Full Commentated Live Casting for Tournament Finals, January 19th, 7pm PST!

Update:  Here’s the video of the finals match between  james1221 and bl00dw0lf with the full commentary!1

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I am ludicrously excited about this!  If you follow this blog and SpyParty on Twitter or Facebook,2 you probably know I’ve been really interested in live streaming recently.  In fact, just the other day I set up the SpyParty Streams Notifier and I’m writing up a longer post about that and streaming in general, and I was recently interviewed by Chris Priestman on Indie Statik about the growth of streaming for indie games, along with Erik Svedäng who’s working on the awesome Clairvoyance, which makes great use of online replays. 

You may also know we’re at the final game of beta-tester insight’s SpyParty New Year’s Cup, which has been a really fun and exciting set of matches, most of which have been live streamed or at least recorded and posted after the match.  Watching the live streams and chatting with the other viewers during the games is incredible.

Even grizzled live streaming veterans are having a blast with the tournament streams!

So, what better to do than combine the tournament and the focus on live streaming and go all-in?

We are going to live commentate the finals match of the tournament between james1221 and bl00dw0lf, re-streaming both sides of the match to a single stream we can fade between the two views dynamically based on context, and we’ll have expert level commentary by virifaux and ky, with occasional color by me.  ky is going to play director while he casts, picking the best view from the two streams, just like the dude in the video truck at the Super Bowl!  We tested all the technical and social aspects of this today, it worked incredibly well, and you can see the results here, with a test game between james1221 and slappydavis:

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Check out ky‘s awesome temporary name tags for this test, whipped up in mspaint while we were streaming!

Tune In

So, at 10pm EST / 7pm PST / 3am GMT,3 on Saturday, January 19th4 point your browser to the SpyParty twitch.tv channel:

http://twitch.tv/spyparty

If today’s practice session is any indication, it’s going to be totally awesome!

Assuming this goes as well as I hope, we’re going to start doing this kind of casting more often, with a rotating mix of commentators, so leave comments here on this post with feedback on what you saw and let us know if you liked it, or if there’s anything we can change to make it even better!


  1. As a youtube commentor pointed out, I shouldn’t have had the winner above the video because it ruins the surprise! []
  2. And now Google+, because the world definitely needed another social network! []
  3. sorry! []
  4. 20th if you’re GMT []

12 Comments

  1. Keith says:

    I’ll be there! ( i hope ).

    Look forward to it

  2. Mike says:

    I’m just getting started watching the video and it looks great so far, good job making it work. The only criticism I’d make is… ‘commentation’? :P

    • checker says:

      There appears to be no word for this that isn’t terrible, I feel your pain. Caster, commentator, I dunno. If there’s a better word, please let me know!

    • Mike says:

      Surely commentary would be the word to use?

    • checker says:

      Yeah, commentary for the talking itself, but I mean the people who are doing it, so words for “commentator” and “commentated” are the problems, I think. Ah I see I used “commentation” in there, I’ll fix that, but the whole thing is a mess. Need better words!

    • Mike says:

      Yeah, for the guys doing it, ‘commentator’ is the right word, but it’s inelegant. That’s pretty much the only word we have for it in the UK, though I think in the States you guys use ‘announcer’ fairly regularly.

      Or perhaps pundit, but that’s not really about commentary, it’s about analysis.

      Anyway, I’m taking this much too far and missing the point, which is, what a great idea this whole tournament was, and a very well set up final too! Next time I’ll have to make sure I know about the tourney so that I can take part because I feel remiss having missed out on it.

  3. Brett says:

    The only criticism I would have is that the match was too short, so we didn’t get to see any yomi adjustments from the players. The series started out with passive spy play, and really didn’t get to evolve past that identity. Could have used a best of 3 or best of 5 series’ format I think.

    • checker says:

      Yeah, I think everybody agrees it was too short. A big goal of this tourney was simply to make sure it finished (we had one really early on where people had trouble scheduling matches and it fizzled), and that meant a relatively lightweight single elimination style with short matches. Once we realized it was going well but the matches that didn’t go to sudden death were really short, we talked about changing it for the finals, but didn’t want to change things on the fly for the competitors. Next time, I definitely think we’ll make it so the finals matches (at least) are guaranteed to be longer.

      The other thing I was thinking is we could try to schedule it so the semi-finals games and the finals games are back to back, so we could stream the whole thing in one go, but that’s going to be pretty tiring for the finalists, so maybe it’s not a great idea.

    • KY says:

      Well, under the assumption that people normally stop when they are getting tired, how long does an average casual match last? I mean, this one was only 6 games. I usually find myself getting tired after 20. Though I understand that tournament play is a hell of a lot more intensive than “friendlies”.

    • checker says:

      I don’t actually know how long the average match lasts, I’ll figure that out next time I run stats.  Good point!

  4. ZNemesis says:

    Thanks for the link to Clairvoyance! I’ve purchased a copy for me and a friend.

    I’m also eagerly awaiting SpyParty to do the same. :)

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