I live out in the sticks. I mean waaaay out in the middle of nowhere land.
For me, the only option for internet is Dial-Up (yeah, that still exists) or Satellite Internet. I can’t even get decent 4G coverage out here. Maybe if I hold a spoon in one hand and lean to my left side – then I might get 1 bar of 4G.
Point is, I have satellite internet and for a gamer, that’s harsh.
I’ve been a gamer since I was 8.
Zork, an all text adventure game was my first delve into the gaming world and I’ve never looked back.
Currently I am able to play some online games on my PC. I can play Hearthstone and Warcraft, stuff like that. But forget trying to go on raids, there is a tendency to experience what we call latency spikes, and when that happens, you can wipe the raid and not even know it. Literally, you’ll still be fighting then things will speed up in fast-forward and then you are dead.
Fast Forward to Yesterday and Today..
I have a somewhat successful website here with GameMasters. We do lots of reviews and other fun stuff so a logical step for me is to stream some game play and try my hand at monetizing that.
I’ve just always figured that satellite internet simply wouldn’t allow for it. Regardless, I signed up for a Twitch account (mainly because I’ve seen how much money some of these pro-gamers can make on there) and decided to give it a run.
I figured because of the latency that there would be issues, and I discovered that, for the most part, it really wasn’t an issue (at least not in terms of game play). There was latency in the game itself due to the satellite connection, but it’s always been like that. The streaming was fairly smooth.
I did a 30 minute game session on Twitch… During that time things did slow down about 5 times that were fairly major (about a good 30 to 50 second “lag”). When I watched the play back I noticed that the times that it would “lag” that my stream went into an automatic Be-Right-Back mode until the “connection” was “re-established”. Certainly not good for someone who is wanting to monetize their game-play stream, as the moment you go into a BRB mode, you stand to lose viewers thus dropping your monetizing potential. When it happens 5ish times per 30 minutes, you might as well not even try.
I was also wondering how it would mess with my data plan. I figured that since I was streaming UP to Twitch’s servers that it (my data plan) would see it as an “upload”.
I was streaming at 480p and that 30 minutes chewed up roughly 500MB. I’d really not want to stream at a resolution any lower than that, in fact, I really don’t want to stream lower than 720p, but the 480p was just a test really to see how much data would be used.
A lot of game-streamers will stream for 8 hours at a time, 5 days a week and they can make some MAD cash doing that! When you extrapolate that out; an average of 500MB per 30 minutes, OR 1GB per hour, you are looking at 8GB per day in streaming, OR 40GB to 48GB per week! Toss in that I have a fairly high data plan (as far as satellite plans go), which is 50GB per month.
Suddenly, the option to monetize your game streams with satellite just become hopeless.
Hopefully as we move into the future, faster and better internet access will become available to me, but for now… I guess I won’t be streaming any of my games any time soon.