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This past weekend was the first PAX South. Arriving in San Antonio, one immediately notices that this is certainly Texas with people wearing big hats and strangers saying hello to you. The weather on the first morning, however, was colder than what I was expecting. After wandering around the expo hall I managed to grab a seat at the Twitch TV Town Hall. The Town Hall is an event for Twitch staff to reach out to the community to let us know what they are up to, and to take questions and suggestions on making Twitch better.

First they wanted to talk about some user experience improvements that they are working on and hope to get out soon.

Re­sub Notifications

If you stream on Twitch and manage to become popular enough to have the option of subscribers then this will help streamers recognize their most loyal fans. The option will send a notification that a user has subscribed for a certain amount of time. Such as “NerdSynq has subscribed for 3 months” Giving the broadcaster a great way to connect with their subscribers and see who has supported them and for how long.

Emotes

Twitch is also known for its Emotes, like the infamous Kappa. And it is common practice to troll new users when they ask how someone has made a certain emote. Every channel can have its own set of subscriber emotes, and there is a global stock set. This can become very confusing to users who want to enjoy the interaction and socialize with other viewers. Twitch has decided to help with that by creating tooltips on emotes that show their keyword, and source channel if it’s not a stock emote. So no more “Grey Face (no space)” baiting of new users. (Who are we kidding, it’ll keep happening anyway. Kappa)

Self Promotion

During the panel, Twitch Director of Community & Education Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham mentions how they do weekly spotlights for broadcasters to help them promote themselves and get more users. Apparently not a lot of people take advantage of this opportunity on the website. Now they want to take that a step further by creating a show showcasing new broadcasters giving them a more dedicated amount of time to show off themselves. They also want to work with partnered broadcasters with a spotlight on their weekly show also giving them a front page channel bump for a week and a blog write up. They really want to hype up their broadcasters and help them increase their viewers.

Re­Broadcast

Twitch is looking into creating video playlists that can be filled with personal or other user’s content when channels are not live. They explained that this would be great to relive a tournament play through of your favorite players or teams, and give a great outlet for speed

runs/playthrough guides of certain games. The chat experience during re­broadcasts will be live, so you can still converse with others viewing the playlist.

Dashboard

The Twitch team is looking to implement a more modular dashboard for users. This will allow everyone to customize their experience, giving access to tools, settings and more detailed statistics. They reiterated that they want to be very transparent about stats/analytics, so now users will have easier access to data such as pageviews, revenue from subscriptions, site traffic, etc.

LAG LAG LAG

The team is aware of the lag and delay on the live streams and are continuously working on improvements. One of these is ditching the flash viewer. This sounds promising, however with current browser technology, this switch is a long term project that will likely take over a year. For now, know that the average latency is about 18 seconds. Twitch has some other improvements to help lower that along the way, notably adding more datacenters (locations TBA).

Q&A

Here are a few questions asked by the attendees of the Twitch Town Hall:

What is your opinion on the state of user security (re: Swattting)

Twitch says that they do everything on their end to keep user information private and safe. However the user must also take that extra step to keep their information safe as well. Also be careful when downloading 3rd party software for streaming; there are some out there known to be unsafe. They found 2 viewerbot programs that contained Trojans.

Is there a way to follow a Team instead of an individual broadcast?

The Twitch team thinks this is a great idea and they will definitely think about it.

W​ill there be any options for affiliate links (to the Amazon product page for the game being streamed) on broadcaster pages now that you are owned by Amazon? (As a way to increase revenue for Twitch and broadcasters)?

The Twitch team is interested in the idea, and say there will be more updates with the transition since they were acquired last year. They are constantly looking for new revenue streams.

Like what you see? You can follow me @iRTsuki

What’s up ladies and gentleman! 2014 is coming to a close and we are hoping that 2015 really turns everything around. We have great writers coming on board, and more than enough content to post for your viewing pleasure–but we forgot to mention that we have a new show. These very very important things that slip our minds. For that we apologize for not trafficking it through the appropriate channels, but we hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

 

 

NERDSYNQ

 

 

 

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When you think about Michigan, I don’t think many would consider having a comic book company in our own backyard. But if you look really close at conventions, be it Fanfare or Motor City, you can catch the guys from Decayed Minds (DM) Comics rocking out like there is no tomorrow. Filled with a great ensemble of personality between the three gents, they have more than enough potential to change the game. The priority for them is a simple one: Make comics that the people would like to read, and make it as interesting as possible. Starting out in 2005 and not even pulling the brakes on this train through hard times they have cultivated their own stamp on the local industry.

For a three man ship, DM Comics doesn’t pull any punches and sports an all-star lineup of books. There is a massive amount of creativity between the three friends that have started this company. Chad Kovach, Head of DM Comics, brings stellar writing direction for two of their three flag ship comics; True Power and American Bloodlust. The scope of his vision isn’t limited by any means, and it is ensured to continue to grow with the talents of both Brian Shopp, True Power artist and co-writer, and Rob Kaminski, artist for American Bloodlust. Rob Kaminski (Rob K.) also writes and draws his own book, Ramen.

With the high dedication to the fans and striving to never sacrifice their own creative visions, each of their lineup books bring a unique flavor, sporting ideas which some wouldn’t ever consider—which encompasses all of the charm and mysticism packed in every page. Well thought out stories wrapped up in art that will make your skin crawl with excitement. Decayed Minds earns every inch of praise that they can get because of the passion, and hard work put forward to meet deadlines. To the creators, I say keep up the good work–what they do is rare, and that is producing content without fear; while doing a damn good job at it.

 

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Website: http://www.decayedminds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DecayedMinds

mospromo

I’m going to be very blunt right now, I’ve never wanted to be a father. The idea of having screaming kids running around and crap filled diapers to take care of never appealed to me. I honestly can’t think of any young male who would want that. Well, a sane one anyway. But nonetheless, my wife is pregnant, mostly because I’m not the type of guy who is going to deny my wife of something I think most women want. Over the past 5 months the fear in me has been growing, I have felt out of control of my life because of this huge responsibility.  It has felt like an impending freight train, and I hear the horn getting closer every day. But on April 16, I was given a calm and beautiful moment of lucidity from an old friend. His name is Superman.

I grew up loving Superman, he was my favorite character in any form of fiction, and still is. I was 4 when I first saw Superman: The Movie with Christopher Reeve, and that is when my fascination with the character started. I think Christopher Reeve’s reassuring smile and acts of good in the movie made me feel safe, and I loved the idea of being able to fly. My journey as an artist started at that moment as I started drawing Superman, and constantly requested coloring books with DC characters in them. I would color all the drawings of Superman first, then Batman, onto The Flash, and down the line. Two of my best childhood memories also include the character. Getting the Super Powers Superman figure is one, my Mom gave it to me on a day she came home from work just because. And it hangs in my synapses because it was better than any Christmas or birthday I can remember. Another time I wrote a letter to Superman addressed to The Daily Planet, and got a letter with an autographed picture back. I was beside myself, and of course I now realize that it was just my Mom who did it, but how cool is my Mom right? I have continued following the character all through my life, with the obvious lapses in high school but rediscovered my old friend in 2003. I gobbled up all the comics I could get my hands on, and a few years later, was excited with the prospect of a new Superman film. How did that go? Let’s just say if I saw Bryan Singer in the street, I would at least tell him to suck a bag of dicks. I know, not classy, but it’s not a punch and he isn’t worth the jail time. As you can imagine, I’ve been viewing this new film with a huge amount of trepidation, but this last trailer sealed the deal for me. I cannot wait for this film.

It’s going to be nice to have something to point to comic enthusiasts, Batman fans in particular (who like to drop their pants and defecate on Kal-El) as an example for why Superman is awesome. We absolutely need him now, especially in light of recent events. I have been looking at the world as it is now, while thinking about the world I grew up in, and it has been one of the many reasons I feel fear as a father. This world has become exponentially more sick and chaotic; psychopaths shooting kids at school, shootings at movie theaters, bombs at marathons for God’s sake. It comes as no surprise to me that Batman is as popular as he is, he comes from a world of psychos. It can even be argued that he himself is a psychopath. A character who inhabits a world as black and desolate as Batman’s would thrive now because of the parallels to our own. The nihilistic and mad nature of his world is beginning to bleed into ours, and it is truly frightening. Right now, we need the absolute antithesis to fight the disease of despair, and Superman is the ultimate symbol of hope.

Now I know what you are thinking, “He’s an alien God blah, blah, blah,” Ok, I get it. You aren’t an alien with god-like powers, and neither am I. That isn’t the part that gives one hope or is relatable  Superman’s story is actually very close to that of Batman’s, he just decides to approach how he deals with it in a very different way. Both lose their parents, and gain new ones. Both are isolated and alone, but find purpose. Both could choose a path of destruction, but choose the path of good. But where they divide is approach. Superman is a symbol of hope to us, he is an example of how we could better our species by just acting like him. He is kind, thoughtful, constantly thinks of the greater good. You can get the sense of this from the trailer as he voluntarily gets handcuffed and goes in to a military base to expose himself to the world. He could break through the handcuffs no problem, but he respects humanity and human life. And that is key to his character. His ultimate weakness is not Kryptonite, or magic, it is his love of humanity. That right there is why Superman is absolutely relevant, and will always be relevant. We have lost the value of life. When there are people being slaughtered in our streets, we need a huge morality check. When our President comes on T.V. angry he didn’t get legislation passed, but a few days before didn’t show the same anger when lives were lost, we need someone to remind us all of the value of life. Through his strength, Superman reminds us of the fragility and preciousness our lives, and in turn, our loved ones. He reminds us we have potential, and that we could accomplish so much if we just lay aside our hubris.

What really spoke to me in the trailer, and the Superman Mythos, is how important fathers can be. There is a part in the trailer where Jonathan Kent reveals to Clark his true lineage, and the exchange choked me up. When Clark says “Can’t I just keep pretending to be your son?” and Jonathan replies “You ARE my son.”, it makes me tear up because that is the father EVERYONE wants. He gives him unconditional love, no matter what. That is the father I want to be, and I plan on being that for my daughter. Jor-El makes the ultimate sacrifice for his son, his love is what saves baby Kal-El, and in turn his love saves humanity on multiple occasions. And like all fathers, Jor-El’s hopes and dreams live through Kal-El, and his legacy is the son he gave to Earth. The story of Superman can teach men how to be great fathers. The story of Superman can teach men their children are more than someone who depends on them, they are their legacy.

I cannot wait to share these stories with my children, and I cannot wait to be a father now. I have hope for my kids, and I will do my best to raise them to be my legacy, and to be heroes in their own right. I urge you to watch the trailer again, with everything I have just explained in mind, and see if it doesn’t paint it in a different light. And may I also suggest Superman :Birthright, it is a graphic novel that really touches on the greatest themes of Superman. It is a story on how love and hope can conquer and save us all. You just have to not discount the Man of Steel on you pre-conceived notions, and look deeper. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it is very personal to me.

Hey Everyone!! Check out our new video feature we’re going to be doing for movie trailer!!