Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TXP-Network Does :: Presidents' Day Update

TXP-Network Update :: February 2017

As seen on:

Hai again, and Happy Presidents' Day!

What's Up on the U-Box, guys?! This is TopHatProductions115 with a pre-Season Content Update for this upcoming March. We have a bit of an itinerary ready for this one - here are the major topics:

- Twitch Streaming Policy
- YouTube Streaming/Uploading Policy
- Steam Streaming
- Steam Giveaway
- TXP-VOS Progress
- Website/Service Updates
- Upcoming Games, Apps, and Projects

I know the list looks long. But I'll do my best to speed things up a nit for this Update. However, the level of detail that's going into this vid is intentional. I know that many of you aren't excited to go read TXP-Network Policy docs every time they get changed, so I'll try to put just the important points here. The older stuff is still available online if you did miss out. Without further delay, let's begin!

0-1) Episode Streaming on Twitch (and YouTube)
This one's probably a doozy, but it's going to affect what gets seen where, so please try to bare with. Most of you already know that this YouTube channel is the primary way to catch our newest Episodes. However, we have also tried to stream the Episodes to other locations. It started out as, and pretty much still is, a risky experiment (I'll explain why in a few). The main experiment, in this case, being Twitch. 

For those of you who aren't familiar, Twitch is a broadcasting platform that allows for users to share game-play/play-throughs, program demos, and more - in a 'live' fashion. This means that the content you see is either occurring as you're seeing it onScreen or has happened just seconds ago (delay). In order to use Twitch, you need to have dedicated streaming/encoding software running in the background. In addition to this, the content streamed will usually have either a limited lifespan or duration (highlight-to-save). This is different from older platforms, like YouTube and Steam (which we'll cover later on).

YouTube started as a video-sharing website, and grew to include streaming options. They include Hangouts OnAir and Custom streaming. With the former option, you can use Google's online Hangouts servers to stream content directly from your screen, without dedicated software installed. The latter option is more like what Twitch offers. You can probably imagine which method is easier to pull off on a regular basis...

A few years ago, Mojang broke the barrier that made livestreaming Minecraft so difficult for beginners by integrating Twitch livestreaming APIs/Libraries into the game itself. It was a smart move, and allowed for me to stream to both Twitch and YouTube simultaneously. However, that obviously didn't last too long - Minecraft 1.8 marked the end of integrated Twitch livestreaming libraries in Minecraft, and pretty much killed off the idea of live Twitch content. We tried out OBS and other systems in numerous tests to find a suitable replacement - to no avail.

To add insult to injury, the content streamed to Twitch had a limited lifespan, requiring livestreamers to 'highlight' past broadcasts. This ended up wiping out a lot of stream time, which made it difficult for me to push anything to Twitch - most of the hours that went into the stream itself would be lost, and never seen by you the viewers. With all of the prep time required to get ready for a video/stream, the time spent actually recording and streaming is pretty small. Then comes editing - if you recorded the vid. Otherwise, you would be spending time constantly monitoring and moderating the livestream as it happened.

Either way, it's a time-consuming process (which is part of the reason why I still haven't been quite consistent with my uploads), and after a while, what do I have to show for it? What do I have that I can share with you the viewer when it's all done? With YouTube, the video stays, unaltered. With Twitch, it's a different story. The hours spent livestreaming just get turned into a short trailer for the event that already happened, and you'll probably never get to see the rest. You the viewer missed out - unless I streamed/uploaded to both Twitch and YouTube for that Episode. And you all know how difficult it is to shove all of that through one computer with a video-game running up-front. 

I got into Twitch because I wanted to reach out to a bigger viewer-base and have fun doing what I like to do - Tech, Gaming, etc. Instead, I was busy cutting up all of my past broadcasts, reducing them to inadequate summaries/trailers to attract more viewers. Twitch took the fun out of livestreaming, and made it feel more like I was constantly advertising for sporadic performances. Begging for views, instead of just playing games and letting the viewers get in on the action? We all know that YouTube's moving in a direction that requires regular/daily uploads to get any attention, but at least it's a bit more forgiving. The videos I made on YouTube are here to stay - no questions about it. 

With Twitch, it's like starting over again every week - that platform requires regular livestreams, and stream views are harder to get. That means that there's less people tuning in and getting involved, which defeats the purpose of livestreaming. Livestreaming is supposed to allow me to play along with you guys in Real-Time. But if there's no one watching, what's the point of doing the stream? It's like performing the Moonlight Sonata on stage, on Piano, in front of a brick wall. It's cringey, and just made it inconvenient to stream on Twitch at that point. That's why I haven't been online there lately, and I apologize for that.

So, it's with some sadness that I state what's coming next:
I won't be broadcasting any Episodes/Reviews to Twitch anymore.

2) Game Streaming on Steam
However, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Steam allows for inGame livestreaming, which means that anything I play on Steam could be potentially viewed by anyone with a public URL. This may take some work, but I can see this being a game-changer in the near future. Since most of my games now come from Steam currently, I could change some of the old LiveStreaming Policy that was added last year. In addition to this, I can also add games to my Steam Library that aren't already in the Steam market. So, in theory, I could have video content streaming to both Steam and YouTube servers in the future.

3) Steam Giveaway
Speaking of Steam, there is an upcoming giveaway I'd like to announce - The Shell Shock Live Giveaway! For any interested viewers, here's how to enter. During the next 14 days, post a comment on either YouTube or Google+ for this livestream/event with the following:
- Your Steam Name (public name on Steam)
- Your CPU make and model
- #FreeSSL
A winner will be randomly chosen the day after the event, and receive the gift. 

4) SWPUs - SoftWare Project Updates
With the recent start of the college semester, a lot of projects are now once again on hold - including TXP-Cloud and TXP-JSI. One project that isn't, however, is the TXP-VOS. That one has entered active development again, and is still undergoing its Boot-Kernel revision. On Google Drive, if you were paying attention, the un-archived portion of the repo now has a slightly-outdated version of the source code for the bootloader and kernel. This will be changed once version 5.0 of the Boot-Kernel is developed. That will also be when I will attempt to upload the first working system images for the InDev (pre-Beta, early Alpha). This is currently scheduled for late Spring/early Summer, but not set in stone. If you want to get involved, you know where to go...

5) Website Updates and Services
As previously revealed last year (right before New Years), the latest version of the TXP-Network's online services and infrastructure has already been released for public use. If you are interested in what this would include, please watch the previous TXP-Network Update which featured this content. The same goes for upcoming games and apps I may cover this upcoming Content Season. I'll post links for them in the description.

Once again, sorry for the diatribe. But it had to be done, this had to be covered at some point. To make it up to you all, however, I may drop a surprise on the Net sometime soon. Make sure to watch all Content Streams I'm on to get the clues...


As usual, leave clean feedback in the comments. Also, if you "want to see mo' vidz lyke dis'" in the future, leave a Like! Subscribe if you wanna!!
To the returning watchers, Keep Asking Questions. For any new viewers, Welcome to the Galaxy! And to all you members, Keep it Cool till' next time! 

This is TXP, Signing Out again - till' March (Spring Content Season)!

UPDATE :: Twitch finally openes the door for uploads - right after I left. No turning back...

Do not reproduce without citation and applicable permissions. TXP-Network SWD 2017. All Rights Reserved.