Behind the Scenes: KI Live
Back in the middle of 2014, the Community Team at KingsIsle had an idea for a new way to interact with (and hopefully entertain) our game communities. Livestreaming video games became a huge trend in the last few years with the growing popularity of Twitch. In 2013, Twitch had upwards of 45 million viewers each month! Many players already use Twitch to stream their gameplay of Wizard101 and Pirate101, so we thought, why not join in on the fun? KI Live was created!
What is KI Live? It is a monthly livestream from KingsIsle Community Managers Tom and Leala (with help from Social Media Coordinator, Julia, appropriately dubbed #JuliaFromKI on Twitter). Each month we focus on the latest news in KingsIsle games, show off gameplay, answer questions from the community and give away lots of great prizes. Players can watch live on our website and join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #askki. If you ever miss a live episode, you can always catch up by watching the recorded version on our YouTube page.
What goes into creating a KI Live episode? Glad you asked. Lots! Since KI Live is a new endeavor for us, we are learning as we go. This goes for the technical aspects as well as learning what topics most interest our viewers.
Scheduling and Planning: The first thing the community team does is get together for a meeting to discuss when our next episode should take place, what news we should highlight and what we’d like to show off in game. Sometimes an episode will be more focused on Wizard101 or it could be more focused on Pirate101. We try to mix it up and show off lots of aspects of each game!
Show Notes: Once we’ve got a rough idea of what we’ll discuss in the episode, we write down notes to help us remember everything and use them as an outline to guide us during the live show. Since KI Live is live, even with the best planning, the unexpected can happen! It’s exciting and definitely keeps us on our toes.
Announcement: Several days before the event, we make an announcement to all of our players across social media by creating events on Google+ and Facebook. This way everyone knows when the next KI Live will be and can join us!
Setup: When the big day rolls around we convert one of the conference rooms in the KingsIsle office into our own little recording studio. We move in our computers, lighting, microphone, props and decorations for the background. We use lots of posters featuring art from the games, as well as life-sized standees of some of the characters from Pirate101. Since each show has a theme, we often bring in fun hats or costume pieces to wear on the show. Fun Fact: Tom hates wearing hats but Leala makes him, because it’s funny!
Showtime: On the day of the event we announce again across social media and start taking questions from the #askki hashtag on Twitter. We also may call for submissions of in-game screenshots that go along with our theme so that we can share them on the show . We love showing off our player’s creativity! When the big moment comes, we flip all the switches and go live on Twitch. During the episode Leala and Tom will be on camera and in game playing Wizard101 or Pirate101 (or both!) Julia helps out behind the camera to coordinate all of the questions that we answer on air and award prizes to lucky viewers.
And that’s a glimpse into what goes into bringing you KI Live each month! Have you ever watched KI Live? Let us know in the comments what you think of the show and what you would like us to talk about in upcoming episodes. Thanks for reading (and watching!)