View Full Version : Hitchhiker’s Guide to Streaming

04-03-2013, 12:51 PM
Like many of you know, this game has some stream channels around where players show their battles live, often adding voice comments over the audio. While having an idea to stream the game yourself you can think it may be too complex to set the stream up. I had the same vision before I’ve actually brought up my own stream and it was quite easy to do. To make it even easier for you I’ll share my setup here with you.

The Gear
The first thing you need to do is to have a proper gear. The easiest stream combo to do (I haven’t actually tried anything other than this, but I’ll bet there is nothing more simple around) is twitch.tv host + OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). Both are completely free to use (twitch has some paid functionality, but apart from that all you need is free).

(More extensive guides on OBS can be read here (http://obsproject.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=410) and here (http://obsproject.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=402); I’m just adapting them a bit for Factions streaming, borrowing some screens in the process :p)

Go to http://www.twitch.tv and sign up there (you can just use your Facebook account if you want).
After completing this procedure go to http://www.twitch.tv/broadcast and copy your stream key which you will need later.
Go to http://obsproject.com/ and download OBS then install it and run.

After these 3 points done you’ll see the main OBS screen as here:

1 is where you will see a preview picture of what goes to your stream, 2 for setting the stream sources up and 3 for commands and settings.

The Settings
Here you’d like to have a run through settings OBS offers you:

These are dependant on what your internet bandwidth and CPU speed is and what quality/performance ratio you’d like to achieve. Good help on setting these is here: http://obsproject.com/estimator
I’m using Max bitrate 500 kbps and the same buffer size as I have quite low internet speed and my traffic is limited.

Broadcast Settings
You need “Live Stream” and “Twitch/Justin.tv” selected here. Next is the field for your stream key which you copied earlier. Other settings are optional.

If streaming a fullscreen Factions window, you’d enter “Custom: 1920x1080” or whatever your screen resolution is. Generally you'd better select you monitor resolution here, even if you play windowed.

Resolution downscale is selected according to your bandwidth and CPU, it’s the resulting size of a picture your viewers will see. I’m downscaling to 480p which is minimal readable resolution for FullHD sized Factions screen (chat still can be unreadable sometimes, but banner numbers will be seen).

Default basically works for Desktop Audio Device. For Microphone Device you should select your mic (if you use it; otherwise choose “Disable”). Other settings are optional.

In general you don’t need anything to change here.

Now you have almost everything set up! The only thing you need is to actually select what will be streamed to twitch. This is where you select Scenes and Sources.

The Scene
Start Factions as you will need it to be on to select its window handle as the source. Then right-click on Scene field, select “Add Scene” and type any name you like. Scene is a group of different sources bounded together to be streamed as one video picture.

With scene selected right-click on Sources field, select “Add -> Software Capture” and type any name you like for it (this would be your Factions window, so just type “Factions”). Next Software Capture setup screen will pop up.

For fullscreen Factions window you should select “Window Capture”, then locate and pick “The Banner Saga Factions” (if you haven’t started the game yet, run it and press “Refresh”). Also check “Entire Window” here and “Capture mouse cursor” (it’s quite weird to watch battle streams without it). If you have selected wrong screen resolution on “Video” settings, you can press “Set base resolution” here to have OBS find it from your game window (it will rescale your resulting resolution though, so you might end up with a worse quality than you expected).

And when you press “OK” - you are ready to go! Just click “Preview stream” and you should see the picture.

If you play Factions in windowed mode, set up is a bit more complex. First, you should start preview right away and then open source settings (right-click, “Properties”). There select “Inner Window” and press “OK”. Then again right-click the source and select “Position/Size -> Fit to screen” (or just press Ctrl+F). This will fit your picture to outgoing scene size. After that you can end up with some letterbox effect if your Factions window does not have 16:9 aspect ratio. You can either ignore that or resize Factions window so that clipping no longer occures on the sides (you can check it on “Proving grounds” screen for example, as it’s 16:9 designed). After that open "Properties" and press "OK" to have OBS recheck window size, then press Ctrl+F(or Fit to Screen) to resize it. If you do everything correct, your video will be perfectly matched to needed resolution.

These settings set your stream so that only Factions window will be shown, even if it's overlayed with other windows or minimized. If you want to have some overlays, you can either add other sources to your scene, or have "Monitor Capture" to get the whole monitor picture as a stream (or trim it with "Sub-Region" option)

That’s it! Now you can stream your battles, share it with your friends (and foes), review your games later (as twitch records every stream you do), write video tutorials and guides, explain your crazy game ideas and much more.

ANNEX 1 Thoughts on mic balancing
First time I recorded a video I rewatched it and saw that my audio/mic balance was horrible - my voice was completely overshot by ingame sounds. So some notes on audio configuring:
Check your windows microphone settings every time prior recording. I don't know why it's that, probably it's due to skype or something like that, but my mic volume always falls from 100 to 66 there.
Depending on your mic sensitivity you should set your speakers volume. Mine is positioned quite away from me and catches a lot of speakers' sound, overdubbing the mixer sounds, so I usually lower my speakers as much as possible. Using headphones is preferrable due to that.
Mic/audio ratio for OBS volume setup is usually around 3:1. If it's still not enough - you can boost mic volume through "settings -> audio -> mic boost". But don't use values more than 2, as it will also boost every noise your mic produces.

ANNEX 2 Saving videos
As this is happened to me and to some other streamers, I think it needs to be stated here to prevent similar issues in future.
Usually your recorded videos are deleted from server after 2+ weeks. To prevent that you should go to your twitch dashboard, open a video you'd like to save, find a gear button under it. You should see 4 options there - Upload (if you have your youtube account connected, you can copy the video there), Highlight (more on this later), Save Forever (that's the option you need) and Delete (this option you probably don't need). Don't know why would they hide "save forever" here instead of placing it right in dashboard, but it is how it is.

Highlighting videos is useful in a way you want some battles to be specifically pointed out of your 3 hour long stream. Also highlighted videos are saved forever by default (as I think at least) and are first to be shown on your stream. And another feature of them - they are shown here (http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/The%20Banner%20Saga:%20Factions).

04-03-2013, 01:21 PM
I follow the instructions all the way up through windowed mode, but it still has other windows on top of the banner saga window when I preview the stream. :( I didn't do monitor capture or sub region or anything.

04-03-2013, 01:46 PM
OK, checked "Disable Aero at startup" option and indeed everything starts to clutter then. So you have Aero disabled in Windows.

Check these threads:

or anything on "Windows 7 enable Aero" in google.

Slimsy Platypus
04-03-2013, 07:18 PM
you sir are an epic lifesaver! Thanks to my man Netnazgul, I have officially learned to stream!

04-25-2013, 10:29 AM
Does anyone know the best way if you have a mac, was not able to download xsplit or OBS.
The other two that are recommended by twitch you need to pay for.

04-25-2013, 10:40 AM
Can't say anything about mac streaming, sorry, and I'd guess OBS is windows-only

04-25-2013, 10:54 AM
Might Flash Media Live Encoder have an OSX version? If they do I can help you out.

edit: http://www.adobe.com/sea/products/flash-media-encoder/tech-specs.html

I believe it does do OSX. I'd suggest adding me on steam, so I can help you set it up. I also have a tutorial for FMLE in the forums. It should be accessible even in the streamers sticky or by searching in the beta forums.

Also, if you can find a screen capturing software for OSX, then you're set. FMLE only encodes and broadcasts, it doesn't capture. But there should be some screencap software for OSX somewhere.

05-01-2013, 07:12 AM
Might Flash Media Live Encoder have an OSX version? If they do I can help you out.

edit: http://www.adobe.com/sea/products/flash-media-encoder/tech-specs.html

I believe it does do OSX. I'd suggest adding me on steam, so I can help you set it up. I also have a tutorial for FMLE in the forums. It should be accessible even in the streamers sticky or by searching in the beta forums.

Also, if you can find a screen capturing software for OSX, then you're set. FMLE only encodes and broadcasts, it doesn't capture. But there should be some screencap software for OSX somewhere.

FMLE is for MACOSX and I think Camtwist is used for capture but I somehow is not managing to stream. It is really possible I am doing something wrong though.

05-01-2013, 07:26 AM

Could you append to your main-post some sort of troubleshooting/setting up for mic/volume?

Things like muting the twitch-stream, balancing the OS/speaker/OBS volumes, boosting the mic etc. I'm sure that it's highly system dependent and not so difficult to do, but it would save quite some trouble and cross-checking etc.

Evil Laughter
05-01-2013, 11:24 AM
First port of call with mic balancing in windows is the truly horrid mixing panel. I had to enable boosting and turn it up to +30dB, though I just looked at a stream and I might need to up it further. Though I do speak fairly softly.

05-01-2013, 01:00 PM
Added some notes on mic adjusting

Evil Laughter
05-08-2013, 10:56 AM
Any idea why all my videos disappeared?

05-08-2013, 11:14 AM
Any idea why all my videos disappeared?

When reviewing your recently recorded streaming, clicking on the "gear" icon (being logged-in of course), offers the option of "save forever" (along with delete/highlight/upload etc). Otherwise, recordings are deleted after some (?) time.

I am not sure if they can be recovered...

05-08-2013, 11:17 AM
They can't :( Will add this to header post later. Lost some videos due to that

Evil Laughter
05-08-2013, 11:37 AM
Sigh will have to do that in the future

05-08-2013, 12:36 PM
added a hint on saving and highlighting

07-26-2014, 02:47 PM
Two small notes/updates on this Twitch/OBS thing:

Firstly, in order for Twitch to temporarily save your streams for you to check out later in your channel's Past-Broadcasts, you now have to actually activate this from your Twitch settings. Here's how: (1) Go to Twitch and log in, (2) Go to "Settings > Channel & Videos", (3) check the "Automatically archive my broadcasts" option. In order to save a broadcasting for ever, you need to do that per-broadcast, i.e. where you view that video.

Secondly, here's my sound settings for anyone who is interested. My mic is generally poor, and I had some problems with noise and too-low volumes in the past. I've re-tested it and I think that now its fine...

Windows Control Panel > Manage Audio Devices > Recording Devices > Microphone Properties > Levels Tab > Boost +10dB
OBS > Settings > Audio > Mic/Aux Boost (multiple): 10
OBS mixer (main window, bottom right, above "Settings" and "Start Stream" buttons) > Mic: 100% / Sound: 50% (i.e. 2:1 ratio)