Getting Started with Streaming

nbi2014

As curator of the NBI archives, I have seen the amount of work that has gone into the event in years past, and now know from experience what goes into running it. This year we have shifted some of the focus into other avenues of sharing information, such as streaming, podcasting, liveblogging, and social media. All of these facets have been persistent on the Internet for years, but this group has been primarily focused on blogging, and though we want to continue to support the blogging movement, we also want to include these other forms of media.

The announcement has gone out, we need guides for all forms of media, so that others can get started on their own. I’ve watched streams, I’ve enjoyed streams, and I’ve always wanted to stream myself. I have had some epic moments in games that words simply can’t do justice to. As such, I’ve been thinking about getting into streaming, along with recording/editing videos of my best gameplay moments. As was said in the NBI post, we really didn’t have any information on the site to allow newbies to figure out how to get started with streaming. I’ve taken it upon myself to write such a guide, as a noob streamer. My goal here is to write this from the perspective of a noob, so that it will be easy to understand for other noobs. Hopefully we’ll both learn something in the process.

The first question on most people’s minds would be “what program should I use?” That is no simple answer, because there are many options out there, paid or free. Rather than downloading and trying out every option, I am going to cut to the chase: Most of the people I know who already stream use XSplit. Based on that, it is the program I am going to use and base this guide off of. Feel free to try out other programs as you see fit, most of the information is going to be pretty universal, as all of the software out there has the same goal: to get you sharing your experiences.

Getting Started with XSplit

The first thing you’re going to want to do is head over to the XSplit website. From there, click on the “download” link at the top of the page. This will take you to a separate page where you are presented with two different XSplit products: The Broadcaster, and Gamecaster. Yes, I was instantly mystified as well. How do we tell the difference between the two? Are they both free? How do they compare. Fear not reader, I have done the research for you!

XSplit Gamecaster is a one-of-a-kind live streaming and recording application designed for both casual and hardcore gamers. It allows every gamer to live stream or record their gameplay without complicated setup and configuration.

  • Live stream your gameplay on Twitch and share on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus
  • Record your gameplay and share on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus
  • Record game play in high quality resolutions for video editing

Do it all from a simple user-interface that works directly inside your favorite video game.

XSplit Gamecaster  is the simplest way to create high quality game recordings and live streams. XSplit Gamecaster also provides a bridge for users who want to advance on to more technical  broadcasting with XSplit Broadcaster.

While XSplit applications share the same technology, XSplit Gamecaster is geared towards the gamer who wants to share their game play moments,  while XSplit Broadcaster is geared towards the more advanced and professional broadcaster.

TL;DR: Both are free, and the Gamecaster is “for noobs” while the Broadcaster is for people who make a living doing this stuff.

Installation + Setup

With all of that said, it’s time to download the Gamecaster, but first you have to register an account. I’m sure you can handle that portion on your own. When you get the program downloaded and installed, fire that bad boy up! You’ll be presented with a login, and this will be the same account information you used when registering.

xsplit
You can also register right here within the program.

Next you’ll be prompted to do an authentication to sync your Gamecaster with a Livestreaming service. Livestreaming services are plentiful, just like Streaming programs, so there are plenty of choices out there, and the choice is ultimately yours to make. We are going to skip this step for right now. The next screen has some purchasing options on it, but click continue at the bottom to get to the actual start screen:

xsplit2

I really can’t make it any clearer than those simple instructions. It’s really much easier than I thought it was going to be. Video editing on the other hand, that might be more complicated, but I haven’t gotten that far just yet. The start page is displayed here. When you do get the hang of using the program and want to start livestreaming or sharing your recorded gameplay, the Accounts tab will allow you to sync up various external accounts (such as YouTube and Twitch) to your caster. The Settings tab contains (you guessed it!) settings that we aren’t going to mess with for now, same goes with the Hotkeys tab — I may customize some of this stuff at some point, but we need to leave things as basic as possible before adding levels of complexity. Finally, the Recordings tab will be empty til we record something. So why don’t we get that going?

Recording Stuffs

It really is that simple to record. It seemed like such a daunting task until I dove into it, and all you do is start up the game you’re going to want to play/record, and then hit ctrl+tab. An overlay similar to Steam’s will appear, and you can then start recording to disk, or streaming to a site. I clicked record, and played a round of Hearthstone. When I was done, another ctrl+tab brought up the overlay again where I then clicked stop. That’s all there is to it. Recordings will go under the Recordings tab, where you can then click “show in folder” to find the actual video file. Because I wanted to be able to share with you what I just recorded, I decided to link up XSplit to my YouTube account, and that was very easy to do within the interface. Simply click the YouTube button at the bottom of the Recordings tab, and another window will pop up prompting to sign into your Google account. From there you’ll be taken to your YouTube channel, if you have one. If you don’t (like me) then you’ll have to set it up, but having an existing Google account (from your Android platform, or one of the many services they offer on PC) makes this a couple click process. From there, you’ll have to head to your video manager, and upload your recording. Then you can link to your videos and share them on your blog, like this:

These same steps will be repeated to stream live, you’ll just have to set up a Twitch (or comparable) account and then sync that account with your Gamecaster software. Then instead of clicking “record” in-game, you’ll hit “stream” and the world can watch you suck at video games. Hooray!

Speaking of which, if you’d like to watch me suck at video games, you can check out my YouTube channel, or my Twitch stream.

If there is enough of an outcry for it, I may end up doing another post and make this into a series, the next post would be something along the lines of “advanced streaming tips” or perhaps I’ll check out the XSplit Broadcaster and give you an in-depth comparison. I will most likely go into video editing as well, because I already have some ideas of things I want to do. If you enjoyed this guide, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

#guides #nbi2014 #streaming #xsplit #gamecaster

11 thoughts on “Getting Started with Streaming

  1. A wealth of knowledge here. Thank you for writing this up. I don’t have a lot of experience streaming games, but this will come in handy if I decide to!

    Like

    • I didn’t know anything either. Just went into it like a noob, and wrote this guide as I went. I could add some to it because I learned even more after writing this (It was written about a week before posting) but I’m saving that for a later post, unless one of our NBI’ers beats me to it.

      Like

  2. My stream ends up super blurry. I mean so blurry u cant even see wich game im playing. Might it be because of my ubercrap internet?

    Like

    • I found that there was a setting in Xsplit where you can change the default for 360p to 480p. That’s standard definition for old tube TVs. It’s the highest you can go without buying a license, but I’ve watched those 480p videos on my 32 inch flatscreen in 1080p and it’s clear enough. I’d love to record HD video, but I have a feeling that would make most games unplayable. As it is when I tried streaming/recording Awesomenauts it was terrible. But, this computer I’m on is older so that’s probably why.

      Like

  3. Ok, so in Xsplit at least, under the settings tab there is an option for streaming and recording quality. If you leave it at automatic, it will probably go to 360p. If you manually select “medium 480p” that should do the trick. That’s what I did, at least.

    Like

    • Nah i tried it actually 🙂 i just get a yellow popup saying the settings are changed and it goes to 360p. But it isnt all that important. Dont want to trouble you anymore with this. My streams would put people to sleep anywhoo 🙂 thanks so much for ur time and effort 🙂

      Like

      • Oh it’s not worry, was just making sure you knew what I was talking about with the settings. I have similar issues with not being able to stream other games I want to stream due to hardware lag.

        Like

Comments are closed.