Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Genvid SDK do?
The Genvid SDK is intended for game developers to integrate into their games and allows game developers to make revolutionary broadcasts. We are a simple-to-use middleware, flexible enough to run on any streaming platform and infrastructure that you want us to run on.
Why should I use the Genvid SDK?
Today’s game and eSports broadcasts have a lot of problems. The camera angle is primarily that of the player, and the video has lost all of its interactivity. Additionally, viewers are reliant upon chat to communicate.
With our SDK, you (the game developer and/or broadcaster) will be able to easily create premium broadcasts that offer many different camera deployments to make your game look exciting and take advantage of your engine data to make your game fully interactive over popular livestreaming platforms.
These broadcasts will lead to new revenue through video roll, campaigns, and even IAP through the streams that you manage. Our SDK takes care of many of the obstacles, like network and server deployment, to let game developers focus on making their games awesome to watch.
Is Genvid “Cloud Gaming”?
Genvid is not cloud gaming. Genvid focuses on viewers rather than players, with every viewer sharing a single stream.
While players require full control over the game camera, for viewers, for us fully interactive streaming means a shared camera, and the ability to directly interact with the video that viewers are watching.
Through the Genvid SDK, for the first time, viewers can click on/tap/interact with objects in the scene as though they were spectating in-engine. You, the developer, control the camera (either automated or manually).
This is radically different than cloud gaming: a cloud gaming system generates a camera for each player to control, requires ultra-low latency and takes up a lot of GPUs. Genvid doesn’t require many GPUs, and synchronizes to high-latency systems.
As a result, developers using the Genvid SDK are able to go way beyond the type of interactivity you get through chat or keyboard command parsing. We’re synchronizing the data from the engine to each individual viewer!
Do I need to put Genvid in my user client?
Only if you want viewers the ability to directly affect the player’s gameplay, like viewers sending gifts to players. Otherwise, Genvid can exist in a separate branch of your spectator mode builds without needing to be maintained in your user builds.
Please note that Genvid is not intended for your viewers to stream from.
How much does Genvid cost to use?
Genvid’s software is free to integrate and test with. We have a simple licensing model when you do a public broadcast, which is seven cents (USD) per unique viewer for the month. If you decide to sell items through the stream, contact us for a side-letter.
Please note that we do not operate or offer servers. Therefore, the cost of infrastructure is your own. But the costs of managing the infrastructure is low. You can run Genvid streams 24/7 for the entire month and server costs can be cheap.
If you choose to use AWS, the cost of a basic cluster (using our included samples as a test case) is only a few dollars an hour. The expensive cost of video is offloaded to the streaming platform, so you do not have massive video costs even as your viewers scale.
There is a data cost that scales to the number of viewers, but the amount is typically small on a per-viewer basis. (Assuming a modest use of our data streams.)
How do my streamers use Genvid?
At this time, Genvid is intended for you as the developer to operate (or for broadcasters or top streamers to use with your permission) rather a system that all player-streamers can use.
That said, who you choose to give select streamers access to your installation of the Genvid system is completely up to you.
How do I get support?
Our forums are just getting started but we watch them like hawks and will happily answer questions there. We would prefer you ask in the forums because it will create a history for other developers to look at if they have similar problems. But you are also welcome to ask us privately through our contact form and we will respond right away.
How long does Genvid take to integrate?
Integrating Genvid is very fast. If you use UE4 or Unity, you can drop in our plugin and get streaming instantly. Proprietary engines are similarly quick to get started, with some working in mere minutes. The bulk of the time spent is in design- what kind of UI do you want to make for your viewers? What do you want to make interactive?
What does Genvid provide for the end viewer?
Depending on how you integrate, the experience can be radically different.
Some developers are using Genvid to stream their game from a server to provide alternative camera angles. As the broadcaster, you can decide whether you want to provide multiple camera angles to your end viewers, or if you want to only have access to the cameras on the backend and use the cameras to compose your stream (like live sports production.)
Other developers are using Genvid to make their stream fully interactive, allowing viewers to touch/click on the video’s UI, players and more to get data that is normally only available in-engine.
Finally, many developers are going the extra mile with Genvid, allowing for interaction between viewers and other viewers, via cheers, or between viewers and the game itself.
Does Genvid work with mobile games or on mobile devices?
Genvid can easily work with mobile games, particularly those built with Unity. Several of our developers are mobile software creators who compiled a DX11 build of their game through the Unity editor and are using that as the Genvid broadcast build.
With regard to running on mobile devices, we work by default in-browser on Android, and soon iOS. You can also use Genvid to stream video into your app and allow for interactions over that video.
What do I need to deploy Unity on servers?
Unity’s terms of service do not permit you to deploy your Unity game on servers and stream interactive video without an additional license from Unity. They do offer this license upon request but please contact Unity for more information prior to deploying your Genvid build of Unity on cloud servers.
Relevant portion of the Unity Terms of Service:
Streaming and Cloud Gaming Restrictions
You may not directly or indirectly distribute Your Project Content by means of streaming or broadcasting where Your Project Content is primarily executed on a server and transmitted as a video stream or via low level graphics render commands over the open Internet to end user devices without a separate license from Unity. This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing Your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device.
What is your release cycle?
We try to release a new version every 4-6 weeks.
Why so many releases?
The streaming ecosystem is changing rapidly and we need to improve our software to work alongside with it. Additionally we are building many improvements and new features.
Each release has a simple to follow guide for upgrading from prior releases and we try to remove the burden of upgrades.
Do I have to use AWS?
No, you can run Genvid on any infrastructure that you would like. We offers tools for AWS since it is in-demand by many developers, and are happy to provide tools for other infrastructure providers if you would like to request it.
How can I run Genvid on my own servers?
Genvid offers Docker containers to allow you to easily deploy on your servers of choice. Please note that you typically need at least one server with a GPU and Windows to run the game executable, but if your game executable has a linux version or is not graphically intensive you may be able to eliminate this need.
Is Genvid available as a SaaS?
Genvid is only available as a middleware at this time, but we are considering SaaS options if developers request it. Please contact us.
Where is Genvid located?
Our headquarters is in New York, and our development team is in Montreal. See our Careers page if you are interested in opportunities working with us.
What does Genvid mean?
Gen is latin for “birth” and “vid” is latin for “view.” We like to think of technology as the birth of a new form of viewing, hence Genvid.