How To Start Your Twitch Journey

On Twitch, you can stream your favorite retro games without any problem. If you are new to this platform, we suggest that you consider a few helpful tips before starting a channel. So, what are you waiting for? Read to know more.

1. Internet Speed

If you no Fiber connection, no problem. All you need is a 5Mbps ADSL connection that supports a minimum of 720p recording for a modem or router. As a new streamer, we suggest that you stream at 1800kbps, which is the bare minimum. Actually, the problem is that if you are not a Twitch Partner, you have to be in the list of top 10% Streamers.

2. Microphone

As far as streaming on Twitch goes, having a good microphone is a must. What you need is a good quality microphone that comes with noise cancellation. If you are looking for a wireless device, make sure that it won’t interfere with other wireless devices like your mouse or WiFi. Therefore, we suggest that you use a wired connection.

3. Webcam

Most people like streams with webcams. Actually, Twitch allows you to take a shot with an interval of a few seconds and show it as your stream thumbnail. So, the users will be most likely to click on your thumbnail and check out your stream. As a matter of fact, the thumbnail acts like a first impression and you know that the first impression is very important. So, investing in a good webcam is a great idea.

4. Overlay

If you don’t know, overlay refers to information that is sent to you for a glance. Some people opt for OBS, but you can also check out some paid alternatives like XSplit. You can create an Art Overly around the OBS, such as designing for the cam, donation alert and so on. However, make sure you take into account the DotA game resolution. With the right overlay, your scene will become more lively. They won’t be boring.

5. Games

You can’t compete with big streamers. Therefore, don’t think about popular games. Actually, for better rank on Twitch, you have to be among those who have the most viewers. In the beginning, you may want to give a go to a game that was released a long time ago. You can check out free games first.

6. Channel Moderation Bot.

You may have noticed that channels have moderation bots too. You may want to have them too. All you have to do is visit bot channels and then send an invitation to it. Once moded, it will start moderating your chat. Once you have sent an invitation, you should sign into your account. These mods will keep spams and unwanted links away from your channel.

7. Get A Team Mate.

Ideally, you may want to use Discord, not Skype. The reason is that it won’t consume a l of your system and bandwidth resources. The app is free to use. You can then talk to your teammate on Discord.

Hope you will find these tips helpful.

Trying Google Cardboard Headset

The Google cardboard headset is sort of a do it yourself kit that has been introduced in the year 2014 by Google. The kit has been sold by Google recently through its play store. It is available for $15 and is easy to get assembled to resemble a headset of virtual reality. It is a simple viewer technically, mainly because it is easy to use and is a standalone device. It requires iOS or an android phone to gather its display and processing power. It is also simple to be used, once the cardboard kit is being delivered, users would have to simply fold it, slot it in the phone so as to explore a variety of cardboard games. This virtual reality or a VR box is available both at Apple’s App store and Google play store and it is now possible to try the basic VR demos free through the Google cardboard app for both iOS and Android. The setting of the cardboard is to be managed through the cardboard app.

VR box overview: The VR box is a solid plastic version of the Google cardboard headset featured with completely adjustable eye lenses.

Lenses: the lenses look just as children’s binoculars and it is possible to adjust their position in the dimensions, depth and width depending on the video or the application. Every application on the Google cardboard features a different field of view and users might have to adjust the headset for different applications.

Comfort: These headsets are to get rammed against one’s face hard and thus are required to be comfortable. The VR box feels so comfortable compared to the original cardboard headset and if needed additional padding could be used in the surrounding area for those with a ridge nose.

Phone holder: The phone holder has padding on both its sides where the phone gets held in place. The holder has holes on both its sides to allow the user to add charger and headphones, so that when the device is in use, there would not be many disturbances to with power and user could get immersed in the VR box much longer. The slider fixes into the headset with a click and it does not slide out on its own. The VR holder has a line marker to help users center the phone and thus offers a high quality to the set with nil clumsiness.

More than playing games, the headset works wonders in watching movies. Users have found it stunning to watch 3D movies with the set, which is much, much better than the cardboard set. The head strap is absolutely comfortable and the padding around the eyes helps to use the set for long hours in watching movies.

All About Dark Souls

First, I’ve got the Platinum on both Scholar of the First Sin and Dark Souls 3. Okay, that last part is a lie. I still need Master of Miracles for Dark Souls 3 (grinding out the Concord Kepts from the Silver Knights in Anor Londo… ) But still, I’ve been through both games more times than I can count.

So how hard is it? Average. Dark Souls has this reputation for being difficult, but I don’t think it is. Yes, enemies hit hard. But so do you.

There are no “bullet sponges” here. They hit you for half your health bar? Guess what, you can hit them back for almost the same. You’ll die a lot, and unlike many other games, there isn’t an overly generous checkpoint system.

But know this: My kid (with some SunBro assistance from me) beat Dark Souls 2 -including DLC – when he was 11. He just finished Dark Souls 3 last weekend. He’s 13.

That said, after hundreds of hours poured into Dark Souls 3, here is my brief review.

Lets start with the negative stuff first:

The Poise system is badly designed (there is, last I checked, a belief among the community that the Poise system in fact doesn’t function at all. There is supposedly code in the game that would allow for a functional Poise system, but it was removed or ‘switched off’ before release. The developers, to my knowledge deny this, which is fine. But then it means they handled the mechanic really, really poorly.)

“It’s working as intended.” Then you intended it to work badly…

What is Poise, and why does it matter?

Every time you hit an enemy, you have a chance, depending on their Poise and your weapon, to interrupt their movement (preventing them from dodging, running, rolling, and most importantly – attacking.)

This is called staggering. The movement is interrupted and they get hit. A staggered enemy is a helpless enemy. A dead enemy.

This system applies to you as well as the enemies in game.

How Poise used to work: In past Dark Souls games you could wear armor that would raise your poise, making it more difficult to stagger you and disrupt your attacks.

How it works now: It doesn’t. Any enemy can interrupt most any attack with any weapon you use.

At first that might not seem so bad, until you get to the second mistake of Dark Souls 3 – and possibly my biggest complaint with the game.

Absolutely every enemy attacks faster than you can (and has longer reach), no matter what weapon you are using. They have a greatsword the size of a house? The can initiate an attack with that faster than you can stab with a dagger. Their dagger? Will hit you while your greatsword whiffs the air in front of their face.

So, if you’re the kind of player that likes to trade hits with enemies… you will ALWAYS be staggered.

Your only option now is to dodge out of the way of everything, all the time. And that’s fine. If that’s the playstyle you want to choose. People have been doing it that way since Demon Souls. But there was always a choice.

I like to be a fast-rolling ninja. But there are also times when I get sick and tired of this game’s crap and want to throw on some heavy armor, pull out a flaming ultra greatsword, and go to town!

In the past, you could choose heavy armor, and a greatsword, and exchange hits with an enemy. Yes it would hurt you, but you would hurt them more. An entirely viable playstyle that no longer works.

And fine. That’s how this game is supposedly designed. But the claim that Dark Souls has such a deep combat system? I don’t think that’s true with this installment.

For a game that is in large part based on combat… That’s a pretty big step back.

One more complaint:

The covenant system. This is no big deal if you’re not a trophy hunter. It’s entirely possible to play the game the entire way through and enjoy it without ever messing with the majority of covenants.

But if you’re after the Platinum trophy? Get ready to grind. A lot. Because while the multiplayer system has been improved over games of the past, there’s still a couple broken covenants that will require either a LOT of sitting around waiting to be summoned, or grinding. Expect an average of 6 hours killing the same enemies over and over and over and over and over and over…

(I’m looking at YOU Blades of the Darkmoon… )

OK, so what’s good?

Pretty much everything else.

The environments are beautiful, and fun to explore. I can’t think of a single area where I arrived and went “UGH. This again.” (In the first Dark Souls, I found pretty much everything after Sen’s Fortress to be cheap and tedious.)

The weapons and armor, everything really, looks amazing.

There is plenty of enemy variation, and they make sense for the environments in which they are found.

Multiplayer is always open to opinion. I think it’s fairly balanced if you play smart. Others will disagree. If you’re a whiner and don’t like being outnumbered when you invade, you won’t be thrilled with how Dark Souls 3 handles things.

Matchmaking is much improved. You can co-op with your friends easily this time around thanks to password matchmaking.

Finally, one of my favorite improvements: For the first time ever, all armor sets are useful! You no longer need to upgrade them. And they are ALL functional. The majority of weapons are viable as well.

The developers have given you an incredible armory to choose from, and it all works. Even the poorer weapons are adequate for handling in game enemies.

Bottom line: Is it fun? Yes. Is it frustrating? Somewhat often. Is it worth buying? Yes. Are there other games like it that are better? No.

Do I harbor resentment towards the developers? A bit!

If I were to score it, I’d start with a 10 for all the amazing things this game gets right. Then I’d take away 3 points for the broken combat and settle around a 7. Yes, this game has a whole lot going for it. But you’re gonna have to put up with some unnecessary (in my opinion) frustration to enjoy it.

Ethics In Video Games

In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “A Matter of Time,” Rasmussen, a time-traveling historian from the future, visits the Starship Enterprise. His goal is to relive the Enterprise’s “history-changing” attempts to help a dying planet full of innocent lives, but he is bound by a moral code that forbids him from revealing the outcome of the ship’s efforts to its crew.

In a critical moment, Geordi LaForge, the engineer of the Enterprise, asks Captain Picard if he can remain on the planet to help guide the recovery attempt. Picard turns to look at Rasmussen, who knows whether Picard’s trusted officer and close friend will die because of his decision. Picard reluctantly gives LaForge permission to help, while Rasmussen smiles, casually intrigued, and comments to himself, “LaForge remained below.”

Upon hearing Rasmussen’s line, I was immediately reminded of a certain type of YouTube video title. “Mass Effect: Ashley stays behind,” “Mass Effect 3: The Quarians Loose,” and “Infamous 2: Zeke Dies” are all examples. Similar to Rasmussen’s statement, all of these titles give brief, after-the-fact labels to video game choices that, in the moment, are meant to have emotional and moral impact.

The moral problem Picard faces in “A Matter of Time” can be paralleled with video game morality in more ways than one. The best place to start is a scene where Picard calls Rasmussen to his personal office. He is presented with a decision not unlike the moral choices in many story-driven games:

“I imagine you know why I’ve asked you here.”

“Yeah, I have a fairly good idea,” responds Rasmussen.

“I’m faced with a dilemma. There is a planet beneath us which is slowly turning to ice, and unless we do something about it, I’m told that in a matter of weeks, thousands, maybe tens of thousands, will die.”

“So, what’s your dilemma?”

“Commander La Forge has a possible solution. The margins of error are extremely critical, but if successful, there’ll be no more threat.”

“And if it’s not successful?”

“Every living thing on the planet will perish.”

“So do nothing and thousands will die. Do something and millions could die. That’s a tough choice.”

“Not if you were to help me.”

Consider Picard’s request as an analogue to the moment when an RPG player faces a choice that could cause the death of his favorite character. Fearing this, he goes to YouTube or a wiki guide to find a way to keep the character alive. The scene addresses this urge as it continues:

“There are twenty million lives down there, and you know what happened to them. What will happen to them,” Picard emphasizes.

Rasmussen pauses for a moment, then responds, “And why did you ask to see me?”

“Because your presence gives me potential access to a kind of information that I’ve never had available to me before.”

The “kind of information” that Picard refers to is knowledge of the path that directly connects his actions to their outcomes. Only Rasmussen can see this path, but his presence means that it exists.

In many video games, developers create a system that determines exactly how player choices lead to outcomes. Whether the player directly sees it or not, it is out there somewhere, transcribed in an online guide, or hidden deep in the game’s code.

In either case, the mere presence of this knowledge transforms choices into acts of self-denial. When an established, simple system for determining the best decisions exists, making moral choices based solely on personal feelings and opinions becomes illogical. Regardless of the strength of the player’s convictions or confidence, the system will work as it was designed, and one option will always lead to the same outcome.

In “A Matter of Time,” Picard faces the same issue. As he states, “I have two choices, but either way, one version of history or another will wend its way forward.” Picard realizes that with knowledge of fate essentially accessible, the only “right thing to do” is to choose the best outcome for the planet, and to guide his decisions by picking apart the path leading to it. Picard explains to Rasmussen, “I must take advantage of every possible asset. It would be irresponsible of me not to ask you here.”

As long as a process for directly connecting choices to results exists, people’s thoughts will always be tempted to wander in the direction of figuring out the process, towards second-guessing their instincts in order to decide the best fate for their personal world.

Rasmussen’s next reaction reveals the problem with this line of thinking. Put off by Picard’s request, he responds “We’re not just talking about a choice. It sounds to me like you’re trying to manipulate the future.”

This is the main message of “A Matter of Time.” There is a difference between choosing and manipulating. Even though there is a path that connects a person’s choices to their outcomes, it can only be seen from the future. In the present, human perception is far too limited to imagine every possible factor that could affect a decision. “Making a choice” describes a moment where, amidst this chaos and uncertainty, we place significance on our actions. Only because there is no way to determine how our choices fit into fate can we confidently focus on our own opinions, feelings, and consciences when making them.

After Rasmussen refuses to help, Picard describes this more personal morality: “By refusing to assist me, you left me with the same choice I had to began with. To try or not to try, to take a risk or to play it safe. Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is. And because I’ve never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.”

The right to choose does not come from having complete control over the future. It depends on uncertainty. Whether by creating random, uncontrollable factors that influence a choice’s outcome, or by not showing the precise outcome of every choice, developers can break the path that connects choices to outcomes. As Picard states, it is the lack of complete control that gives choices their beauty.

Thank you for reading my article.