Engage The Crowd With Crowd Choice

YouTube creators are always looking for ways to engage with their viewers, because engagement helps them build and retain their community. One of the main ways that creators do this today is through chat on YouTube Live.

Stadia’s Crowd Choice feature uses YouTube Live’s chat to run polls with viewers. The results of those polls affect what happens in the game. With Crowd Choice, the audience goes from being viewers to active participants in the game they’re watching.

How it works

First, the developer of the game needs to decide what poll types they want to run and when to run these polls during gameplay. Crowd Choice polls are triggered by the developer integrating the Crowd Choice API into their code. Polls that the developer builds can be tied to any in-game action. Then, when a YouTube creator streams from Stadia and turns on Crowd Choice mode in the game, viewers will be presented with polls as designed by the game’s developer. Games can run polls at any time during the live stream, can control how these polls show up to viewers ( ), and can control when to start and end the poll. Games are also aware of the results of the poll at any time, and use these results to affect what’s happening in the game (see example #2 below). There are two main types of polls:

Multiple choice* - This type of poll works well when there are choices to be made in the game. For this poll, the poll questions and answers are displayed in YouTube Live chat on web and mobile, and viewers only need to click or tap to vote. There is one vote per viewer in this type of poll and only one poll can run at a time.

Crowd Choice - Multiple Choice Design Mock

Chat poll* - This type of poll can be quite fast paced and frenetic, and works especially well for situations where there are a lot of choices, and where the game wants to display its own custom poll UI in the game. For this poll, the poll questions and answers should be displayed in the game, and viewers need to type their vote in chat. There can be multiple votes per viewer in this type of poll, and there can be multiple chat polls running at the same time.

Crowd Choice - Chat Poll Design Mock

Please note that polls must adhere to YouTube and Stadia policies and community guidelines. Games with polls in violation of guidelines will have Crowd Choice disabled until the issue is fixed.

Some possibilities for Crowd Choice
As with all of our features, we provide a set of examples of what we think could work well, but you should use the features as fits best in your game. Some ideas we had:
  • Use a multiple choice poll to let viewers vote on the streamer’s gear: If your game has gear, viewers can vote to give the streamer the epic armor in the game, or to make the streamer fight off the hordes of enemies with nothing but a duck outfit.
  • Use a chat poll to let viewers decide whether to give the streamer a positive or negative boost: Viewers can rapidly type their votes in chat to either give the streamer a health boost or to handicap the streamer to make the game much more difficult.
  • Use a multiple choice poll to let the viewers decide on NPC dialogue choices: Viewers can choose NPC dialogue choices, making the game a lot more unpredictable and engaging.
  • Use a chat poll to let viewers play as the enemies and bosses: Viewers can control enemies or bosses via typing in chat to vote on the possible actions of the enemies and bosses, potentially making the game a lot more challenging. This would work especially well in a turn based strategy game.
The possibilities are endless. We can’t wait to see what you dream up!

If you’re interested in using Crowd Choice in your game, apply to become a Stadia developer by going to be a Stadia developer, please go to stadia.dev.

--Catherine Hsiao, Product Manager at Stadia & Meghan Desai, Product Manager at YouTube
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