Microsoft's video game streaming service, Beam, has just launched a new feature being referred to as Interactive 2.0. This update essentially allows for more interaction between stream viewers and the game (and streamer) they're watching while also enabling more functionality for game developers to program into their titles.
Here's the full list of new features available today:
Per-User Control Events - See who pushed a button enabling more engaging more personal interactivity.
Dynamic Controls - Create new buttons and interactive elements on the fly from your game without needing to visit the Interactive Studio (Platform & Typescript SDK)
Malleable Controls - Change the text, spark cost and cooldown controls on the fly to spice up the gameplay during a session.
Spark Transactions - Confirm actions, before deducting sparks. (Platform & Typescript SDK)
Groups - Group your players into Teams or collections to provide different controls to different sets of users.
Snazzy new control editor renamed to our Interactive Studio.
A set of tools and processes to support you in authoring next generation interactive experience.
Everything from initial creation to publishing is carefully crafted and delivered to help you in making the best possible Interactive experience.
JSON Based Protocol - A human readable format that is easy to debug.
And here are the planned features that are coming soon:
Universal Windows Platform build for C++ and Unity
Spark transaction management for Unity and C++
Xbox build for Unity
Win32 build for C++
Server side aggregations
Dynamic control generation from Client for Unity and C++
iOS and Android Support in Unity
Beam is Microsoft's solution to the incredibly popular Twitch video game streaming service and while the company only purchased it last year, they've already injected quite a bit of support behind it by integrating it into Windows 10 and the Xbox One operating system. It's unclear of Microsoft will be able to bring it up to Twitch's level of popularity but Beam already seems to have carved out a bit of a niche for itself among gamers.
Have you tried Beam yet? How would you improve it? Let us know in the comments below.