Discord: Streaming Games

This year, IMGD’s annual Alpha Fest is being held on Discord (join here if you haven’t yet)!  We chose this platform for its flexibility, including the ability for users to jump between several virtual “rooms” – called voice channels in Discord – where people can watch one another play different games and talk about them in real time.

One of the key parts of Alpha Fest is letting the people who developed a game see what you’re up to, so they can see how players make choices or where they get stuck.  To have that same experience virtually, participants can broadcast their screen in real-time while playing a game, and developers can easily check up on anyone’s progress.

This guide will cover how to share your screen in Discord, so that other people can watch you play one of the available games. If you only want to watch someone else play, check out the watching guide instead.

  1. Visit the Projects page and find a game/demo you want to try. Download (and keep) any files provided, then follow the developer’s installation instructions.  If you get stuck, ask the project’s creator(s) for help.
  2. Once you have the project open and running, open Discord. In the IMGD server, click the voice channel (denoted by a speaker icon) that corresponds to your game.  This will connect you to that voice channel.
  3. Once you have entered a voice channel, your Discord profile icon will show up in a list under the channel’s name.  You will also have access to some new controls at the bottom of the server directory, including ones to control your microphone, webcam, and screen sharing/streaming.  Click the “Screen” button:
    View of Discord voice channel settings, with streaming button circled in green.
  4. This will bring you to the Screen Share window, where you can select what you want to stream.  There are two tabs, labeled “Application” and “Screen”:
    Discord window showing all the apps that can be streamed.
    The first one will let you only stream activity from one app on your computer at a time – so even if you switch to something else, only the app you chose to stream will be visible to others.

    The other tab lets you stream your entire screen – so when you switch between apps, others will be able to see that.

    You might need to try both options to get your game streaming.  Start with “Application” mode first – but if that doesn’t work, restart the game in windowed mode and try “Screen” mode instead.  A developer may also ask you to stream in “Screen” mode specifically, if they need to see more than one application at once.

    In either case, select what you want to stream and click “Go Live”.  Keep the default resolution and framerate options unless you run into performance issues.
  5. Great!  Now a popup window of your stream should appear in the top-right corner of your screen:
    Discord window showing a stream preview in the top right corner.
    This will only show up in Discord (unless you have Discord itself as a popup window), so don’t worry that it’s floating there.Double-clicking the popup at any time will bring you back to the voice channel you’re streaming in:
    Discord window showing a voice channel with a stream.
    You may notice that your stream preview appears frozen at some points.  But fear not!  Discord only pauses the view on your end to save computing power – your stream will still appear normal to anyone watching it.
  6. To stop streaming, click the green “Screen” button below the server directory, then “Stop Streaming” (you can also change stream settings from this menu).  You will still be in the voice channel to chat, watch others, etc.  To disconnect completely, click the “Disconnect” button (icon has a phone with an X) above the “Screen” button.

That’s about it!  Remember, if at any point something seems off or confusing, get in touch with an organizer (type @Booth IQP in any text channel) so we can help you out.