Programme promotes ‘Stream First’ as a valuable game design philosophy for creators

Twitch urges devs to make livestreaming games with Developer Success initiative

Livestreaming platform Twitch is encouraging developers to make the next Twitch Plays Pokémon, #IDARB or Punch Club.

The firm’s new Developer Success campaign is aimed at convincing creators to make titles where streaming gameplay online is integral to their design.

Twitch Plays Pokémon saw viral success by retroactively integrating streaming into the classic GameBoy games, allowing millions of viewers to collectively control the titles. It was followed by several spin-offs, including Twitch Plays Dark Souls and Twitch Plays Mario.

Xbox One effort #IDARB instead uses audience participation to allow them to dynamically change the state of the multiplayer game, by using particular hashtags that fed environmental effects and other actions into the title.

Punch Club developer Lazy Bear Games took a different approach, locking the public release of its new game behind a player-controlled Twitch stream until the audience had beaten the title.

It’s these types of ‘Stream First’ titles that Twitch wants to foster in the development community, explained Game Developer Success director Brooke Van Dusen.

"In the last few years, we have seen a great deal of creativity in online interaction methods from the Twitch community, including Twitch Plays games, channel loyalty currencies, and subscriber tournaments, among many others," he said.

"However, these systems have always been external to the games broadcasters are playing. Stream First games by nature embrace these developments, incorporate features inspired by these creative concepts of Twitch community interaction, and bring about an entirely new genre of video games."

The first three games to be launched as ‘Stream First’ titles will be Pipeworks’ video game adaptation of card game Superfight, Schell Games’ turn-based strategy release Wastelanders and Proletariat’s Streamline.

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