News Article

TwitchPlaysPokémon Causing Serious Problems for Streaming Service

Posted by Andrew Karklins

Even with a dedicated server, problems emerge

Over the last few days, the talk of the gaming industry has been dominated by one topic. The TwitchPlaysPokémon stream has been going strong for almost eight days with no sign of slowing down, unless technicalities get in the way first.

The stream, which has an average viewer count of above 60,000, has been causing serious problems for the streaming service, Twitch.

Jason Maestas, Twitch director for customer experience, wrote in a post explaining the issues with the popular stream and the attempts to fix them. The stream has already been moved off the regular streaming servers to a dedicated event server, used only for major events such as the League of Legends Championship Series.

However, this change is still not resolving one of the major problems in relation to the chat. The chat, a vital component of this social experiment, has been hit with an overwhelming amount of commands at some times, creating problems across the website. Streamers who stream during the peak hours of TwitchPlaysPokémon are usually unable to see their personal chat, due to the clogging of the infrastructure. Maestas stated that some problems are still prevalent, and the company is attempting the fix the “fundamental issues.”

The creator of the stream, who wishes to remain anonymous, has implemented additional features to make the game more “beatable” due to the large number of participants. The introduction of a start button throttle, preventing the stream from constantly spamming the start button and halting progress as well as the democracy and anarchy system have generally improved the core formula.

Currently the stream has over 70,000 viewers, over 17 million views, and is attempting to reach the top of the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town.

Have you been keeping up with the stream? Are you enjoying it? Let us know in the comments.


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User Comments (51)



Ron1212 said:

They should do this type of thing more often, but maybe limit the number of participants so these crashes wouldn't happen again.



TheKingOfTown said:

@Ninjuggernaut Because if they did, the world would end.

Seriously though, I have no idea. It's not surprising, considering how Nintendo has yet to release A LOT of games on the VC.



Metroidlink said:

I kind of understand why pokemon isn't on VC, it's due to trading and difficulties with connecting several systems together



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Ninjuggernaut I guess it's because they remade the games already in the forms of Leaf Green and Fire Red. We're more likely to see ports of those than the originals since the remakes added much more in terms of content.

@Metroidlink I'm not so sure about that. If I remember right Sega and Capcom put in the extra effort to make some of their VC games playable online. It's more likely that any VC game that was originally developed by Nintendo will remain true to the original but 3rd parties can make additions to their own VC releases, if they feel like it (well to a certain extent).



Bulbousaur said:

May Helix give haste to the programmers so the chat can be improved quickly. All hail Helix!



AJWolfTill said:

I've gotten really into this now... Le sigh
I'm very aware that there is zero chance of them getting the Safari Zone HMs though...
Unfortunately this game is the first time Nintendo has been relevant this year since this has done more marketing for them than anything they've put out.



Squashy said:

@Undead_terror Not only have I not watched it, I don't even know what Twitch is haha! (I'm not into these new fangled social whatsit websites. Gosh, I feel like an old person saying that!)



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@Ninjuggernaut @TheKingOfTown Because the games have insane amounts of bugs, simply. Also, Red/Blue are so old and unpolished, Game Freak clearly has no interest in reviving this chaos.
People like you only want it on VC for nostalgia, but that doesn't change that they're terribly bugged and thus bad games.



JubilifeRival said:

I actually have been watching, and I'm loving it. It's just amazing. Thank you for this, anonymous, you have made possible gaming history. On to the topic…
I was upset by the lagging, but it wasn't too bothersome. It was funny watching a Pidgeot use quick attack over and over on a Ghastly that was half it's level. The Pidgeot lost xD



Toodles78 said:

Why isn't there a better picture they can use than that sad Pikachu? I've seen it dozens of time.



DracioKoi said:

I've unintentionally seen it. Seems like a silly idea to me but others seem to be enjoying themselves.



grimbldoo said:

What they need to do is remaster all of the 2D games into a 3D one like Soul Silver and only have the Pokemon from the first five and and only have them available in their respective regions.



Megumi said:

When I first of this I thought they were streaming the game, so "why is this a big deal?". xD

Anyways they should totally do Super Mario Bros. next. lol



HADAA said:

Apparently the crying Pikachu icon is a running gag in Nintendolife just like Lord Pidgeot and the Almighty Helix in Twitch :/



thesilverbrick said:

@Ninjuggernaut Because they're too lazy to add a link function and without trading and battling Red and Blue would be garbage.
Seriously, I have ZERO interest in Virtual Console Pokemon games if you can't trade between versions. That alone would rule out Pokemon like Alakazam and Gengar, plus the version exclusives...



DarkKirby said:

TwitchPlaysPokémon Causing Serious Problems for Twitch?

How about Twitch causing serious problems for TwitchPlaysPokémon? What about that 20-40 second lag you introduced to reduce server load?

Although Pokemon might never evolve than as you see masses of Bs being mashed in the chat whenever a Pokemon evolves.



WiiLovePeace said:

Yeah the stream is hilarious! I was just watching before but then I made a twitch account & joined in & it's much more fun to participate. I've been really trying for democracy & playing the game right but there's sooo many trolls. It's hilarious! Not just battling pokemon but also each other. The amount of funny pictures to come out of this is awesome too!



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@warvad I wouldn't say so, they all had a chance to occur during normal gameplay.

But even then, they lack everything about Pokémon that is a given nowadays (double typing, abilities, Steel and Dark type, unlimited inventory space). So releasing them on the eShop will only cause confusion (and maybe frustration) among younger players.



Uberchu said:


I could of told you all this, but I bet nobody would lisson or my post gets hidden because I'm too good for my own good apparently, so therefore I'm actually not good at all...



Zombie_Barioth said:

They were buggy, but that doesn't make them bad games, except from a programming standpoint. They're perfectly playable without running into anything game braking, barring things like bugged moves.

Of course they'd lack most of the things from the current games, they're the very first in the franchise. All virtual console games have that problem, some more than others.

That being said a lot of the charm of games was collecting, trading, and battling, as well as connecting to the stadium games. Most of that would be lost in a virtual console release. It'd be the move from GBC to GBA all over again.



MrL1193 said:

Somehow, I doubt that this sort of thing will continue to be so popular once they actually finish this game. Just a hunch.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@Zombie_Barioth That's not quite right. I didn't say they're unplayable, but running into glitches and bugs could happen to any player (like Missingno). It wasn't likely, but this stuff was discovered by chance, which is the problem. Anyone could encounter it. And lose their whole game data.

Of course they'd lack most of the things from the current games, they're the very first in the franchise. All virtual console games have that problem, some more than others.

It's not that they lack something, they lack important core mechanics. Pokémon always improved itself in its core mechanics and carried them over. I guess you could say that every subsequent Pokémon games is a fixed/patched version of its predecessor. The newer games simply made the older ones obsolete, and the experience of the older games isn't any different, just unpolished.
Mario games, for example, don't need to improve their jump 'n run formula, they just separate each game with different distinct theming and a temporary mechanic to compliment the theme. That's why older Mario games can still be an equally satisfying experience.

Generally, Game Freak would be best off to only release spinoff games like Ranger, Snap, Link, and the other games which don't require interaction with a counterpart for 100%.



Cinaclov said:

Gens 1 and 2 of Pokémon won't ever get VC releases. At the most basic level that's because the internal mechanics shifted dramatically when R/S released, meaning the originals are completely incompatible with the newer titles. Add to that that both gens have received remakes and the earliest titles we are likely to get on VC are the GBA games. Even then I have serious doubts as to that happening, I think gamefreak would rather focus on promoting the newest releases or a remake or something.



wicked636 said:

@Undead_terror I dont watch it.Not even sure what it is but i think just people playin games.Never seen the point of watchin that.The closest thing for me would be reviews on youtube.



WiiLovePeace said:

@wicked636 This isn't the same. You're not just watching someone else play, you're playing the game alongside tens of thousands of people. It's awesome.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Thats true, but just because theres a chance of them occurring doesn't mean they will. I didn't say you said they're unplayable, I said they're perfectly playable despite the glitches.

The older games aren't missing all that much that would harm your experience, besides the lack of connectivity. They're older and certainly more outdated, but barring Gen I they're far from being unpolished. The important things, like the type chart, capturing, battling, and progression are mostly unchanged. None of the changes are hard to remember either. Remember being unable to connect Gen II with Gen III? That is what would be the biggest problem.



mamp said:

I saw the game and there were so many commands the trainer kept going around in circles for like forever XD



Parasky said:

@Ninjuggernaut They probably want to remake it as a full price game probably. Then again X/Y has such shameless nostalgia pandering then it might not be necessary.



wicked636 said:

@WiiLovePeace Oh i didnt know that.Im behind on newer stuff like that.I probably wouldnt have heard of it til now if it wasnt for kwing on youtube sayin him ans wife do twitch tv stuff.Anyway thanks for the info.



LegatoSkyheart said:

@Ninjuggernaut Probably something to do with the Trading aspect.
It's cool though, we might see a Fire Red and Leaf Green Re-Release.
Or actual Red and Blue since Pokemon Bank Exists.

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