Livestream Thoughts

I’d like to try out livestreaming some game development stuff as I work on my side-project game. I’m thinking I’ll archive them on YouTube and chronicle them here. I may do some streams just to test out my set-up first (of whatever I’m playing at the time). But the development side is something that really interests me.

The primary motivation is both selfish and just that, motivation. Something that really appeals is having a forcing function for something I could easily “just do next week” if needed. If I’ve said I’m going to livestream on a set schedule a couple of days a week, I really need to turn up then and do it. And there is little chance of being distracted by work or other shiny things.

Even if you consider the lower productivity due to being on camera, talking, and answering questions occupying brain-space while I’m coding, it’s likely a win just to be forced to do something each week. The downside of being a workaholic is that hobbies close to your day-job usually fall prey to the thing that pays the bills.

The timing of livestreams depends on a few factors, and I’m still trying to work out when to start, what schedule to keep, etc. Primarily I’m trying to decide how far along and how confident I want to be before I start. The game is being built in Unreal Engine 4 and I have a lot less experience with than Unity.

So on one hand I’d feel more comfortable starting when I have more complete understanding of working in UE4 and had more of the game done as a result. While I am considerably more productive in Unity, for a number of reasons UE4 is my engine of choice for my personal game development work. There is a definite appeal to being more confident with the tech when doing this in public.

On the other hand, there might be some value in seeing me fumble my way through the initial stages. It’s not that I’ve never built things with it before, however I’m definitely not at the point where I’m moving at the speed of thought – so documentation will be frequented and mistakes will be made. Even with 20 years doing pretty much exactly this, I still don’t know the Unreal Engine-way of handling things (The Easy Way vs The Hard Way. Where the engine is helping you more, rather than confusing you or getting in your way).

I’ve been trying to better at pushing myself out of my comfort zone more often. I figure there might be entertainment or educational value to do it earlier than I’d personally like. Game development is hard, regardless of how long you’ve been doing it. I’m still wrapping my head around it all, but if you’re interested in keeping up to date with that thinking, follow me on Twitter.