In the beginning, there were Facebook streams. I did mention it in one of my previous posts, glossing over most of the stuff since it was focused more on making the jump to Youtube (one of the reasons being, Facebook streams are archived in a notoriously shit format and resolution), but since I’m back playing Overwatch, the game that started my youtubingering adventure, here’s how the disaster started.
I tried Overwatch during the Anniversary free weekend, and liked it enough to get it for half price. I also had the idea to start streaming, since several of my friends (popular gaming youtuber Quaz and medieval swordfighting enthusiast Alan Padzinski whom you might know from several Kotaku articles) already got kind of famous. The first attempts were, and I’m not afraid to say it, fucking disastrous. I couldn’t figure out the Nvidia Shadowplay streaming templates, leading to a barely transparent, horribly upscaled Dźwiedź (the dog/bear creature serving as the channel’s icon and mascot) covering the entire screen, and my shitty internet connection led to the streams breaking up after a minute or two. But, I fixed the template problem quickly, and upgraded my connection not long after.
I came up with the entire branding concept, both the names “Dźwiedź24" and “Wake Up and Suck”, while cooking up the templates. I shamelessly ripped off the layout from the largest local news channel, TVN24, mocking the title of their morning show, “Wake Up and Know” as “Wake Up and Suck” - since my earlier streams were simply titled “Uncle Dźwiedź sucks at Overwatch”. And so, the initial concept crystalized: as I explained previously, the ticker contained references to previous streams, with the obvious limitations of Nvidia’s overlay. I upgraded it gradually, first making the minimized template with a plate in the lower left corner transparent, then changing the font from bog standard Arial to Overwatch’s Big Noodle Titling (go figure, it’s commercially available as Blizzard merely bought the license from a freelance designer) and then giving each game I spent more time playing a separate, stylistically similar if not identical font (would you believe that the font used for Fortnite UI goes for $75 per variant, which, as far as font prices go, is one of the most expensive on the market? And the simple yet elegant Futura used for Destiny titling costs $40?). Once I switched to posting already-edited videos on Youtube, it was a matter of rebuilding the overlays into dynamic, animated ones, with scrolling tickers and roll/unroll animations. Which also had a history of upgrades, if you compare the video above with November’s “Drunkenstein’s Revenge”, you’ll notice a couple of subtle changes that were entirely unsubtle on the technical end.
So, I made the jump to Youtube, crafted generic front and rear bumpers with logos, and then I spent three months playing Destiny 2. Getting bored as Bungie pretended everything was fine and changes weren’t necessary, and my clan hibernated through the winter, I decided to come back to Overwatch. But, the comeback had to be interesting. I wanted to show that things grew more polished. So I designed entirely new bumpers, planning to retool “Wake Up And Suck” into something closer to my Destiny 2 PVP highlights (although I scaled that idea back to going with two or three best matches plus maybe a POTG if I scored one), and looked up the original Wake Up and Know opening for inspiration. Since the news of YouTube monetization limitations hit shortly before I got to work, I decided to use the snippets of “Hollywood” from the Overwatch soundtrack, as I found them very, for a lack of better word, newsy - so just right for an opening stylized after a news show. I used some footage from the first trailers as the video, put it in flashy frames and set the entire thing into motion. Then, for the rear bumper, I got the idea to replace the blurred trailer footage with one of the highlights saved during recording of my let’s play material, ending in a fade to logo as the game exports it.