Camera Kaleidoscope for Android & iOS

Hey! I have been dabbling in making apps again and whipped up a first version of Camera Kaleidoscope for Android and iOS!

IconAndroidFull Camera Kaleidoscope for Android & iOS” target=”_blank”>iOS creates beautiful displays of art by mirroring parts of your camera image in certain angles. You can create an incredible beautiful kaleidoscope painting with just your camera,your environment and your creativity in seconds! It uses simple geometric shapes and maps the camera as a texture to it to avoid using hardware intensive shaders!

Features:

– 11 beautiful kaleidoscope modes, more to come with every update
– Simple and elegant UI
– Switch between your front and rear camera
– Take Screenshots and save them to your gallery, to share them with your friends

Check out some of the screenshots Lauren took with it. It is a fun little time killer and I am sure great entertainment for kids 😀

Camera Kaleidoscope Screenshot Camera Kaleidoscope Screenshot Camera Kaleidoscope Screenshot Camera Kaleidoscope Screenshot

Since this app requires a lot of processing power, you might experience lower frame rates on older phones. I am continually trying to improve this app. If you have ideas or suggestions, make sure to leave a review with them in it! 🙂

Steelseries APEX M800 Hardware Review + Discount Code & Giveaway

What is Happening? Hardware Reviews on the WeaselZone? Steelseries sent me the SteelSeries Apex M800 Customizable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard free of charge so I can get my grubby little hands on it and do a review:

CORRECTIONS

I just learned that you could use the keyboard with only one USB cable plugged in, leaving the other dangling. (Looks a bit silly.) There were also two plugs hidden in the plastic casing, to tilt your keyboard further up, that I missed.

 

You want to start YouTube? Have some tips!

This article is part of my ongoing YouTube Articles and Guides series.

I received a question on ask.fm recently: “Any tips for a starting youtuber?” and decided to make a short post about this. If you have things that should be added to the list, leave a comment! These tips are based on my personal experience after over doing YouTube every day for over two three years.

I also recently made a video about this list, to share these tips with my YouTube audience and also to delve deeper into the individual tips:

  • Don’t let anyone tell you, you are too late to the game. It’s not true.
  • Watch Tutorial by other YouTubers and read up on the topic. Learn how to edit your videos.
  • Always try to improve your commentary. Avoid fillers like “eehm”.
  • Play what you enjoy; switch it up with smaller, less popular games.
  • Don’t spam your link in comments (or anywhere).
  • Don’t do a sub for sub or anything similarly stupid.
  • Don’t obsess so much over sound insulation and hardware before you got your commentary down.
  • Treat every other YouTuber with respect.
  • Treat your viewers with respect. A happy viewer is worth those few seconds you spend replying to him.
  • Try something different – don’t always do what everyone else is doing.
  • Don’t take mean comments to heart.
  • Don’t ignore constructive criticism, you will need it to grow.
  • Don’t take it personal if a YouTuber does not want to collab with you. We are busy people and less social than you might think.
  • Don’t get into fights in the comments, be the bigger person. Delete insulting comments and ignore.
  • Remember: People subscribe for you. If they sub for a game, they are not here to stay anyway.
  • Help other people that want to start YouTube / Twitch / anything in life.
  • Don’t expect the same enthusiasm from your friends that don’t do YouTube – they will probably not get it. Find a group online to have other YouTubers to chat with and grow.
  • Watch your video after recording and ask yourself “What can I do better next time?”.
  • Learn how to make engaging thumbnails. Don’t be lazy: Write your descriptions and tags.
  • Be consistent and upload on a schedule. If you can’t keep to the schedule, do less – but stay consistent.
  • Don’t expect anyone to give you shout outs, they won’t help anyway if your content isn’t good.
  • Use Social Media to your advantage. Don’t just auto-post your videos there – engage with your audience.
  • Expect to spend a LOT of time on your new hobby.
  • Unless you are very, very good or have a very unique idea, don’t try to do a Minecraft-focused chanel. There is way too much competition to gain traction. If you want to anyway, make sure to switch up the content with other games to gain new subscribers.
  • You are not your subscriber counter or your views. Don’t obsess over numbers, it’s unhealthy.
  • Growth in the beginning is slow, don’t get discouraged. It can take years, but you can do it!
  • Never buy subscribers, Twitter followers or any of that. It will just hurt you.
  • Don’t overexert yourself too often – it will burn you out. Get some sleep instead.
  • Don’t sign the first network that contacts you. Most of the time you don’t need a MCN in the beginning.
  • Don’t sign a contract that locks you in a year. Also a 60/40 cut is not a good deal. Don’t believe outrageous claims by small networks.
  • You should not expect any money from YouTube in the beginning. It takes time. Don’t even think about going full-time unless you already make money.

‘Ghost Hunting Tools’ for Android & iOS

While creating lots of fresh content for my YouTube channel, I have been working on a small app with Unity3D in my remaining free time: Ghost Hunting Tools for Android and iOS!
Feature-Graphic

Detect and hunt ghosts and spirits with EMF meters and EVP detection: Ghost Hunting Tools makes use of a variety of sensors in your phone and gives your easy-to-use access to EMF meters and EVP detectors to detect and hunt ghost and spirits. The included EVP analysis with the over 1000 words strong dictionary analyzes to captured EVPs and in combination with the sensors for the EMF meter and other environmental reads, it will approximate the meaning and select the closest corresponding meaning.

It is more of a novelty entertainment app and I hope can send some shivers down your spine or creep out your friends! Download it now for free for Android or and iOS!

My entry for Ludum Dare 32: Death Cycle – Links & Post Mortem

TL;DR: Check out my game prototype ‘Death Cycle’ here!

It has been a long weekend, but I created a playable prototype under this Ludum Dare’s theme: An Unconventional Weapon!

You know what happens, when you throw items into a running washer? Always wanted to know? Transform this useful household utility into a weapon of destruction!

Get cash for causing chaos and upgrade your washer or buy even more deadly things to throw into the drum!

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Let’s do a quick Post Mortem, shall we?

This time I might have took on a bit more than I could chew, but in the end I was able to create a playable prototype; I wasn’t able to bring the prototype to the polished state that I would have seen it, but I am quite proud of what I have achieved in the little time I had available.

I have not worked with Unity 5 (or Unity’s new UI system that was introduced in 4.6) prior to this jam and encountered some deprecated functions and some UI behaviors. I still don’t fully understand every aspect of the UI (especially proper scaling of UI elements over different resolutions), but I learned a lot and I think I should be able to figure out the rest soon.

This time I also opted for plenty of sleep and a bit of social interaction during the weekend, instead of burning myself out. You have to allocate a whole weekend for it and if you burn yourself out, you will be pretty much useless on Monday or even more days, depending on how little sleep you got. I had to catch up with some work today, so I am glad I did not overdo it.

Taking a more relaxed approach somewhat forced me to go into overdrive on Sunday, leading to very sloppy code that would make myself shudder, if I was to take a look at it right now. I still streamed for the most part and enjoyed that. Thanks again to everyone who came by and tested builds for me!

Overall have worked roughly 18-20 hours on this prototype and if I would have committed more time to it, I definitely would have been able to polish the game a bit more.

What did I learn this time?

  • Focus on the key parts first. No really, don’t do too much cutsie stuff , before the prototype isn’t running. I know it is tempting to create a cute tophat for your washing machine, but maybe make sure that the game is having all the features it needs first.
  • Creating the 3D low poly assets and the artwork for the game was much faster (and more fun) than I anticipated. If you are willing to let mistakes go and just go with a not-perfect asset, you can create a lot of content in a short amount of time. A quick & dirty look can be fine, as long as it is consistent.
  • I really, really enjoy game development and I am gaining a footing with C# and Unity 5.
  • Make a detailed to-do list. List all the assets you will need and then work through them. You might think, this will just waste time, but if you have a to-do list to work through, you will less likely be distracted by another task or forget something.
  • Coming up with fun ideas before the compo started (see below), helped me to get into the mood, but also alleviated the stress of a “What if they pick a theme, I have no ideas for?”-scenario and gave me some time to get started with the game right away. After last time, where I had a total mental block, this really took the edge off.

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I will definitely try to participate in the next Ludum Dare in August and I look forward to the other participant’s games! (Check out ZanzLanz’s entry! It’s awesome!)

You can download the game or play the web version off it on the

Ludum Dare entry page

I also condensed 20 hours of me streaming and working on my Ludum Dare entry into a 10 minute video! Check out ZanzLanz, if you enjoy the music!

Ludum Dare 32 coming up: Theme Voting Finale!

This weekend I will be (hopefully) participating on the Ludum Dare 32 – the 48 hour game jam / competition with thousands of participants! I always get a little giddy when it comes to this time, and I enjoy participating in it and just finishing up a small prototype in this limited timeframe.

Currently the Finale Round Theme Voting is running and this is my first chance I got to look at some of the contesting themes and I will try to brainstorm a few ideas… Last time I waited until the topic was announced to come up with an idea, but had a total mental block and gave up midway. I will sit down tomorrow and try to come up with a few specific ideas, preparing myself for the weekend!

If you guys are interested, here are my previous Ludum Dare entries:

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  • Planetary Marriage Counseling in August 2014 with the theme “Connected Worlds” ranked #40 out of 2538 entries.

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  • Me & My Metal Detector in April 2014 with the theme “Beneath The Surface” ranked #157 out of 2496 entries.

Just like the last two times, I will be on my Twitch Stream the whole time and answer questions and let my viewers playtest early versions (if possible!), so make sure to say hi!

Update: If you are curious how it went on Ludum Dare 32, go ahead and check out my post about my entry ‘Death Cycle‘, which includes a Timelapse and a Post Mortem!

Twitch Plays Chess – Python Script for Twitch Bot

After having some fun letting my Fish Play Piano and then letting Twitch play some Battle Chess with OpenTwitchPlays, I figured, that I would get back into Python and write my own little bot. The NES chess engine of Battle Chess was not very impressive. After a long night and a lot of coffee, I had my bot running thanks to some tutorials and plenty of documentation on Python on the internet.

Twitch Plays Chess Screenshot

I took the scripts from Make your own Twitch-Plays stream by Wituz as a starting point and improved on some functions (like being able to join a different channel than your username) and console output. I then added my features for clicking and dragging to interact with the UI of Lucas Chess (Windows) as well as the required !move command for players to specify coordinates. The script does only emulate player input and can therefore not output and results or give feedback on false input other than the proper use of syntax.

To avoid trolling (by just restarting a running game), I have added a simple voting system, which can be easily modified. You can use this script as a framework for your other games by removing everything related to the chess software and modifying it for your needs. If you need to emulate a longer button press for your game / emulator / tool to react properly, you can add the keyholder.py as outlined by Wituz to your script.

I have run into some problems with Lucas Chess and its very inconsistent UI, so if you intend to run another chess software, maybe check out something that supports hotkeys, so you can ideally avoid the mouse inputs since they are prone to problems. 🙂 I would love to see someone else having fun with these scripts!

Python Scripts:

  • main.py – This is where you control your bot behavior and add / remove commands
  • twitch.py – You won’t have to modify this script, main.py requires it, though.
  • Software Used:

  • Lucas Chess (or the game that you want to play)
  • Python with PyWin32 (I’ve been running / recommend 2.7 for this)
  • The FANTASTIC Python IDE PyCharm