Twitch Sings: A Family Affair

On most Saturday nights since this ordeal began, my cousins and I have gathered online to spend some quality time with one another. Though it’s certainly not the same as our in-person get-togethers, it’s a great way for us to stay in touch.

For many months, we’ve used this time to play Jackbox together. A few of our sessions involved the board game Codenames. But the most recent and arguably biggest hit in our family? Twitch Sings.

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It’s been 20+ years since I played Video Games on a PC. Where do I start?

I still vividly remember the day when my attitude towards PC gaming took a turn for the worst. With a Ziploc bag full of 3.5-inch disks, I placed each one into my computer. Had my computer worked its way through the 20-something disks, I would have played Doom on our family computer that day. Instead, I got prompted by DOS that my hardware didn’t have the power to run the game at all.

Though it wouldn’t be the last time I would attempt to play games on PC, it was the watershed moment that made me realize that I had zero tolerance for the hassle inherent to the platform at the time. I didn’t want to get left behind because I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on a high-end rig. Or fumble through DOS in order to fix some weird quirks in a game’s installation that prevent it from working as intended. Even at the cost of raw power, I don’t regret opting for the convenience of consoles ever since. The last game I remember spending any meaningful time with on PC was Descent in the mid-to-late 90s.

Fast forward to today. I’ve got a neon monolith under my desk. Though I bought it to be a dedicated streaming machine, I get the sense that it has the horsepower to run most modern games. Furthermore, thanks to a broader effort to standardize gaming on PC, it feels like the platform is a bit more plug-and-play than it used to be. Having missed out on decades of PC gaming, where do I start?

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The Experience of Building a Gaming and Streaming PC From Scratch

Do you like to…do-it-yourself?

With a host of new parts and my old rig sitting on the dining table, I was about to embark on a PC project larger than anything I’d taken on before: build my own PC from the ground up.

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I Finally Bought a New Streaming and Gaming PC

“and with that…i think this build is…done?”

After many months of planning, saving, and countless messages exchanged with my PC sherpa fakeghostpiraterobot, I’d arrived at a place I never thought I’d reach. The money was ready. The parts were picked. All I had to do now was go shopping.

A few pickups and deliveries later, I finally was in possession of everything I needed to build a new PC.

“that’s going to be an awesome computer for a long time.”

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Why I Bought a Money Gun Instead of a New Streaming PC: Making the Right Improvements for My Streaming Setup

A while back, my wife and I were at a local clearance outlet. Scrounging through the store’s toy section, we stumbled upon the Monopoly Cash Grab Game. Unlike its classic tabletop predecessor, this one essentially boils down to one player shooting Monopoly money out of a money gun while the other players grab as much of it as they can.

I bought it with the intent of using it as a prop on stream. Finally, to celebrate reaching 200 follows on Twitch, I emptied the chamber in a blaze of glory to the delight of everyone viewing live and for those who saw the clip on social media afterwards.

[SIDE NOTE: Thank you for your ongoing support! The best part of streaming is the opportunity to spend time with you. Will continue my best to make this show valuable to you!]

The money gun was a blast to use. But was it a better use of my limited streaming budget at that moment? Especially when I’ve squeezed every ounce of life from my aging PC?

Yes. 

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Essential Hardware Upgrades for Console Video Game Streaming

Looking to start streaming?

Having the right hardware is just a part of the overall experience, but it’s an important foundation to have. Without the right gear, your stream could suffer from lag, blurriness, your voice sounding scratchy through a crappy microphone, or any number of other problems that negatively impact your production quality. With so many good streams out there, it’s important to not let your hardware deter others from enjoying your show.

Compiling the lessons I’ve learned over the past two years, here’s a list of hardware upgrades to consider as you build the streaming rig of your dreams!

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My Failed Attempt at Upgrading My Streaming PC

For months now, I’ve been preparing to upgrade my PC. Though I’ve never done anything of the sort, I’ve had friends coach me on what parts to buy and how to install everything. As soon as all of the parts came in, I cleared off the kitchen table, got a screwdriver, and got to work. This is my story of PC upgrading failure.

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My Hardware Roadmap For Better Video and Streaming

When it comes to producing video content, I’ve come a long way from pointing a webcam at my TV. I can output video in 720p HD, live stream, and produce video segments for shows like Board Game Talk. Hope you have enjoyed at least some of my output thus far.

While there’s still much for me to learn in terms of the things I can do to produce a better product that go beyond hardware, I can’t ignore my hardware deficiencies. As I’ve become slightly more proficient at this, I continue to run into the same or new challenges that either slow down my workflow or prevent me from executing on my ideas as originally intended.

Below is a list of things I would like to add to my repertoire someday. It won’t be cheap, and I certainly don’t have the money to add most of these items to my collection any time soon, but if I want to push this video thing as far as I can go, I should have the right tools for the job.

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Dreams of XCOM 2 Appearing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was one of my favourite games last generation. It was an excellent (and sometimes brutally difficult) turn-based strategy game that really put your skills to the test. I loved it so much that I beat it multiple times on console and then played through it a third time on iOS. While I am glad that XCOM 2 is set to be released in just a few days, I’m hugely disappointed in Firaxis and 2K’s decision to go PC-only.

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Can You Play Borderlands 2 From a Third Person Perspective?

Since the release of Borderlands 2, my site has been slammed with traffic from users searching “Borderlands 2 third person” and all variations of that query. It seems like a lot of you want to know if/how to play Borderlands 2 from this particular camera angle, and coincidentally, my blog is called In Third Person. Though I appreciate all of the extra traffic to my site, I really hope Google isn’t driving people here that will ultimately be disappointed when my posts don’t answer the question. With that in mind, I’ll answer this seemingly burning question:

“Can you play Borderlands 2 from a third person perspective?

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