Infiniscene Is My New Best Friend
I don’t do a lot of streaming; I’m a 43-year-old male who doesn’t play MOBA or Overwatch and therefore I am in no one’s demographic, but there are some circumstances where I think streaming would be a cool idea — I would have really liked to have streamed our Dungeons & Dragons gameplay, for example — but only if certain criteria could be met. Namely, I really want a streaming service to support multiple remote video sources, both webcam and desktop. For some ding dang diddly reason, none of the big streaming players support this, and none of the major broadcast software providers do either.
Thanks to the fact that I sign up for everything and therefore get on all kinds of mailing lists, I got an email from a service called Infiniscene about their impending name change to Lightstream. Nice, good for them, but in investigating their feature page further I noticed this gem:
Holy hand grenades! This is 100% exactly what I’d always wanted from a streaming service because I’m progressive like that.
Now, I get why services like Twitch or Beam have never gone down this road: they cater to the individual personality and promotion schtick. It’s easier to partner and build their services on the back of a handful of individuals that they can work with, whereas having to deal with people as a group can get complicated and messy.
But I really think we’re getting to the point where the field of the Internet Personality is pretty saturated. You can find anyone streaming almost anything, and like an iceberg, the little bit you see at the top belies the fact that the bulk of the structure lies deep, deep underwater; there’s a crapload of people streaming these days, but most go unwatched while the market favors select individuals with select…traits, we’ll call them. What the streaming market needs now is gimmicks beyond the “hey what’s up guys” beanie and cleavage offerings…like collaboration!
I sent this notification to my friends who aren’t known to be the most “service-progressive” group with the notion of how cool it would be to play something like The Division with a four person perspective, and someone mentioned that it would be awesome to set up a game like Ghost Recon: Wildlands which does require players to spread out more and would provide a more exciting multi-person view of the same action. They seemed amazingly open to the idea, which is awesome! We just need to remember to set it up one night when we’re all online in order to try it.
Truth be told, I could have always done this. I had once (or twice, actually) set up a custom RTMP server that I could have several users ‘cast to, which would allow me to set up their end points as different sources in OBS or Xsplit, but then I’d have to broadcast that out to Twitch or Beam which meant a crapload of traffic on my side, and this is before we’ve even gotten to the bandwidth required for whatever game I was playing. Infiniscene apparently runs everything from their side, meaning that their tray app takes my input only — game and/or webcam — and munges it together on their server and sends the resulting signal to the service of my choice. This is unlike apps such as OBS and XSplit which send my signal directly to Twitch or Beam or YouTube in isolation.
Seriously, I can’t believe none of the other services have done this, although I suspect that it’ll only be a matter of time before they do.