Media production is not a new concept to me. I have been a part of several groups, organizations, and even agencies who have created art forms through the use of different mediums. Production has been a part of my life ever since I decided to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Arts Communication Arts. We have been trained to do TV, radio, and film production from where I come from. Live production, however, is something that I still need to get a grasp of.
Ever since Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube introduced the idea of going live, a lot of people have been jumping on the bandwagon. Capturing an ongoing event, interacting with people for others to see — livestreaming is now defining what “instant” means!
Popsicle Games got into livestreaming after James did a solid analysis of the different marketing methods available to us. We wanted something low-cost that required relatively light planning, but also something relevant that could legitimately engage the slice of the market that we were targeting.
The initial GGWP concept eventually split into two distinct shows. We branded the talk show-style episodes as Real Talk with Popsicle Games. GG with Popsicle Games became a Let’s Play show, inspired by the many Youtubers and Twitch streamers that we had grown accustomed to watching over our lunch break. For our GGWP episodes, we picked a game that we haven’t played or finished yet. The Last of Us: Remastered came into light. For around 10 more episodes we followed the plight of Ellie and Joel, discussing various design– and development-related topics as we played such as writing, environment design, and gameplay mechanics.
As we went along we discovered things that can further improve our stream and viewer count, such as alerting our Discord friends that we’ll be starting in a few minutes, posting on relevant Facebook groups, and uploading a quick snap on our Instagram account that we are about to go live. Even after doing the same thing for about four or five times, we’re still fairly new to the whole idea of livestreaming. That is why we conducted experiments about the format of our show, which platforms would be good for our content, and most importantly when would be a good time to air our show, since we are targeting a specific market for our streams.
Sometime later, the Popsicle Games co-founders reviewed the analytics that we’ve been getting from the platforms that we used (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.) Not much has changed since we’ve aired our GGWP – TLOU episodes, but we did notice a trend that our Real Talk episodes have this tendency to gain more viewers and more engagements.
This was also the time when our channel became a part of the Twitch Affiliate program, which restricts cross-streaming on other platforms. So we did an attempt to direct our Facebook followers to our Twitch channel by doing a two-camera setup wherein the live video on Facebook is muted and viewers can only hear what we’re talking about on Twitch. A few experiments later, this strategy was also dropped. We realized that our target market, the casual gamers, are most likely to be on Facebook than on Twitch, which is where the mid and hardcore gamers are.
After going into an analysis and interpreting the data we have for our streams, we have decided to discontinue airing GGWP. We figured it won’t be beneficial to us as much as RTWP. Eventually we would be busier since we were also developing a new game at this time of the year, keeping up with deadlines for the competitions we plan on entering so keeping GGWP would, in a way, slow us down in our dev process.
We have also received a few suggestions from some of our viewers who would like to make our streams better. With this, we invested on some good lighting equipment and tried green screen for the first time.
On the 2nd of June, a new set-up for Real Talk with Popsicle Games was viewed by a whopping 1, 700 viewers on our Facebook page.
In the past few months since I have started working with this passionate bunch, I have learned a lot of things about producing content for our live show (and I’m pretty sure James and the rest of the team did too). To sum up, some of them are:
- Alert your contacts on social media minutes before going live.
- Test the waters! Experiment with show times, format, and set-up
- Invest in good lighting. There are a lot of cheap ways to do this if you search online.
- Plan your content. I remember there was this one episode where we discussed about fighting games, which is a timely topic because Tekken 7 has just been released that day. If you also plan or do talk shows like us, it would be great if you can come up with issues that generate engagements from your viewers.
- Don’t forget to talk to your audience! One of the things that I like about live shows is the chance to talk to other people in real-time while the episode is airing. Make use of this to gain more following!
- Review your analytics. Once in a while it would be good to sit down and evaluate how you can improve your show with the use of site analytics.