iCCup TV LIVE Streaming
As many of you are aware, HLTV is a technology that allows you to watch games LIVE. That technology is being successfully used in many Half-Life and Counter-Strike events. Those game lovers are really the lucky ones since they can watch games live without downloading a lot of useless Gbytes.
Every time i watch Starcraft Youtube videos with some awesome video resolution, like 320x240, I feel as if I'm blind. Was that a Firebat or Marine? Is the caster retarded? What were the upgrades? who knows… So, i decided to make something like HLTV, just for StarCraft. It was very hard to make this idea a reality having only 30 free minutes per week. But hell! At this very moment this project changes its status from «it may work» to «it works». And thus the iCCup TV Streamer/Player is born.
Boring history lesson
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, someone called «Lasgo» made some toolkit called named «Lasgo Broodwar TV Observer». I've never seen this project nor used it, but as far as I know this was the first time this idea manifested. This project was dropped after a Starcraft version update...
Later, the BWTV project by Ashur arrived. It was late 2004 — early 2005 if i am not mistaken. The latest version that I found at bwprogrammers contained game sprites (Ashur decided to draw sprites manually, while Lasgo's version worked with replays). As far as i know there wasn't any progress on that project either. It is a pity I never had any chance to work on it.
So what the heck is this?
To clear up some confusion, these plugins basically let you:
1. Stream your games LIVE as your playing WITHOUT the use of a screen capture program, using the methods similar to saving replays, but instead of it being saved, it is broadcasted live for people to watch as you are playing.
2. Watch the LIVE streams of other players who have broadcast their games through the «iCCup TV Streamer» Plugin. It may look like your just watching a replay, however instead of watching a saved game, you are watching it as it happens live. (With a 3 minute delay of course, so you can't use this for maphack >.>)
How does it work?
Long story short. All the player's actions are sent to some server which we call «hub», and this hub streams all the required data to all other players
How do i get it?
ATTENTION! This is public alpha/beta/gamma testing. That means there can be bugs. So use it at your own risk.
To either start streaming your games, or watch games that are being streamed, you need to download these plugins (assuming you have ChaosLauncher), or the whole ChaosLauncher with all required plugins and anti-hack (all plugins are safe with iCCup).
We suggest you to set it to «update automatically», so you don't have to update them manually.
When the project status changes to stable all of these will be incorporated into the iCCup launcher. However there will always be versions for alternate launchers, not just for iCCup.
There are two modes (Watching streamed games, and streaming your games), two plugins. Each plugin is just for 1 mode exclusively. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH EACH OTHER! Meaning you can't run both of them at the same time, one of them must be off for the other to function.
Streaming your games (Streamer)
That's simple. Just turn on the iCCup TV Streamer plugin (make sure ICCup TV Player is OFF), and the iCCup plugin for antihack and you may start playing. Any server, any mode. In 3 minutes your game will be available for those watching. The 3 minutes delay is to make this tool look different from maphack, while actually being it.
Watching streamed games (Player)
1. Turn on the iCCup TV Player plugin (make sure ICCup TV Streamer is OFF).
2. Go to Single Player -> Expansion, and choose Load Replay.
You will get a list of all available matches. Those on the very top are live. So, choose your game and watch!
*While watching streamed games you may experience some automatic pauses. This is so called buffering. There is no need to manually unpause. The plugin will automatically do it for you after it has enough data buffered to contiune playing. In the case of being retarded and having pressed the unpause button — just go to stream list and watch this game again. You can «rewind» it to the moment you left off using the standard replay features.
In the nearest future we plan on debugging these features and adding some web-page functionallity so it can be used as a remote replay storage. It can't be done using Starcraft since it has a limitation of 255 replays per folder..
What I've done is already an achievement for me. But i am not going to stop. So, here are some things we are going to add:
- 1st person replays
- audio track for replays. so it feels like a real casted game
- making it viewable through browser, without having Starcraft open
If you are interested in helping us by coding/have some code snippets — send me a private message. If you have any suggestions, feedback, bug reports, whatever. just post them at this thread
There is only one known issue at this very moment. Sometimes the Player plugin stops playing the game correctly much like a broken replay… This is a major issue, but is very rare and almost uncatchable with 0 games in LIVE list..
There are no problems with the streaming plugin which we are aware of.
Big thanks to the ICCup Dev Team for ideas and support, ICCup Administrators, BRAT_OK, dOty and a lot more for testing. We really appreciate all that you've done! Also special thanks to Blizzard for giving us StarCraft — best game ever. Also, thanks to the whole StarCraft community for just being there and the support. This is part of our contribution back to the community!
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
original text by our beloved developer: Python_Max