With all the interest in the game table, we decided to broadcast our games live on the net using the ustream.tv site. We have done this five times so far. The first few times was weird and mostly there to let people watch, but once the game got started we ignored the camera. We had a number of users visit the room, make a comment or two and leave as there really wasn’t much to see. Just a bunch of geeks sitting around a table playing D&D.
However, on Friday, I repositioned the camera to give it a top down view of the map surface. I also pulled a laptop to the table to allow me to read/respond to chat and tweets in real-time. These two things made our 5th show much more interactive and engaging for the viewers. We had three viewers that watched most of the show. An old friend of mine from high-school, Matt Lysne. A nice gentleman from Wales that goes by “John Dent”. And finally AsmodeusLore, one of the moderators on the WotC forums.
The users seemed very entertained and also provide some great comments to the game. Also, if we had issues that needed looking up, the viewers could go look them up while we continued on! This is very cool and almost symbiotic in nature.
So, where do we go from there? Well I have a few ideas that I hope to use to improve the experience. Here are ideas that I already have solutions for:
- Broadcast the actual desktop/map surface (not using a low-res camera!) This will give the viewers a clear view of the map surface.
- Add a PIP window to the lower left area of the screen that shows the webcam view of us around the table. This allows the viewers to also see what we are doing. We can probably swap the feeds when we are in role play portions of the game.
- Have Q/A sessions during breaks
- Give shout-outs
Here are ideas that we may consider in the future:
- Find a way to put the chat room on a TV screen so all players can read chat.
- Try adding a remote player (this may take some time to work out the details).
However, this is really an evolving project and I’m open to suggestions! If you have any ideas, contact me at: Tyren