If you’ve been following this resource for a while, you’ll know that problem solving is very important to me. There have been several entries in which I’ve explored the process of fixing all kinds of problems that might arise on a Twitch stream, from large-scale overhauls and little visual glitches to interpersonal communication issues and channel branding. Staying on top of all these things will really raise the level of professionalism on a Twitch broadcast over time. Then in entries like Revising Your Streams From the Ground Up, I explored another concept: it’s just as important to change things when problems don’t present themselves. Sometimes things are going fine, but you want to try something new. Maybe there’s an issue that you never would have considered an issue, without hearing from someone else. Either way, just because there are no technical or logistical problems that you can see, doesn’t mean your channel is as good as it can possibly be. When you stay inquisitive, you’ll discover all sorts of things that can improve.
➢ TRYING THINGS OUT
➢ UP, UP, AND AWAY
|The God of War games were already great, but|
changing them anyway made them even better.
The first of these involved my ‘away’ screen. As I’ve mentioned in earlier entries, a selection of my channel clips plays while I’m away from my computer, so there’s something to watch while the show is on a break. When I first introduced the feature, I’d cut to a break, where those clips would play inside a little television on screen, next to text that said, “Stay Tuned!” To me, there were more than enough visual cues within this scene to communicate to viewers that I was away from the computer, and the show would be right back. But after a while, I started to notice that people in chat would talk to the clips, thinking that they were watching me live. This phenomenon was totally confusing to me, because every 20-30 seconds, the clip would change, where I was playing a different game, wearing a different shirt, talking about something totally different. However, all those context clues didn’t stop people from getting confused.
➢ LOST IN TRANSLATION
|Japanese can be fun!|
After this, even though the streams were going quite well, and I was learning much faster than before, I received a message that brought those shows into a new perspective. One viewer pointed out that it would help others who weren’t at the same level as myself, if I could introduce some way to translate what I’m saying back into English. I immediately took to this idea, and after a few weeks of experimenting with different solutions, I found a bot that could hear Japanese speech, immediately write it in Japanese, and then Google Translate that Japanese writing back into English, all on its own. It wasn’t accurate all the time (both due to my Americanized dialect and the woes of Google Translate in general) but it was still shockingly effective. I then designed the Japanese streams to show both the Japanese and English transcriptions on screen while I spoke, so viewers of all levels could enjoy the shows. Even viewers who exclusively spoke English were able to interact and chat with me while I exclusively spoke in Japanese, thanks to the text translation. This feature didn’t impede the way I learned, and it made those shows much more accessible to everyone. And in this case, I hadn’t even seen the language barrier as a problem (nor did I know the live-translation technology existed) before a viewer gave me that suggestion.