Making a Q&A livestream for the first time in Ten Square Games’ history

Livestreams are pretty prevalent in the gaming industry, however they are mostly made by amateurs who play console or PC games. I realized that this format could be used in the mobile games market and decided to conduct the first Q&A livestream session with one of the Fishing Clash game designers. I’ll talk about the process of how this became a thing, what I used to prepare the stream and how did it go.

It wasn’t a good month

Fishing Clash, although a decent game in its own rights, is surprisingly complex. There’s a ton of modules in the code, which need to work well with other parts of the code. And, according to the great unwritten laws of game development – it will be riddled with bugs. While not really a big surprise, this became the main factor for the game’s community in February. Sure, the team has been working on fixes, but players, understandably, became extremely annoyed and the entire community started to either report bugs or attack us. It was kinda tough, especially for my colleagues from the support.

Such comments with a high number of likes are an obvious sign that something’s wrong.

This was one of the two reasons why I decided to make a livestream. The second simply stemed from my will to experiment and try new stuff.

Preparations

I’ve talked to the lead game designer at Fishing Clash about the idea and he got pretty excited. So excited, in fact, that after our first chat about the idea, he came afer about 10 minues with a lad I didn’t know at the time, telling me that he should be the person, who’s going to play the game during the livestream. It caught me offguard, so I decided to play it nice and cool and I set a meeting after a few days.

Piotr, the guy who was supposed to be the star of the livestream, turned out to be extremely nice and cooperative. He told me that he had performed a few times in improvised stand up comedy, which kind of made me believe in him more, since I wanted him to be spontaneous anyways. Such livestreams are pretty hard to direct, because they are pretty much entirely dependent on user-generated content.

I uploaded an announcement of the livestream on the 19th of February to our Facebook page. The post was met with a slightly higher than usual engagement and I considered it to be a good sign – people were showing interest.

Then, I started assembling all the assets I needed for the stream:

  • a webcam with a decent microphone,
  • two laptops,
  • an additional screen,
  • OBS (streaming software),
  • Bluestacks (software, which allows one to play Android games on a computer),
  • a free room,
  • a computer mouse,
  • a stable and quick Internet connection.

I downloaded Fishing Clash to Bluestacks, ran a test livestream, adjusted sound levels and did a ton of other small things. I also decided to introduce a limited time giftcode and to give 500 pearls to 3 lucky people during the stream.

Let’s get this thing going

24th of February, 3:30 PM – I went to the room in which the livestream was meant to be held in. Set up all the stuff, Piotr also came and I gave him some tips, like making sure, that his throat is staying hydrated, since he was going to pretty much constantly talk for about 2 hours.

The stream started at 4 PM and, despite some small technical mishaps, it went really well. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/FishingClashCommunity/videos/177387157019709/

Piotr can sometimes be seen looking to his left. I was sitting next to him, choosing interesting questions and delivering instructions on when to start the giveaways. Firstly, I was wispering to him, but some of our colleagues told us that I could be heard, so I turned my Google Docs on and started writing and showing him the screen of the second laptop.

Aftermath

The stream’s performance exceeded my expectations. At the moment of writing this blog post, the stream has accumulated:

  • the reach of 91654.
  • 29,9k clicks,
  • 10,1k comments, reactions and shares,
  • 18% engagement rate.

For comparison, here’s a post which I published last Friday and is doing decently:

  • the reach of 24567,
  • 5,5k clicks,
  • 700 comments, reactions and shares,
  • 17% engagement rate.
Here’s a screenshot of the metrics, to put things in a perspective.

The next day, I started analysing what could be done better and I realized that I could’ve used:

  • better hardware,
  • a stream overlay,
  • tripod for the camera,
  • set up my Google Docs on the second computer before the stream was started.
Conclusion

Some mobile games have the potential to be shown in the livestream format. Having a strong personality to narrate the gameplay and to interact with fans also doesn’t hurt. I believe this is not the last time we’re going to have a livestream in TSG.

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