Categories
Esports

5 Useful Twitch Tools That Deserve A Lot More Hype

Anyone who broadcasts live video will tell you that streaming ain’t easy. Aside from finding creative ways to capture and hold your audience’s attention, you also have to fiddle with a whole bunch of tedious technical stuff. It’s a lot of work to learn how to stream on Twitch successfully! Thanks to the explosive growth of the industry, though, there’s now a ton of virtual gadgets to help you grow your channel effectively. Apps, extensions, widgets, platforms; call ‘em what you want, these tools were designed with the serious streamer in mind.

Just a disclaimer: this week’s post isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill list of must-haves. Instead, I wanted to highlight some lesser-known Twitch tools that provide innovative solutions for all aspects of managing and marketing your channel. And not to sound clickbait-y, but you definitely haven’t heard of number one (yet).

#5 – Record Gorgeous Clips and Highlights with Shadowplay

GeForce Experience is a suite of streaming tools that serves as a companion app for PC gamers with Nvidia graphics cards. It takes the concept of Nvidia’s classic control panel a few steps further. For one, the GeForce Experience interface is much easier to use, and it has an array of timesaving features. Like Shadowplay, which can be set to run in the background and record 4K gameplay without screwing up your PC’s performance. There are social media integrations as well, so all it takes is a few clicks to share clips and highlights across your channels — you can even turn 15-second clips into gifs! It’s a fast and easy way to share high-quality videos and improve your social media presence.

#4 – Make Tweeting a Breeze with Kapsuli

Speaking of social media, we all know how useful Twitter is for marketing. A carefully chosen hashtag or a perfectly timed tweet can instantly boost your viewer count – but that comes at a cost: your time. Kapsuli, like many other social media management apps, aims to solve this problem. But unlike other apps, Kapsuli is a tool made just for streamers. Not only does it allow you to schedule tweets to go out before, during, and after your stream, it also lets you save tweet sessions for reuse. You can even group the sessions into themes if you want, so, for example, if you stream a certain game every Tuesday, you can quickly queue up your pre-written Tuesday tweets before you go live. Best of all is the option to embed a customizable livestream player in your tweets to automatically drive traffic from Twitter – while you get to focus on the fun stuff.

#3 – Offer Cost-Free Donations with Rechaaarge

There are a bunch of ways that Twitch viewers can donate to streamers. Unfortunately, all of them cost money, and, uh, not everybody has money. Twitch tried to fill this gap with its Bits for Ads feature, but it wasn’t long before they ran into a plethora of problems ranging from bit farming to reports of the feature just straight up not working. Enter Rechaaarge, a way for streamers to get donations at no cost to the viewer. It works like this: streamers can sign up to get a personalized link to share on their streaming and social channels. When a viewer clicks the link, they’ll get an invite to test a free app or game in exchange for a few donation dollars. Streamers can choose to keep the money for themselves or donate a portion to a partnered charity. Rechaaarge is fully compatible with other Twitch tools and comes with a variety of widgets and badges, so streamers can keep track of their top donors and reward them for their generosity.

#2 – Create a Voice-Activated Sidekick with Fridai

We couldn’t resist the urge to include ourselves on this list! Inspired by the concept of a sidekick, we created Fridai, an AI-powered virtual gaming assistant that responds to your voice. Fridai lives in your PC or smartphone and is capable of learning different voice command skills when integrated with other Twitch tools. As of right now, Fridai is able to learn your gaming style, record short videos, make social media posts, and connect you with sponsorship opportunities – but we have even bigger plans for the future! Eventually, you’ll be able to customize his skins, skills, and speech modules using the Fridai marketplace, so you can turn Fridai into the personal sidekick you’ve always wanted.

#1 – Engage Your Supporters (and Find New Ones) with StreamCrux

Finally, I bring you our favorite Twitch tool on the list: StreamCrux! Essentially, StreamCrux is a streamer discovery platform that helps viewers find new streamers to watch and support using multiple leaderboards, filterable attribute tags, and streamer profile pages. Streamers can use the platform to get exposure to new viewers and encourage their fans to vote for them. In other words, it’s a community unlike any we’ve seen before. We wanted to dive in and learn more about what’s in store for StreamCrux, so we had a chat with the founder, Jakob Knutzen.    

What is your vision for StreamCrux?

We created StreamCrux to help connect viewers and streamers through the power and dedication of both. We want to build the biggest community for viewers and streamers, globally. We truly hope that StreamCrux will bring streamers and viewers together in a meaningful, fun, and supportive way.

How does StreamCrux work?

The site features multiple leaderboards and attribute tags, and users can upvote streamers they like and set attributes that they think best define a streamer’s personality. You can filter the leaderboards by personality attributes, viewership, streaming frequency, and more to find streamers that perfectly match your preferences. So, let’s say you’re looking for an emerging Dark Souls streamer who is informative, chat-responsive, and sarcastic. You wouldn’t really have any way of finding them on Twitch aside from manually watching each stream until you found a match (a real pain in the ass). With StreamCrux, you’d simply input those parameters to pull up the leaderboard for streamers who fit that criteria. From there, you can explore a streamer’s individual profile page to find out more information about them and see their embedded stream. In the future, streamers will be able to use their profile page as a central hub for all relevant information that their users might desire. In this way, users can find and support their favorite streamers, and streamers can get exposure to intentional viewers – and not just the ones who are only passing through.

Why did you build StreamCrux? What inspired you?

We’re a small group of gamers and Twitch users ourselves, and we were getting pretty fed up with how hard it was to find smaller, interesting streamers. So, we decided to create a community built on discovery. We wanted to make a platform that didn’t just cater to the top 1000 streamers – but one where streamers with the best content (and not with the best marketing plan), would be found by interested viewers. On the flipside, we also wanted to support smaller streamers by putting them in the spotlight, since we know a lot of viewers enjoy communities that are tight-knit and highly engaged.

What features/integrations do you see in the future?

We get a ton of feedback from our community, and we use that feedback to prioritize the features that streamers and viewers want to see most on the platform. Right now, our first order of business is to make the streamer profiles claimable and even more interactive so streamers can use them as a central hub. We’re also working on a handful of smaller (but equally important) updates, like bug fixes and better functionality. You can check out our Devlog to stay up to date – we’ll be posting a new one soon!

And the most important question of all: what’s your favorite video game of all time?

Horribly difficult question! The competitive gamer in me would say Starcraft: Brood War, whereas the RPG fan would go for Baldurs Gate II.

Twitch Tools Are Getting Cooler by the Minute

It’s not hard to find the most popular go-to Twitch tools for streamers; a simple Google search will return PUH-lenty of posts for your perusal. And that’s fine! It’s super important to know what’s available to you if you’re just starting to learn how to stream on Twitch. Being a startup ourselves, though, we wanted to show support for some of the smaller companies that may have flown under your radar. We chose the tools on this list not just because they’re useful, but also because they show that developers are thinking creatively about the future of streaming technology – and they deserve a lot more hype for that. What can we say? We’ve got a thing for the underdog.

Categories
AI Powered Gaming Assistant

How AI is Rapidly Changing the Gaming Landscape and Making Life at Home Easier

What Can Virtual Assistants Like Alexa Do for You

From voice assistants to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) has had a profound impact on every sphere of life.

Its ability to take care of mundane tasks, which allows us to be more productive, has been the hallmark of its success. One prominent aspect of the AI revolution has been a rise in the popularity of virtual voice assistants.

Be it Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home – the feasibility and convenience afforded by virtual assistants have been the driving force behind their success. Today, as many as 46% of Americans use digital voice assistants to interact with their smartphones and other such devices.

Virtual assistants are not only limited to home assistants; they have also branched out to affect other industries — for instance, gaming.

Gaming has always been associated with technological advancement; with high-resolution displays, powerful graphic cards, and increasing memory capacity on different devices.

While it seems only logical that virtual assistants would have an impact on the gaming industry, the extent of the changes they have brought about is truly surprising.

Where Can You Use Your Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants, as the name implies, serve to ‘assist’ you in automating tasks that would otherwise require human input, and effort.

These tasks can include anything; from logging in to Spotify to play music, to controlling your home’s thermostat. If you’re one for smart home devices, you can even control your microwave with these digital assistants!

Since virtual assistants are continuously connected to their cloud backup, updates and software patches are downloaded automatically – without any effort by us!

AI is not a new concept in the gaming industry – game developers have been using simpler forms of AI to improve gameplay for years.

Take the 1989 Sim City for example; basic AI was used to simulate realistic behaviors in the game – i.e., players could experience inherently human characteristics, like unpredictability.

Now, developers are working towards integrating virtual assistants into games. Take Destiny 2 for instance; the game is compatible with Alexa, which means that players can access certain game features without having to go through the on-screen menu.

Artificial Intelligence and How It Impacts the Future of Gaming

The next big shift in the gaming industry is focused on creating immersive gaming experiences for users – including virtual reality, high-definition graphics, and intuitive storylines.

One of the main uses of AI in gaming is based around the development of non-player characters (NPCs). To create a truly engaging experience, developers are heavily investing in NPCs to show human-level intelligence and characteristics.

As per Tim Sweeney, leading Unreal Engine Developer, gamers can now experience characters that move far more realistically – all because of AI, which is able to scan thousands of hours of footage to analyze how gamers move and interact, and then map it onto game characters.

AI is now at the core of all leading technology in the gaming industry, such as facial recognition and 5G gaming.

Take Prowler, a Cambridge-based startup, for example; the company managed to raise $1.95 million in seed investment from two leading capital venture firms. Their product? AI technology that enables natural in-game behavior, and superior decision making in NPCs.

How Gaming Assistants Can Help Maximize Gamer Experience

AI will continue to make waves in the gaming industry, challenging established notions, and leading the way to innovative technologies – such as gaming assistants.

Gaming assistants have the potential to streamline a major aspect of gaming – content creation, and content distribution. These gaming assistants can take over the entire recording and uploading process through a single voice command.

As the top 5 gaming content creators are also among the top 10 YouTubers in the world, with a total of 850 million viewers, virtual gaming assistants are sure to be an instant success.

With the latest AI algorithm, gaming assistants can learn different gaming styles, and the context in language. Advanced gaming assistants, like Fridai, are also equipped with a unique sponsorship finding feature. This allows gamers to focus on their gameplay, while the assistant continuously attempts to attract sponsorships on the basis of the gameplay, and social media engagement.  

Gaming is a growing industry, with millions of gamers signing onto servers to play and socialize every day – in 2018, the industry amassed over $135 billion in worldwide revenue! With the use of AI in gaming technologies, this number is only expected to grow, leading to new experiences and developments which will change the industry as we know it.

Categories
Esports

A Short But Sweet Guide to Becoming a Competitive Esports Player

Gaming has come a long way since the days of Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, and Pong. Back then, coming first meant having bragging rights at the local games arcade. Now, winning means global recognition, along with thousands of dollars in prize money.

Take the Fortnite competitions for example; for the 2018-2019 season, Epic Games released $100 million to fund prize pools. With such resources, it’s no wonder that Esports has become a full-fledged career for gamers across the world.

With so many players pursuing gaming as their primary profession, competition in the virtual arena is now tougher than ever.

How Can I Get Into Esports?

The best part about Esports is that it requires very little investment; typically, gamers have to buy a gaming platform (mobile, desktop, or console) and purchase some games – many games are also available in a freemium version, with paid add-ons as optional.

This doesn’t mean that professional Esports players can get by with the bare minimum. If you’re interested in competing on international platforms, you’ll have to invest in the latest gaming gear (such as a specially designed mouse, keyboard, and headset etc.). This allows Esports players to position themselves a step ahead of the rest, in terms of their ability to react better to in-game situations.

While there are minimal barriers to entering the Esports industry, building a successful career will require you to invest in more than just a standard PC.

Develop Your Career Focusing On One Game

Being an all-rounder might mean playing for multiple teams, but if players are serious about building a career in Esports, they need to specialize in one genre.

Personal preferences and interest play a crucial role in determining which genre to specialize in. While some players tend to be better at FPS (first person shooter) games, others excel in strategy-based gaming.

Focusing on a single game allows players to learn all the ins and outs of the game; in short, gamers can truly master the game!

Select a Good Gaming Platform

Esports can be played on multiple devices – from modern consoles and PCs, to the increasingly powerful smartphones, different genres and games are suited to different devices.

Gamers need to also account for display power, as only PC and consoles can support the latest ultra-4k HD technology. Then there’s the cost factor, as high-end games available on console and PC platforms are more expensive than mobile games.

The right platform for you is one you are most comfortable with; it should allow you to make the best use of your skills, without overstraining your budget.

Develop Tactics and Study the Game

A successful career in the Esports industry is almost always the result of continuous learning and dedication. This is the main reason professional gamers are able to outsmart and outperform highly skilled competitors from around the world.

The gaming community has grown exponentially in the last decade, and with online resources readily available, players can easily walk-through user-created strategy guides.

If you want to improve your gameplay, you can search YouTube for tutorials and recorded gaming sessions, from professionals who can show you a glimpse of how it’s done.

Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More

Practice makes perfect, and that certainly holds true for Esports professionals. There is a false notion that devoid of the physical demands of traditional sports, Esports requires lesser practice.

Esports players require constant practice as games are updated often, and even the slightest of changes can affect your overall team strategy.

Professional players, such as those in the former League of Legend Champions, practice for more than 8 hours a day against competitor teams.

What’s more: the team’s leading duo, Chae “Piglet” Gwan-jin and Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, practice for more than 12 hours a day!

Going Professional

The hallmark of the best Esports players is their association with reputable teams, and gaming organizations. This allows them to have access to proper gaming infrastructure, which can boost the skills of their gaming crew.

As players become better at specific games, they upload their gameplay videos on a variety of different channels. When scouts, on the lookout for talent, spot such videos, they contact the players with an offer to partner with a professional team.

Professional players are very particular about their content creation and distribution routine, as this determines their reach, and increases the probability of a possible sponsorship. This is the primary behind the increase in the use of gaming virtual assistants, such as Fridai.

An AI-based gaming assistant like Fridai helps players record videos in-game, and take pictures through voice commands.

Fridai can also be configured to share content automatically, which can seriously help aspiring players get noticed by talent scouts. This allows gamers to concentrate on what matters the most; mastering their skill, and leaving the rest to their AI-powered assistant.

Categories
Video games

The essentials: Applications for Esports Players and Gamers

The Rise of Competitive Gaming

The video game landscape has changed – and grown – dramatically over the past few years. In 2018, the video games industry reached a new peak of $43.8 billion, surpassing the projected global box office earnings for the film industry!

These numbers are not really surprising, since almost everyone plays video games – either professionally, or as a hobby. For example, in the US alone, about 64% of the general population plays video games.

It’s no wonder that in the next 10 years, Esports is set to become one of the most popular activities around the world. One aspect of this rise of competitive gaming is that, players are always on the look-out for applications that can enhance their gaming experience.

From easy to use communication applications, to streaming platforms, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best applications that PC gamers need to polish their skills.

The Best Applications You Absolutely Need To Up Your PC Gaming

The right gaming application, or web platform, can truly enhance your gaming experience. Here are the top 3 PC applications you should check out today.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a software for gamers who love to record and share videos of their gameplay. Apart from being a free application, OBS Studio is fairly easy to use.

Along with your gameplay, the app can record your audio input and output, which allows users to record their commentary while playing. Since the application is compatible with popular streaming services such as Twitch.tv, players can stream their games live from the OBS Studio workplace.

OBS Studio is an excellent platform for recording different forms of content. For example, you can also record a video game tutorial, or a gameplay walkthrough.

Steam

With over 30,000 games and 90 million monthly active users, Steam is one of the most popular online gaming and streaming platforms in the world.

With an account on Steam, users can do much more than just stream games online. Many gamers use Steam as an online gaming portal to host matches, share their gameplay videos, display their achievements, and play in co-op mode.

Another great feature of Steam is its In-Home Streaming, which allows players to stream their library to remote Macs, Windows, Linux, and Steam OS devices. This means that players can experience gameplay as if they were sitting right at their gaming PC. The only catch is that both the devices have to be connected to the same network for In-Home Streaming to work.

Discord

Remember when it was difficult to find a good gaming software with voice chat features – especially one that was free to download? Even if you were lucky enough to find a good one, it almost always came with annoying ads, and reminders to upgrade your subscription.

Luckily, those days are long gone – now, Discord is considered to be one of the best, free gaming applications for gamers today, as evident by its user base of 250 million registered players! This application can be accessed through browsers and smartphones, and has a standalone application for PCs.

Discord has a simple, user-friendly interface, and a free channel hosting and streaming service. Users can easily invite other players to a specific channel, via an invite link. The best part is that players do not have to create their own account on Discord if they don’t want to – you can simply access the app via a guest account.

Can A Gaming Assistant Make Things Easier for You?

With the stage set, what more could you possibly ask for? Well, thanks to rapid innovations in artificial intelligence, you’d be ecstatic to know that a gaming assistant can massively accentuate your gaming experience.

With a gaming assistant like Fridai, you can control different gaming applications without having to pause the game, or leave in the middle of a battle. In other words, with the help of Fridai, users can say bye-bye to petty disruptions, while streaming or playing a game.

You can also use Fridai to automate your social media activities – all you need to do is ask, and it shall be done. From capturing in-game videos and pictures, to posting them online, you can control everything through voice commands.

What’s more, Fridai has a user-friendly dashboard, which means that you can rapidly switch between screens, without having to exit the application.

As an AI-powered gaming assistant, it’s obvious that Fridai will continue to evolve; especially as you personalize it according to your needs. While there’s no doubt that Fridai is very well the need of the hour for video game enthusiasts and professional players alike, what remains to be seen is how users can up their skills with this latest innovation.

Categories
Gaming Assistant

AI powered virtual/digital gaming assistant

Voice assistants are ready to change the future of gaming

We are excited and very proud to introduce Fridai to the world. As the first virtual gaming assistant specifically designed for gamers and esports players, Issac will change how you play, communicate, and interact with the world around you.

Were you recently fooled by Nvidia’s April Fools joke? Have you been waiting patiently for a dedicated digital gaming assistant with all the power of Amazon Alexa? Do you feel like the big tech companies have been ignoring the gaming community?

After years of speaking with gamers, researching solutions, and actively developing software, we have created a powerful and unique virtual gaming assistant that will take the pain and frustration away from your gaming experience.

While gaming culture continually evolves through key technological advances, and the scene is always bursting with new ideas and developments, the introduction of a voice activated digital gaming assistant stands out as a major landmark innovation.
Issac has been designed to change how you play on a daily basis. As a smart, efficient, and fully-integrated gaming assistant, Issac can help you become more productive and successful in your games and allow you to transition effectively between games and the real world.

Are you sick and tired of having to stop your games to get stuff done? With Issac by your side, you can conduct search queries, carry out online tasks, play music, and integrate your life with your gaming endeavours without making unwanted sacrifices.

The worlds of computer games and real life are getting closer all the time, with social media often acting as the bridge. Issac enables you to post on social media without exiting your game, making it much easier to connect with friends and family, check notifications, and update your status in real time. As a loyal and productive friend, Issac is by your side at all times as you play, work, and move seamlessly between virtual and real world environments.

While voice assistants are great at performing mundane tasks, they can do much more than just setting your alarm and relaying the local weather forecast. Issac is a smart and well-refined gaming assistant with the ability to augment your human gaming talent and optimise your game and online productivity.

With nothing more than the sound of your voice and Issac by your side, you can control game related software, capture special moments, and personalise every aspect of your gaming and online experience. Are you ready to embrace the future of gaming? Issac is the voice activated gaming assistant that you’ve been waiting for.