Beam is boosting social streaming with Interactive 2.0 later this month

Michael Cottuli

Microsoft's Beam Video Game Streaming Service

Beam, Microsoft’s game streaming service born in competition with Twitch, is getting a shiny new coat of paint for its interactivity. For those who don’t know, one of Beam’s biggest draws is the fact that, for many games, users can interact directly with the game while the streamer is playing it – creating a totally new kind of massively interactive experience. With the addition of a totally new engine for creating these interactive experiences, Beam is opening up the floodgates for several exciting opportunities.

Here’s what the Beam team is promising for Interactive 2.0:

  • Per-User Control Events – See who pushed a button enabling more engaging more personal interactivity.
  • Dynamic Controls – Create new buttons and interactive elements on the fly from your game without needing to visit the Interactive Studio.
  • Malleable Controls – Change the text and spark cost of a control on the fly to spice up the gameplay during a session.
  • Groups – Group your players into Teams or collections to provide unique controls to different sets of users.
  • Brand New WebGL Based Controls
    • Set text & spark cost on the fly at any time.
    • Easier to position and size for a wide variety of layouts and devices.
    • More on this in the future 😉
  • Snazzy new control editor renamed to our Interactive Studio.
    • A set of tools and processes to support you in authoring next generation interactive experience.
    • Everything from initial creation to publishing is carefully crafted and delivered to support you in making the best possible Interactive experience.
  • JSON Based Protocol – A human readable format that is easy to debug.
  • New & Updated SDKs
    • C++
    • Unity / C#
    • JavaScript

If you’re a viewer or streamer, you may start seeing some new and interesting features pop up for you in the near future, as people start getting adjusted to the new system. If you’re a developer, you’ll be able to start playing around with Interactive 2.0 relatively soon. If you don’t want to screw around with a new interface right now and want to stick with Interactive 1.0 for a while longer, Beam will continue to support that for a while as they work out the kinks in Interactive 2.0.