This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
How to Successfully Start Streaming Your Video Games
Video game streaming has blown up in popularity recently. More and more gamers are not only watching streamers online, but becoming video game streamers themselves! Video game streaming is a great way to connect with other gamers and the gaming community and you can even make money streaming your playing! People are quick to judge gamers, saying there’s no way to make money by playing video games. Recently, that’s been completely turned on its head. Streaming is a massive industry, with thousands and thousands of viewers and streamers alike! If you’ve been wondering how to successfully start streaming your video games, this guide is for you.
What is video game streaming?
Before we start the guide, you need to understand the ins and outs of video game streaming. Before the 2010s, video game streaming was a foreign concept. In the mid-2010s, sites like Twitch and YouTube blew up as more video game streamers took over the stage. Now, Twitch alone has more traffic than other popular movie and TV services, demonstrating just how powerful the video game community can be.
Video game streaming is what it sounds like. Streaming your playing and your commentary over a streaming website or service. From there, these popular streamers can gain popularity as other users follow them. It’s easy to get started, and you don’t have to be a particularly great player as long as you have enough personality (or good looks!) to make up for it!
What do you need to get started streaming?
Getting started video game streaming is easier than ever. First, you need a strong and reliable internet connection. If you’re streaming your game play in real-time, you can’t have your equipment faulting out because of a failed internet connection. From there, you need a gaming system. Popular systems like XBox and Playstation come equipped with streaming software and recording capability so you can easily capture your gaming experience.
If you’ll be recording yourself playing in addition to the on-screen action, you’ll need a camera. Your computer likely comes with a decent camera, but if you’re serious about streaming you’ll need to invest in a HD webcam. Similarly, you need a great microphone. Your computer or even your gaming headset will likely include built-in audio recording technology, but you’ll need to pay attention to the quality of your audio output.
If you’re using a PC or gaming computer, you need a capture card. A capture card is hardware that is able to convert any digital signals like your livestream into easily recorded data which you can quickly post online. Click here to find the perfect capture card for your live streaming device.
It might seem like there’s a lot of set up equipment needed to get started live streaming your video games. That being said, if you expect to make money streaming, you need to put in some money. Nobody wants to sit through poorly recorded video and audio, and that defeats the purpose of streaming your play. If you’re a serious gamer, you probably already have a lot of this equipment around your house!
How do you make money streaming?
Your next big question might be how you actually start making money by video game streaming. While new video game streamers probably don’t make much money, the larger personalities with a big following can make a startling amount of cash! Because game streaming is so popular, there are a lot of advertisers looking to take advantage of this exposure. Websites like YouTube and Twitch feature advertiser content and streamers get a bit of this cash themselves depending on how many viewers they have.
Twitch also lets followers donate to their favorite streamers, and if you have a big following this can translate into a large amount of income! You can even offer different subscription options to followers if you have enough followers, and this is a steady source of income.
The top video game streamers have a lot of flexibility when it comes to building income. They often launch successful products or merchandise that they can sell to their followers. They can even host brand sponsorships or larger advertising deals. It all comes down to building a strong audience!
How do you get noticed as a streamer?
Once you’ve decided to start streaming, you might realize it’s harder than you thought to get noticed. With so many video game streamers out there, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of the big platforms. You need to learn how to market yourself!
First, hone your craft. Nobody wants to watch a boring video game stream. They want to see a performance, and they want to see your personality. This shouldn’t be your average game play! Make things exciting for viewers and they’ll eagerly come back for more. Connect with your audience and interact with viewers whenever possible. If people are taking the time to comment on your stream or follow you, be considerate and build a rapport that keeps them coming back!
If you’re struggling to build an audience, you might need to choose a specific niche. Is there an audience you connect to more than another? What kind of persona are you trying to create? Really discover your internet personality and decide what it is that makes you different from other game streamers!
Don’t forget about the power of social media! Encourage your viewers to follow you on your social media channels and stay present so they get to know you as a person. Don’t feel like you can’t spread out your account to multiple platforms. You can and should use both Twitch and YouTube to reach a larger audience. You’ll be monetizing your account in no time!
Become a successful video game streamer!
If you’ve got the right tools and you’re willing to put in the work, you can start making good money playing video games in no time! You don’t have to be a great video game player, but you do need to be a smart cookie. Knowing how to market yourself as a gamer is almost more important than knowing how to play the game yourself! Most of all, stick with it! Popular players don’t get that popular overnight! Put in the time to build your audience from the ground up, and you’ll create a strong community you love to be a part of.
Ever since the infamous DDoS Attack on Sony’s Playstation Network back in 2011, the gaming industry has seen a sharp increase in DDoS Attacks including but not limited to attacks on Warcraft, League of Legends, Xbox, Nintendo, Microsoft, and many more. Game servers need to give special consideration when it comes to implementing DDoS protection.
A DDoS Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack, is a strategy which attempts to shut down a network by flooding it with traffic. The traffic often comes from a group of systems which has been infected with a virus or trojan. These attacks typically happen due to the gaming server having outdated, misconfigured, or conflicting security settings which the hackers can then exploit to execute their attacks.
Everyday more than 150 million people around the world play online games; online gaming has soared into a multi-billion dollar industry with players from North America, Asia, Europe, and all around the globe logging in and connecting simultaneously. The game servers are usually tested to withstand a certain threshold of activity, and new servers added or closed as the game ages and audience and traffic changes. However, a gaming server can easily be over taxed by sudden spikes in traffic, making it a juicy target for DDoS attackers.
Often times, single player or competitive teams are also targeted by DDoS attacks when it comes to online gaming tournaments. Some players use these attacks to get an unfair advantage, while others use it as a ransomware attack where in the player must pay money to remove the threat. We even see these types of attacks on Twitch and similar streaming services where a group will flood a user’s twitch stream to interrupt their gameplay and live stream. Since many people are “professional gamers” and earn a livelihood by streaming or competing in gaming tournaments, these attacks cause lost of wages as well as frustration.
Gaming is a prime target for DDoS attacks because so many games require online connectivity, and so many gamers have an emotional connection to their favorite games which increases frustration and havoc when the attack hits. Gaming servers are also easy to disrupt, because you do not need to fully take a server offline to render it unplayable. Attackers can simply disrupt the server to the point where lag renders the controls unresponsive and interferes with gameplay.
In the case of Sony, gamers took the company to court and won a class action lawsuit costing Sony millions of dollars. This proves that Gaming networks are liable and responsible for delivering uninterrupted service and taking appropriate precautions to help mitigate such attacks.
Also, as Sony has proven, it’s not just PC games which come under DDoS attack. Console games and even mobile games are also at risk.
Gaming servers often require special consideration when it comes to implementing security measures to help mitigate these attacks. Since many DDoS bots are becoming more sophisticated and mimicking human player behavior, many gaming companies are forced to decide between stricter security measures which could trigger false positives and block access to the game for many legitimate players, or to lower their defenses and make the game widely accessible to players all over the world, but at the risk of also being accessed by bots and attackers.
There are three basic types of DDoS attacks:
Volumetric Attacks are the most common type of DDoS attack. They work by throttling the bandwidth causing the servers to shut down by flooding them with high volumes of constant traffic.
Protocol Attacks target the infrastructure and resources of a server, such as the firewall and load balancers.
Application Layer Attacks target security vulnerabilities in Apache, Windows, and OpenBSD. These attacks mimic human behavior and perform a slow and steady string of seemingly innocent requests that overtime will cripple the server.
How Can You Protect Your Server from DDoS Attacks?
You can help protect your gaming servers from DDoS attacks by implementing additional security software or services such as those offered by KODDoS. KODDoS protects you from DDoS attacks by detecting and blocking the attack in less than milliseconds ensuring that your servers remain online and without interruption of service. You also have access to a team of DDoS experts 24/7 who work to monitor incoming attacks and implement solutions in real time or on demand giving you around the clock DDoS protection.
KODDoS works to protect against all types of DDoS attacks by using many layers of filtration to mitigate the attacks. They have a large 400Gbps network, which once the traffic hits their network, they apply ACL rules to block malicious traffic at the edge of the network.
The traffic then reaches a scrubbing center and is filtered based on different signatures and predefined traffic patterns. Each packet is analyzed to ensure no malicious traffic reaches the client’s servers. These methods work to protect against layer 3/4 attacks as well as layer 7 attacks which are harder to detect and which target applications and web servers using only a small amount of bandwidth.
They have a full range of DDoS solutions ranging from plans for web hosts, VPS networks, remote servers, or enterprise dedicated servers. With pricing starting at just $39.99 a month.
You can also contact them for a free consultation to help decide which of their services are the best fit for you.
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.
It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.
Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).
So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.
What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.
I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)
I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.
The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.
The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.
I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)
It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.
Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.
So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.
If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).
Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.
One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!
Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:
Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
1TB Hard Drive to store all your games
And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!
I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.
And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.
Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.
For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.
I actually would have bought this Dell instead of my ASUS, if it had more RAM. That said, the important thing to consider when buying a gaming laptop, is the graphic card. So I would’ve taken the I5 with the Nvidia 1050 over the I7 with the 970m.
I also really love Dell. I have had very positive experiences with their customer service — which began as a negative experience, but was made more than right for me, years ago when one of the first XPS came out, I had the highest level of protection/warranty, and after weeks of frustration, (and venting on blogs/social media), I was contacted by a customer advocate who worked at Dell and was upgraded to a newer iteration of the XPS. (This was probably 10-12 years ago now) But that experience stuck with me and made me very loyal to Dell for a number of years.
For the price point, or for those tech savvy enough to upgrade their own RAM this laptop at just $799 for a brand new (not Open Box like my Asus) gaming laptop is a great buy! I went into Best Buy with the intention that if my Open Box ASUS was already sold out, that I would be bringing this Dell XPS home instead. And both machines have great reviews!
However, the extra processing power is useful for video editing and other things that many games may be interested in (such as for editing youtube Let’s Plays, and so on.)
When it comes to deciding how much RAM you need in a gaming PC, most laptops in the “under $800 range” feature 8GB of RAM (such as the Dell XPS indicated above); and this may very well be enough for your gaming needs, as many popular titles from 2016/2017 list 8GB as the minimum required RAM that a laptop needs.
But my ASUS came with 16GB, and like I said, the RAM ultimately was the Tie-Breaker deal for me when it came to deciding between the Dell or the ASUS laptops.
“We consider 16GB to be a nice sweet spot for a solid gaming system. It should be more than enough to run your games and multitask as needed. You’ll also want at least 16GB if livestreaming is a priority for you. The ability to run and stream a game on one monitor while responding to chat questions, playing music, and doing whatever else in another is definitely the kind of task list that would benefit from an extra bit of RAM headroom.” – Source: PCGamer http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/
Some, but not many, games are also now starting to launch while recommending more than the “standard” 8GB of RAM. For example Quantum Break (recommends 16GB), Batman Arkham Knight (recommends 12GB), and Star Citizen (recommends 16GB). These certainly won’t be the last games to recommend an increased amount of RAM. So if you don’t know how, or just don’t want to, install more RAM yourself later, you may want to consider opting for 16GB now to help “future-proof” your laptop.
Having the laptop now for the past 2 days, and trying some of my own games in high settings, I am very happy with my purchase, especially at just $711 (almost 50% off the retail suggested price of $1159.)
I did a lot of research prior to, and after, purchasing my ASUS ROG Strix 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop. Here are some interesting reviews. Please note some of these reviews reference different configurations than the one I reference in my own review. It is important to consider all of the above options: Graphics Card, RAM, and Processors when buying a gaming laptop. The most important thing to consider is the Graphics Card.
Asus ROG Strix Reviews
Best Buy’s reviews consistently mention “washed out” colors or “back light bleed” on the screen. In my opinion this is not true. To me, the colors look very vivid, bright, rich, and clear. There also a lot of reviews complaining about lack of an SSD (solid slate drive). I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for my PC to start, so I dunno if I’d really care whether it has an SSD or not. — On the other hand, Bestbuy’s reviews consistantly praise the performance, price, and gaming capabilities of this laptop. It currently has a 4.4 star rating out of more than 300 reviews. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905
Gadget Review has a nice in depth review of the Asus ROG Strix as well. The only things they critized were the “okay” speakers, and large bezels around the screen. (I do agree, it seems as if this laptop could actually fit a 17 inch screen in the amount of plastic used around the actual 15.6 inch one. Reducing this “edge” would make the laptop even more portable and lighter and less bulky. and it does seem like a poor design choice when many other competitors are offering edge to edge screens now. http://www.gadgetreview.com/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-gaming-laptop-review
More Black Friday deals and news keeps rolling in. Newegg has a whole month of deals planned, with the best deals reserved for November 25th and 26th. However, I’m especially interested in the gaming sale which will take place next week. Here is the full lineup:
November 1-7: Black November kick-off sale
November 8-14: Black November gaming sale
November 11th: Early Black Friday Deals
November 15-21: Pre-Black Friday sale
November 18th: Early Black Friday Deals
November 21-26: Newegg’s Black Friday Week – Deepest discounts reserved for November 25 & 26
November 27-30: Cyber Monday four-day event, w/ hundreds of deals unlocked November 27 & 28 – extended sale November 29 & 30
It’s beginning to look a lot like … Black Friday? I know stores get more aggressive each year with their Black Friday sales and offerings, but this seems a little premature? It’s only the 1st of the month but already Dell has some huge sales going on!
There’s laptops and desktops on sale for the next 24 hours only.
My pick for all of you gamers is the Inspiron 15 7000 Touch which comes with a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, 8GB Memory, and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960M with 4GB GDDR5 for just $799.99 which is $200 off Dell’s regular price. It also has thermal cooling and benchmarks pretty well on the latest games on high and ultra graphic settings. All this power in just a tiny 6 pound package. The touch screen is nice too especially if you enjoy casual games – My current laptop (which is now about 4 years old and in need of an upgrade) has a touch screen, and it really comes in handy for a lot of games and graphic art programs.
Check out all of the great deals and get your Christmas shopping done early, or buy something for yourself 🙂
Apple angered a lot of consumers by not announcing a 32GB Apple Iphone 6S or 6S Plus at their annual Apple Event this month. The base model has just 16GB, while the next jump has 64gb, and the next 128 gb, each increasing substantially in price.
So how do you figure out how many GB you really need? I’m a huge gamer, so more space is always welcome. I currently have an Ipad 2 (older generation before they had Ipad Air) I have only the 16GB model. And for me, that’s plenty. I have over 40 IOS apps (games) installed right now. I do get alerts about my storage being full; and regularly I have to decide which apps to (temporarily) delete to make room for new cool games that I want to play.
But 40 games is a lot. I don’t even play half of those anywhere CLOSE to regularly (less than once a month, some I haven’t played in almost a year etc); I’d say I have MAYBE 12 apps (mostly all of them are games) that I play (almost) daily.
And it’s not like those apps disappear into oblivion – you can always redownload them – and since most of them sync your progress in their own servers (and require online play); you don’t have to lose all your progress each time you want to play it again either.
Now granted; I’m talking about an Ipad here; I’m not using it to take photos, videos, play my music etc; all things that I might do if I were using an Iphone instead of an Ipad.
The Itunes store complicates the issue further, by not telling you the REAL file size for the apps you’re downloading. It shows a compressed size, and apps can be up to 3 or 4 times larger than that once they’re uncompressed, installed, and through updates they receive over time, etc. This always leaves you guessing as to just how large an app really is.
I also wonder if some of the performance issues I meet on my Ipad 2 could be due to the fact that I run it very full with very little, if any free space at any time.
As technology advances, the games will keep getting larger too; the same thing happened back in the days of the PC. I remember having a PC with 10GB and wondering how I would ever use that much space; now, I have a 1TB HD and I could not work with anything less than 500GB at least.
Are our phones and tablets heading that direction? Maybe so, but not at such a fast speed compared to the growth of their PC counterparts. It is true that apps are getting larger; however, many of the apps on my Ipad are 10MB or smaller; and the largest app I know of (not currently installed on my device) is around 5 GB.
One GB = 1,000 MB. If most of my games are 10MB or under I should be able to fit 100 games at once on my Ipad. However; that’s not true. as I mentioned I have somewhere between 40-50 apps installed right now.
Where does the other half of my storage go? I take a lot of screenshots within the apps of various games Im playing but not enough to count for 8gb of storage. According to this chart online; 8gb would be over 5,000 images when shot with a 4mp camera – but the Ipad 2 has only a meager 0.3 (front facing) or 0.7 MP (rear facing) camera. My Ipad starts complaining for me to delete photos after about 1 or 2 hundred. Even if shooting RAW; it should hold at least 500-600 photos (plus all of my games)
I assume that the operating system itself is taking up a chunk of my GB real estate, as well as certain “bloat ware” apps that I can’t delete such as Newsstand and FaceTime. I’m not sure how many GB exactly.
I do not have any music or videos on my Ipad 2 (but if you happen to be a heavy video/music user, the rule of thumb is 3MB per 1 second of HD video filmed with your Iphone according to this discussion on the official apple forums so a 5 minute video is going to eat up close to 1GB of your space, roughly 900MB. And as for music, according to this source here, the rule of thumb is 1 MB per minute; so if you have an hour long playlist, your music is taking up 60MB (which is pretty small) for it to reach a gig, you’d need about 16 hours of music on the device at all times. You could save space by swapping in and out songs when you grow tired of them, etc); But since I have neither video, nor music, the only other culprit is temporary internet files since I do browse the net a lot on my Ipad.
Still, I feel that I can live harmoniously with my 16 GB. When I finally do get to purchase a new Iphone or Ipad, I will most likely stick to my 16 GB as it’s served me well for the past 6 years and technology won’t outpace it to where I’m forced to upgrade to a larger device right away. Of course I’d love a 64gb or 128 ipad pro, with the apple pencil, especially for art and design work; but for now, I’m just fine with my ancient Ipad 2 16GB wifi only model. Your mileage may vary, but hopefully this gives you some insight into just how far that 16gb will take you, especially if you just mainly want the space for apps and don’t plan to record a lot of video.