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It is with great excitement that I announce that version 0 .1 ALPHA is now available for testing. We are now opening sign ups up to the public to register as a streamer on our website. As of now community members will be able to sign up and use the base set of features that Echo Bot is launching with. Going forward we will be aiming for a consistent uptime while development proceeds, more on this below.

Raiding out

Discord Raid demonstration
Demonstration of the Raid feature in discord

So what exactly are we launching with. First off let me present our RAID feature. This allows a streamer to annouce that they are about to raid in discord. You may have seen features similar to this in other communities but we have taken this to another level. The command used to trigger the raid is automatically removed by Echo Bot. This helps keep discord chat clear. The raid command is also on a timer, currently two minutes pending community review and we will be adding a setting to cusomise it in the community settings page. This timer removes the raid command which also helps keeps discord chat clear, but more importantly it creates a sense of urgency for the raid. Users will know that they havent missed the raid if its still showing. Observing user behaviour in the past with similar features, many users stop clicking on the raid if they miss it a few times. This will never happen with Echo Bot.

We are also allowing a significant degree of personalisation. Available in your Echo Bot Profile are several settings to control the display of the raid message. The most obvious is the raid gif itself allowing each person to customise the raid call to their channel and style. If a raid gif is not configured Echo Bot will fall back to using the one configured as your community default by your community leader if one is not configured there then it will fall back to using the Echo Bot default. The accent colour down the left side of the message can also be customised, this accent colour will be used for more colour cusomisations in the future.  The profile logo next to your name can also be changed, if left empty it defaults to your discord profile image.

Take a look at our full planned feature list for additional raid features coming in the future.

Categorized Going Live

Echo Bot categorised going live
Demonstration of Echo Bot's going live fetaure

Many bots add the functionality to announce when a streamer goes live in discord but Echo Bot is designed to extend this functionality a huge amount to streamline this process for streamers and commmunity members. It is designed with flexability and differing community size in mind.

Monitoring user behaviour reveals that once a streamer community exceeds a certain size the usual #going-live channel gets muted by most users because they become spammy, or worse the server gets muted, and finding a streamer with similar tastes becomes difficult, again leading to less use by the community. Echo bot uses a category system. New streamers going live will be added to the category rather than appearing in a new message, this avoids everyone getting a ping from Discord so your server is less likely to get muted by members. It also makes finding people with similar tastes easier which means community members are far more likely to interact with a streamer they find here. Echo bot will also remove people from the going live channel when they are no longer live, which means community members can feel confident that browsing  the going live channel won't be a waste of their time. Many users abandon going live channels after repeatedly finding streamers are not live when they seek them out Echo Bot completely solves this. The most recently added game is the one that shows at the bottom of the list currently. We are taking community feedback on alternative options for sorting.

We also show which platform the streamer is from, their view count and an image of the game. We have several options for the game image. We could pull one from a streaming platform, we could allow community members to submit art for the game, or we could periodically update the image with a thumbnail of someone streaming the game. We are taking community feedback on these options.

Currently pings are caused when the bot reboots, which we plan to make silent later, and when a new game is added to the list. Our goal is to have all unintentional pings be silent. We are aware though that many users and communities want pings for certain reasons. We do of course plan to add several mechanisms to customise which pings you get and when, please see the planned feature list for upcoming refinements to the going live channel.

Alpha Testing Uptime

We are very grateful for everyone getting involved to assist in alpha testing Echo Bot. I know many people are familiar with beta testing, but for those unfamiliar with alpha testing, alpa testing is for products not yet complete, missing features and not ready for a production environment. Beta testing is  for products that are, or should be, at least close to production ready and are just workign out the bugs. As one of our alpha testers we will be taking feedback from you that will help guide the development of Echo bot, your input will directly impact which features are added and when. Alpha testers will also get early access to new features before the rest of the community.

As of this announcement our goal will be to maintain an extremely high uptime on both the bot and the website although users should be prepared for downtime as regular reboots and maintainance periods will occur during the alpha stage. Public sign up is open for streamers. Anyone can register with Echo bot as a streamer. Many of you are here as community leaders and the "claim your community" page will be added soon. Community leader sign up is currently invite only and will remain so for the next week or two. Feel free to hop into our discord if you would like an invite to the community leaders alpha program so we can keep you updated when that is made public.

Roadmap for the future

I've nudged you to the planned feature list enough already so let me talk a little about the features that will be added in the upcoming weeks since these are  the ones to get the most excited about.

The biggest and most  notable feature to be on the horizon is the addition of communities to the Echo Bot website, this will allow you to claim your community page, which will serve as a public profile for your community as well as giving the community leader access to settings related to their community. You will be able to define defaults like the discord accent colour and raid gif, as well as select allied communities. Echo bot has a strong emphasis on building cross cummunity links and many of our features will reach out across community lines, community allies formalises this. You will also set a role to be assigned to members when they go live and as we add featureds futher down the line you will see more and more features added here.

We will also be adding our costreaming chat feature, this links several channels together to show one chat and multiple cameras side by side. We have found this to greatly improve chat engagement. It is also completely platform independent meaning if your friend prefers to stream on mixer and you stream on Twitch you can be linked and your streams can show side by side. Further down the line we will also be adding costreaming channels to discord so when a costream is created a new channel matching the costream will be created in discord, allowing two way chat interaction and pinning a link to view the costream.

A stream clip feed which helps people find hot clips and gives a way to categorise and display them, we will develop this over time including things like announcing hot clips in discord. This will help get your clipos out there and noticed.

Mixer support will also be the next streaming platform added.

Special Thanks

I'd like to thank everyone who has gotten involved so early on in development to help us develop Echo Bot. I am really looking forward to continuing development and making Echo Bot something that will leave a mark on streamers for years to come. I would also like to give a special thank you to Morsheira from Streamers of the Woods. Both her and her community have been fantastic in testing and giving feedabck on EchoBot. if you are looking for a warm and loving community (with a heavy slant to Final Fantasy) then I suggest you check them out.

Love you all,

David "BigMonD" Mulgrew