Raptr, the service powering AMD and Intel’s PC game streaming and optimization efforts, launched its Plays.TV platform late last March with two clear goals in mind: To give PC gamers a social network of their own, and to make sharing your glorious gameplay clips as simple and seamless as possible. Two new features serve to advance those missions even further.
On Thursday, Plays.TV formally announced “Highlights” and “Stitch” for the company’s video capture client, though keen-eyed users may have noticed the functionality slip in over the past few weeks.
Highlights automatically identifies crucial moments during gameplay—like kills, deaths, and bomb plants in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive—and “pins” them for easy sharing when your gameplay session’s over.
“We know down to the second when you start doing damage to somebody,” Dennis Fong, the CEO of Raptr, said in a phone interview. “If you kill somebody… we know when you started attacking somebody and when you actually killed them, so we can then pre-edit the clip from the beginning of that moment to the end of that moment.”
“That eliminates the need to edit at all,” Fong continues. “When you exit the game, you see that timeline of your entire game session, with all the key sections already bookmarked and edited. You can go from exiting the game, to finding that clip, to sharing it in less than 10 seconds…The key is to try to eliminate the hassle of having to dig through a 60 minute video to go find a really cool moment.”
The feature is already active for Plays.TV users who have linked the client to their League of Legends account, with plans to expand it to CS:GO and Dota 2 in the next 4 to 6 weeks. And while Raptr’s Intel and AMD Gaming Evolved clients allow you to upload videos to Plays.TV, you’ll need the Plays.TV client in particular to use Highlights.
The new Stitch feature, meanwhile, let’s you quickly stitch together multiple bookedmarked gameplay clips into a single highlight reel by simply pressing the Control key and selecting several clips—be it automatically generated bookmarks created with the new Highlights feature, or bookmarks you’ve manually saved using Plays.TV’s Ctrl + F3 hotkey, which saves the last 30 seconds of gameplay by default.
Here’s an example of the Stitch feature in action. (“Thresh” is Dennis Fong’s famous handle.):
“Now there’s a bit more creativity and story telling you can put together, without the need of downloading a separate piece of software like Adobe Premiere, and using this really complicated tool to put these clips together,” says Fong. “In the Plays.TV client it will literally take you 10 seconds to select five different clips, click Share, and we’ll combine them into a single video and upload it for you.”
The new abilities should make it easier than ever to share your key gameplay moments on Plays.TV—and that’s nothing but a good thing for lurkers like me, who waste way too much time sifting through the glorious, snackable highlights available on the Plays.TV website. It’s seriously addictive, mixing the voyeur-esque feel of Twitch with short, entertaining clips that make it all too easy to sink an afternoon into the site.
The story behind the story: Beyond rolling out new features, Plays.TV continues to grow. The service recently passed the 1.5 million monthly active users milestone, and it’s inked a deal with the popular ESL e-sports gaming league to have the Plays.TV client installed on every PC in the Intel Extreme Masters series, giving fans a gamer’s-eye view of the action, rather than the usual spectator view.