Interactive real life robots on Beam

I’ve been having a bunch of fun with random people around the world controlling real life robots in my room; you know, except the part where I get stabbed and all – but that’s on me, right?

So far, a few types of activities have been done [some with 2 robots]:
Balloon jousting | Ramps | First person maze | Soccer | Basketball

Simultaneous robot control is even possible with multiple streams, and once Beam adds more interactive moderation, things can get crazy. =D

There are a ton more missions to be had with these robots, but time and resources are, of course, limited. I’m hopeful this will change soon.

Once the tank back is operational again, the next step is to get the robot tracking camera built – then comes Defective Sumo Bots. Woo!

Bots & tools for Beam

Here is a list of useful bots, vital services and interactive tools to get you going on Beam. Also listed below are willing and able people to help you with any Beam related troubles you may run into.

This list will be updated & organized as new streaming tools spawn. =D

Bots

BlipBot  |  ScorpBot  |  Scottybot

Services

StreamJar  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Easy to use donation tool with no fees attached and an overlay tool that shows recent events – like who just followed, hosted or subscribed.

loots  |  Tweet them for an invite code!
Generate revenue by having viewers post ad-contained messages which appear on screen, as well as posts beta keys to games in chat.

keymailer.co  |  Requires 50 followers on YouTube or Twitch!
Acquire free game keys. This works because streaming and let’s play videos are a form of advertisement – you might as well take advantage.

Gamewisp  |  YouTube or Twitch account!
Viewers can subscribe for privileges like access to your Discord or a monthly giveaway; check out this example. Good read right here too.

Patreon  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Viewers can subscribe monthly for special privileges, though this lacks connections to other services compared with Gamewisp. Example here.

Player.me  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Updates for the games you play, find similar gamers and keep up with upcoming gaming events – good way to sync up.

Discord  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Text and voice chat for your Beam community – a very useful tool to keep your viewers up to date as to what’s going on; it’s like Slack for gaming.

TreatStream  |  Requires 2,000 Twitch followers!
Have people send you food without knowing your address. Check out GasMaskftw‘s page for a good example of how it should be worded.

Restream.io  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Using this is recommenced to bring viewers from other platforms over to Beam – though keep in mind you cannot use FTL while doing this.

StreamLabs  |  Requires Twitch account!
Another tool for accepting tips, which offers different customization options than StreamJar – though I haven’t personally used it before.

Amazon Associates  |  Requires Amazon account!
Use the affiliates program to make money from link referrals; anything in your bio, like computer hardware, should use this for linkage.

Green Man Gaming  |  No requirements, sign up now!
Viewers can buy games from your referral link to generate some revenue for you; be sure to post the GMG pic in bio.

Myinstants  |  Nothing to sign up, just click away!
Board full of entertaining sounds for you to click or download to use with the Interactive Keyboard [which can be found below].

MultiStream  |  No requirements, just select the streamers!
Multiplayer with another streamer? Got a game and want to see who beats it first? Set this up for viewers to see multiple streams, side by side.

Streaming Software

OBS-FTL  |  Settings [GeForce]
This is a version of OBS Studio that can utilize the low latency FTL protocol. If you have issues with setup, let me know!

Tachyon  |  Settings
This is a limited version of OBS but, as of writing this, has lower latency than OBS-FTL. You are, however, unable to use QSV or NVENC with this.

Interactive Tools

Interactive Keyboard  |  Setup guide
The vital tool used to allow people interaction with your games! If it doesn’t work with the game or application you’re trying, let me know.

BeamChatPlays  |  Setup guide
An easier way to get interactive working, along with adding real mouse support – though it is more limited as it can’t use robot-js.

BeamSoundlyInteractive  |  Setup guide
You know those interactive soundboards you see on everyone’s stream? Well, here it is! And it’s very easy to set up too!

Helpful Beamers

SorryAboutYourCats
Interactive / IT / Bio art / Glitch logos

ProbablePrime
Interactive Keyboard creator

Firebottle
BeamChatPlays creator

AustinPowers
Beam streaming guru

Leviathan5
BeamSoundlyInteractive creator

Towe102
Robots / IT

Phone_microwave
Overlays

Beam is a community of useful and intelligent people, so don’t be shy if you need help in any way – we’re all here for each other!

Beam arcade [SNES so far]

I executed my idea [yes, one of my million ideas] to have a stream going where the viewer can select the game they’d like to play; this only worked so far, as viewers kept switching the game while others were playing. =X

The solution to this is not to add more spark [Beam experience] to the button – rather, there should be a universal cooldown in place for the games that lasts 30 minutes. Or better yet, only allow a MOD to change the game via a command that gets sent over – like !gamemario3.

Over time I expect more and more features to come out for Beam – but for now, most of the tests are but a dream (they only work to an extent). It will be awesome when Beam is done and ready as I expect many interesting and unique forms of interaction in the future ahead.

Games that work for interactive streaming

Certain games work better than others for interactive streaming; although FTL offers super low latency, anything that requires fast reflexes, like N++, might not be suitable for it. For some games, MODs or cheats can be loaded to balance out the challenge, but that can’t be done for all. ;D

Also, some games require additional scripts or programs running to actually work. For example, to get people playing on my PS4, it required two computers due to the program I was using being unable to accept any inputs. With enough trial and error, you can get anything working. =P

Worked well for player

P.T. | No Man’s Sky | Fez | LSD: Dream Emulator | Rocket League
Zelda: A Link to the Past | Gangbeasts | Mount your Friends
BattleBlock Theater | Mario Paint | Tetris | Bust-a-move | Katamari
Bomberman | Sim City | Final Fantasy 6 | Earthbound

Technically worked but not recommended for play

Mario 3 | Super Mario World | N

Did not work

Critter Crunch | N++ | Dropsy

This post will be updated from time to time on games that I have tried; I have about 100+ games to try, so bare with me. If you’d like to request a game, do submit it on our Discord chat!

In addition, any creative programs, like Ableton Live or Photoshop will also be listed here; eventually… =D

https://beam.pro/sorryaboutyourcats

Beam: The amazing, the annoying

I’m currently obsessed with doing interactive streams, as you may or may not know. There are a few things that I love and hate about it though…

The amazing:

  • People unsure of a game can try it quickly
  • People not able to afford a PC or console can experience it remotely
  • FTL’s latency is so low that it makes most games actually playable
  • Playing certain games together brings unique emotions to the table

The annoying:

  • No moderation controls to see who is pressing what, enabling the ability to spam the session – rendering the game unplayable
  • Sections of the site are buggy due to it still being in beta, making changing controls & settings cumbersome

The good definitely outweigh the bad though.

Of course, there are so many additions I would like to see with Beam, like the ability to give only certain people controls. With that, you can section off people to Player 1, Player 2, etc. – which should be an interesting aspect in co-op and competition. Or, you can have certain people control the movement of a character, someone else controls the jump – again, you can do a lot of just this.

I can’t wait to see what’s next! =D

https://beam.pro/sorryaboutyourcats

Interactive No Man’s Sky stream setup guide

So you recently got Interactive Streaming set up and want to venture off into strange territory. Fret not, I’m here to help!

There are a few things I needed to do externally of Beam.pro and that Interactive-Keyboard tool in order to get No Man’s Sky working correctly.

PowerShell script to reopen application

Giving people control of your game is great, but sometimes it can lead to unwanted results, like closing the game! Although there is no easy way to disable quitting a game, the next best thing is to reopen the application!

One problem with No Man’s Sky is that if you try to open up the application straight up [NMS.exe], a window will pop up stating “Either Steam isn’t running or you don’t have a suitable licence.”!

To combat this, we’ll need to use the shortcut provided with a redirect to Steam, that actually goes to steam://rungameid/275850! All of the restart-your-application programs gave me a catastrophic failure when attempting to open the shortcut, but not PowerShell!

Open Notepad (or PowerShell ISE) and copy/paste this script:

do {
if (!(Get-Process -Name NMS*)) {
C:\NMS\NMS.url
}
start-sleep -seconds 5
} while ($true)

Save as “NMSreload.ps1” – remember the quotes!
Close Notepad (or PowerShell ISE)
Copy NMS shortcut to c:\NMS
Run script – right click the ps1 file and go to ‘Run with PowerShell’

And if you have Tachyon successfully configured – it will automatically obtain the feed back without any human interaction! Funk yes.

AutoHotKey for mouse click emulation

Since I couldn’t use any mouse input correctly using Beam.pro by itself, at least as of now, I needed a way to emulate mouse clicks.

Currently, No Man’s Sky UI on the PC is kind of strange, requiring you to hold the the button down to register any command. Also, even though you can remap certain keys – you cannot remap the need for left/right click.

This can be resolved with a script that runs in the background though!

#NoEnv
#Warn

n::
SendInput {Click, down}
sleep 1000
SendInput {Click, up}
Return

b::
SendInput {Click, down, right}
sleep 100
SendInput {Click, up, right}
Return

AutoHotKey can be downloaded here.

mouseemu for mouse movement emulation

I tried a few different programs to emulate mouse movement, even what’s built into Windows, but none of them seemed to work except mouseemu.

The only thing that sucks about it is that you can’t remap the keys, though you could probably find a way to do so externally, I didn’t dive that deep.

Regardless, this works quite well for No Man’s Sky! Registry settings:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\RH Designs\Mouse Emulator]
“Mouse Delay”=dword:0000004c
“Mouse Base Speed”=dword:00000064
“Mouse Max Speed”=dword:000000c8

mouseemu can be downloaded here.

So what now?

This, combined with this guide on how to set up Interactive Streaming on Beam should get you up and running and have people mining you gold in no time! I mean.. playing the game. =P

Be sure to follow me on Beam.pro and let me know if you run into issues!

Beam interactive streaming – how to set it up!

Warning: You should be somewhat of a technical person before proceeding - at the very least, have streamed before; preferably with OBS.

This guide should assist you on your “100 people playing at the same time” quest for interactive streaming! If you need additional help, message me in my Beam chat – or hit me up on Twitter! =D

Please note that this information is only valid from the date of post; obviously anything can change because we’re using third-party software on a service that’s still in beta (along with a FTL protocol.)

These instructions were made to work on a Windows 10 Pro 64-bit machine, so prerequisites may differ based on your setup.

Another good source of interactive information is Beam’s own FAQ – be sure to check that out here.

And be sure to click the the section markers located in parenthesis (x.x) as they reference certain parts of the video. ;]

install (0.0)

Here is everything you need installed in order to get your interactive Beam stream up and running! Though of course, what’s not listed here is the app or game you want to stream. =D

Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 (0.1)
info | download

Git (0.2)
info | download

Node.js (0.3)
info | download

OBS-FTL (0.4)
info | download

Tachyon (0.5)
info | download

Although Tachyon currently offers the lowest latency, it isn’t supported by Beam’s support team anymore – it’s recommenced to just use OBS-FTL.

Tachyon had an issue when capturing 32-bit games, which required copying certain files from OBS; this problem got resolved in v1.2.14!

Files needed to resolve Tachyon’s game capture issue (0.6)
Get to ..\obs-studio\data\obs-plugins\win-capture
Copy get-graphics-offsets32, graphics-hook32 & inject-helper32
Paste in ..\Tachyon\data\obs-plugins\win-capture

cmd (1.0)

If you are unable to do any of the below, then you might have altered something during the installation of Node.js or Git.

Open Node.js command prompt (1.1)
Type cd / hit enter
Type mkdir beam hit enter
Type cd beam hit enter

Type git clone https://github.com/ProbablePrime/interactive-keyboard.git hit enter (1.2)

Type cd interactive-keyboard hit enter (1.3)
Type npm install hit enter

Type npm install robot-js hit enter (1.4)
Type npm install robotjs hit enter
Type npm install kbm-robot hit enter

Do not close Node.js command prompt

json files (2.0)

Auth & Game default JSON files
info | download

Open folder ..\interactive-keyboard\config (2.1)
Copy json files – auth & snes.zip and extract contents

Open auth.json in Notepad (2.2)
Add your username & password inside the quotations

Open snes.json in Notepad (2.3)

developer lab (3.0)

Go to Beam’s Developer Lab (3.1)

Click CREATE A GAME (3.2)
Click the + to the right of My Games
Name it and click CREATE GAME

Click the Share Version button (3.3)
Click Anyone with version ID and right code can play your game.

Copy the version’s ID and paste it in tacos.json (3.4)
Copy the SHARE CODE and paste it in tacos.json, then save

Click NEW under the CONTROLS section (3.5)
Expand Not Placed and check Holding & Frequency
Add keys to KEYBOARD TRIGGER, BUTTON TEXT & HELP TEXT

Move buttons onto Large grid, Medium grid & Small grid (3.6)
Click SAVE

setup stream (4.0)

Go to MANAGE CHANNEL (4.1)

Click SETUP STREAM (4.2)
Click USE FTL
Copy STREAM KEY
Remember CLOSEST INGEST server

Open Tachyon (4.3)
Click Settings, click Output
Select Ingest Location, paste Stream Key

Click Video (4.4)
Adjust Base Resolution & Output Resolution hit OK
[if unsure, do 1280×720 at 30 FPS to start]

testing (5.0)

Be sure to test the controls before every stream and remember that you don’t actually have to be streaming to test it – as long as you have your json file loaded and active using node.js, you’ll be set!

Go back to Node.js command prompt (5.1)
Ensure you’re in ..\interactive-keyboard
Type node index.js ./config/snes.json hit enter
If successful, you should see Connected to Interactive

Open Notepad and keep it focused (5.2)
Go on another computer or harass Grandma
Go to your channel and start pressing buttons / keys
In Node.js command prompt & channel you should see button activity
In Notepad, you should see random text or the text cursor moving

choose your game (6.0)

Keep in mind that not every game will work with this – but at least you can point blame at the game if you know it worked in Notepad, right? 😛

Open game (6.1)
Open Tachyon
Under Sources, hit the + and select Game Capture
Uncheck Capture Any fullscreen application [unless you need to]
Select the game on the Window dropdown and hit OK

Map the keys correctly in the game
Adjust keys & buttons in Developer Lab if need be

Try keys on host computer, ensure game reacts to input
Try keys on another computer that’s viewing your channel

Lastly, hit the Start Streaming button and GET IT STARTED!!!!!!!!

Ah we’re done, so go have some damn coffee on me; with your credit card

troubleshooting (7.0)

Interactive-Keyboard – GitHub
Beam – Contact page | Forums | Development | Lab

Reasons why it would work in Notepad but not your game:
Game is not correctly key-mapped
Game uses an API not compatible with Interactive-Keyboard
Game treats it as a hack and blocks it
Handler not compatible, head here on how to change it
You funked up because you never tested it in Notepad

Maybe there is a solution?
I’ve used AutoHotKey to have enter emulate a mouse click for No Man’s Sky to work. It however, did not resolve my N++ input issue as the movement was very choppy, making the Ninja unable to run; which makes the game impossible (researching fix.)

I’ve also used mouseemu to emulate a mouse, which offers a good amount of settings to tweak the movement right.

Stuck keys?
Either reload the json file, or try hitting the key that’s stuck a few times.
It would be wise to have a bot be able to reload the script from chat.

Troll, spammer or !@#$%^&*?
As of right now, there is no way to know who’s hitting what keys. You can only assume by observing the chat and seeing who goes in and out [and that’s not a guarantee at all]. This is a feature they are working on, so in the meantime – you can pause the controls and take over, or kick / timeout the person if you really do know who it is.

that should be it (8.0)

Don’t forget – this is currently in beta, so expect problems; don’t hesitate to ask me any questions on getting you up and running!

stay friendly (9.0)

Beam is a happy place – a place where other people host each other.
If you’re not actively streaming, be sure to host someone else. =D

See you on Beam.pro! (And don’t forget to follow!)
sorryaboutyourcats

Beam interactive streaming so far…

It’s been less than a week using Beam.pro, and so far I’m obsessed – the low latency mixed in with interactive controls grants new opportunities for games and content in general.

https://beam.pro/sorryaboutyourcats

Certain games work better than others though.

Rocket League
~10 people controlled the same car in Rocket League, remotely, at the same time – and it was hilarious. I mean, of course there were times where someone went on a jumping spree when they shouldn’t of – but it’s a blast to play and adds a level of uniqueness.

This was also tried with split-screen, where I was player two. This worked well – but it made the experience too easy; I suppose people do love challenges after all.

No Man’s Sky
This works by using a script used to emulate mouse clicks and a program that emulates mouse movement.

How well does this work? Actually quite well – er, besides the fact that the ship handles like a boat. But really, it’s enjoyable! A bunch of people, including myself, would rotate around from playing to just watching – it was a very cool experience that I’ll be visiting again. [So many games, like Journey, would work with this rotation style.]

Fez
Platformers are quite tricky when you add latency – though that wasn’t the issue. The problem was that people kept turning, which caused us to not get very far. I’ll try it again and see where it ends up. It was a short-lived fun ride.

ePSXe – LSD: Dream Emulator
This was great and a similar experience with No Man’s Sky – people really weren’t fighting for the controls, rather, we all kept taking turns playing and watching. Enjoyable!

Snes9X – Multiple games
Puzzle games generally work better and so does anything turn-based like Final Fantasy or Pokémon; that being said, Super Mario World didn’t end up too well, but Bust-a-Move was great! Mario Paint crashed on me for some reason, but was an interesting test of random art through the night. And The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is hard but very doable – possible to beat!

BattleBlock Theater
Viewer acted as player 2, I was player 1 – it was a short test and the viewer said there was only slight lag, so I will be visiting this game again in the future. It was a fun short test indeed.

Gang Beasts early access
Although a very limited game at the moment of writing this, it was a BLAST to play. Technically, this game can handle 8 players – but I opted to try it with 4 instead. So, I had three sets of controls on Beam [Player 2, 3 & 4], while I was player 1. We just beat each other up until the game was done, and it was great. Will be doing this again once it’s released!

Games that didn’t work, probably due to API used
BizHawk [only via AutoHotKey, which added lag]
Critter Crunch [input API possibly not compatible]
N++ beta [input API possibly not compatible]
N v2.0 [any latency kills the game, requires precision]

What’s next?
GTA V, Skyrim, Just Cause 3, more emulators, Katamari, Dropsy, I am Bread, Spintires, Chime, Dead by Daylight, Human Fall Flat, Mount Your Friends, SuperHot, Who’s Your Daddy, Pokémon Revolution Online, Clustertruck, etc…

Ideas?
Sectioned off controls, allowing teams of people to play.
If you’re in the group handling Player 3, let’s say – you can only access Player 3, disabling you from funking with Player 1, 2 & 4’s controls.

There are more ideas I submitted, but this is the one I’m most interested in at the moment! =D

What should I do?!
Make a Beam.pro account and start following – you don’t want to miss it! =D

http://playing.nyc / https://beam.pro/sorryaboutyourcats

My HTC Vive is still fucked up…

Here’s my recent email to HTC’s support:

I recently received my Vive back from your repair shop [for a dead pixel problem] and have ran into a few issues.

At first, the Vive wouldn’t want to work – then it finally prompt that it needed a firmware update, but FAILED when trying to do so; eventually I got it to update after clearing some crap on Steam and bypassing the Vive’s hub.

Now I’m on to the next problem, the camera. It just states ‘Camera Not Available’ in the settings. I have tried numerous things to get this to work:

  • Reinstalled Steam
  • Reinstalled SteamVR
  • Reinstalled Vive software
  • Reinstalled Vive drivers
  • Erased USB history in device manager
  • Reinstalled USB drivers for motherboard
  • Tried different USB 3.0 ports
  • Tried different USB 2.0 ports
  • Tried it directly connected, bypassing the hub
So it’s been a long time since my headset actually worked correctly. Please let me know what I can do to resolve this.
SteamVR - Camera Not Avaiable
SteamVR – Camera Not Avaiable

Thanks in advance!

Pokémon GO and the preservation of art

Just down the block lies the Welling Court Mural Project, a collection of street art that changes once a year. And in that change removes great pieces that people will never see again; unless of course, they were to look it up. =P

So to me, it’s very cool that Pokémon GO has accidentally preserved some of the past murals – even if it’s only some of them.