guest star feedback
I followed the link I just got back from Support; is this the right place?
Hi! A group I'm in recently did an extensive mini raid train collab using Guest Star. It was about three weeks ago. The instruction pages encourage feedback and bug reports because it's still beta. So here I am. Happy to try to clarify any of these.
One of us has struggling Internet. It is good enough to stream and she is wired in, but her bandwidth is inconsistent. I think that's why she kept getting disconnected from Guest Star even though the other 3 of us were not. Otherwise no idea why, but she had to refresh and rejoin several times.
Once someone has left and returned to Guest Star, whether intentionally or no, once put on stage, their browser source on OBS showed their image returned fine, but for audio to work, the Browser source had to be refreshed.
Sometimes the people in the Guest Star page would lose the ability to hear one of us. The others would still be audible. Sometimes refreshing the page fixed it. Sometimes it required that the person who couldn't be heard had to refresh. At one point this seemed to be triggered by one of the guests adjusting the volume of one of the other guests. She couldn't hear him after that, even when she turned the level back up.
One of us experienced the page remembering how loud each guest was set to previously. This was confusing because it had been a while and she didn't know why some of the people were quiet. She was pretty sure she had turned the volume back up in the mean time, but when she returned to guest star, it "remembered" the previous, lower volume setting and she had to turn it back up again. Arguably it would be better if it didn't remember, or if it showed an indicator of who had a custom volume set.
It's not totally clear whether adjusting someone else's volume affects them for everybody or just for you. Especially as the streamer, when I put someone on stage after changing their volume backstage, is that going to change how they sound in OBS? It would be great to make this clearer, like label it or provide a popup info bubble like "Change their backstage volume for you; this will not affect the Browser Souce on stream" etc
I discovered that the Browser Source URLs don't seem to change; they are specific by position and even when I stream days later, the URLs are the same. If I were to give one of those URLs to someone else (like if I am at their home using their computer, or if we are at a public event and I'm using their laptop, etc) then it seems that during any future Guest Star streams I may do, they could (accidentally I presume) wind up with the audio and video of my guest on their OBS! I understand that the convenience of persistent links is super valuable. It would be awful to have the Guest Star session crash midstream and need to set up new browser control URLs while the world is watching. But what if the URLs get refreshed (a) after a month of not using each one, (b) if you ever change password or stream key, (c) if you create a new "Guest Star session", which reflects your intention to start fresh.
I think the "Guest Star session" would be cool. You could give it a title and a description, so when you invite people they see more information about why. The URLs and the invitations could persist until you close the Session. Perhaps you could keep a few Sessions around, like how OBS does Scene Collections or Profiles, or how a digital mixer stores snapshots. Then you could have your DnD gang, your music talk podcast panel, etc, preset and ready to resume on a regular basis whenever you do those kinds of streams.
At one point someone left Guest Star by mistake while they were "live" (though I hadn't actually started the stream yet, thank goodness) and their invitation was also gone. I had to stop what I was doing and reinvite them. Also at one point someone misunderstood the plan and left too soon and was messaged to come back, but had to be invited. Of course in both cases I had to toggle them "Live" and refresh the browser controls. This kind of thing happened enough that we started being quite frustrated with Guest Star, though when it worked it was great!
I found that while streaming, it was most convenient to turn on monitoring in OBS and turn off the Guest Star page's audio in Chrome, by right clicking on the tab and muting the site. This unfortunately also means not being able to listen to any other twitch pages, including the page that was about to raid me. It would be great to have a master page volume or page mute button.
I know you might think I should listen to the page and keep the browser controls unmonitored, but (a) I was able to hear my effects and my real levels this way, and (b) if someone is accidentally unmuted in the browser, has background noise, coughs, etc, my method means that's not an issue. Also for a lot of us, we use Desktop Audio to share whatever sound is in the computer, and that means they would be doubled or out of sync. Lastly, because of the bug above requiring a refresh, monitoring the OBS source tells me when it's broken.
If nobody is assigned to a slot, or if they leave their slot, the empty slot should have more information and buttons that would help you do something else with that slot quick. Assign someone, re-send invitation to someone who left prematurely, maybe even what time they left and how long they have to reconnect before they lose the slot.
Is there a way to hide the channel names in the browser controls? Anyone skilled enough to get through Guest Star effectively should know how to add a name on screen, and if we do it ourselves, it'll be in our show's style. I understand that it's a boon to have the name change when the guest changes in a slot. That's great. But it should be optional. If it is, please let me know.
Is there a way to have guests without showing the list of Guest Starring channel name links to your viewers? I love that it has that as an option, but (a) sometimes you want to have a surprise guest, (b) sometimes someone or multiple people might be on a camera that joins using their other channel, their spouse's channel, etc, or (c) if you stream for 8 hours and have someone guest for 10 minutes, it's confusing to the viewer who comes and goes at some other part of the day.
If I closed my Guest Star hosting window, the others could keep talking for a minute or so, but sometimes with 2FA, rebooting, and/or stormy conditions, it can take anywhere from 1-90 minutes to get back. Also it's possible to be logged into Guest Star on a separate computer from the streaming one. I believe as it is now, if the host closes the Guest Star browser or loses connection, even if the stream is still on and the streaming computer is fine, the Guest Stars will disappear in a couple of minutes. I didn't test that, because of how horrible the experience would be while streaming. :) It would be great if the session didn't close for at least an hour or two when abandoned by the host. Zoom meetings and Streamyard, by comparison, stay until everyone leaves.
It would be great to co-own a Guest Star Session so the same group could be reused on another channel without having to set everything back up. Like first I'll interview you two on my channel, then one of you streams while you two interview me on your channel, that kind of thing.
It would be so cool to have a setting to enable unfiltered stereo audio, so we can play guest music on each other's channels. Many of us have been trying to use it that way and it just doesn't sound great in attenuated mono.
At first I kept forgetting to put people "on stage" - especially if they were on stage a moment before and had accidentally left. Audio handling is also very strange because who can hear whom when they are or aren't on stage is confusing and unclear. It should be more visually obvious that someone is backstage. There is currently a 'look' but a watermark that says 'offstage' or something would be better. Or perhaps once anyone is "on stage", it would become even more obvious who is not, where it would be subtler before that point.
A feature like some meeting software, where we see a bouncing level meter on each window in the Guest Star browser page, would be wonderful. I found it hard to figure out who had background noises on, unless I put people on through OBS and could look at their individual meters, and it would be too late then. Of course I could mute each person in turn but that also was hard while under pressure.
Another idea if there are Guest Star Sessions would be to preassign slots for people. So when placing them it would default to place them in the same spots. You could still change that but having defaults would mean not having to remember where everyone was "sitting". It would be cool to be able to preassign more than one person to the same slot, if you know that some people take turns in the same 'seat', for that matter, when their segments come up.
Thanks for listening and I hope you understand why I didn't want to submit 18 times. :)
The auto numbering feature changed my numbering! I suppose that's another bug to contemplate ;)