There’s a lot going on for streaming paper Magic the Gathering. Maintaining life totals, pulling up cards, countdown timers, chat for coordination, and other things that may come up.
We’re working on simplifying that. If you saw our complicated setup, one monitor is for OBS, and the other monitor is for holding source content. When we did card lookups, we had a browser open to Scryfall, and cropped the display source. We used the Score Board Edit Tool, notepad to update sideboards and decks, and a command window to control timers.
We want to simplify this. Being the software developers we are, and wanting to learn something new, we started working on an electron app and website. We’re not releasing it yet, but we’re hoping to gain feedback as we develop the app so it’s useful to more than just us.
We have plans for a standalone app, and a web backed app. The standalone app will require a bit more know-how than the web backed one, and some functionality may be missing while we learn how to make things work decentralized. But on to the fun stuff.
Most of this will be powered by OBS’s browser source. We’re trying to make this as easy as possible. Plug-in a URL and dimensions, and everything should just work.
We’re also using the Scryfall API. Scryfall is currently the best source (in our opinion) for looking up and querying Magic Cards. Plus, the card images are just gorgeous.
In existing setups, we either had a display capture source that we toggled after pulling up a card. If we forgot the mouse cursor or accidentally scrolled, things would get messed up. It also had corners sticking through.
Other options included swapping out a transparent image with the card we wanted to show. This was rough in appearance. There are multiple guides on adding animation via HTML to OBS, and we’re automating it for you. Current prototypes are command line, but it’s all nodeJS, and we can just wrap the code in an electron app.
Chat (Site only)
We’re working on adding chat. Currently, a chat room assumes only 2 players are playing. We’re going to support multiple rooms. If you have spotters during the match, the chat will also supply an area for hands. The chat will also allow spotters to update life totals, which can be reflected in the stream.
We’re not sure how to expand this beyond commentary assistance. Maybe we’ll give some instructions on how to allow a Twitch Bot to query the player’s hands? Our commentators like keeping track of hand information. Just having chat made it difficult to digest, so we’re making a dedicated location for it.
More in the future
We hope to build this for more than just us. Feel free to provide feedback, wishes, and support as we go.