Kickstarters Ending Soon & Major Twitch Updates – Time Is Running Out!

Well, folks, I was hoping to share the latest HorsePLAY! LIVE HD video with you guys buuuutttt..  Twitch has been funky.  We’ll get into that but time is of the essence!  Here’s last week’s video instead.  It’s relevant.

We have some HUGE news and time-sensitive items so be sure to read on, gang.. There are critical items for Kickstarter and Twitch users here!

HorsePLAY! EP34 is up on iTunes, Stitcher, and our official GANG podcasts feed.  Here is the embedded MP3 player, for your convenience.  In this episode, a girl joins us. JanelNo5, a rising Twitch superstar, makes this show a non-sausage fest – YAY!

Kickstarter: Fire With Fire PvP Tower Defense Game

First things first, Fire With Fire is close to being funded but we only have a couple of days.  On Sunday, August 10th 2014, this Kickstarter project comes to an end.  Currently, we need around 300 backers if everyone pledges the $6 or more (the minimum is $1).  We can make someone’s dreams come true! #GeeksUnite

Other indie games we are excited about on Kickstarter include Factions and Bacon Man, which end on August 10th and 15th, respectively. Spread the word. It only takes a few minutes to help good content go viral!

Sorry Twitch Store Closed

Major Twitch Changes & What You Need To Know TODAY

Twitch has wasted no time mixing things up now that Google is backing them with their bottomless pit of munnies. Justin.tv closes it’s doors which leads us to believe Twitch will start to compete with Ustream, Playstream, and other streaming platforms. This worries me a bit.

My concern is that the focus will shift from gaming and Twitch will become as noisy as YouTube. This is great for established video personalities but terribad for the rest of us. Let’s not forget that the Twitch brand implies gaming (i.e. twitch gaming like we see in MOBAs and FPS games). Diversifying content would ruin the brand identity. I guess only time will tell!

Hosting is one of the biggest features to come. After months of testing, now everyone can now host their favorite streamers on their own channel. This is a great alternative to simulcasting or Twitch raids, but it will not replace it. There are some key distinctions between hosting and comparable tactics:

  • All followers and views go to the hosted streamer.
  • The host will not generate video archives.
  • Hosting channels will not appear live on the mobile app (yet).

Twitch CEO has announced a new VOD policy on the official Twitch blog. Starting August 27th, past broadcasts will be removed unless there are highlights associated with them. Partnered streamers and Turbo users will have more time to work with their archives but everyone else will have a 3 to 14-day window to work with old videos.

During EP34, I went off on a rant because the changes to how Twitch handles VODs came suddenly. Sure, we saw the writing on the wall but now we have to hustle to make sure all that content we have created over months or years doesn’t go to waste. There are lots of things that need to be in place before Twitch enforces these changes.

Ironically, soon after our live show, I realized Twitch implemented quick exports and highlighting. Now you can do exports as a two-step process without loading up different pages and tabs. This was desperately needed. Sadly, I am noticing that YouTube is getting overloaded and bouncing back videos during batch jobs. Argh.  BTW, they are aware of the server capacity issues (officially as of August 6th 10:50am PT).

http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/

Video highlighting is much easier and cleaner now. You can create multiple highlights during one session. Again, brilliant.. And this update actually works properly so YAY! You can also see all highlights associated with a source video at a glance AND export without creating a highlight first. This is far more intuitive so great job, Twitch!

The best part about this policy change is that it will remind Twitch streamers to do what they should be doing already: creating highlights and bookmarks. I can’t tell you how many channels I visit that are barren when they are offline. It’s quite sad.

Now that Google is in the mix, I am hoping for some SEO enhancements. Tagging, social integration, commenting, and enhanced search would rock. I would also love to see differentiation between live and archived content. This would give archived content far more value and give streamers like myself more of an edge by allowing us to create themed content and events.

To our fellow streamers, the best tip we can offer now is to make sure you not only click “Save Forever” on videos but also highlight and export whenever possible. Don’t forget to bookmark, too! It looks really seksy when you have a wide variety of content available on your channel when you’re offline. In some ways, I like the presentation better than what YouTube currently does.. But a little customization wouldn’t hurt here!

Oh wait.. We forgot the biggest update!

Copyrighted music on streams is now a no-no. Google is not enforcing strikes or other stupidity yet but they have gone back and retroactively muted all video segments where music is found.. Unless it is royalty-free or officially licensed (they are not set up for the latter yet, obviously).

We saw this coming but it sucks. We recommend avoiding song requests or background music all together because it will limit the value of your recordings, even if you focus 100% on the live experience. Of course, there is always the option of playing your own music for yourself or only having in-game music but be wary of games like Typing Of The Dead: Overkill, which uses licensed music. I learned the hard way to lower game music just to be safe; otherwise, no YouTube highlights, which sucks!

1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen By Russian Hackers

1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen.. Google Responds

Holds Security of Milwaukee reports that Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion passwords to online accounts worldwide. The affected sites and platforms have remained undisclosed but, just to play it safe, you may want to change your passwords. I recommend using unique passwords for your most critical resources like online banking, control panels, and government sites, just to be extra safe.

Google has responded to this news by offering rewards to more secure sites. Using SSL, encrypted passwords, login lockdowns/timeouts, CAPTCHA, and other security methods will increase your search rankings. I wonder if there will be less of a penalty for longer load times since security hardening tends to compromise performance.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Confirmed After Leak

Ubisoft confirms that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is coming this year as a Christmas Season 2014 release alongside the highly-anticipated “next gen” Assassin’s Creed: Unity. This news comes after a video was leaked. Now console gamers on both sides of the generation gap will be covered.

We have mixed feelings about this. Personally, I love the AC series (though the original is really hard to go back to now) but I think this overkill. Major franchises like this should not be annualized because quality suffers and discerning consumers are overwhelmed with too many options. Yes, game publishers, not all of us spend $5000 or more on video games each year, no matter how hardcore we may be.

I feel gamers have plenty of content to catch up on and enjoy as it is. This news only frustrates me. I may be in the vocal minority here but what do you guys think? Let us know via voicemail or in the comments below.

HorsePLAY! LIVE  iTunes-Friendly Podcast Cover

HorsePLAY! LIVE Where Geeks Come To Play!

Our First HorsePLAY! LIVE iTunes Review

We usually don’t push for iTunes reviews because we realize people are using other platforms.. And iTunes isn’t very intuitive when it comes to leaving reviews.

That said, we got our very first iTunes review from Normii477 from Zombie Cast and Knuckleballer Radio. Thank you, Normii! Your words really touch our hearts and get us even more fired up to bring you more great content. I agree that what I love most about our show is the chemistry Obi and I have since we contrast and compliment each other so well (some would say we are a married couple LOL). Of course, the live interaction on the GeekyAntics Twitch channel keeps things interesting every week. We love you guys – even the trolls!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/horseplay!-live-where-geeks/id837770294?mt=2

You guys really get what we are about and that’s awesome. We want HorsePLAY! LIVE to be the radio show and interactive platform where geeks can get their fix on a wide variety of discussions, events, and news. Keep the reviews coming, gang!

Stitcher is still our preferred mobile podcast app so please use their Facebook integration to leave us comments and give us some thumbs up lovin. Don’t forget to tune into us on AllGames.com every Thursday at around 5pm Eastern. AllGames.com has their own live chat – join the IRC channel and tell them the GANG at HorsePLAY! LIVE sent ya. You’ll get a warm welcome, just like we did when we joined the network! BTW, we’d LOVE more voicemail messages and bumpers at (206) 415-4987 – save our live listeners the torture of having to listen to us rant for two hours or more. *wink-wink*

Play hard and play smart, geeks! *insert heart here*

Pixelated Pints Returns In The Glorious Episode 10 – Featuring The Nose Tampon!

Obligatory Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians is all the talk amongst comic book fans and the non-geek folk alike.  Fred wants everyone to know (including Chip Cella of The B-Team) that he has NOT seen it yet.  I haven’t seen it yet either but it is definitely on the must-watch list.  Sadly, it’s hard for me to go to movie theaters because we have a large family and, well, people are idiots at theaters.

Please turn off your cell phones..  And leave your kids at home.  kthxgg

I am Groot.

Groot Loops Cereal - I Am Groot - You Are Groot - We Are Groot

If you want an in-depth look at Guardians Of The Galaxy over the past several decades, check out Agents Of SHIELDcast.  I’m sure Fred and Heffe will be reporting back with his findings well.  Until then, let’s keep this a spoiler-free zone, friends!

Nose Tampon & Fred’s Recovery

Fred assures us that he is making a speedy recovery and we’re glad to have him back so we can officially-OFFICIALLY welcome Pixelated Pints to the GANG!  That said, try not to give him a hard time about the nasaly sounding voice.  Honestly, I kinda like the Keith Sweat tone to his voice now. *smirk*

Brace Yourself - That Wizard Is Coming

 Destiny Beta Talk..  Again

“That wizard came from the moon!”

Apparently, the wizard is no longer from the moon.  If you don’t know what we’re talking about, check out Fred’s favorite web site (sarcasm) for a little background:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/20/5828892/that-wizard-came-from-the-moon-shirt-destiny-bungie

Fred discusses his feelings on Destiny and why he canceled his pre-order.

If you miss out on the zeitgeist of this game, you will be very lonely.

Heffe likes Destiny.  Fred is not a fan.  His argument (and I am paraphrasing):

What happens if you try to play the Titanfall campaign now?  Disappointment.  Destiny might be different but will the consistent updates be enough.  Still, is Destiny the flavor of the moment.  Will it be relevant in two years?  And WTF is that zeitgeist stuff that keeps coming up on Pixelated Pints Episode 10?

zeitgeist – n. the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

I agree with Fred’s sentiment.  This is actually why I am taking a break from console gaming.  It feels that a lot of games are hot for a week or a few months, then they suck thereafter.  There aren’t many console games I can think of that you can go back to at any time or join late without feeling like you missed out on the full experience.  Destiny has one thing on it’s side: at least it’s not an EA game!

Kickstarter Projects And Explaining “Investment”

Fred has a big problem with Kickstarter.  Heffe sits back while Fred rants a bit.  Fred’s biggest problem is that media outlets refer to Kickstarter backing as “investing”, which is misleading.  Do backers/pledgers really feel that they are entitled to something in return?

Heffe agrees that Kickstarter projects are not investments because there is no profit sharing.  Does material result qualifies as ROI (Return On Investment)?  What do you think?  You can e-mail PP at pixelatedpints@gmail.com or leave us a VM with your thoughts at (206) 415-4987 so we can discuss further.  Don’t be shy – share your thoughts with the GANG!

The infamous Potato Salad Kickstarter project returns.  Fred jokes that the project had a better ROI than most other crowdfunding efforts.  LOL..  Now that may be true indeed!

Here’s a Kickstarter we’d love for you to support: Fire With Fire!  FwF is a PvP TD (Tower Defense) game in the spirit of Tower Wars or Warcraft III customs designed by our pal Theory with music from one of our biggest supporters – Stephen Gibson a.k.a. Esgee!

EA Access: Value Or Rip-Off?

For $30 a year or around $6 a month, you can subscribe to EA Access.  Think Netflix for video games.  While the EA library is very sports-heavy, you can play gems like Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2 FOR FREE for as long as they are available in the library.  It is worth noting that this will be a download service with limited availability.

Sony must have seen this as a conflict of interest since they have their stinker of a streaming service, Playstation NOw.  Sony turned EA Access and now it will be an XBox One exclusive.  Even if you are not interested in the free offerings and yesteryear’s hits, the biggest benefit of the service will be early access granting you a 5-day headstart on new releases.

Fortengard in the “chat” says EA Access will be a paywall within paywall..  And EA is notorious for nickel-and-diming consumers.  As much as I dislike EA, I see the value for your buck.

For some reason, everyone picks on EA.

Fred and Heffe urge gamers to stop complaining about the free stuff we’re getting now with, say, XBox LIVE Games With Gold.  Console gaming is really trying to drive value for gamers.

To put things into perspective, SNK is charging $9 for their Neo-Geo renting services, when you can own the games for that much.  What??  Now, who would be better-suited to do a streaming or rental type subsciption service?  Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, Deep Silver..   What library would get us excited about getting freebies?

Defining Value In Preorders/Retail

One of the recurring themes we have here at GANG is the matter of preorders and retail pricing.  With that, there’s stuff like early access games and Steam Greenlight.

Are preorders and early access good for the consumer?

I’m not a fan of pricing on the console.  When you consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for console gaming, you’re easily spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in a two to five-year span..  Even if you are a “casual” gamer.  PC offers an investment that will last you longer.  The initial entry point can be rough but, after that, there is value around every corner.

Preorders I feel are losing their appeal.  The bonus content rarely warrants the initial buy-in.  For most of us, waiting for a sale makes more sense, unless we are worried about missing out on the zeitgeist for the particular game.  Essentially, we’re paying for the water-cooler conversations and the bragging rights that come with being early adopters.

Fred notes that PC pricing will always be more competitive than console pricing because they have abandoned the retail model long ago.  Consoles also subsidize the hardware cost through attachments, which keeps the initial cost lower than comparable gaming PCs.  Fred goes on to say that early access is a great idea but it needs to be quarantined from the completed games because a lot of these games never quite get “finished”.

Here’s my argument: early access games are often no different than a lot of full retail offerings..  Except you’re paying less for them.  There is less risk with PC gaming.  You get more value for your buck on the PC front, whereas console games are removing value from initial releases more and more.  Just look at how many iterations of Street Fighter IV there are!  And let’s not even get started on the DLCs and locked on-disc content…  Meh.

Unfocused Focus Groups..  And The Decline In US Education

Focus groups still have a place but do gaming companies and their research/marketing partners have any clue what they are doing?  Fred will tell you the answer is a resounding NO!  To illustrate this, he shares a story of a highly-educated woman who suggest a game with Kratos in a World War II setting.  Yup, because WW2 hasn’t been the theme of any game before.

Are focus groups too unfocused to accomplish anything of value?  Value..  There’s that dirty word again.  Furthermore, is US education getting that bad?  Come on, we must have better ideas than that Kratos crap!

Is Minecraft Is Over-Rated?

MOE-JANG pops up into the discussion.  Is Notch a total douche?  What is he doing with the tons of money that Minecraft has made him?

The PP crew agrees that Minecraft is an over-rated POS.  What do you think?  If you ask this guy, Scrolls is the real Mojang game of note.

For more rants and drunken gaming goodness, visit the PP crew at http://pixelatedpints.com/ and PixelatedPints on Google+/YouTube!

The GANG Minute: Choice Chamber, Early HorsePLAY!, Kickstarter Projects Ending Soon… And Stuff

We have some time-sensitive and last-minute updates in this installment of TGM. For more deets, be sure to watch the video and visit us on the official GeekyAntics channel on YouTube and Twitch.

 

Choice Chamber & Twitch Interaction

We did our first Choice Chamber stream and it was AWESOME.  This got us thinking that we need to identify more games that involved the Twitch chat fully.  Choice Chamber engages the Twitch chat by allowing everyone to vote on what happens in the game.  The current prototype is nowhere near complete but it provides tons of replay and interaction..  We can’t wait for the full product!

http://ChoiceChamber.com

If you missed the Kickstarter project, you can gain early access to the beta by using the above link.  I believe the $15 and $30 both feature beta access but the latter deal is much sweeter.  I’ve been talking to Michael and we’ll likely have him join us on a few of our podcasts to talk shop.  He’s a really awesome dude!

Other ways we have been involving the Twitch community more include the Cards Against Humanity clone, Pretend You’re Xyzzy, and Dawngate.  The issue with MOBAs is that, while they are free, you can only involve so many people at once.  Games like Choice Chamber and CAH are far more fully-involved, so that’s the sort of thing we’ll be exploring further.

http://twitch.tv/Yogizilla

Join me for future Choice Chamber streams.   The upcoming beta will likely have multi-channel support, which will be EPIC!  Word on the street is that there are other games featuring Twitch integration on the horizon.  Even the consoles are starting to jump onto this trend.  If you know of any of these, let us know in the comments!

 

Early HorsePLAY! LIVE & Possible Rescheduling

We’ll be starting early tonight, Thursday July 31st 2014.  Expect us to start around 10:45pm Eastern (3:45am GMT) and running a little shorter than usual.  As such, we’re skipping the obligatory news and featured discussion of the evening.  HorsePLAY! LIVE is evolving to be more of an interactive show and THE official radio show for the Geeky Antics network so we’ll be experimenting a lot more with the format.  Tonight, expect more Twitch interaction and call-ins, too!

Join Us LIVEhttp://twitch.tv/GeekyAntics

We’ll be announcing the winner of Magic 2014 and Gun Monkeys on Steam tonight on the show.  We were hoping to break 400-500 entries but no worries – more giveaways will be coming.  For future giveaways, we really need some hype.  The whole reason we give stuff away is to help draw in a greater audience.  We love giving you guys free stuff but we need to get something in return..  After all, we’re starving artists!  LOL

With the earlier start tonight, there’s a good chance we might play with the schedule.  I think we’ll stay on Thursdays but we may shoot for an earlier time.  Heck, maybe we will start at 5:00pm LIVE on AllGames.com – that’d be neat, eh?  Hmmm..  That may be TOO early though. *wink*

 

fire-with-fire-online-tower-attack-and-defense-game

Kickstarter Projects Ending VERY Soon!

First up we have Fire With Fire, which is being developed and produced by some of our friends in the All Games Network community.  This is a TD (Tower Defense) that should make Warcraft III mod fans and mobile gamers super happy in the pants.  The funding period ends Sunday, August 10th 2014 so please share this with everyone you know and tag friends that like this sort of game.  Even if you are not a TD fan, everyone knows people that love em!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/660810230/fire-with-fire-online-tower-attack-and-defense-0?ref=nav_search

Fire With Fire - Tower Defense & Attack Game

Note how this game takes a very streamlined approach to TD PvP action. I am hopeful that this will be the game that Tower Wars should have been.  Keep in mind this screenshot reflects and alpha/prototype version so there will likely be much more polish in the final release version.

factions-box-kickstarter-factions-customizable-strategy-war-game

For tabletop gamers, Factions looks REALLY good.  It is a tile-based, fully-customizable strategy war game.  The game designer reached out to me personally and must have known I am totally into this sort of thing.  Chip Cella a.k.a. CaptinChaos would love this too.  Let’s spread the word because this Kickstarter project also ends on August 10th!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/699966849/factions-a-customizable-strategy-wargame?ref=nav_search

 

 

Goodies Coming To Geeky Antics.. FINALLY!

We’re still working on getting Doctor Who content out to you guys.  Most recently, it was announced that Peter Capaldi will be playing a non-flirty Doctor.  How do you feel about the sexual tension on the series?  Is it a trademark or just pointless pandering/fanfare?

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/30/doctor-who-peter-capaldi-2/

Doctor Who returns on August 23rd but for us in the states, we may have to wait a little longer.  We will keep you posetd!

There are tons of topics we’d love to discuss.  Here are a few of the proposed topics and rough drafts we have in the pipelines:

  • 10 MOBA Myths Debunked
  • Booth Babes Banned – Hypocrisy Or Justice?
  • The PC Police – Are People Too Uptight These Days?
  • SEO Basics For Geeky Journalists & Podcasters
  • Does Doctor Who Need A Strong Female Lead?
  • A Non-Flirty, Serious Doctor: Good Or Bad?
  • And MORE!

The first topic is the funniest to me because, sadly, for a web site to thrive you have to write lists and sometimes paginate..  People have ADD these days soooo..  Yeah.  Please forgive us if we cheat a little bit.  LOL

As always, please share your feedback in the comments…  And remember: WE LOVE YOU!!