It's been a bit over half a year since me and ftx created https://www.twitch.tv/faflive, an official FAF streaming hub focused on covering tournaments and running various events. I've had the idea for it for a while from the old official faf twitch run by Zep which had been greatly successful but was lost with Zep's departure from FAF.
I thought now would be a good time to review the progress and state my mind on the plans and goals of the channel.
The channel currently sits at 843 followers and with Spring Invitational coverage bringing in almost as many followers as LoTS on top of what we already had there is a trend of healthy rapid growth which I expect to continue until the active FAF userbase depletes itself after which there could be different options to try and expand the channel further.
The accumulated stream revenue is closing in on 200$ which I suggested is used on showmatches as it is a fun format and provides longer viewing experience for the funds available, it's also just a format strangely underused on FAF. The participants to be voted in by viewers or/and done via some sort of wheel of fortune or a hybrid system aimed at fairness.
Currently channel is Twitch Affiliate and I'd like to have it promoted to Partner as that will reduce the Twitch money cut and give additional cool extra features, the only requirement missing is amount of days streamed. I don't want to clutter the channel with things like random ladder streams to not bring the engagement down, and right now we have an off-season for tourneys so we need to create some content to stream.
These are the requirements for Partnership
With this in mind if you are a top player interested in playing something that will be casted to fill the stream time please post below, if there is any interest I'd like to use the momentum we got from streaming Spring Invitational and complete the quota. The format I'm not sure about yet, but could be anything. Currently we don't yet have the payout set up yet while we are figuring out the best person to manage the funds based on country, taxes, free time and trust but for now can make some unique avatar prize. It won't be a conventional showmatch anyway as we need to fill 8 days of streams, unless we have at least 3-4 players willing to help which would be enough.
We currently have 2 emote slots which I plan to fill with some fantastic creations of mine once the motivation to forge them comes. The overlay can also be reworked, the current one I made as practice and while it serves the purpose it could definitely be improved.
Last LoTS peaked at 276 viewers, would be nice if we can reach 350 for next one, 400 would be a huge success in my mind.
Also to increase the overall stream production and casting quality to generate more revenue and use that to host more events and potentially kickstart a self-sufficient ecosystem of competitive scene growth. This is probably the entire idea of the channel, as FAF has been growing for a long time and recently more than ever but the proportion of good players compared to casuals has not been impressive what so ever and while certainly in part it's due to the age of the game I attribute a large part of it to lack of care from the big casting figures.
Thinking back on how I became a top player, it was largely because I discovered FAF through TA4Life's youtube channel on which he was casting competitive 1v1 almost exclusively, and watching some of those plays is what fueled my entire motivation to play and try to get casted with some of my own cool plays. With TA's departure there was a long time period where there was absolutely no coverage of anything competitive scene related except for players streaming their POV until JaggedAppliance took up the torch. That is to say in my opinion discrepancy between FAF's growth and its lack of promising new talent is due to lack of public outreach. Newshub is only read by the active community and even that only in part, if you are just a casual searching FA on Youtube or Twitch and click on the first/biggest thing that pops up you will likely be met with some kind of Dual Gap or, if lucky, blessed by a teamgame or senton neither of which really gives any indication that the community doesn't just consist entirely of nostalgia driven dudes hopping in for a round of big robot shoot big robot twice a year but actually has matchmaking, tournaments and all the cool active community stuff.
We definitely owe people like LegendOfTheStars, Swkoll, Morax, Stups and other major donators for keeping a lot of the interest alive but I don't want FAF to just keep relying on luck with generous patrons. I hope to one day reach the point where the viewership generates enough motivation for the players and in turn players and casters generate motivation for the viewers to become the players, to the point that we don't have tournament off-seasons in FAF. Probably too ambitious but going well so far.
Another point is about FA viewability improvements, namely it looks "slow" from viewers perspective and 1v1 looks too "spammy". I think both can be vastly improved.
For the first one I think the way people cast FA is fundamentally wrong, I already voiced my opinion on this to ftx and Swkoll, not to go into detail but in short I think casting primarily zoomed in is the right way, it however has some technical limitations that need to be solved for it to be properly tried out. It also needs a lot more effort and skill on caster's part to properly capture everything but the end result is worth it in my opinion.
As for the second point, that is not a problem of 1v1 but a problem of maps and game design both of which can be adjusted. Mappers and mapgen can definitely be guided towards less snowbally maps and as far as game design I have long-term plans to make a unit interaction redesign mod after some of the balance stuff is out of the way.
That's it, again if you are interested in helping with fulfilling the quota post below.