Even so, there was something that happened last night during the NASL S3 match between WhiteRa and Jinro match that went almost unnoticed but I think is HUGE for the eSports scene. Note: As of this writing the VODs are not up on YouTube and, sorry, I am not a subscriber on Twitch so I cannot get you a timestamp (I will update this post when VODs are posted); it was the last game of the series late in the game just after WhiteRa advanced and the, smartly, retreated after a successful attack we saw something happen that we have never seen before. MrBitter and Roderdamn then INSTANT REPLAYED the encounter.
UPDATE: HERE IS THE VOD. Action starts to 11:44
That's right. The first ever Starcraft 2 Instant replay happened last night and, as a geeked out production guy, I squee'd with excitement
So how did this happen? What does this mean for eSports productions moving forward? How does an instant reply work on a live stream?
These are the things I am going to cover in my first ever text edition of eSports Production Values! It should be noted that the only thing I hate more than taking the dog for her morning dookie session is freak'n typing - just say'n.
OK! So first the technology. How did they do it?
I haven't spoken to anyone on the NASL crew yet but I would venture a pretty fair guess that this was done using a 3Play box by NewTek - the same company that makes the TriCaster which I cover in detail in the episode on the Evil Geniuses Master Cup . I would also assume they are using the model 330 (which is the smallest of the three version available and allows for 3 live feeds to be recorded at once).
Picture of the 3Play:
SEE UPDATES BELOW. They use HyperdeckStudio
You can see a basic overview of it's operation in the video linked here.
Basically, the live feeds come into the 3play box and as something awesome begins to happen during the match the operator hits a key and it marks and 'in' point and when the event is over he simply marks an 'out'. Seems easy enough, right? These events are then immediately accessible to the live stream director who can show them instantly live. Pretty cool!
These instant replays are also captured, labeled and stored in the 3Play box so they are available instantly at any time. So, if we have a long unexpected break in the stream BOOM instant highlight reel, have a long macro style game between 2 rivals? BOOM instant replays. Holy crap! Did you see that engagement? BOOM let's take another look!
Now here is where my geeky little brain starts to nerd-gasm. What if...and just go with me on this...what if we combined the 3play instant replay ability with the Tricaster's ability to do picture in picture? I KNOW! It's awesome to think right?
So if we were to combine PnP with Instant Replay we could 1) never miss another drop using PnP and then 2) when the action was over we could put the live match in PnP and then fullscreen the instant replay of the drop that just happened in PnP. BOOM your head just exploded didn't it? yeah, I need a sock.
In all seriousness, though. This happened and Rotterdamn mentioned that they just made eSports history. Well, they did and they should be damned proud. It is a subtle thing that happened and I don't think many people really got it at first but as NASL begins to experiment with the potential of the 3play technology I think we are going to see some very cool things come out of this.
Oh, and one more small advantage to using this box. Even if you do not use it for instant replays in your live stream you can still use the logged footage and events to very quickly make highlight reels, daily recaps and so many other things. This would literally save your editors hours of post production time and would be well worth (for some productions) the $5,000 price tag.
And, lastly, it wouldn't be a proper production blog if I didn't add a touch of advice for the NASL crew. Using the 3play and, again I assume, a Tricaster, you can create overlays. I would encourage you guys to add a text overlay that says 'Instant replay' or something like that. Let people know what they are watching. Watch any football game and you will see this. Fancy transition wipe in - replay with instant replay overlay text - fancy transition back to live. Going one further you could actually BRAND your instant replay. That replay was brought to you by the Stride Instant Replay. Just saying
OK, that's it for me today. Hope you are excited about this new technology as I am. Congrats to NASL and their crew for once again innovating the eSports scene.
I hope to rid myself of this chronic cough soon so I can get back to doing proper video production blogs. Until next time...peace out!
ps. It is 8:30am so I did not drink gin during this production blog but I was drinking a very lovely Pu'Erh Poe tea
UPDATE #1 Got the NewTek part wrong. Dead curious what they use.
The link in the Tweet is HERE. They use the HyperDeckStudio. I am pretty unfamiliar with it but I'm reading the materials now.