Die Party is a roleplaying show that are both going to be on Twitch and as a podcast on it’s own website. These overlays are for the Twitch and VOD parts for YouTube. They had to be easily changeable and adaptable to different game settings and amount of players. As far as clients go David (Henley) is one of the most professional people when it comes to production value.
I’ve worked with this client before so we have our way of communication that works. That doesn’t mean I know him in and out, haven’t worked with him enough and this was also a show that he will run along his regular Twitch stream.
A few things that, and we’ve talked about it before, is that it’s not the regular type of Twitch roleplaying show. As I mentioned in the opening statement it’s part Twitch and one part podcast, meaning that it’s mostly voice and not really any camera interaction.
What David needed for his Die Party was initially Twitch overlays and logos that he could use for one of his new shows. However we talked and came to the conclusion about another solution that would work even better and also would let him change things on the fly. It was also a great opportunity to try out a few non destructive problem solving and in general try out some really cool new things in terms of Twitch overlays.
While it’s not really a problem it’s still something that needed to be thought out how to implement, and that’s how the Twitch overlays should look to best convey who’s talking and display all the necessary information easy at hand. Using “cards” to do exactly this was the best solution, that way these can easily be individually change but also changed all at once in one click.
I also mentioned earlier that David came to me looking for one Twitch overlays for his upcoming roleplaying show. However since he’s running more than one show and are starting a few new ones in the coming weeks the even better solution was to make one ultimate overlay that could changed depending on what game he’s playing. Luckily since he have Photoshop I was able to use that as a admin interface, more about that later.
What I wanted to convey was a relaxed simple feel that had kind of a organic feel. Now usually I go with more direction than that but with keeping the ability to change and adapt on the go it’s not a good idea to narrow it down too much. Instead keeping it “simple” and easily understood was a lot more important aspects.
As you can see this has more of a organic feel in some of the images then a clear clean design. Even if the clean design is there it’s not the driving force behind the entire moodboard. Also at this point I knew that colors wasn’t going to be the main issue, since they was going to be able to be changed on the fly pretty much. Therefor I was able to keep 100% focus on the style.
I’m not the option guy. You’re not going to get 5 different suggestions to one thing. That would waste both my time and your money. That’s the reason why we have the interview/brief and moodboard, it’s so we are on the same page and that you have a mental image of what I’m going to make. It’s better to master one thing than than try to master five different ones at once.
Now back to the layout of the Twitch overlays. With the idea of “cards” and actually using old hockey cards I still have in a closet as inspiration (not shown in the moodboard) I set out to create a overlay idea that I had in my head. Now this version wasn’t easily changed. The reasoning behind that is that I rather concentrate on making in look and work perfectly than constantly thinking about if it will be easily changed. That’s something I can instead focus all my power on after I’m done with this step.
With these cards you have all the relevant information at hand for each player. There’s no confusion over who’s who and if you look at the bottom left of each card you can see that there’s a small headphones icon in the Twitch overlays. That icon is there to convey that when someone is talking the line above will light up. This way it doesn’t have to be explained to first time viewers but instead the should intuitive understand the action that is happening.
After talking a bit more with David I made a few changes and added a dice window and a map window. Not that much that really changed on the front-end. It was mostly making room for enough players and setting the right color. However if you would look at the PSD file structure you would be able to see my entire setup that now made it possible to change things as easy as » Double Click → Pick Color → OK → Done «.
What happened to the logo? Nothing really it was a better solution to keep it the same since the show would still revolve around the same as always. The only thing that I did was to take the one Henley already had and vectorised it. That way Henley can re-size it as big or as small without loosing any quality and that means Henley could make a poster, t-shirt etc. without getting any unwanted pixels.
The same can be said for the entire overlay. I’ve only used vector blocks and therefor this overlay can be re-sized to any resolution without loosing any quality. There would probably have to be some minor manual adjustments but overall it would automatically work itself out.
I don’t want to leave David hanging with only the knowledge of that those things existed and then have him figure out how to work that out. Instead at first thought about creating a PDF file with text and images showing what could be changed and how. Instead made a video with voice-over showing it step by step and what was possible with the Twitch overlays. I find it important to not only do follow ups after a month but also not drop the client in the middle nowhere.
I do this full-time and that way I can give my clients full-time attention no matter what. That means before, during and after.
If you have any questions regarding this article, have something you want me to write about or if you have questions in general you can find me on Twitter @visiblespeech. If you have business inquires you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org