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Should Twitch really have separate categories for DS & DST?


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I love streaming singleplayer Don't Starve. I consider it one of the finest games ever made and it inspired me to create a YouTube and Twitch channel. For the most part I stream DST because it is a much more widely watched game on both YouTube and Twitch.

I have discovered, however, that the more I stream the singleplayer version to my followers, I realize that more and more of them are hearing about the game Don't Starve for the very first time. And the reaction is amazement. The truth is that singleplayer with DLC's still offers a massively expansive assortment of features that cannot be found in DST, and most new DST players might possibly have never even heard of or considered the game even if they typically play DST solo.

However, every time I think to stream Don't Starve I am faced with the very real reality of the category on Twitch. It's completely lacking in viewers. This means that I am very unlikely to attract new viewers who might be browsing the category. Were I to stream on the DST category, however, I can reliably attract the attention of a group of players interested in the game.

The question I constantly find myself asking is: why are there two separate categories? I realize that the quick and easy answer is that Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together are two different games. But are they really? And to me the more important question is: why do we need to make the distinction?

The fact is, the core experiences of  singleplayer and multiplayer version of the game are very much the same. Survive, craft, fight, and build within the constant. Most of the important craftables such as light sources, weapons, and raw foods are identical. Most crockpot recipes are similarly identical and most mobs are the same with scaled HP (spiders, pigs, clockworks, giants, etc). Drawing a distinction solely on the game engines is akin to comparing Bedrock and Java editions of Minecraft. It's still very much the same core experience.

As a committed Don't Starve streamer I would have a much easier time if I didn't have to choose between a lively DST category and a substantially less populated one. I could showcase the singleplayer version to a large group of Don't Starve viewers who may not have experienced the game and I could expect more "walk-ins" from non-followers browsing the category. I would also not need to constantly remind viewers that they will still earn DST Twitch drops by watching DS streams.

Having two separate categories, while on the surface makes sense considering they are indeed separate games, seems to dilute our viewership substantially. To a viewer who may never have heard of Don't Starve there is very little chance that they will ever find out about the game while browsing the DST category. Categorizing the games as essentially the singleplayer and multiplayer version of the same game - which is certainly how I hear the two referenced conversationally - makes much more sense if the goal is to improve viewership of both versions. Other games such as Fortnite have tags used within the same Twitch category to distinguish between different game modes. I would love to see this in a single Don't Starve category, and think that it would very much increase the viewership of the singleplayer mode moreso than the current arrangement of disparate categories.

I have discussed this with other content creators who agree that the two should be consolidated even though they are separate games. But I am interested to hear from the community of players as well, and perhaps also from the developers. Do you agree with the categorization or would you support a consolidation?

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I'd really like to emphasize that you can get DST drops from watching DS streams, and I'm afraid that it's misinformation like this that further discourages viewership of singleplayer streamers.

Also, the question of game difficulty is more or less unrelated to the discussion I am seeking.

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As an occasional stream watcher I would agree to a consolidation for the reasons that you have mentioned. Imo it would also help to clear up common confusions and curosities when players of one category seek mechanics/mobs/items/bosses for their category in the other (e.g. a DS player asking where Bee Queen is or DST players confused why there aren't armored boats).

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I have heard the argument that separate categories confuses new players when they watch one version expecting to see another. That's why proper tagging of streams would be important in a consolidated category, plus I don't think it would confuse viewers any more than the current categorization does.

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Hmm this is truly a tough situation because of the arguments put in place for this. On one hand it makes sense to generalize the two games (DST and DS + DLC's) into one category that would certainly encourage more viewing and, subsequently, advertising for the single player game and its expansions. However a couple arguments could be made that, for one, there may not be any "demand" for DS + DLC's comparative to its more recognized multiplayer counterpart; and secondly that those games do not have / nor potentially plan to have any more polish to them that DST has and will receive, so it would need to be a priority from Klei to give support for those games in either the style of updates, skins, or even integration into a "Don't Starve Launcher" of sorts. It could also simply be that, and I'd hate to say it this way because I too love Don't Starve with a passion, the games are long past their life-cycle and just does not have much relevance to the general viewership anymore. It is for these reasons that I personally believe that in order for the previous games to gain traction, they need some more love from Klei themselves.

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i think they ought to stay separate simply because of all of the differences. certainly a lot of things are alike but character switching, bundling-wrap acquisition, exclusive characters, expansion-pack restrictions, boss health and now game exclusive recipes/mobs? those all make this a different game in execution regardless of aesthetics and as time goes on the divide between the two will continue until they start developing mutually exclusive player-bases

 

i think it is good to keep them apart not only because of the current differences but also as a means of future-proofing

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I'll throw my name in there too as another streamer who strongly supports a merged category idea. 

 

DS and DST are very different games. No one is saying they are the same, but the issue extends outside what is in the game.

 

As a viewer, if you search "Don't Starve" you only find the Don't Starve Together category. So the vast majority of viewers go to the category they can actually find. The problem is, since the Don't Starve category still exists, a streamer who wants to stream DS is forced to stream there and only to their core audience who can find the stream through their followed list or twitch alerts. It precludes you from any chance of finding new viewers. Because of this, we've seen some streamers just stream DS in the DST category (which is a violation of Twitch's community guidelines), or simply not stream DS at all and force themselves to play only DST. 

 

Since I make nearly all my income from streaming, I can't take a risk to stream DS despite both a desire from me to play it and my core audience to watch it because I'd be sacrificing any potential of finding new viewers. Many viewers don't even know that they can receive the exact same drops from watching DS as they do from DST, so the issue is even worse when new drops and updates come out on DST. This has also lead to a culture of people declaring that DS is a "dead game," because there are rarely any viewers or streamers in the category while DST is going strong on Twitch. 

 

So for the sake of future argument:

 

Why is it not a bad idea?

 

Because it's no different than what already exists in the DS category.

 

Consider the following. DS is pretty similar to DS+RoG sure, but DS+RoG+SW is a radically different game, and DS+RoG+SW+Ham even more so. How can you even begin to compare vanilla to all the expansions together?

 

Each expansion has added a ridiculous amount of new mechanics and strategies, yet all these are streamed in the same category. Even something like character balance is radically changed depending on the expansions a player has access to to the point that it plays as a different game entirely. It's most evident with WX who, while good in vanilla and RoG, got much better in SW when immune to poison and having an entire season of lightning to overcharge him + his speed buff working on a boat and easy gears from floaty boaty knights, and then was taken to an extreme in Hamlet with access to thunderbirds giving him near infinite on demand overcharge.

 

How is it good for viewers?

 

By consolidating the categories, it makes it easier to actually find the content that one wants. As mentioned earlier, simply searching Don't Starve is rarely enough to even find the category and it only brings you to DST. 

 

How is it good for Klei?

 

By consolidating the categories, it makes the Don't Starve brand stronger based on how Twitch sorts categories based on total number of viewers. Consolidation would add together the viewers of both games thus increasing the total and move Don't Starve as a brand up the list in terms of popularity. This means more people would naturally stumble across the category and thus more exposure for Klei. 

 

Isn't this an issue to bring up with Twitch, not Klei?

 

An individual streamer has basically as much power on Twitch as a class president in a 2nd grade class. If a company like Klei would speak on behalf of it's dedicated streamers and fan base, they have a significantly higher chance of being heard. 

 

So ultimately, consolidating the categories would be better for streamers, viewers, and Klei. It's a win-win-win scenario. 

 

EDIT:

 

Also, the Don't Starve reddit actually had a similar debate a few years ago about whether they should split content and posts between the r/dontstarve and r/dontstarvetogether reddits. It was decided that it was best to keep all content together on just r/dontstarve. Precedence for merging DS and DST for the health of the community already exists is what I mean here. 

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2 hours ago, gaymime said:

i think they ought to stay separate simply because of all of the differences. certainly a lot of things are alike but character switching, bundling-wrap acquisition, exclusive characters, expansion-pack restrictions, boss health and now game exclusive recipes/mobs? those all make this a different game in execution regardless of aesthetics and as time goes on the divide between the two will continue until they start developing mutually exclusive player-bases

 

i think it is good to keep them apart not only because of the current differences but also as a means of future-proofing

I think the differences between RoG and DST are waaaaaaaaaaaay smaller than the differences between RoG and SW, or SW and HAM, yet those are all in the same category of DSA.

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I think we should argue less about the differences between DS and DST and more about *who* would watch and stream DS and DST. It's both true that the games play similarly and that they have vastly different content, so people would have a reason to be interested in both.

On the other side, I do want the games to be distinguishable and not to be considered one and the same, because they're not. As long as there's an easy way to tell what the streamer is playing I would be all for this idea, the tag system Fortnite uses sounds good!

As a big fan of DS, I would love to see more people stream it and play it. As an aspiring streamer myself, I would love to be able to show my love for DS to more people.

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Alright fine, since everyone wants to react to my previous posts with confused reacts... Yes they should remain to be separate streams targeting two different audiences

Play as Wendy in both games and you’ll understand Why.

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1 hour ago, Cheggf said:

I think the differences between RoG and DST are waaaaaaaaaaaay smaller than the differences between RoG and SW, or SW and HAM, yet those are all in the same category of DSA.

yeah, no. the ds expansions are still part of ds and aside from expiry issues it doesn't remove from vanilla ds play and instead adds to it where as i literally cannot play ds and dst in the same way because several of the mechanics from ds simply are not available to me. in vanilla, rog and sw i can play the majority of the game without having to directly attack any mobs(barring the occasional bit of self-defense or extreme starvation) and do so on my own but in dst that isn't an option. unless i get amazing  rng and mob-bosses spawn on top of each other i have to fight for wraps and meat, world gen does not express itself in a familiar way and unless someone babysits me i am committed to death in a manner that ds simply doesn't compare to(i am not sure what the difference is but it is certainly there. honestly i feel it is modified mob aggression and the lack of ability to plan at my own pace). there is also the issue of having several characters that are ds or dst specific and dst lacking a story mode(which is a noticeable chunk of the game). you also have the issue of there being no pause so the way that things like maps are utilized, sw and rog mechanics are put together in the world(while several sw features are missing) and changing how players break up their play time, you also have to account for the large and imposing elephant in the room of dst being a communal mmo while ds is a single-player rouge-like which means that you are not going to be able to build and react in the same way you would solo. even if you account for houses and hurricanes there is such a gulf in mental state between being the only person you have to watch out for and nixing any awry plans and being part of a (potentially) random collective with a mind for resource preservation and inter-connectivity that trying to play them in identical games makes for a decidedly different experience let alone playing them in games that are only siblings to each other and not the same creature

 

it is like saying it is the same to eat a sausage roll in your jammies while alone in your flat is the same as eating sausage and eggs at a nice restaurant by yourself because you are eating sausage in both instances and you can theoretically do both by yourself. it only holds up if you don't think about it even a little bit

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2 minutes ago, __IvoCZE__ said:

I wonder why...

Maybe "everyone" reacts with confused because they are confused.

Or becuase there isnt another "negative" emote

 

On topic. Is annoying to have 2 separate categories for almost the same game. And im guessing that for streaming is even more annoying because you have to change it everytime you play each version and having DS in another cathegory that isnt so visualized makes the game go deerper in his death since dst has more public, having both in the same cathegory will make DS grow because of people who dont know DS but know DST

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Is it possible to merge two games together after almost 7 years of development? The idea is great, but the compatability might be a problem. Just to add to it I haven't heard of any game title that had 2 seperate games and somehow merged them into one.

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As a streamer who mainly plays DST and rarely DS the ability to play DS and still be under the most searched category for both games would be great. I support this decision because of multiple reasons.

  1. it would allow for one area for people searching for don't starve content 
  2. it would allow the streamer to be seen when or if they decide to play single player mode
  3. mods already offer the function to allow DST to become hamlet,forge,gorge,shipwrecked which indirectly is the same thing
  4. it would allow Klei to possibly promote only one category on Twitch instead of 2.
  5. overall giving more exposure to both titles in 1 category for example plenty of my viewers have never even played Hamlet or Shipwrecked this would allow for easier exposure. 
  6. There are plenty of people looking for drops who do not even understand that they are able to get drops watching Don't Starve as well.

I think overall its a great option comparing to other titles such as Minecraft for example you can play single player Minecraft or multiplayer in the options. Don't Starve pretty much offers the exact same thing however the fact that Don't Starve and DST are two separate games it might be the decision for Twitch to not allow the two categories to combine. 

However I agree it would be a great idea and open more options for streaming DS/DST content. 

Oh also we need more DST plushies in the Klei store.  :) 

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10 minutes ago, AllFunNGamez said:

There are plenty of people looking for drops who do not even understand that they are able to get drops watching Don't Starve as well.

This to me is the most compelling argument for a merged category. Klei was gracious in enabling DST drops on DS streams but that fact is not advertised anywhere. So the majority of DS viewers will just assume they are not earning the drops when they could be. Merging the category obliterates any possible confusion.

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But the categories don’t exist for the sake of twitch drops, they exist to make it easier to find people playing the game I want to watch.

Despite people claiming Hamlet was well liked, nearly no one actually streams it, and I wouldn’t like the rare Hamlet stream diluted and harder to find among the more numerous DST ones.

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Similar to Genome's argument, I prefer to have separate categories for the separate games. I go to whichever category I want to watch and look there first. Putting all of the single player streams in the DST category would make them much more difficult to find. Sometimes I want to watch DST specifically as well, and having single player RoG streams in the DST category would make that more difficult as well.

I have some experience with game categories being merged on twitch from another game that I watch and I thoroughly dislike it.

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11 minutes ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

But the categories don’t exist for the sake of twitch drops, they exist to make it easier to find people playing the game I want to watch.

Despite people claiming Hamlet was well liked, nearly no one actually streams it, and I wouldn’t like the rare Hamlet stream diluted and harder to find among the more numerous DST ones.

If you read some of the responses from the content creators above you might see that the reason we choose not to stream Hamlet is more nuanced than "people don't like watching them." Regardless, I respect that you want ease of access when looking for the right stream to watch. Which is why I advocate for a reworking of stream tags which will actually do a much better and more specific job of combing through the assortment of streams for the right one. Supposing you wanted to watch somebody stream Forge in the DST category. Ideally there would be popular tags for every different game mode on the category; you wouldn't need separate categories to filter them.

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14 hours ago, JazzyGames said:

The question I constantly find myself asking is: why are there two separate categories? I realize that the quick and easy answer is that Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together are two different games. But are they really? And to me the more important question is: why do we need to make the distinction?
 

In my view, they very much are entirely different games. I understand that many players play solo worlds in DST in such a way that the gameplay is almost identical to DS RoG, but it would be extremely misleading to say that the two games aren't all that different. From minute mechanical differences like the dragonfly and how armor works to drastic differences like the fuelweaver, all of the Return of Them content, and most importantly, the ability to play with other people, the games have plenty of significant distinctions that the "quick and easy answer" alone doesn't really do justice.

I completely agree that merging the two games into one category would benefit the DS singleplayer streamers, but I could make that same argument for people who stream The Sims 2 instead of The Sims 4. Yet, these remain two separate games on Twitch. Is there any precedence of two games being merged into one category on Twitch?

 

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6 hours ago, FreyaMaluk said:

how did you come from the OP to this??

this is mainly about unifying twitch categories, the focus is not on difficulty or debating about differences between the games... it's about viewership

My point was as someone over the age of 21 who doesn’t EVER take a liking-ship to any ONE particular individual who streams video game content, my interest aligns solely upon watching the VIDEO GAME CONTENT in question (not You streaming it)

 I do not care one tiny little bit to see your face on the screen while you play said video game content. Someone with that mindset (and I’m sure I’m not alone) Is only there to see the GAME you are currently playing, Which is exactly why it’s vitally important that the two games remain to be under two separate categories.

DS came out in 2015 & DST is its 2017 Sequel.

You Don’t see anyone streaming 2009’s Batman Arkham Asylum trying to attract viewership from those who are interested in seeing gameplay of 2015’s Batman Arkham Knight.

They're two drastically different games, the same can be said of DS Solo & DST.

For example- if I saw you playing DST and I fell in love with Woodies Goose form rushing across the now sailable ocean when you turn into him, I would be highly disappointed when I bought DS single player expecting Woodie to go Goose and discover that the sea is only for looks & Woodie doesn’t have that power within the old game.

49 minutes ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

But the categories don’t exist for the sake of twitch drops, they exist to make it easier to find people playing the game I want to watch.

Despite people claiming Hamlet was well liked, nearly no one actually streams it, and I wouldn’t like the rare Hamlet stream diluted and harder to find among the more numerous DST ones.

^^ This

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Hm, I believe that yes. It's better to keep them in separate categories, since DS (solo) including its DLCs is very different from DST now, and it really depends on the content the twitch users want to watch, if both categories got "merged" in Twitch, I imagine that it'd usually be confusing for the users to find what they want to watch.

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I feel like a lot of people responding here are viewing this from the outside, rather than being people who use Twitch for DS/T streams. Cause there's a lot of responses here that are like "the categories should stay separate, because people who want to watch DS can just go to the DS category" but that's not really how things are going, as it is now there are almost no streamers for DS at any moment, and so there's no viewers for DS streams, and instead both streamers and viewers are over in the DST category. Merging the categories wouldn't confuse any viewers of DS streams, because there are basically none at any moment. Merging the categories would instead mean someone streaming DS would have a chance to get viewers, and people who want to watch DS would actually have streams to choose from. For someone like me, who enjoys DS streams a lot, I would go from having almost zero options for streams to watch, to having streams to choose from.

Additionally, that's why the focus on how different/similar these games are in this thread is irrelevant imo, especially when comparing such trivial things as how you obtain bundling wraps. The focus here is that on Twitch, DS gets no activity and DST gets tons of activity, while a merged category would mean DS gets tons of activity and DST gets tons of activity. Worst case scenario, you'd have to go through a few extra clicks to sort by the "Don't Starve" or "Don't Starve Together" tag in the DS series category if you only want one game.

1 hour ago, Rinkusan said:

Is there any precedence of two games being merged into one category on Twitch?

There's the "Retro" category, which allows basically any retro game. Chances are, unless you're streaming something huge like Super Mario World, you're not gonna get any viewers by setting your category to some specific old game like Super Bonk or Adventures of Lolo, so you can instead set the category to "Retro" and have a chance with the thousands of viewers just looking for older games.

10 hours ago, Misuto said:

It's most evident with WX who, while good in vanilla and RoG, got much better in SW when immune to poison and having an entire season of lightning to overcharge him + his speed buff working on a boat and easy gears from floaty boaty knights, and then was taken to an extreme in Hamlet with access to thunderbirds giving him near infinite on demand overcharge.

Not relevant to the overall topic but someone's gotta do it: WX-78 uses they/them pronouns, please keep that in mind when talking about them.

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