Well... It is not a widespread known fact, that I am going to stream the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 (the new ultra-hyped game from CD Projekt Red). It's going to be a 24-hour livestream of me playing the game casually - no facecam, no extreme commentary and no personal "entertainment" rather than gameplay. I am just gonna play the freaking game for 24 hours straight.. No big deal.. Right?
The whole 24-hour stream concept is basically a challenge I created for myself. I have some history with livestreaming professionally - I was employed in a company providing livestreaming services (internet and TV production). So I had to try and create my own thing - based on all the experience I've gained when resolving all the different problems and issues our clients had.
It's a common practice to mix between live and offline footage when creating a professional production livestream. That means there is a segment with live footage, commentary or moderation and then we cut into an offline pre-recorded and before-livestream-prepared footage providing higher quality material to aid the overall streaming experience. In my case, there is no space for offline footage mid-stream (because of the actual gameplay), so I had only two more options to insert the offline material into - Before starting and after ending the gameplay part of the stream.
I decided to prioritize the starting part of the stream as there is a lot of time and space for potential hiccups to occur. There is a possibility that the game won't be able to launch right away, or something will further delay the actual exe from launching (zero day update, driver update, support software install). So the potential time-frame between the actual release and game start is quite big. I needed a filler video material (called "vata" in slang czech) and multiple variations (or rather slices) of it. The main thing will be the actual countdown before release - 1 hour long text-format countdown. After that, the first filler - the very first teaser trailer for the game - more than one minute long. That's still not enough! I was thinking of making some kind of an intro, to add into my Youtube videos. And I finally made it, just to be used as a filled in the stream. It's 15 seconds long.. I am running out of watchable material here.. So I figured, if the game still won't run at this point, I will just record my ugly face greeting players and telling them that something had to get fucked up and they need to wait just a little bit longer. Perfect idea, execution is not so easy..
VLOG style filler
Well, turns out that coming up with something useful is not so easy, when you look like me. Everything was closed here in Czech republic - including barber shops, and everything was closed quite a long time now. I look like an ugly hobo. I mean, I can always trim my beard, but if I touch the hair, it only gets worse. Wait! I can record my pidgeon-startling face at evening! The lack of visible light will make sure no user watching the stream gets a stroke. You will see the result live on stream as it is still not finished by now..
Originally, the stream was supposed to be ad-free and non-commercial. But I wanted to offer my viewers a way to support me and the reward me for this challenge. I registered a new account on streamlabs (as it is the most straight-forward and easiest platform for streamers to monetize anything) and started to figure out how the cogs turned there.
The actual donation is provided through paypal bussiness account. PayPal for Czech republic has a bug for a few years now - the czech localization version cannot register a new bussiness account. Awesome! Another mind-bending issue we have to solve! Let's switch to english version and try to register it again - after selecting Czech republic as the account's location - it switches to the czech localization.. Amazing! I spent several hours trying different aproaches on how to register a bussiness account located in Czech republic on PayPal. I don't even remember how I did it! It just clicked finally and I hasted to link it with streamlabs.. Finished!
Now to the actual setup part. Let's update the Streamlabs OBS (which was just installed, and never launched on my PC) and dive right in. I am used to the regular OBS client - and Streamlabs OBS version is pretty much completely different. There are similarities, it's a fork of the original OBS after all. But it's still completely different, the layout is overhauled, skin and color in modern style, no menu at the top and many more smaller things. But after like 4 hours I oriented myself enough to be able to set everything up properly. I tried every feature the software offers, linked it with Youtube and Twitter (Yes, I bought the Prime... The multistream feature was the selling point that got me), set up the style and widgets, scenes and sources. It looks quite okay, I'd say.
Cyberpunk is supposed to run on older hardware, but the fact that I will be streaming it, increases the minimum requirements quite a lot. The stream is supposed to be 1080p 60fps. To be able to run that combo, I upgraded my rig (mainly CPU), so it would be absolutely able to stream quite anything I throw at it (including running cyberpunk). I donated my old CPU (i5-8400) to my father (which he consumed gladly - upgrading his rig with new motherboard and memory modules) and switched to i9-9900K which almost exploded the moment I touched the power-on button. Me, myself, my stupid ass, used a stock box-cooler supplied with the old i5-8400 thinking it would cool it just okay... Boy, I was wrong.... The new shiny square lighted up like a christmass tree (on fire), went on 100C even before the BIOS completed POSTing (I think). My motherboard has the RGB feature - small light strip, that can be configured to change colors according to CPU temperature.. The thing went from green to red in two seconds. Out of curiosity, I fired up the Task manager to see how much of thermal throttling it has to do to be able to run - it was a little bit faster than my old CPU, but at 100C constantly... I started frying eggs on the computer case, and tried to order a new cooler before eggs finish - I burnt them.
The new cooler arrived in two days.. One day was enough for the computer to create a special enclosure in the floor, it basically melted the concrete underneath and lowered itself by 2cm. I had to do a research session to choose a cooler able to cool this pocket white dwarf. Apparently, there is only one cooler actually capable to cool this thing to the point it's no longer a threat to it's surroundings. Noctua NH-D15 - big ass lump of aluminium, with copper tubes and two wind turbines. It was actually 3mm bigger than my case was allowed to hold. I kept thinking that I will resize the enclosure of the case using hammer, it won't be any issue.. I wasn't wrong, I didn't have to use the hammer at all! There was a different issue though.. The cooler was so big, one of the wind turbines was colliding with a RAM module. I had to attach it to the other side of the cooler, but that returned fire in a lack of space for CPU power cable, more precisely lack of space for my hand to be able to plug the cable into the socket.. So I started dancing with the turbine, disassembling and reassembling the cooler still fixed to the top of the CPU until I managed to connect and assemble everyting in a way that nothing collided with each other. It's time to start it up! Watch the video evidence
It's only 3 days from day D now. I still miss a lot of checks on the task-list but those are only small things from now on. Every major issue and all the difficult problems are solved. The only thing that can somehow fuck this up is the actual game itself. So let's hope that CD Projekt RED will release a stable and bug-free title, that will launch without any hassle. Let's see you at the livestream! Until then, thanks for reading this wall of text, it was supposed to be just a few sentences.. So much for that..
This wall of text was not yet revisioned. It may and propably is containing mispells and typos. Please don't bash me for it.