The Beginner’s Guide to Duelyst Streaming

by Counterplay Games  /  July 6, 2016

Ever thought about streaming Duelyst on Twitch but not quite sure how to get started? Unsure if streaming was “right” for you? Well worry no more. My name is GrincherZ, Duelyst streamer and Twitch partner, with a few tips & tricks to help you get into the scene with little to no hassle.

Let’s clear up a few things first!

  • What is a stream?
    • A stream is a broadcast that viewers can watch — live or delayed of your show. What this translates to is people can watch you play Duelyst and other games, and you can add other editing features such as a Webcam or overlay art.  
  • How do I stream?
    • There are a few methods for capturing your screen. Depending on your operating system this will vary but for today we’ll explain how to use OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio to capture Duelyst. It’s the most widely supported method.
  • How do people watch my stream?
    • Quite a few sites out there support streaming. That said, the biggest and most popular one in our community is Twitch TV.  For now, creating a Twitch account is the easiest way to connect with our community and the one I will be giving advice for today.

Getting Started

  • System Requirements
    • First thing you should know about streaming is that it is very CPU intensive. It actually involves very little of your graphics card almost all of it is handled by the CPU. Lower end builds may have varying success streaming. I recommend at least an i5 processor with at least 8GB of RAM for Duelyst. More information can be found on the https://obsproject.com/forum/ regarding specific build questions.
  • Installing OBS Studio
      • OBS can be downloaded for free from https://obsproject.com/. Select your operating system from the main page, download and install.
      • This guide will cover setup options from the PC. For more information concerning Mac OSX or Linux specific configurations see https://obsproject.com/forum/.
  • Configuring OBS
    • Once installed, launch OBS Studio. You should be presented with something like this:

This is the main interface and where most of your time will be spent using the program. Let’s break down the main terms.

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Sources

A source is what the program uses to refer to inputs that can be displayed on the stream. Clicking the plus button or right clicking in the box and selecting add will display a list of sources available. These inputs handle items like video capture(webcam), window capture, text,  media / browser sources or audio inputs. At the moment due to a problem with OBS & Chrome Duelyst is only able to be captured via Display capture. This captures everything on your monitor. If you use multiple monitors you will need to select one per source. The subtraction button deletes a source, the gear button opens the properties of the selected source, while the chevrons adjust the sources position. The order of sources defines how they are layered. Meaning the ones on top of the list will be displayed overlaying other sources. If you want a webcam, you will need to order it above the Display capture as an example.

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Scenes

Scenes are a collection of sources. You can navigate different setups by grouping different sources under different scenes. For example, swapping between a lobby for multiple webcams, and an in-game display you would want to run multiple scenes. Sources are saved as global assets, meaning I can setup one source in one scene then add it in another scene. Useful when utilizing scoreboard text. You can edit the properties of an item without it being visible in one scene and have it affect a different scene. To add a scene use the plus key, delete with subtraction key. The ordering of scenes unlike sources has no effect on their visibility as only one scene will be displayed at a time.

scenes

Mixer

The mixer section handles volume levels for different audio sources.  You can handle your microphone volume and desktop sounds from this panel. There are more advanced options available as well, today however we will just handle the basics.

other junk

OK I think I got it.. What’s this other junk?

  • Scene Transitions handle effects that can happen upon changing scenes. The default effect is to fade you can adjust the rate at which this happens.
  • Start / stop streaming does just that, starts and stops streaming. More on this later.
  • Start / stop recording will do a local recording. You can define the location of recordings in the settings.
  • Studio Mode is for handling interactions between different scenes at a more advanced level. This is unnecessary for our purposes and will be unused in this guide.
  • The numbers on the bottom display information about CPU usage, current uptime and while streaming will display dropped frames and encoding bitrate.

Still with me? Good.

Now before you start adding scenes and adjusting your hair in your webcam image, let’s tackle the settings panel and go over optimal Twitch configurations.

Settings

Clicking the settings key will bring up a page like this:

settings general

You can navigate the different subsections on the left, we will go over each one individually.

General Settings

Here as seen above are basic configuration options for your OBS. Source alignment snapping refers to the movement of sources on your screen. They will auto snap to edges and other sources if enabled. This can be useful most of the time I advise just leaving it on.

  • PRO TIP: This can be temporarily bypassed if holding the CONTROL KEY while moving an object around. Holding ALT while resizing will trim an image.

Stream Settings

Selecting the stream subsection will present a page like this:

stream settings

Select Twitch from the service drop down box. The server you select should be the one that is closest to you.  This is also where you input your stream key. This is obtained from your Twitch dashboard settings or from (url)twitch.tv/yournamehere/dashboard/streamkey click show key and copy paste. This is important not to pass out as anyone with this key can stream to your channel. Once you’ve placed your key, hit apply and lets move on to Output.

Output Settings

Selecting the output subsection brings you a page like this:

output

Selecting the Output mode at the top as advanced shows the options I have here. Most of these settings do not need to be changed as they are already optimized however I will go over the ones you need to know.

Rescale Output

I have a relatively powerful PC and can stream at 1920 x 1080. If you have a lower end PC setting to 1280 x 720 will give you better results, while some may even require 852 x 480.  These are resolutions that most streamers use, so while you may find more success at varying resolutions, just know that higher resolutions require higher powered CPUs.

Rate Control

Twitch TV requires this to be set at CBR.

Bitrate

This is dependant upon your internet. The lower the bitrate the easier it will be for viewers to watch your stream. Twitch accepts a maximum of 3500kb/s.  As a partner I have quality options available for viewers so I stream at 2500kb/s.  For general Duelyst use I recommend 1500kb/s to 2000kb/s especially since we have an international community with a wide variety of internet service providers this gives the viewers the best experience and less buffering. To find out your upload speed try http://www.speedtest.net/. Remember every MB = 1000 KB!

Keyframe Interval

This setting is important for Twitch.  Twitch functions optimally when streams are configured to have a Keyframe interval of 2.

CPU Usage

These settings should not be changed from veryfast.

Recording

At the top you can select the Recording tab to adjust properties for your recordings as well as the file output path.

Audio Settings

Selecting the Audio subsection brings up a box similar to this:

audio

Sample rate should be left alone unless you need to adjust it. Select your devices here OBS Studio supports multiple audio channels if you ever should have the need and multiple audio devices. I utilize only my desktop audio and a microphone for my streams, you might use more if you need them.

mixer update

Once you have set your audio devices up properly your OBS main interface will add audio levels in the mixer module.

  • PRO TIP: If you want to leave your mic disabled and add it as a source later for more remote control this is where you would do so. This can be utilized for creating scenes that you do not want your microphone to appear on

Video Settings

Selecting the Video subsection looks something like this:

video

Resolution

  • Base Canvas
      • Canvas resolution refers to your desktop resolution. Set this to the resolution you use for your desktop and games.
  • Output Scaled
      • This refers to what your viewers will see and affects your CPU usage. As stated earlier higher resolutions require higher end CPUs.  
  • PRO TIP: I advise average users to stream at 1280 x 720.
  • Downscale Filter
      • Leave this at Bicupic unless you have reason to change it.
  • FPS
    • Or Frames Per Second will be dependant on your setup. However 30 FPS is very doable for most builds. Only attempt higher rates if your PC can support it.

Hotkey Settings

Selecting the Hotkey subsection brings up a box like this:

hotkey

Pretty straight forward, these hotkeys will do as they describe.  If you want to use them know that they will function globally across other programs so be mindful on what you set them to.

Advanced Settings

Selecting the Advanced subsection brings up a box like this:

advanced

Video

Only change settings here if you’re aware of their function.

Recording

You can have recording names labelled differently here.

Stream Delay

Sets a stream delay. This will mean viewers are not watching a live feed.  This delay is in addition to the delay already in place on most streams from Twitch.

WHEW We made it! Now What?

Now that all of the settings have been adjusted we can start setting up our first scenes.. And playing with our hair on the webcam. Hit apply to save any changes and let’s get back to the main interface.

Your first scene

There should already be a blank scene in your scenes section, however if there isn’t simply add a new one with the + symbol label it Duelyst (or Bob… I like Bob) and click OK.

Adding the Duelyst Display Capture

Now that we have a scene to operate in, we need sources! Let’s start with getting our Duelyst window in the view. Having multiple Monitors can make this process easier.  Streaming a full screen Duelyst is easier for viewers to follow so try to avoid window mode unless you need to use it.

  • Click the plus button to add a display capture (window and game capture do not work with Duelyst at this time). Select the display that your Duelyst is on and click OK.

If all went well you should have something like this:

duelyst source

Note: I named the source Duelyst.

If you are using one monitor you may have your OBS in view of the display capture and it continues to reproduce images. This disappears if OBS is minimized. You’ll notice the new eye icon next to the source, this controls the visibility. If clicked it will cause the source to be invisible and vice versa.

Recommended Duelyst Settings

Now that we have our window captured it’s time to adjust our duelyst viewport for our viewers.  While pixel perfect may feel fine as a player, from a small device such as a mobile phone or in a windowed Twitch stream it is very difficult to follow all the interactions and read numbers.

    • The “Best Fit” option affords the best experience. This enlarges the action enough and leaves some room for the streamer to add things like a webcam and text banners.
  • PRO TIP: Tightest fit is also excellent if you do not plan on using a webcam!

You can adjust those settings by clicking the Settings button on the bottom right of your Duelyst main page, and selecting them from the drop down box.

settings duelyst

Note: Adjusting visual settings here may also improve frame rates and latency if you are trying to stream from a low end machine.

Adding a Video Capture Device(Webcam)

Now that we’re ready to rock and roll it’s time to adjust our hair- I mean webcam. To do so simply select Video Capture Device from the add source menu. Give it a name then click OK. A new window will pop up with some options for configuring your device. Select your device from the list, adjust any settings you feel necessary, and click OK.

selfie

You should now have something like this on your main interface:

grinchChamp

Selecting a source will put a red box around it, this allows you to reposition the source by clicking and dragging and adjust its size with the edges.  I prefer my webcam in the bottom left or right for Duelyst as it interferes the least with the game elements!

  • PRO TIP: Remember our tip from earlier? You can also crop the image by holding ALT while resizing. Holding the CONTROL key also disables the auto snap if you need it.

Getting Fancy

You’re now setup to stream Duelyst but it doesn’t mean you have to stop here. Adding custom images like a webcam border, text overlays, and Twitch Alert notifications are all fun parts of the process and let you really show off your sense of style giving your stream a unique feel!

Common Issues

I wanted to list a few trouble spots many people run into while trying to stream, so here we go!

  • I always drop frames when trying to stream is there a way to stop this?
    • This is a difficult problem to diagnose but commonly has to do with the FPS rate you are set to in the Video settings and the Resolution downscale you are set to. Try out the recommended settings and reading a few guides on the OBS forums before jumping to buying a new rig.
  • Viewers always have trouble buffering the video, is this something I can control?
    • The short answer is no. But there are ways to improve it from your end. A lower encoding rate will provide viewers with smoother playback. However if you are not a Twitch partner quality settings aren’t always available and there are many variables that can’t be controlled such as viewer internet issues.
  • Sometimes people join my stream while I’m live and it says it is offline, what gives?
    • To be honest this was a problem for many Duelyst streamers. Simply tell them to refresh or wait it out. If this problem persists you can try Twitch Support as they’re a very helpful resource.
  • I am having my game sound playback through my microphone! How do I stop it?!
    • This can be caused by improper audio setup make sure you have the correct devices selected in your audio settings. This can also be caused by a non-condenser microphone and using speakers instead of headphones. Be wary of microphones that can pick up lots of noise as it may be difficult to listen to if too much is going on.

Tips from Veteran Duelyst Streamers

Here are some words of wisdom from some of our popular and successful Duelyst Streamers!

  • MegaM0gwai: “Diversity is at an all time high, I believe Duelyst will only go up from here, embrace said diversity, build some awesome decks and showcase off this game to the world!  I believe it’s a great time to become a Duelyst streamer.”
  • Envybae: “Streaming Duelyst is hella fun! The community is probably the best one I’ve ever been in, and they can make every stream unique and fun. Whether you’re Bronze or SRank, there’s an audience for everyone. Just be yourself!”
  • Wintermu7e: “While understanding, playing, and discussing Duelyst at the highest levels should be a goal which you actively pursue, make sure to relax and avoid taking things too seriously – have fun!”

Closing Words

I hope you guys enjoyed this guide there’s a lot of room for growth in the Duelyst stream scene. Be yourself don’t get discouraged and make lots of friends streaming can be a blast and some of my best friends I would have never met if I didn’t start streaming.

Good luck out there Duelers!