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January 12, 2019

Makeup off, Camera on

Monday hit like a train this week, and I made the decision to not stream.

I hate cancelling streams, but when I am so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open, then I know that the stream is just going to be boring to watch, because I will clearly not be in “the zone”.

On Tuesday I was feeling much better, but still in a lazy mood. I didn’t bother with my usual hair and makeup routine (And I wear a LOT of makeup to stream usually), I decided to just stream with the camera switched off.

And then the inevitable happened. Someone asked about my streaming notebook, the Bletchley Park worthy (My handwriting sucks) collection of short notes, Minecraft coordinates, Warframe Mod layouts and Dragon Age level stats that I keep on hand at all times during streams. Darn, thought I, I can’t show it to them because the camera is off.

Then I made the decision that I never thought I would make.

Sat there, with bad hair, no make up, and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders…I switched on the camera.

It was probably the MOST uncomfortable event of my three years of streaming. AND…not one bad comment. In fact, people said I looked fine when I mentioned my fears.

So I kept the camera on for the rest of the stream. Sat there with unbrushed hair (Sorry, Mum), no makeup and a blanket.

I suppose the lesson I learned is we tend to be our own harshest critic, believing that everyone is judging us for not wearing lipstick or for having bad hair. When the reality often is that people haven’t even noticed. Or the ‘badness’ is not actually as bad as we perceive it to be.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my stream set up recently. Since getting the PS4 I’ve been realising how much easier it is to stream from a PlayStation compared to streaming from my rig. Obviously you guys don’t see anything on the front end, but behind the scenes the PlayStation is a single input, with IT’S OWN SOUND SLIDER ON OBS. On top of that, I can interact with main PC things without alt-tabbing out of the game. Granted a lot of “interactive” things I do from my laptop for this reason, but OBS etc still runs on my rig. As does iTunes for streams where I have background music.

Plus there’s the BIG advantage. If the game crashes (Detroit: Become Human I am looking at you) it doesn’t take the entire stream with it to join the crash party (Elder Scrolls Online, you know what you did.)

More and more, I am wondering if the time has come to switch to a 2 PC system. Possibly using an HDMI switch from the ‘gaming’ PC into the elgato card (Chances are I am not going to ever stream my gaming rig and my PlayStation at the same time, so they could switch) which then goes into the ‘streaming’ PC. The other advantage would be that it means that OBS and the game aren’t fighting for resources, which has never actually BEEN a problem in my streams, but there’s always a first time, and with games getting more and more intense that time is probably soon.

As it is, I actually have another PC tower collecting dust in storage, so I already have the “tech” as it was. What I lack is the space. A 2 PC set up will need space for 2 PC towers at my desk, which means making some changes. Only small ones, adding a shelf or table at the edge of my desk to hold the second tower, and then MASS WIRE MANAGEMENT of all the wires.

I’m not going to do this tomorrow. Indeed it might not even be until the summer (I’ve got a lot of sorting plans in my streaming room that I want to get done first). But it IS something I am thinking about more and more.