To say that this week was extremely productive would be a massive understatement. I've found myself a rhythm with the two-a-day workouts before and after my day job followed by coding for Make Echoes each night.
This week I reached out to @CarefreeCallie as she's currently in the new 15 day trial of using the service. Like all new customer outreach I've done, I asked if there was anything that could be going better. The response I received was one I never expected to receive:
"Is there an option for the MakeEchoes bot to not post in the chat every time I make a clip?"
Confirmation of receipt is a feature I've worked hard to be almost instantaneous. That feedback from the system helps insure confidence that it's working as expected. That stated, Callie's using the bot in a way I never had really though it would be. She's playing a story based game and is not simply capturing moments of exciting action like my FPS streamers are. She's grabbing interesting moments in the story arc, the puzzle solving and the general funny moments with her audience.
Once I saw this use case, the need for total number of clips goes much, much higher. Her request to quiet down the bot made perfect sense.
After thinking about it for about 15 minutes, I came to the conclusion that there was no technical reason that the bot couldn't be quieted. And much like I did with @ProfessorBroman's request for a streamer only mode, I went to work. By the time Callie went live again, the bot was quiet... just a little too quiet.
I muted all the messages when a specific user flag was present. That also included duplicate request notifications and errors which were vital information. Upon following up with Callie on her Wednesday stream, the fix was simple. I moved the decision of whether or not to send a message reply up to only involve positive confirmation messages. Done and deployed.
One area of this service that I hadn't updated in any meaningful way since the launch was the Chat Bot. Given the super simple code it is, this was a set of to-do items that got disregarded because it was "easy".
This is one where it does what it says on the tin. Upon receiving a request, the system no longer just confirms it received it. The response message now also includes the total number of clips that are in the queue.
Titling clips has been a hidden feature in the echo command set since the very beginning. I've intentionally not educated the user base on it. This is because that if a streamer is thinking of a descriptive title for the clip, it would completely misalign the timing of the clip. It was far more important that they get the timing right for the content.
Streamers, moderators and approved users who can submit requests for clips can also use the !echotitlelast command to add descriptive titles to the previously submitted clip. These titles will become important given some of the in-development changes. Titling will allow the streamer to quickly know which clips need to be reviewed and which ones don't.
My friend Chuck (@rynoranger on Twitch and a talented coder in his own right) upon seeing the !echoundo function for the first time reacted that this needed to be restricted because the opportunity for misuse is so high. Thankfully, the user base hasn't seen it be completely abused. That said, while doing all these other flags and checks via the Chat Bot, I decided to throw an additional setting in the Make Echoes accounts for the users so they can restrict the !echoundo to Streamer Only mode. This setting lives in the Chat Bot Settings page.
Previously, if a streamer had 3 or more clips the system would create a recap video for a user's YouTube channel. This was a completely arbitrary decision by myself and it felt oddly prescriptive.
I'm happy to report that users of Make Echoes can set the number of clips to start a video as low as 1 and as high as they want to place it. This setting lives in the YouTube Settings page of the account once logged in.
When I started sending email notifications that the render and upload had been completed from Make Echoes after a stream, I had previously just been using the email address that they had signed up with. I know that there are now a handful of streamers who are using an additional editor to fine tune the output from the service before pushing it live to their YouTube channel. Accordingly, these folks never would know unless the streamer routed that information to them via email, Discord or Twitch whisper. Anything that is dependent on a human-to-human communication in this kind of situation is an area where mistakes can happen. That's a kind way of simply saying sometimes the machines just do it better.
To help in this situation and get the streamer's editors notified that the source video is up on YouTube and downloadable inside the Make Echoes account, the streamer can specify the list of email addresses that they want to receive the notification. This setting also lives in YouTube Settings page.
I hope that this post shows just how much is happening on the platform. Without question, it is becoming more robust and more capable of handling a range of situations that the user base throws at it.
There's more news (and even more development news) but since it's not finished yet so I'll hold off.
Go have a great week and hang a few wins on the board,