Having Issues Streaming Retro Games With a 4:3 Aspect Ratio on Twitch? Try This Overlay Design Trick in OBS!

In a world where 16:9 is the norm, retro games created with the old 4:3 aspect ratio can be a pain to stream. Having to fit a square gameplay feed into a rectangle overlay leads to a lot of empty space, forcing streamers to create overlays specific to retro gaming.

One potential way to fill the extra space is to mirror the gameplay and blur the background. This effect is most commonly used when displaying vertically-shot videos on a widescreen display. Here’s how to implement this look on your stream!

Continue reading

The Latest Trend on Twitch? A Bigger and Better View of You

“Kelsey’s view of herself is…very large.”

I made this observation as my wife was watching KelseyDangerous stream Animal Crossing: New Horizons (she’s a great streamer by the way and you should check out her show!). Unlike the thumbnail-sized streamer views I’ve seen in the past when the streamer has overlaid themselves over-top of their gameplay, Kelsey’s view was a large square that covered up a sizable portion of the screen. It was also cropped in such a way where you could see more than just her face. In this view, you could everything from the torso up.

As I’ve continued to explore Twitch in recent months, it’s become apparent to me that Kelsey’s overlay strategy is not a one-off. Streamers of all sorts are making the view of themselves larger, even if that means you see less of the gameplay underneath.

Continue reading

Gaming Decor Patch Notes: September 2019 Edition

Can you spot the differences?

It’s that time again to break down the new items making their debut on my wall! Next time you pop into one of my streams, make sure to be on the look out for these new additions!

Continue reading

Adventures in Spray Paint Art

As I watched Nathan Salmon create a pair of amazing art pieces with spray paint for me, two thoughts swirled through my mind.

  1. Holy cow this process and end result look incredible!
  2. The basics of what he’s doing don’t look that difficult…

Though I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make the Ninja Turtles pose in front of a city skyline anytime soon, the fundamentals of creating planets, space, and stars seemed doable for a hack like me that’s never spray painted anything in his life. After watching a number of tutorial videos on YouTube, my wife and I bought a bunch of supplies and dedicated an afternoon to creating some spray paint art of our own.

Continue reading

Game Design Talk: Gap It Up

I’m still playing (and for the most part) enjoying Skate, which I’m playing at a very leisurely pace. While it’s a lot of fun to just cruise around the world and bust tricks, there are some very awkward design choices that can annoy the heck out of you when you play Skate. The inability to walk can be infuriating due to the way the world is designed. Bystanders always seem to get in the way of your objectives, which leaves you skating into them more than you would like. But I wanted to talk about one very specific case of poor game design that drove me nuts.

Continue reading

Game Design Talk: The Money Play

The first time I remember finding a “money play” was in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. After a few fights with Rocksteady, I figured out a cheap way to beat him without him ever touching me. If you’ve ever played this game, you probably figured this trick out, too. If you don’t, the image above shows how to do it. If you’re perched up on those boxes with Donatello and attack down, Rocksteady will just eat your attacks until he dies with no way to fight back. I was only six years old when I figured that out. Before I ever took the time to think about how video games worked, I had already figured out how to exploit the system.

Continue reading

Call of Duty: World at War Pushes Me to the Brink

Call of Duty: World at War was a game that, even after Modern Warfare 2 blew my mind, I had no interest in going back for. It had two major hurdles: it was a World War II shooter and it was made by Treyarch, whom I’ve been lead to believe made the “not-so-good” Call of Duty games.

Well, I decided to give World at War a shot when I saw it on sale at a price I couldn’t refuse. Did it earn a Purple Heart, or make me wish I was killed in action? After finishing the solo campaign, I would say a little from column A, a little from column B.

Continue reading

Game Design Talk: Soul Calibur IV and the Apprentice

Within minutes of first playing Soul Calibur IV, the game has already figured out how to infuriate me. I’m not even close to being a good player at any Soul Calibur game, but I did play enough Soul Calibur II to beat the game on normal difficulty with every character. Having been out of practice, I decided to get reacquainted with the systems by starting out in Arcade mode.

Up until the second last level, I was doing just fine. But it was then that I was pit against the Apprentice.

Continue reading

Game Design Talk: Taking Control Out of My Hands

(SPOILER ALERT: This post will discuss major plot points in Modern Warfare 2 and Prince of Persia)

The terrorist scene in Modern Warfare 2 has been dissected from every conceivable angle by now. Odds are if you’re a fan of reading niche video game blogs like mine, you’ve probably played this sequence and have already come to your own conclusions about it.

For the record, I hate it. I hate it for a number of reasons, but for the sake of this discussion, I’m only going to get into one reason why I dislike this scene. I don’t hate it for the fact that you get to shoot innocent people. I applaud Infinity Ward for leaving that option open. However, that entire scenario is fundamentally broken because of the people you can’t shoot.

Continue reading