A personal look from a small streamer
Walking up to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, you’d never know that this was the first TwitchCon. The convention center was decked out in Twitch logos and purple. The attendees were amassed out front, not so much in a line as much as a clump. One of the nicest clumps I’ve ever been surrounded by. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to just wait for the doors to open, everyone was courteous and polite allowing others to join the clump. My first Lift Gaming business card went to a new streamer while waiting outside. He was there with who I assume was his girlfriend. I let him know that we can help get him set up to give the best quality stream he can with the equipment he’s got at home. With that, we were quickly ushered in. Security was extremely relaxed as most people didn’t even have their badges looked at.
Nothing quite prepares you for that first look at a convention floor. I’d been to a few conventions before, but this, this was different. There was space, lots and lots of space. This worried me at first but it quickly filled up with attendees meeting with one another, taking photos, spreading the Kappa love. Witnessing all of these positive interactions among people who would otherwise be strangers was simply amazing. Faith in humanity restored.
It was time to dive in. Schedule in hand, thanks to the TwitchCon app, I made my way to the first of many meet and greets. I was delayed however, my girlfriend, Tiny_Meatloaf, had a blip on her candy radar and we were sidetracked to the BAND booth. BAND is an app for your mobile device that’s a hybrid between Facebook groups and Twitter feeds. It’s still too new to tell how it’s going to evolve but I checked it out briefly. Within a few moments I made the LiftGaming band; you can join, it’s a public band. I was able to talk to the owner of BAND briefly and we exchanged cards. I’ll be reaching out to him in the weeks to come for a full on review of his app.
The mission to meet MANvsGAME and Ezekiel_III to score photos with them was for one of my regulars, Miss_Merc. She actually lives in the same town as both of these Twitch partners. After quite a bit of wandering and waiting, the mission was a huge success. I was even able to urge MANvsGAME to take a night off to go meet Miss_Merc, something she’s been wanting to do for a while. MAN remarked that it was hilarious that I met him before her given that I don’t even live in the same state.
Throughout the day I met with viewers, streamers, partners, developers, vendors, and Twitch staff. These interactions are what made this convention truly rewarding. I need to take a moment to talk about three interactions that had the most profound impact on my time at TwitchCon.
COO of Twitch
Mr. Lin was found wandering around the 2nd floor of the convention near the Amazon booth. This was a golden opportunity to talk to the man behind the technical aspects of the Twitch platform. We discussed some of the tech behind the Twitch platform and what some of Twitch’s competitors are trying to leverage. I am excited to see the future of Twitch and believe that this man has the right goals in mind to benefit Twitch and its community. I know not everyone agrees with the direction Twitch has taken in recent months but I can assure you, their hearts are in the right place and that’s what matters.
Partnered Twitch Streamer
There are very few people in the world with the same intoxicating positivity as this man. He is a wonderful person and my only regret is that I couldn’t spend more time talking with him. Many people feel that in order to be successful on Twitch you’re required to put on a show of sorts. While that might be true for some, it is not true for this man. Even though he has a gimmick, everything you see during his broadcast is just the man, having fun, being himself. All of his success today and in the future is well deserved.
Producer at Larian Studios
Larian Studios is the team behind the Divinity games, most recently, Divinity: Original Sin. Anyone familiar with my channel knows that I played that game for what seemed like months. During my conversation with Pawel, he revealed that D:OS Enhanced Edition is coming soon and it uses an upgraded version of the D:OS engine. This is the same engine D:OS2 is built on. Anyone who already owns the original D:OS will get the Enhanced Edition added to their Steam library as an additional game, for free. That’s just amazing for a developer to do something like that. Pawel embodies the generosity that Larian shows its customers and supporters. We talked at length about Divinity and some of the difficulties I had with it, personally. We talked about the nature of gaming today, how absurd it is that Farming Simulator is the leading franchise in Germany yet, Pawel doesn’t know a single person that plays it. We exchanged cards as I left, I am definitely going to be reaching out for a follow up.
Lunchtime meant taking a break to let some Lift Community members track me down for a sweet Lift Gaming business card. What better place to do that than the Music Garden (aka bar). A live DJ was playing a playlist while patrons lined up at the self-serve beer and wine bar. Opting for a local brew, Anchor Steam, there was a sobering realization when the bartender asked for $8. I paid $8 for a single beer, about the same price I’d pay to get a six-pack at the store. Finding a place to sit, I waited for the flood of people. Not so much a flood as a trickle. Okay maybe not a trickle, more like a drip. Fine, one person found me. Others were delayed by the merch line which was 2 ½ – 4 hours long. That’s nuts! Needless to say I did not leave the convention with a purple hoodie. I did manage to meet TeaTimeGames, TranceGG, and chaRaian at various points during the day.
Back on the first floor at the Paladins booth I wanted a t-shirt. Hi-Rez Studio, the makers of Smite, are working on a first-person shooter type game that seems very similar to Blizzard’s Overwatch. I won’t lie, I’ve never heard of this game. I learned that no one else had either after finally talking to one of the devs from Hi-Rez. We chatted for a bit about their game; I asked about the possibility of putting together some sort of event to help promote the game. Expect to hear more about a possible Lift Community event regarding this game in the future.
TwitchCon gave a lot of insight into the Twitch platform, what it’s like to be a Twitch partnered streamer, and how easy it is to just talk to developers about their game and get involved in the gaming industry. Anyone with a love of gaming and a drive to get in there and help developers connect with streamers and their audiences should take a look at our community and see who you can help. Looking forward to TwitchCon 2016 and everything it will have to offer our community.