Last week, we officially moved into two weeks of working remotely. At the beginning of our remote working phase, we have decided on 4 future directions that we are going to take our future project into:
- Communicating with groups that have already been doing Twitch/Improv stuff for a while, such as Show and Tell Live ( https://www.twitch.tv/showandtelllive ) and curious comedy ( https://www.twitch.tv/curiouscomedy/videos ); we will ask them what are some things that they have always wished they could have, and we will develop relevant prototypes for them
- Develop a bot that will automate the process of running a show: for example, when an audience member joins in mid-stream and types in a command, this bot will let them know what kind of suggestions we are taking right now, and what kind of game we are playing
- Develop an emote overlay effect on top of the stream, and maybe adding some of our own emotes
- Developing a unique interaction that will only work for improv on streaming platforms
Last week, we had varying degrees of success with those directions, specifically developing the bot that will help run the show and the emote overlay effect.
We want to develop the bot because we wanted our audience to have a clear idea of what is going on in our show at all times. After watching some other improv shows on Twitch and sometimes joining mid-stream, it was quite confusing to see what exactly they are doing; we also had the same problem when we ran our show last time. So this week, we made some progress on that, with a rough interface looking like this on Unity and Twitch message output:
We also added an emote overlay effect. One can trigger an overlay effect by typing in keywords “meme1” and “meme2” to get two different emotes to show up on the screen. In the future, we will be able to expand the keywords and the emotes that could be used towards an overlay.
We have been in touch with Show and Tell Live as well as Curious Comedy. As both groups are trying to find ways to move forward, I believe, we are going to chat with Show and Tell Live some point this future week. We might also branch out to some other groups as well as the improv actors we have been working with.
We have also been trying to design an unique audience interaction, as mentioned in our halves presentation. So far, we have been playing with a scoring system (as designed in the bot). Our instructors have pointed out that scoring improv actors, however, could be something that is really dangerous as that could usually tear theater groups apart, especially if there are people who are trolling, etc. So, we might be shifting the voting system towards doing a maestro type (one of Keith Johnstone’s forms) scoring instead. But we haven’t fully decided, and this will be something that we will spending our time extensively to figure out this week.
We have also faced difficulties with streaming with Zoom. Due to privacy settings by the CMU license, we wouldn’t be able to stream our Zoom feed onto Twitch. We have been also playing with Skype and Skype has proved to work better on Twitch, and we think we will try to use Skype for the future for our playtests and shows.
We also haven’t had the chance to playtest yet due to the development of bots and with figuring out streaming. Now we had lots of things figured out and with basic functionality good to go, however, we will definitely try to playtest this week and keep our goal of weekly playtests, especially now we are so close to softs.
For the future
This week, we will:
- Definitely hold a playtest, as promised.
- But before we do that, we need to reconsider the role definitions that goes into a show since the format of the show will be somewhat different for sure.
- We will also continue to research viable audience interactions and continue to develop on tech.