Streaming Setup: September 2021

I personally find it interesting to see what people’s streaming and/or recording setups are like, so when I was doing interviews with streamers and community members that’s one question I’d always ask, and try to get a picture from them to share. I had my camera out and took some pictures of my current studio setup, so thought I’d share them. I recently moved my entire setup twice, once to a new spot and then back again because the new one didn’t work out like I thought it would.

Here’s how my current streaming / recording setup looks.

Rigaroga streamer desk Sept 2021

And here’s a look at my embarrassing cable hell behind the desk.

Rigaroga streamer desk Sept 2021 cable hell

And here’s the view from where I sit as I stream and record.

Rigaroga streamer desk Sept 2021 my view

Perhaps you’re curious about specifics. So, here’s my view, but annotated.

Rigaroga streamer desk Sept 2021 my view annotated

My main machine is a iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017), 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4, and Radeon Pro 580 8 GB. I have wired and wireless Apple keyboards, and wireless Apple mouse. I also have a wired Razer gaming mouse. I use the wired KB and mouse so I don’t destroy battery whilst gaming. I use the less than great built-in camera for my face. On my iMac I run OBS for streaming and scene switching. The iMac does most of the work, both playing and streaming.

On the table I have a Raspberry Pi 400, which currently pretty much only runs Foundry VTT so far. The Pi is plugged my Elgato HD 60 S+. The Elgato is then connected to an HDMI splitter box which right now feeds only a 27″ Sceptre 1440p 144Hz monitor. Of course, the Eglato is connected to my iMac via USB for AV capture. Not shown is my Nvidia Shield TV, on which I pretty much only run GeForce Now, or at least I did when it worked, for video game play and streaming. The Shield would simply be swapped into place instead of the Pi.

For both computing devices on the table, I use wired 1 Gbps / Cat 7 ethernet which connects directly to a 1 Gbps fiber router. Elsewhere in the house I use a Wifi 6 wireless mesh router, to which I connect all my other devices.

Under the table is also a 1000VA/600W UPS with 10 Outlets, and I pretty much use all of them. It kicks in to cover for kinda frequent quick power loss or brown outs, and it is just enough to give me time to safely shut everything down for less frequent longer outages. As I write this, the last time it was necessary and kicked in was just yesterday!

I use two other cameras, both Logitech C920 1080p, for whole desk view, on a scissor arm in the middle between the monitors, and dice / close up view, attached to a desk stand on my left side, which I can easily move around as needed.

In the center, above the desk view camera, I have a Blue Yeti Silver USB mic, with shock mount on boom mic stand. (I just realized I’ve had this mic for over 12 years! I actually have two of these entire setups available. Way back in the day, I would record using both, one to each side, to do binaural / separated stereo, but only have one currently in use.) I have my mic set to stereo in a cardioid pickup pattern.

The other thing on the table is my huge red mug of black tea, my own take on a builder’s cuppa with half and half milk and dark brown sugar. (I start every day with this, first thing, and then move on to several liters of carbonated lemon-lime water for the rest of the day; both of which I’m sometimes drinking on stream. Rarely I’ve also had dark beer in an imperial pint glass, instead of moving to water, whilst playing.)

The desk is an Ikea dining table. I use this for my desk because it has way more table surface than a typical desk and there’s nothing under the desk to hit my knees or shins on, which is something I absolutely cannot stand about most work desks. And, I sit on a work chair to which I added upgraded rollerblade style wheels. Under that is an Ikea oriental runner rug.

Behind me to my left side is a second table (on which is my library card catalog and above which is a rather large empty picture frame), which I don’t use for streaming stuff (yet?).

Further behind me on the wall I have a 6×9 green screen backdrop, which I’ve hung sideways.

Attached to the table are two LED task lights, on the back corners of the table, one on each side. Whilst streaming, I use these to light both myself and the green screen behind me. One task light is actually a lighted magnifying glass, in case I need it.

Well, that’s about it! Except for the occasional cat, and, you know, maybe an actual physical game, that’s pretty much everything I have and use for my current streaming and recording setup.

Summary for the month of August 2021

I did some stuff on YouTube. What stuff I did were live streams, now unlisted. I mostly tried to live streamed at 6:66am Central on Thursdays, until I got tired or too hot, usually a few hours. I also did live stream randomly on some Tuesdays at 6:66am Central, but that was a fluke (or was it?!). I think I’ve now changed my mind and given up on Saturdays, preferring Thursdays as my most likely day streaming. I didn’t stream any video games this month. For some reason Geforce Now on my nVidia Shield won’t work correctly since the last update, and I haven’t been able to fix it. Some portions of some live streams got posted as archives. Here’s what I posted of what I did.

Yeah. That’s it. ::shrug::

Summary for the month of July 2021

I did some stuff on YouTube. What stuff I did were live streams, now unlisted. I mostly live streamed at 6:66am Central on Saturdays, until I got tired or too hot, usually a few hours; or the one weekend where I was getting a new roof installed so streamed later on Sunday instead. I also did live stream randomly on some Thursdays at 6:66am Central, but that was a fluke (or was it?!). Some portions of some live streams got posted as archives. Here’s what I posted of what I did.

Yeah. That’s it. ::shrug::

Summary for the month of June 2021

Welp. That’s it. After trying for a little while again, and having less than 1 viewer on average, I’ve finally given up on Twitch streaming permanently. I’ll still be posting videos on YouTube, I think, sometimes, maybe, and I’ve actually done a few live streams. However, I have only been doing live streams on YT set to become unlisted after they end, so they disappear, even if they don’t vanish completely. Catch ’em if you can randomly find me live, I guess.

Mostly that’s what’s new. I’m not sure if it makes much sense to keep this blog going, but then I haven’t been sure of that for a long time. IDEK.

Mostly this month has been about being too damned hot along with constant, pretty much daily, thunderstorms, flood warnings. There’s also been a few power outages and dealing with trying to get repairs to the house.

Other than a few live streams that are now unlisted, I’ve only posted 2 videos publicly, both in the last few days, and I’ve not done any actual tabletop / board game playing. Honestly, I start to get things ready and just give up, and have other things I have to do. Just not happening right now, still, again. Whatever.

Yeah. That’s it. ::shrug::

Summary for the month of May 2021

At the very end of April, I had brand new 1 Gbps Internet installed. I celebrated by actually live streaming for the first time since August 2019. Mostly I live streamed actual play of Ironsworn: Starforged but also played a lot of Destiny 2, and a little bit of No Man’s Sky and Outward.

My current tabletop streaming setup is pretty much the same as it was back in August 2019, but I did add, in May, a chroma background, which works mostly. My lighting is crappy, so it doesn’t work as well as it should, but it’s fine.

For live streaming games, I use to play on my Mac (iMac, Retina 5K, 27-inch, 4.2 Ghz i7, 64 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 580 8 GB), either native or using Parallels to run Windows on a virtual machine. I’ve given up on that. I picked up an extra screen that was on sale (Sceptre 27″ IPS QHD 144Hz), an Elgato HD 60 S+, and an HDMI splitter. Then I hooked all that up to my old Nvidia Shield TV, and plug in a keyboard and mouse. Then, I play games I own on Steam or Epic through GeForce Now on the device, and capture that to OBS on my Mac through the Elgato. It works pretty darned well, I must say. I also picked up a chat link cable, but, for some reason, that doesn’t work at all, so if I’m streaming I can’t yet use in-game voice chat in things like Destiny 2. The audio for chat has to go through the controller, but if I do that then the audio doesn’t reach OBS at all. But, that’s fine. I just listen to the audio routed through OBS as I play, without voice chat.

I signed up for the GeForce Now service, so I get priority access to virtual machines, and RTX is turned on. It’s pretty! And works better than trying to play on my Mac whilst also streaming from it. As someone without funds to get a real PC just to play games, this is an amazing solution. And the streaming works great, and there’s plenty of bandwidth for all of it!

Speed test 28apr2021 new fiber

The major downside, however, is that I really can’t play indie games anymore. I can only play what I have access to through GeForce Now, which is not small, but certainly precludes a lot of my library. But, what I do have access to includes a lot that I couldn’t even try to play before. So, it’s a trade off.

At some point this month, I bit the bullet and recreated a Twitter account. I found that I kept going back to Twitter to check on news from particular accounts, so I created a private account where I only have a list of those accounts I want news from; and I neither accept follows nor follow directly anyone else. It is my compromise. Without followers, I’m not tempted to lie to myself that tweets reach someone, that I’m not howling into an empty void. So, that’s where that is. (And, here I am howling into a different void. FML.)

Also, I heard about a replacement for the old Project Wonderful scrappy ad auction site, which I used to run over on Hermetic Library for a long time. I always liked being able to offer ad spaces that were more indie and open to people jumping in that wouldn’t really do so otherwise. So, I signed up and added an ad space to this blog through the ComicAd Network. The focus is less about books and writing, so doesn’t really work well for Hermetic Library like PW did, but the game and nerdy Odd Order blog does fit, even if there’s not much traffic. It’s neat to see what interesting and wacky stuff show up!

Yeah. What else?! Idek. That’s what comes to mind.

Twitch

I started to stream tabletop / actual play every Thursday 4:20pm–6:66pm US/Central. Other streams were entirely random, but probably a lot more than I will stream in June. I’m vaguely thinking about scheduling a video game stream on Saturdays 6:66am–4:20pm, but I’m not sure yet. If I had people watching, I would take it more seriously, but that’s chicken-and-egg …

Twitch analytics May 2021

Anyhow, for May 2021, I had an average of 0.9 viewers, gained 1 follower, have 0 subscribers, made $4.03 ($4 from cheers, and 3¢ from ads), and streamed for a total of 58 hours. Sad, but true.

I decided to only archive my actual play videos to YouTube, so the video game streams will stay on Twitch and expire in a week or two after they are live.

Ironsworn: Starforged Actual Play Series

Here’s the series so far, archived to YouTube:

Here’s other videos and archived streams for May 2021

Summary for the month of September 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of September 2019.

I started out the month by taking an indefinite hiatus from streaming live, and I’ve also stopped doing videos for video games for the foreseeable future.

Starting the month, I cancelled my expensive Internet link, and tried out a couple of alternatives. The first was a 4G LTE mobile hotspot which turned out to have only a fraction of 4G LTE speeds. Turns out a wired DSL line was faster, for some value of fast that isn’t. So, even still, I’m doing that. How strange to be on a “slow” line. I mean, there was a time when a T1 at 1Mbps was out of this world, both in speed and expense. I started out, way back when, with a 300 baud modem.

I’ve been able to upload videos, but some of the longer ones can take … quite a while. A two hour video uploading to YouTube took me 36 hour, not including editing and preparing, nor including time to restart when the upload fails. But, I’ve been managing to do some videos each week. Started some new games, such as Tunnel Goons (with the Shroom Goons jam), Adrift, and FATE, and have started some pre-play work on papercrafting for The Forgotten God campaign using D&D 5e Solo.

I also had a number of videos queued up for premieres through the first half of the month, which helped keep things going each week whilst I was struggling with options. There’s the ongoing Stranger Things related series, which is still going. I also premiered the series finale of “The Island with No Name” from the Seas of Vodari Quickstart.

That’s about it. No posts to the blog this month. Just a few actual play videos and social media posts. Might stop doing the blog soon. Idek.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of August 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of August 2019.

The final couple episodes posted to the archive of season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement.

I also continued playing D&D 5e solo with characters from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. I actually added one more, Max’s Zoomer, an archetype of Rogue, to the other five. But I continued with them using the first of three linked 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’ve been calling that adventure Keep on the Upside Down, and the first have posted to the archive, while the rest I’ve streamed will post through mid-September, once a week. I streamed through Episode 7.

I finished streaming episodes of season 1, The Island with No Name, the introductory adventure in the Seas of Vodari Quickstart Guide. I got that because I was a backer of the crowdfunding effort, and played it because it seemed like a fun thing to do next.

For Seas of Vodari, instead of playing a bunch of full characters, I decided to try one character with some sidekicks, using mostly the Sidekick rules from D&D Essentials Kit but also considering the Unearthed Arcana Sidekicks rules as well. For the most part it worked well. It took a little while to get used to the sidekicks, and to stop treating them as full characters, instead of as support characters. And, a few episodes in I realized I needed to add an additional, third, sidekick. Even then, through the entire playtest, I feel like I was very underpowered. I suspect that if I play using sidekicks again, I’ll treat the suggested levels for encounters as actually n+1; so that if an encounter thinks characters should be level 1, I really need to be at least level 2 when playing solo even with a good roster of sidekicks. Ultimately, it was a pretty harrowing adventure with lots of danger faced! But, it was super fun to get to play the character I played and I really liked the funny, silly sidekicks I created. I’m actually sad to see that come to an end and felt bad for what I put them through!

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo … but I’ve made a really big change recently that means I won’t be streaming anymore.

I actually did also stream a few video games this last month, so those are listed below too. But, I’m pretty much done with doing videos of video games, I think. Just no one ever watched them except for me (watching myself play a game in a video I already played when I streamed it is strange and silly!) so there’s not really any point to it. I always liked getting to check out new indie games when devs or publishers sent me a key, but also felt bad when I streamed them but had no audience watching. So, yeah. Going to let that go.

I did keep doing re-run marathons on Twitch through last month with all the videos that hadn’t expired. All in all, hanging out for 17 hours two times a week by myself commenting on myself playing was a bit much. I did see a lot of unique viewers and so forth, but not really any increase in people following my profile or hanging out to chat much.

I did see a few people come to my D&D 5e solo streams and hang out, which was pretty fun, and we joked about things and thought things out in realtime. I’ll miss that now that I’m not streaming. But, as great as that was, here’s the thing: I’m currently seeing more people checking out my actual play videos on YouTube in 48 hours than check out my streams on Twitch through the entire month. Still not a lot, but it’s a big difference! It seems like people find me on YouTube a lot easier than on Twitch.

A couple months ago, the promotional pricing on my Internet expired, and I called to cancel; but, I was told I could have a new promotional pricing that was only $1 more than it was. Okay, cool. Only that never got applied to my account. I felt lied to, to be honest.

There are two companies in this town working on symmetrical gigabit fibre but neither are on my street yet. They each charge about $100/mo which is a lot. But Spectrum/Charter charges $91/mo for a soft 400/25, and in comparison that’s just bonkers. When it was only $70/mo I could justify it. Not at $91/mo.

So, that’s it. I cancelled my overpriced high speed Internet service at the end of August. That means I won’t be streaming again for … who knows how long? Permanent hiatus until further notice. I just can’t justify the expense, and the only reason I justified the expense to myself was that I needed it to keep streaming. Without one leg, the other falls too.

I’ll probably try to record and post more actual play videos as premieres to my YouTube and Twitch channels to see if I keep it up. If I can get them uploaded. I’ll try it out, and I’ve got until mid-September queued up from past streams to tide people over until I do figure out a way, if it can be done well enough.

No longer thought of myself as a streamer even though I was streaming, and now I’ll not even be streaming. But, I may still post videos as premieres. We’ll see how it goes from here!

But, either way, that’s my summary of things through the end of August.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of July 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of July 2019.

The announced July 4th release date for the new rules and app for Weave by Monocle Society came and went with resounding silence. Eventually the app was updated, and the new rules made available, but only via a link posted on their Discord. However, the old rules are still what’s on their website, and the app has some of the same old issues along with totally new showstopper bugs. The app isn’t just a companion app, but it’s required to play. So, when I create a character and the character doesn’t save to the season, that’s a showstopper. Also, the new combined rules are a lot more complicated than the simplified ruleset I was using, but I can’t even try them out because the app is so broken. The app also doesn’t seem to have all the features that were supposed to be available, such as a playset editor, so I can’t while away the time making a new playset either. I’ve given up trying to play Weave for now. Maybe given up for good. It’s a shame, really, because season 1 was really fun and full us surprises to play. But, in the end, I can’t play what I can’t play.

I’ve finished season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement. Mostly I did fun silly quests, but there ended up being a funny narrative I built for myself to tell them as a linked story. The final quest was pretty great, a dungeon crawl, and a suitable conclusion for the characters. Cool. I’m looking forward to starting up a new season with new characters and trying out some of the many other quests. Also, I keep thinking about looking into writing a quest or two myself, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. But, the last couple of episodes will post to my YouTube channel in August, although I already played them. If you want to watch them now, just head over to my past broadcasts on Twitch while they’re still there, before they expire.

I also finished season 1, comprised of 4 episodes, of the Hunt for the Thessalhydra from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. This was my first ever time trying to play D&D 5e solo! I feel like it worked pretty well; though I did lose track of some of cool abilities the 5 characters had available. Too much to track even though I used the Looney Pyramids for minis and Arcane Library Combat Cards to help me out; also I got the adventure on D&D Beyond. But, that was exciting to try.

I could continue the series by using the 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’m not sure yet.

If I do more Stranger Things, I’ll keep all the characters, and probably add a Rogue Zoomer named Max. But, for other series, I’ll definitely tend toward one character with some sidekicks, instead of a party of full character sheets to keep track of whilst playing.

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Forgotten Realms (Beginner, Essentials & Ghosts of Saltmarsh), Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood

… but I’m still not sure what to do next! I guess I’ll know when I know, and then I’ll be doing it. I’m looking forward to the next thing … whichever thing that turns out to be!

Also, I actually streamed a few video games this last month! But, no posts other than the previous summary.

This last month I have started to do re-run marathons on Twitch. I’ve been doing a Sunday Solo Tabletop Roleplaying Rerun Marathon and a Tuesday Video Game Stream Rerun Marathon. I’ll keep doing those as long as there’s past broadcasts that haven’t expired.

And, that’s yet another month off the grill, toasted and sliced and presented on a pretty plate.

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of June 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of June 2019.

I finished Season 1 of Weave by Monocle Society last month. Littleback has been saved from a dastardly moonshard apocalypse! Essentially the triumphant end of season one! Since this game helps me develop a narrative story at the table, I posted summaries of my adventures, and Part 2 posted this last month. What next? Further adventures with Kabo Aboom? A different Weave playset? I think I’ve decided I will wait for the new rules and app on July 4th. I’ll decide what to do next at that point. Hopefully, some of the issues I’ve had with the app will be resolved, without new issues. Plus, I’ve got some ideas about what I’d create for some playsets, if doing that with the new app is as polished as promised.

I’ve continued playing Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. I made it through the three tutorials and finished my first non-tutorial quest, although the video posted to my YouTube channel today, I played it a this weekend, before the end of the month. Unfortunately, there’s a showstopper in that quest that makes it impossible for me to complete. I don’t know what the issue is specifically, internally to the app; but, it presents as the app hanging when I click on the “victory” button at the end of what I presume is the final battle. So … I don’t know. I hope that’s not something that happens a lot! I mean, this quest is a featured quest that won one of the writing contests, so I’d have imagined that it would have been well tested and functioning, right? Yeah. Without the app, and quests, if that turns out to be an ongoing, pervasive problem, then I’m not going to continue playing.

I went through all the prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Phandalin (Beginner & Essentials), Stranger Things, Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood … plus ongoing Weave, Expedition, Gloomhaven, and more … yikes.

And, that’s not even counting things I’ve kind of soured on playing, like Index Card RPG, Illimat, and Invisible Sun, but have series started that I’ve thought about continuing, after a fashion.

For playing D&D solo, I think I’ve got in mind that I’ll play the Stranger Things adventure Hunt for the Thessalhydra first. I’ll stumble through that and see how it goes. And then I’ll think about how things could go smoother, better, and, if I’ll continue. I keep noodling about it, and should just get to it at some point. Maybe.

And, that’s another month on the books, in the can, for the record.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of May 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of May 2019.

In mid-May, I finally hit 500 hours of live streaming on Twitch since my first stream back on Sep 5, 2014. It’s been a long, uneven, and strange trip. There’s been periods where I haven’t been able to stream, and periods when I only uploaded videos to YouTube, but over the years, off and on, in fits and starts, I’ve managed to stream 500 hours. Yay me!

Rigaroga Twitch 500 hours May 2019

I’m also seriously amused that even with all my struggles, I’m in the top third of content creators on Keymailer, a service where developers can send keys so people can check out their games. There are other services, some have come and gone, others still exist, which I’ve tried, but Keymailer has been, for me, the most useful. Okay, enough of the hype; except you might consider checking them out if you’re a creator interested in playing new things often.

But … I mean: just how long is that tail anyway? And, the spike in the top third must be enormous! I do wonder, sometimes, how much more I would have to stream, and be watched, to move into the top quarter. I’m sure it’s way more, but just how much more? I don’t know, and will probably never find out.

Rigaroga Keymailer top third May 2019

The only tabletop I’ve been doing this last month has been Weave by Monocle Society. I really have been enjoying the simple elegance of how it plays out for me as a solo player, even though solitaire play wasn’t part of the design. I did run into a hiccup where the game, which I had in front of me on the table, ready to stream another session, was unplayable because the app couldn’t connect to the server-side service, though there were no errors displayed; but the app was empty. My season was gone, no character information, all my playsets were gone … just empty space in the UI. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but nothing worked; until it just randomly came back a little while later. Welp. I experimented by turning off WiFi, and, indeed, the app does not cache anything useful locally. If I’m not connected to live Internet, the game is unplayable. That’s not a happy state for a game that I have physically in front of me. But, in spite of that, I did go on to play another session once the app was back.

I posted about the story so far, my game journal, through the first 4 streams, unboxing through adventure 3. And have continued to play, and, you know, learn how to play whilst playing.

As I’ve sat down to think about and plan to play other tabletop roleplaying, like Invisible Sun, the current preview for backers of Seas of Voldari or Humblewood, I’ve just been unexcited by the complexity of game play for my purposes. Too much work for too little payoff at this point. That’s also how I’ve been feeling about Gloomhaven or trying to bastardize a new, DIY Illimat, so I could play without supporting the solo-averse game designer, for further solo play, using the cards from Weave, or D&D / Gale Force Nine’s Tarokka as Luminaries, or something else. Although, I did get and unbox whilst streaming the Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles expansion. There’s also plenty of new and old print-and-play things I have that I could play, full games and demos, but, again, just so much unfun work just to get to the point of playing hasn’t been exciting to me. So, the only thing I’ve played for tabletop this month has been Weave.

As an aside, I found myself idly wondering about and find it odd that video and tabletop games don’t have a “streamer kit” much like a press kit, but for streamers, with assets pre-cleared for use in stingers, interstitials, and thumbnails, and so on; static and motion graphics for streamers to use in videos and actual plays. I messaged a few people about the idea for some games I’m waiting for, and am thinking about streaming, and they hadn’t thought of the idea before. Seems like a good idea to me! But, I’m biased.

At some point, maybe, this next month, I’ll finally get my deluxe edition of Expedition RPG box, and be able to try that out … but, the status of that has been very murky, so I can only guess that it may arrive. I have high hopes that I’ll be able, and can sustain interest at the table, to play that on stream for a while.

I’ve had my eye on some other games, but my budget has been really very tight lately. I’m at the point where, unless I know 110% that I’m going to play something for tabletop streaming, I just cannot justify it at all; and even if I can justify it, I have such a limited budget that I’ve not been able to get anything new.

So, it is what it is. The month has passed, and I survived. I continued to stream games and tabletop. Also, I turned a half century old. Yeah. That happened. Wild, right?

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams