What makes for a good streaming overlay? With streaming as a medium still in its infancy, the answer is rapidly-evolving and highly-subjective. Once upon a time, overlays weren’t a thing. Then we moved into a phase where streamers filled the screen with design elements and widgets. These days, the new wave is a larger camera view within your gameplay scene so that viewers get a better view of the streamer.
Furthermore, overlays aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. As one example, I greatly prefer the look of streams that put the camera overtop of full-width gameplay. However, that particular presentation style doesn’t work for speed-runners who display their time splits on the side or for retro games that are presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Based on my experiences of watching Twitch and tinkering with my own overlay, here are aspects of overlay design that I like. There are links to every streamer I reference in case you’re interested in checking them out. I’m by no means an expert on overlay design. Just using this post to share design elements that I appreciate!
I’ve engaged with streaming as a medium for quite a long time. Even before the existence of Twitch, I remember being glued to my computer when I stumbled on the Devastation 2009 Street Fighter IV tournament that was broadcast on Ustream.
Though I would become an avid viewer of fighting game tournaments from that point onward, I didn’t really immerse myself in the medium as a streamer or as an engaged viewer until 2018. During that time, my streaming efforts finally started to generate some momentum and I discovered how amazing it can be to watch and engage with streams as a viewer.
These days, I’m deep in the trenches. Singing or rapping my heart out at the start of every stream. Spamming emotes in a fellow streamer’s chat. Inviting streamer friends over for ice cream. Spending countless hours in front of the computer programming in new elements into my own show. It takes up more of my time than any other hobby.
Here are some reasons why I’ve become so enthralled with the medium!
For many months now, viewers have been spamming the “Mind Blown” emote every time I go live. Still love seeing my head explode, but my signature emote now has company. If you’ve got a tier 1 sub to twitch.tv/inthirdperson, I hope you enjoy this trio of new emotes!