We're a UK based group that's going to do a Kingdom Hearts Marathon to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
Was the event itself successful regardless of issues, mishaps, glitches, bugs and general problems?
Yes it most definately was.
Over the 72 hours of the event we had 292.68 viewer hours, and more importantly we managed to raise over this time a whole £244.44 for the British Heart Foundation.
And what’s more we had fun doing it. No sooner than we had finished the event we’ve already decided that we’re going to do another one in the future with a different game franchise, the more widely known ‘Legend of Zelda’.
And the bit that touched me the most was that the team was proud of me. That I in two and a half weeks had managed to get this all together. I paid for a domain, and web-hosting, I got the website all set up, got the embeds working, I advertised, I ensured all the hardware was up to standard, and when I discovered a big issue with the audio I got it resolved as soon as I could to ensure that there would be quality.
We did it. We raised a brilliant amount of money for the British Heart Foundation, we had fun doing it, our viewers had fun watching and talking to us.
What more could I ask for?
How I tried to advertise, then realised I had other work to do so I got the rest of the team to do it.
Ultimately it was a fairly small scale advertising campaign. Facebook page and Twitter account. The Facebook page to spread the information amongst people I know. Using the Twitter account fairly unsuccessfully to trying and get some awareness outside of my normal circles. Also individually a lot of us posted about it on various forums and mentioned it to other friends who may not have heard about it through other means.
It even had a small advert in a newspaper in Spain. I’ll explain this one.
I technically live in Spain. My parents talked to someone they knew in Spain and there was a small thing put in one of the newspapers out there. Although I haven’t actually seen it, I’ve asked to have a copy of it though.
Problems, yes. I had my fair share even though though I only had two and a half weeks to fit so many problems in.
Problem one: I only had two and a half weeks. This was down to the fact my previous project “28 Daves Later” failed spectacularly. It was to be a conceptual trailer for a student film, but it proved to be very hard to get any of the cast motivated, and just produced highly sub-par work that I just wasn’t happy with.
Problem two (which proved in hindsight to not be a problem): I spent a lot of that time trying to ‘verify’ the Livestream channels to allow more than 50 viewers, whilst I was able to get this done for the main stream, I didn’t manage to for the secondary stream. As a result I decided to change this to Twitch.tv. Resulting in me changing the stream embed. Ultimately we never had more than 50 viewers in one channel at once so this was redundant.
Problem three: Twitch.tv died part way through the event, so we had to change back to Livestream. This meant I had to change the stream embed again whilst I was meant to be playing.
Problem four: The camcorder for the first part of the event was on a table. This table wasn’t particularly stable. The camcorder got knocked over about three times. Then we decided to Blu-tac the tripod in place. This didn’t happen again.
Problem five: Leaning around a camcorder to play on a handheld console that is blu-taced in place in an uncomfortable position is surprisingly uncomfortable. We had to switch around a lot because this part of the event hurt a lot.
Problem six: As well as being uncomfortable, the two people playing the handheld game were also very tired. As a result we both went to sleep leaving someone not familiar with the game in charge.
Both the domain and web hosting were obtained through a2hosting.com and the website is Wordpress based which was very easy to install due to the a2hosting control panel having something called Softaculous which allowed me to install Wordpress with a few clicks, I found this to be very helpful as I have no prior experience with web design or development of my own.
Then in the Wordpress back-end I installed and very slightly edited the zeeSynergie theme.
The primary edits made were solely to embed the two streams and chat at the top of the blog, under the header, and the ChipIn, Twitter and Facebook widgets in the sidebar. All of these had their embed codes provided so this was all very fortunate.
All in all, whilst the website itself isn’t of the highest quality it was functional to the degree I needed it to be, it was the only aspect of the event that went off without a hitch.
This was the interesting bit for me. Hardware wise I’ve had to raise the technical bar for the event in order to ensure audio and video quality.
Normally my video recordings focus on just one console, and one game, to ensure it runs smoothly.
In this instance I was working with 4 different video games console, two of which are handheld.
In all we had a fairly intensive setup for just one room.
On one side of the room we had the main streaming computer against the wall, with it’s video capture card. With it we had a multitude of cables, a television, an HD camcorder, a Playstation 2, a Nintendo Gamecube with Game Boy Player, a PSP and a Nintendo 3DS.
The problems arose with the PSP and the Nintendo 3DS, as these are both handheld consoles and would mean they could not be directly sent into the computer.
The PSP however, had a cable released for it, allowing it to connect to a television and be viewed on that. The problem with this however was that the cable format it used, namingly component, wasn’t compatible with the capture card, which accepts composite, S-Video, and Firewire. As a result of this we had the PSP connected to the television, and the camcorder connected to the capture card. However, the audio component of the component cable was able to be split and put into both the computer and the television, resulting in us being able to have decent audio, even if we didn’t have the best video quality. But ultimately it was better than the “camera on screen” quality resulting from the 3DS which has no method of getting a good quality grab of the screen.
The Playstation 2 and Gamecube were simple enough, as they both used the composite system, and were split into both the television and capture system.
As for the other side of the room and the co-host stream, this consisted solely of a second computer with a webcam, being used to both stream the players and co-host, as well as monitoring and regulating the chat.
Software wise, the main computer used Livestream’s Procaster software, and the secondary computer simply used their Webcaster widget, due to not having a particularly complicated set-up.
Primary research for the actual design and presentation of the website comes from two high profile charity gaming events: desertbus.org and thespeedgamers.com
Both of these have a rolling blog underneath the main focal point of the website itself, the video stream. Meaning that when the page initially loads it’s the stream you’re looking at.
However in times when there aren’t any events happening, or happening soon, the stream is removed and the site functions purely as a blog.
They both also have their donation widgets in the sidebar, along with in one case social media connectivity.
As far as actual demographic goes, it seems to be aimed primarily at people aged 18 and up, able to donate money with an interest in video games and charity, and secondarily kids around 14 and up who can convince their parents/guardians to donate in their stead.
Apologies, updating these accounts has taken a decrease in priority due to the upcoming deliverable for another unit.
And it’s sent off.
Standard stuff really. Can’t really put it up on here to demonstrate, since it’s covered in my personal details, but it’s basically my details, the details of the event, what resources I need from them (which is nothing) and a declaration that they have no control over, nor are they responsible for the event. They’re not liable in any way, and that the money raised will go to them.
United Kingdom Hearts is a small Portsmouth based student group aiming to raise money for the British Heart Foundation by running a Kingdom Hearts marathon stream. In this stream the members will play the Kingdom Hearts video game series back to back, as well as there being a side stream with other members talking to the people in the chat, and doing things to help raise money. The event begins December 2nd 6PM GMT-0.
Livestream (Main): http://www.livestream.com/unitedkingdomhearts
Twitch (Co-Host): http://www.twitch.tv/UKHtv
Currently there are just two things that need to be addressed.
Firstly, advertising. This is the main problem. I’m not entirely sure how to go about it, I’m trying locally with the Student Union, and I’m trying more globally by trying to get in contact with various people or groups with large relevant followings. This is to say followers with an interest in gaming.
The other issue is Livestreams channel verification. The reason why Livestream is declining the channel for verification is because we don’t have enough content on it already. This is due to the fact we won’t be doing anything until we actually start. I’m going to ring them later, see if I can put both the game and host streams onto a premium plan for a week, because I can’t afford to do both for a month, which is the minimum, because I can’t afford to pay $700. If not, then I guess I’ll just have to try and put together a few promo videos and put them up on the channel, see if that makes Livestream more inclined to accept the verification request. But still then there’s the problem of verifying the host stream, which will have even less on it, meh, we’ll see.
Date and time have been confirmed.
December 2nd, 6PM GMT-0 start. It will continue for at least 72 hours.