Thinking of doing a live stream to gain traction for your game? Congratulations on making a smart marketing decision! Not only are live streams a great way to connect directly with your audience and build a dev-player relationship, it’s also an opportunity to answer burning questions.
But the thing is, it’s not enough to conduct a live stream. It needs to be a successful experience, meaning, it needs to meet your company goals, as well as the player goals. You want positive exposure, and they want a game they can look forward to.
So what are some ways in which you can guarantee success?
1) Don’t Be Stuffy
Think about it: you’re a professional game developer. You spend your days rendering things, looking over the dialogue or writing it yourself, maybe even programming. You’re used to being in front of your computer, knocking things off your to-do list, and handling team meetings.
Well, you can’t be that person during a live stream. While being professional is surely appreciated, it’s not necessary to be stuffy. Don’t forget to smile, laugh, crack a few easy jokes here and there, and genuinely have fun. This is your game after all. You get to play it and enjoy it, without having to worry about that neverending to-do list. Embrace the moment.
2) Prioritize Engagement
You know how you spend countless of hours in front of the computer each day? Well, chances are that with the exception of team meetings, you’re used to being alone. You’re accustomed to doing whatever it is you need to do, without having to actually dedicate any of your time to others.
To have a successful live stream, you can’t do this. Engagement is key, more than anything.
That means you need to monitor chat and answer any questions, explain the game concept, and showcase the different classes, weapons, mechanics, etc.. You are the middle man—or woman—between the players and the game itself during a live stream. And depending on whether they like what they see and hear, they will decide if it’s a game they want to support.
The more you engage the audience and make them a priority, the better you’ll answer questions. You might even get some new fans.
3) Use the Buddy System
Not to be a buzzkill, but not everyone has what it takes to lead a successful live stream. Some people just do better behind the scenes, you know, doing the work.
And that’s just fine. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
But to lead a successful live stream, you need to provide a more dynamic experience. And if you’re not the person to do that, then you need a buddy.
Cue the buddy system: the act of live streaming with someone else who is also on your team. Preferably someone who can be more dynamic and engaging, to sort of offset your seriousness.
You might be wondering why you shouldn’t just send in that person and stay out of the equation. Frankly, you could, but if you’re the one in charge of the project, then you might want to consider being there even just a few times. People will surely have questions and comments for you that they might not share with the other person on your team.
4) Best Face Forward
In the same vein as not being stuffy, successful live streamers are those who know when to call a spade a spade, meaning, you should only stream on a good day. If you had a few too many the night before, and you’re looking awful, don’t do it. If you’re exhausted from a long week and just need some quiet time, don’t do it. When something awful happens, like a breakup, don’t live stream.
Use common sense.
It might come off as rude to just outright cancel a live stream that you promised before, but it’s better than streaming and having the audience call you out for being painful to watch.
Instead, try to get a few of these things done before:
- Wash your face, pat it dry and ensure you don’t resemble death incarnate
- Groom (beard, hair, brush your teeth)
- Don’t dress like a bum: put on a button down shirt, or at least a nicer t-shirt
- Make sure it’s a good time (you won’t be interrupted)
- Never live stream on an off day (you’re depressed, tired, angry, etc.)
5) Practice, Practice, Practice
Finally, and we hate to say this, but not every developer is a master at his/her own game. A lot of the time, people get tacked onto game projects and they spend so much time working on it that they never sit down to actually play and enjoy it.
The unfortunate side of that is that when you don’t play your game, you wind up not being too great at it. And that’s not exactly something you want to showcase in a live stream. Suddenly, the focus is driven away from the game itself, because the audience is too busy pointing out what you’re doing wrong in your own game.
This can also fuel a fire. If your game launches and leaves much to be desired, players will refer back to the live stream to highlight just how little you knew about your own game. Can you hear it now? “Of course the game was awful, they had no idea what they were doing!”
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