Guild of The Bumbling Rogue
The Death of a Streamer

11/29/2018 18:44:18

I just want to start this post by thanking all of the people who supported me with the stream. My wife Annette and my buddies Dave and Kelly are to be singled out. Without their support, the last two months of fun and games would not have been possible. Beyond that, that's right. My stream is officially dead and the purpose of this post is to explain why.

If I am being honest, I was on the verge of quitting before today. Streaming is an exceptionally lonely and thankless activity when you are starting out and mine was no different than the multitude of other would be streaming stars that have come and went over the years. What pushed me over the edge today is that things went horribly wrong with my setup due to a mishap involving my clumsiness, a beer and my HDMI capture card. Long story short: I opened a beer and sat it on the table close to my HDMI output splitter. It began to fizz and overflow seconds after I looked away and I was too slow to notice and/or react. By the time I realized what was happening, my HDMI output splitter was covered in sweet succulent beer. And hooo boy, let me tell ya: I could smell the electronics burning in that thing.

Well okay, no big deal, right? I did have a backup HDMI splitter which I was able to hook up immediately. Sadly that wasn't the extent of the damage. The HDMI capture card was no longer capturing either sound or video. It didn't even seem capable of staying powered consistently. Sure enough a quick smell check confirmed the worst: It too had been fried. The only good news here is that my secondary output, the monitor, got through this all unscathed.

Technically I could still stream. I used to make it work without the capture card of course. But honestly, I was already close to quitting as it was. Now you are probably wondering why, but don't wonder too long because I'm about to tell you why.

  1. Starting off as a streamer fucking sucks. The vast majority of my streams went out to cyberspace and were viewed by nobody. While this is expected, it sure does start to feel lonely to be gaming and talking to yourself as if you had an audience the whole time.

  2. Half the games I wanted to play, I couldn't. The reality is that streaming makes more sense with certain games. Games with lots of text that needs to be read need not apply. In addition games with exceptionally complicated mechanics (e.g. Caves of Qud) tended to confuse and baffle viewers rather than entertain them. I really wish this wasn't the case. Perhaps my experience here reflects more on my personal style than the nature of streaming itself. Nevertheless, this was a huge and ongoing disappointment for me.

  3. Most of the streamers I like to watch broadcast while I was broadcasting. So other than letting CohhCarnage run while I worked in the mornings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, I had effectively stopped watching Twitch streams myself. This might not have been quite so bad if Cohh's head hadn't been lodged up the ass of Bethesda for the last month or so, but either way not being able to watch my favorite streamers was really starting to annoy me. As for watching their VODs, I suppose that was an option but after streaming myself for four or five hours the last thing I really wanted to do was watch other streamers on Twitch.

  4. As a streamer I began to adopt byzantine hardware and software related rituals in an effort to minimize technical issues that prevented me from streaming as much. This one is a bit harder to explain so instead of trying to do so, I'll just give you an example: When I finished streaming, I would unplug the micro USB cable from the HDMI Output Splitter as leaving it plugged in over night would put my monitor and HDMI switch into a weird state that could only be resolved my powering down all the devices in the chain and bringing them back online one by one. As I quickly discovered: Streaming is a massive technical pain in the ass. I'd rather just game as it turns it that it is about 1000x easier to do.

So yeah my attempt at streaming has fallen flat on its face and I'm calling it quits. Nevertheless, I got a whole new appreciation for what streamers go through each and every day to put out content and I'll never look at any streamer the same again. Even a shitty streamer had to put in some real effort at some point as none of this is really all that easy.

If you are reading this, then I'd like to thank you for caring enough to do so. In addition I'd like to advise you to go and find your favorite streamer and if you haven't subbed to them, go ahead and do so. It's a far more difficult job than most people think and they all deserve your appreciation.

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