There’s a lot of D&D out there.
Though most of the Twitch community posts live streams of playing video games, the site also has a load of people playing RPGs, especially Dungeons & Dragons.
People enjoy it for picking up tips and tricks or checking out games for your own entertainment. Perhaps you’ve tuned into Twitch for a few episodes of Critical Role or stumbled on someone’s live session while perusing the app.
But what about streaming your own games?
It’s not that hard. But it can be complicated.
For the beginners out there, we broke down the ways to get your games up on Twitch. (And this is a beginner’s post. No video switchers, lighting ideas, or camera crews here.)
First, sign up for Twitch.
If you want to stream your in-person sessions…
The easy way: The simplest way is to set up your game table as usual. Download the Twitch app to your phone and place it somewhere it can view the whole table.
Open the app, and then tap “Pulse.” At the top, there should be a little camera icon. Tap it and enter some info about your game.
Hit “Start Stream” and play your game.
That’s it. You’re on Twitch.
Good work, you.
If you want to stream your online sessions…
This is a little more complicated, but it’s not all that hard.
First, you’ll need some software. XSplit is one of the most popular options, and Bebo is supposed to be very easy for beginners. Twitch offers several options on its website. Most of them are free, but some offer more options with a subscription.
Each piece of software works basically the same: These programs take a screencast of your session and then broadcasts it to Twitch.
We’ll focus on Xsplit (because that’s what we know the best), but most software should have a similar setup.
- Download the software and install it. Configure it and set up your profile.
- Launch Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, or whatever online Virtual Tabletop game you prefer.
- In Xsplit, you’ll want to configure “Screen 1.” Click on “File” and then “Add screen region.” This will let you stretch red crosshairs for the screen capture. Drag it over the browser window you’re using for your game.
- From there, you can adjust colors and cropping and other things to get it just right.
- Click “Broadcast” and then “Add channel.”
- That opens the Broadcast window. Select “Justin/Twitch TV” and link your Twitch account.
- Now you’re ready. When it’s time to start your game, click “Broadcast” again and then select your Twitch channel.
- You’re on Twitch now. Nicely done.
Make sure to engage in the chat with people.
One of the nice features of Twitch is that people can communicate with you while you watch. If you’re able, talk to them. Maybe have a player or a friend who’s not playing take care of the chat.
Share your videos.
When you’re streaming, send out a link to your Twitch page, which should be twitch.tv/username.
After you’re done, you can also share your videos on a blog or on social media. Twitch only keeps videos for 14 days, so if you want to keep them forever, you can export them to YouTube. (Click on your account settings then “Connections,” and connect your YouTube channel.)
Some shows you can watch for livestream inspiration
Critical Role - The mother of all D&D shows and streams is made up of eight voice actors playing a long-running 5th edition campaign. The first campaign lasted two years, and the second campaign started very recently, meaning you can easily catch up if you so choose. They even have their own published campaign setting.
Acquisitions Inc. - The folks at webcomic Penny Arcade rounded up some friends to create Acquisitions Inc., which plays games led by D&D’s Chris Perkins at their PAX conventions. But they also have the C Team, which is broadcast weekly on Twitch.
Girls Guts Glory - The eight actresses on Girls Guts Glory were all friends before starting the show, but not all played D&D. But they’re fun to watch, and they throw down every week on the official D&D Twitch channel.