Twitch has already built an empire by allowing gamers to broadcast their live gameplay to eager viewers. Now the streaming giant, which was recently snapped up by Amazon, wants to go a step further. Twitch has introduced a new category where viewers can tune in to watch developers actually build games. Instead of watching live gameplay developers are encouraged to stream themselves coding, designing characters, or building mods for existing games. Polygon reports that the new category is one result of a discussion that took place at gaming conference PAX Prime back in August on ways to engage the growing number of players and fans interested in what goes on behind the scenes in the games industry.
The Game Development category launched on October 16th and hasn’t yet picked up the momentum of some of Twitch’s more popular game-focused sections. At the moment the new category boasts 18 active channels with a viewership that hovers anywhere between 200 – 700 depending on the time of day. By comparison, some of Twitch’s game-play categories regularly host hundreds of channels and hundreds of thousands of viewers. Still, the new feature may just need time to grow.
Interest in the inner workings of the gaming industry has spiked among fans and players in recent months. While much of that interest has been negative, one unintended result has been a wider awareness of developers and the kind of work that goes into building games. With independent developers increasingly relying on fan support and crowd funding to bring projects to completion, Twitch streaming could be a perfect tool to build a supportive audience for unreleased games. All that’s required is enough confidence to put one’s own creative process on public display and an engaging personality to provide commentary. Not the easiest traits to come by, but an advantage to anyone who can bring them to the table.
Would you tune in to watch someone code? Or to design characters for an upcoming game? Which indie developers would make great Twitch streamers?