Welcome, one and all, to the greatest gaming platform on earth! Big words? Well, we’re backing ’em up with one of the biggest updates in the history of Evolve. We’ve got a massively improved broadcasting experience, a slew of bugfixes, a solution for Civilization V’s maddening multiplayer disconnects, and tweaks a-plenty. Read on for the full changelog!
The Broadcasts Tab That boring ol’ home window has been livened up with some quality broadcasting content. Folks broadcasting on Evolve appear in their own little section up top, with a variety of interesting casts rounding out the section below. And for all you casters out there, a handy shortcut to starting a cast has been added to the section headers in the tab. For the tab’s currently highlighted broadcasts, you can see the caster’s name, the game they’re casting, a thumbnail of their cast, and their current viewer count. Clicking on the thumbnail will open up our smexy new Twitch viewer for your casting consumption pleasure. Future iterations of the home window will be making more Evolve content easy to find and interact with–including screenshots, videos, and comments.
Revamped Twitch Viewer We’ve junked our old Twitch viewer in favor of a shiny new design. The new viewer sports a chat interface on the right side, can be resized as you see fit, supports multiple simultaneously open viewers, and allows you to access fullscreen mode for the broadcast if you’re viewing it on the desktop. The viewer can be kicked in to a chat-only mode using the video toggler element, perfect for those of you wanting to keep an eye on your Twitch chat channel while in game. Speaking of chat, we’ve got the usual fixins for a quality chat experience along for the ride: nickname autocompletion, rosters, and localized timestamps. Finally, as a bit of a teaser: the new viewer is entirely built using a preliminary version of our upcoming plugin framework. We think the viewer gives you a pretty good taste for how sophisticated you’ll be able to make your own plugins once we’re a bit farther along. Stay tuned!
External Broadcasting Support: XSplit, OBS, and More While our casting features are becoming better with every release, we know some of you haters are just gonna hate. We hear you–we’re gamers after all! Until you see the error of your ways, you can take advantage of all of Evolve’s shiny casting goodness even if you still use XSplit, OBS, Wirecast, or, god forbid, Flash Media Encoder. Just fire up your primitive, stone age tools as usual. Grunt a few times, connect to your preferred Twitch ingest server, and bam! Like aliens teaching you how to run a civilization, Evolve will descend with auto game syncing, a channel title editor, and in-game chat support.
Quick Sync & Better Quality Broadcasting Own an Intel CPU from the last 3 years? Chances are it supports a kickass little feature called Quick Sync. Quick Sync offers up hardware acceleration for video encoding, and it just so happens that our 1.6.0 release pairs our casting tools with QS for some serious FPS love. Newer Intel CPUs perform better in both quality and performance than old, but everyone’s a winner in Quick Sync town. What’s that? You own an AMD? You heathen! Just kidding. We love our AMD brethren. That’s why we’ve improved the quality and framerates of Evolve’s casting tools for everyone. While we don’t support AMD’s equivalent to Quick Sync yet, you should notice a marked improvement in casting performance from previous versions of Evolve.
1-Day Broadcasting Trials It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally added broadcasting trials. Once you start your first broadcast, we’ll let you continue to use all of Evolve’s casting-oriented features for a full day. If you find yourself liking what you see, upgrading to Helix scores you the casting features forever. And, unlike some of the competition, Helix is still just a one-time payment of $14.99.
Civilization V Multiplayer Fixes For reasons entirely unknown to us, Firaxis saddled their rock-solid turn-based masterpiece, Civilization V, with some distinctly un-rock-solid networking code. For years, cries of anguish have emerged from the lips of any Civilization fans foolish enough to attempt playing online. Disconnect upon disconnect upon disconnect have left many a civilization in decline. But no more! Players engaging in multiplayer Civilization V matches via Evolve’s party system can take advantage of a workaround we’ve implemented to dramatically improve the reliability of the game. We’re not promising 100% of the disconnects are cured, but our lovely testers tell us that it’s damn near close. Just remember your body still needs adequate sleep and nourishment.
- Added a brand new default tab to the home window: broadcasts! We now show a random selection of Evolve players’ broadcasts and an assortment of interesting broadcasts from Twitch’s network. Note that everyone is able to watch broadcasts shown on the broadcasts tab, regardless of Helix status.
- Added a redesigned Twitch viewer interface for broadcasts. Among other things, it supports fullscreen display when on the desktop, is resizable, includes a chat interface, and supports multiple open viewers at the same time. The chat interface sports all the usual bells and whistles, including nickname autocompletion, a roster, and a toggle to switch the viewer into chat-only mode–useful when you’re casting and want to keep an eye on your channel’s chat.
- Added detection for broadcasts started using third party tools such as XSplit, OBS, and Wirecast. These broadcasts are treated the same as native Evolve broadcasts: your friends will be able to see your broadcasting status in their friends list, and you’ll be able to manage your channel’s chat room using the Evolve Twitch viewer. You must be a Helix member or have time left in a casting trial to take advantage of this feature.
- Added support for Intel’s Quick Sync, a hardware accelerated video encoding technology. If your machine sports an Intel CPU from the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, or Haswell families, you should notice a significant performance improvement while broadcasting with Evolve.
- Added a fix for frequent disconnects in Civilization V and its expansion when playing LAN games via Evolve’s party system. Make sure you tell your friends! The fix is automatically applied if we detect you playing the game while in a party. For the curious among you, the issue stems from choices made by the developers in how they implemented their multiplayer code.
- Added 1-day trials of Evolve’s broadcasting features. If you’ve never given broadcasting a try in the past, you may now do so for a day while you decide if Evolve’s features merit your hard-earned cash.
- Improved video quality of broadcasts for game scenes involving a high degree of motion, such as when turning your character around in World of Warcraft.
- Enabled broadcasting, and re-enabled video and screenshot capture for Direct3D 8 games.
- Added properly colored broadcasting and playing statuses to the self-status area at the bottom of the friends window.
- Added broadcasting statuses to instant messaging tabs. Note that broadcasting statuses aren’t yet shown in group or party rosters.
- Added properly colored playing statuses to group rosters.
- Improved anti-flooding prevention in the client.
- Improved error messages for certain errors encountered during installation.
- Existing channel titles, if set, are now displayed in the title editor when you start a broadcast.
- Fixed an issue that caused the client to crash when launched on single-core systems running Windows XP.
- Fixed an issue that sometimes resulted in the placeholder text for a channel title to be set as the actual channel title while broadcasting.
- Fixed an issue that caused flickering when attempting to interact with the stream video controls in the Twitch viewer. Flickering may still occur, but it should occur less frequently.
- Fixed an issue that could prevent joining party networks on certain systems.
- Fixed an issue that caused mute settings to not persist between reopenings of the Twitch viewer.
- Fixed issue that prevented Flash and Silverlight from appearing on certain sites, including YouTube.