twitch. And those people are really the best way to promote a game on Twitch without having to deal with all the logistics of streaming constantly.

7 Likes