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Shamus Stream

By Shamus
on Wednesday Feb 28, 2018
Filed under:


Due to quasi-popular demand (and personal curiosity) I’m planning on doing some streaming. I’ve never done this before, so there are bound to be some problems. With that in mind, I’ll be doing a little test stream tonight to figure out how to use the software and get the bugs worked out.

Here, this should give you an idea of what you’re in for:

Yup. A stream of GTA V.

Yup. A stream of GTA V.

I’ll be playing Grand Theft Auto V. Well, not so much playing as wandering around, commenting on the technology, and poking at bits of the simulation to see how it responds.

I realize it’s just the nature of the medium, but it bugs me that I’m slack-faced in the image. I realize everyone does this and it’s nothing abnormal, but it feels abnormal to me.

Yes, that is the face we make when we play a videogame. But that’s not the face we use when talking to people. When we’re talking to people we make eye contact and adopt some facial expression. Even if you’re talking to a large group of people, you keep your face expressive.

But when it’s only a camera watching you, the entire social thing collapses and most of us revert to our unflattering “staring at the television” face, which isn’t very welcoming. That’s the face of someone who is tuning you out because they’re not interested in what you have to say.

This is probably only a big deal to old-timers like me. Or maybe just me. I dunno.

Anyway. I’ll be streaming at 6pm tonight, eastern time. That works out to 11pm GMT. Again, this is just a test stream.

When I go live, it’ll be on my Twitch page. I’ll announce here and on Twitter when I go live.

EDIT: That was fun. Thanks for watching. I’ll upload the VOD to YouTube for those that missed it.

I don’t know if I’ll make this a regular thing, but we will be doing it again.

Comments (63)

  1. Ravens Cry says:

    Hmm, this explains Elder Scrolls characters. They’re all playing video games or watching a TV.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well, not so much playing as wandering around, commenting on the technology, and poking at bits of the simulation to see how it responds.

    Do the TotalBiscuit.Lick the walls,sniff those textures in real good.Very few streamers are brave enough to attempt it,but I believe you have the skills to execute it.

  3. Joshua says:

    Well, apparently a friend of mine has made a few thousand dollars in a couple of months from people watching streams of her playing computer games. Good luck to you!

  4. Nimrandir says:

    Now I want to put a camera on myself while I play a game, because I’d put money on my face usually featuring one of the following:
    1.) Me biting my lip;
    b.) Me biting my tongue;
    iii.) Me squinting at text on my TV screen.

    Of course, I also tend to move around quite a bit due to excess nervous energy. I actually tore a muscle in my calf during a particularly intense Skyrim session last summer.

  5. Savage Wombat says:

    You should put on sunglasses or something. Of course, you’d have to be able to see the screen wearing them.

  6. Syal says:

    When we’re talking to people we make eye contact and adopt some facial expression.

    …yes. We all do that.

    For sure.

    …eye contact and facial expressions.


  7. Cilvre says:

    I stopped sharing video because i dont often have great expressions, but i can be chatty if i am reading comments or playing coop, so those i feel make better streams for me.

  8. baud says:

    Or maybe turn of the camera? I don’t watch streams, so maybe it’s an horrible idea. It would remove one problem, but you then would have to talk non-stop or near non-stop.

  9. Lanthanide says:

    Never having played GTA V, when I saw the screenshot with the back of the characters head, I was wondering if Shamus was going to do a real-life vlog of walking around his town, like he did that Google Maps tour a few months ago.

    I guess the palm trees don’t suit Pennsylvania (that’s where he lives right?) though.

  10. Joe says:

    I watch a few streams and LPs. You don’t need to show your face if you don’t want to, there aren’t any rules and I mostly try to ignore faces anyway. It takes away from the actual content, I feel.

  11. If you are streaming with a camera pointing at you, you probably should put high priority on the lighting. That will give you the most photogenic bang for your buck. You could also reduce the size of the PIP window if you’re feeling self conscious? And play with the camera angle. #1 is get some good lighting though or you’ll be all green/red with weird shadows like in that picture :)

    • Zak McKracken says:

      For example: Put a floor uplighter (is that what you guys call those lamps which are aimed at the ceiling?) on your left and a little in front of yourself, so you get some soft light from the top right corner of the image, and the light from the monitor becomes less noticeable. Then adjust the white balance until you don’t look like a Simpsons character :)

      …actually, do we need a picture at all? It’s only useful if you actually plan to use your face to express things. In that case, I think the camera should be as directly in front of you as you can put it, and you should deliberately look into it and talk to it sometimes. Otherwise it’s not really adding anything. Speaking from the experience of your previous streams and Spoiler warnings, I think just your voice would also be just fine.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        …and now I realize what the date on this was and that the stream has already happened. After watching a bit: Yep, I think the camera does add something to the stream. But better lighting would still be useful. Right now, the colour of your face is mostly determined by what’s on the monitor. And although I think the coloured lights in the background look nice, white balance is a game of chance with such light.
        I’d still recommend some soft, white light source for your face, somewhere outside the top left corner of your field of vision.

  12. DGM says:

    You could always turn off the camera and/or have a co-commenter to talk to.

  13. Paul Spooner says:

    You said “It’s just an hour of screwing around in GTA5” but you forgot that you were providing running verisimilitude commentary, technical observations, dry witticisms, and unguarded delight.

  14. Mako says:

    It was super good! Chilled out and engaging, and you really made sure to interact with the chat, which is probably the most important thing in streaming. I’d love to see more Shamecast :) .

  15. Cordance says:

    Googly eyes. Put googly eyes on or just above the camera and you will instantly start treating it as more of a person. If you want to get really fancy get a sheet of cardboard and draw a face and put the camera in a hole for the nose.
    It is amazing how just a simple thing will change how you act there are lots of studies on eyes being in a situation and how it changes peoples behavior,

  16. KaliFortuna says:

    Literally arrived in stream in time to hear “bye”. Sad panda :(

  17. Drathnoxis says:

    Face cam? Ew.
    I hate face cams. Makes it look like you’re an attention whore.

    • Rosseloh says:

      At least I’m not the only one. I dislike streamers in general (unless they’re actually entertaining to watch, like Shamus!), but facecams make everything worse.

      I remember one streamer a coworker was watching was EATING HIS LUNCH on stream. No games, no commentary. Just a middle-aged dude in his chair, eating, with people watching him do it. It was stupid.

  18. Christopher says:

    I only caught half an hour, but this was fun. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve even seen your face live on camera. You should do some more now and then! Me thinking they’re fun aside, it’s probably the easiest way to get some video content out there without spending hours editing the thing. Plenty of people I followed on youtube have turned to Twitch because it’s just more comfortable for them.

  19. Loved the ‘Live Game Programmer/Journalist how does this even work Q&A’.. Most players just play the game for ‘skill’ or ‘luls’.. Some people have ‘how it works’ dissections which are highly produced technical pieces on youtube, but not many do live commentary on the subject..

  20. Joe says:

    Will you put it on YT afterwards? I can’t seem to make Twitch work, even after the fact.

  21. The Rocketeer says:

    Why’s there a picture of Johnny Depp in that screenshot

  22. This was great! I’m glad you decided to try it. Articles are cool and all, but its also nice to hear your thoughts on the game in this casual, unfiltered manner.

    And don’t worry about the “Well its just me goofing around I don’t know if anybody would wanna watch that”. You do realize that’s what most of twitch is right? :D Its kind of like just hanging out with somebody that you find interesting or getting to watch and interact with your favorite “internet celebrity” persons.

    So hope you do more of these cuz Im sure gonna watch’em!

  23. MichaelG says:

    Missed the show, but in our video chats as well as that screen sample, your lighting is too harsh. Add some room lighting at least! Or zombie makeup… :-)

  24. Zak McKracken says:

    Completely OT: It seems like your site does not use https with the new host — would very much appreciate if you could bring that back!

  25. Mintskittle says:

    Are you gonna put the stream up on youtube? For whatever reason, I just cant get twitch to smoothly stream video to me. It keeps hitching every couple seconds, and that’s no way to watch video.

  26. Ultrapotassium says:

    Watched it just now. You have a unique view on games that I enjoy listening to. 10/10, would definitely watch again, live or not.

  27. Joe says:

    Thanks for putting it on YT. It was good fun!

  28. Dreadjaws says:

    Did you already put it on Youtube? If so, where’s the link? I missed the stream.

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