Tips for Streaming Mapping

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Grizzly Berry, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Grizzly Berry

    aa Grizzly Berry

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    Streaming TF2 Mapping

    In this guide we won't be going over much technical information, as there are plenty of resources available for that sort of thing. What we'll be talking about is how to retain an audience. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to stream, but these are some suggestions that we believe will improve the quality of any channel.

    Perhaps the number one issue I noticed with last Jam’s streamers was the lack of talking. It is going to be very hard to hold a viewer’s attention with just mapping and music. Unless they are familiar with mapping (which the majority aren’t), they are unlikely to understand what’s going on and without your voice to explain, they will be lost and lose interest. Get a microphone. It doesn’t have to be top quality. It can be a gaming headset or a cheap Walmart mic, but get something. This is at the top of the list for things streamers need.

    Once you have your microphone set up, talk, even if nobody is watching. Especially if nobody is watching. It will be weird at first, but you’ll get used to it. Viewers are much more likely to stick around if someone is talking when they start watching. Explain what you’re doing, talk about your day, your favorite map, anything. Just talk. If you want to take it one step further, bring some energy to it. If mapping is your passion show that in your voice.

    Use your size to your advantage

    A lot of people can be discouraged due to a low view count, but instead of viewing it as a negative, use it to your advantage. One thing smaller channels have over larger channels is the ability to interact with viewers much more easily. Keep an eye on your chat, and be sure to reply to any questions people may have. Having multiple monitors makes it easy to see what’s happening, but if that’s not an option, the Twitch app for mobile devices also lets you access chat. If viewers show up to a stream and feel ignored, they are very likely to leave for a streamer who does address them.

    It’s important to showcase your personality to give viewers an idea of who you are. This can be done in a lot of different ways such as the music you listen to, your stream overlay, and talking with them, but perhaps the best way to show viewers who you are is to actually show them. A facecam is a great way to create a connection between the streamer and viewer. It makes the stream much more personal.

    Visual Quality
    One thing often overlooked when streaming is the visual quality of what you are showing. At it’s basic level, your bitrate is the first place to look. Give yourself a decent bitrate for your connection, without going overboard (which limits your audience to those with decent connections themselves.) The higher your bitrate, the better your stream will look in motion, but the more bandwidth it will take up. The lower it is, the harder it will be to understand what you are doing. Crash typically sets his bitrate at 2800kbps and Grizzly at 1800kbps. Look at their recent VODs on Twitch for an example, or experiment and see what works best for you.

    In addition to bitrate, you also want to present your work in a neat, easy to understand way. A bit more emphasis on the 3d view is important, as most viewers will be focusing on this window. Also be sure to turn on Texture Shaded mode to help them see your brushwork clearer.

    Another way to help up your streams quality is by using a custom overlay of sorts. Something to make your stream stand out and look a bit more produced. You can include relevant information such as current song playing, recent followers, or just some branding for yourself. Anything is better than just a boring shot of Hammer.

    Closing comments
    Streaming can be difficult, especially when done for long periods of time. Do your best to keep morale high. TF2 is a tight-knit community and larger streams typically send their viewers to others once they’re done for the day, so if they like what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you’ll see some of that. Oh, and make good maps. That helps too.


    This guide is by @Crash and @Grizzly Berry.

    Crash is a senior staff member at, has a YouTube channel dedicated to mapping, and is known for having made Glassworks, Probed, and Trainsawlaser. Grizzly is best known for his YouTube channel, and has also been a member of the mapping community since 2010. Combined they have over 8,000 followers on Twitch. |
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  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Something to add to this awesome guide: There are people who have used streaming as a way to cope with anxiety, panic and depression. Notably General Mittenz stands out the most, but if you google Streaming with Anxiety it you'll find a lot of people who have used it to varying results.

    Something to consider.
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  3. Grizzly Berry

    aa Grizzly Berry

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    Streaming can also help with public speaking and holding conversation with others. I've noticed my ability to form coherent sentences has improved a lot since streaming.
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