Stadia’s “Crowd Choice” is here! But how do I use it?!

Alongside the launch of our newest obsession, Dead By Daylight, the long-awaited Crowd Choice feature has finally arrived. And unlike the previous “launch” of Crowd Play with Super Bomberman, which wasn’t a launch at all since only 4 streamers could use it (smh my head), Crowd Choice is available for everyone to use! Happy day!

What is it

Crowd Choice is a Youtube streaming enhancement which allows your audience to vote on the outcome of specific in-game events. Developers are able to program certain events or choices in their games to take advantage of this feature. At the moment we only know of two games that are supported. Dead By Daylight allows your audience to vote on either you will be the Killer or a Survivor, and then vote on which character you will play as. It’s a simple but fun new level of audience participation for streamers.

The only other game we know has this feature (so far) is Baldur’s Gate 3. Being a classic story-driven RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3 promises to feature much more robust integration than Dead By Daylight is offering, with audiences voting on dialogue choices and decisions which will have a much larger affect on the direction your game and story will go.

Set up your stream

Hopefully you already have a Youtube channel set up and you know how to stream Stadia to it using OBS or your favourite software as we’re not going into detail on that here (tutorial on how to do that Coming Soon in a different article). It turns out that getting your channel hooked up to work with Crowd Choice is a surprisingly simple affair.

Step 1. Link your Youtube account.

 

Log into Stadia, and navigate over to the Settings page. Click on the Youtube menu item, and you’ll be presented with the menu to link your account. All of your Youtube channels should be presented here. Keep in mind that you must be logged in using the same email address as your Stadia account, or be given access to stream to the channel using that email address.

Step 2. Pound that link button!

Once your Youtube account is linked, you can get to the fun part. Fire up your streaming software, and get started as you normally would. But now, you should have that groovy “Live Stream” button in the Stadia interface. Pound that button too, and then pound that “Use streaming software” button after taking only a short moment to wipe away a tear at that greyed out “Stream directly to YouTube” button that we can’t use yet.

You’ll notice that you are only able to proceed from here if you are currently running a game that features Stadia enhancements. At this time that is only Crowd Choice for us, though some approved streamers also have access to Crowd Play features.

Step 3. Get in the game, and start Choicing the Crowds!

For a demo I fired up Dead By Daylight and streamed to myself to capture some screenshots. I have friends, though. Don’t worry. I have friends, I definitely have friends. Friends friends friendly friends. I have all the friends.

As you can see below, once you’ve entered into the game, there will be a Crowd Choice button on the home screen, and again on the character select screen. Clicking the Crowd Choice button on the home screen prompts a dialogue box to appear in the YouTube chat window where viewers can vote on which side you will take. A countdown begins, and once it hits zero the choice is automatically made for you.

On the character select screen, it works a little differently and demonstrates the functionality we saw outlined last year when Google first unveiled this feature. A list of options are presented on the screen, and viewers will simply type in to the YouTube chat the option they want to vote for. I can imagine this would get pretty hectic on channels with thousands of viewers… but that’s the whole idea, right?

Final Thoughts
 

So there you have it! That’s how Crowd Choice works on Stadia. From my limited testing it seems to work really well, although you will definitely need to use the Low-Latency streaming mode. Even with that option turned on, I was still seeing the Choice box show up in chat a good 10 seconds before the stream itself caught up to where the choice was.

What do you think of this new feature? Have you tried it yet?

Comments

I’ve been on the viewing end of Crowd Choice - I think it works quite well and adding interaction to otherwise passive content is a good thing!


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