This article mentions Lightstream Prism

Prism is no longer available, but its multiplayer streaming features are now included in Lightstream Studio.

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Over the years, through Extra Life, Gamers for Giving, and similar events, streamers have demonstrated the ability to raise millions of dollars for charities through marathons and viewer donations. We’re continually impressed by how generous gamers and streamers can be, including their helping us raise $2,880 for AbleGamers at TwitchCon!

Anyone who’s done a charity stream knows that it’s an endurance event where you truly earn the money for your cause. Fueled by sugar, coffee, and energy drinks, marathon streamers provide hours upon hours of entertainment during their uninterrupted streams. 

One of the ways to keep things interesting for your audience (and take the streaming load off your back) is to involve multiple people in your stream. Not long ago, we got word from Lightstream users VisNomadic about how their team accomplished this using Prism.

Prism is our browser-based tool used to simplify streaming with multiple people. By using a shared URL, you can stream with up to four players at the same time no matter the broadcast software. (If you’re interested in seeing it action, we made a tutorial video.) Prism can be a huge help during charity streams because you don’t have to carry the entire show by yourself. It’s also a unique and novel way to present multiple views of the same game, helping attract and retain new viewers.

For VisNomadic, they have a cast of 10 people. While having that many people might seem like it would make for an easier marathon because it means less time per person, it also means more work on the backend such as scheduling, switching, and coordinating the stream over different broadcast equipment. Prism takes care of all of that. For their 10-person team, VisNomadic assigned streamers to different shifts. When it comes time for the next streamer to take their shift, Prism allowed them to have someone start streaming to the player two spot while player one was in solo mode. All they had to do was switch solo mode over to player two, and then that person was live on the same channel without having to take down the stream. Think of it it like a relay race or tag team wrestling. The transition was natural, as you can see in this clip:

The VisNomadic stream features a group of streamers each using their own unique streaming setup, so they used Prism to achieve a multi-cam style show. Whenever they needed to switch to a new streamer, there were no technical complications; they just streamed to their Prism RTMP and streamkey instead of their normal streaming account with the broadcast software they already use. No other settings needed to be changed so it was easy for others to get involved.

One way to help raise money during a charity stream is to get your audience involved. VisNomadic did this by creating characters in the Sims in the likeness of the donators. Another example of this was in Left 4 Dead 2 where people who made donations were able to request mods to wildly change up the gameplay. Prism made it easy to showcase the full team playing as these characters, getting more of the donators on screen at once:

Prism makes it easy to combine multiple streamers onto one channel with a streamlined interface and options. You can have up to 4 players in a pre-designed layout. If you’re looking for more control of your design, Lightstream Studio is the way to go. You can create any number of scenes with different layouts – using RTMP Source layers to bring in feeds from your different participants. While it’s a bit more time to setup – this gives you much more flexibility for your show.

Whether you decide to go with Prism or Studio, Lightstream gives you the tools to do some truly unique show formats and get more people involved in your charity stream. We hope these tools help make your next charity stream more successful! If you use any of our tools to help fundraise, please let us know so we can promote your streams and help your raise more for your cause.