For both famous pros and amateurs alike, streaming sites such as Twitch have become very popular by allowing players to share live video and audio of their gameplay to viewers world over. While we were out at E3 this year, we stopped by the Twitch booth to see what was up with one of our favorite game streaming destinations. There were plenty of Twitch staff on hand to discuss what they’ve been up to, and they even had djWHEAT. We talked with Twitch’s Jon “Carnage” Joyce and one of their technical experts about their one year anniversary, the new Xbox app, and the new brand (you may notice they’re no longer called Twitch.TV). Yet, perhaps even more interesting was the SDK they developed for game studios.
Currently, to stream your gameplay you need to use a third party tool such as the popular Xsplit. While it is a powerful tool, Xsplit still has a fair learning curve and some experimentation users need to go through to get the best results. If you try to stream in higher quality than your upload bandwidth and machine can handle, you’re going to affect your gameplay and cause your stream to stutter. If you go with too low of quality, your viewers won’t get the best looking video they could, either.
Twitch’s SDK is designed to help solve that problem and eliminate the need for third party tools for games that support it. If integrated into a title, players could begin a stream from within a game itself. Gameplay, system sound, and microphone audio are currently all able to be captured, and webcam support is on the way. More importantly, the SDK will intelligently optimize the video stream, ensuring your viewers get a great view while your gameplay suffers less of an impact. The idea of taking advantage of that with the Killer’s Advanced Stream Detect™ makes us pretty giddy.
However, developers will actually need to implement this SDK before players will be able to make any use of it. Currently they’ve only announced a partnership with Paradox Interactive, but more studios could come aboard if implementing it doesn’t take too much time. Which it apparently it doesn’t. According to Twitch, the SDK is effectively a directory that developers can insert into their game files with a “one day install” time.