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26. May 2020


If you follow Gamefromscratch on Twitter, you may have already seen this tweet I put out last night about a blackmail demand that was made against our YouTube channel:

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First off, I really want to give a gigantic shout out to all of the people that helped get the message out, the tweets, retweets and even Reddit post.  You are an amazing community and hopefully if we yell loud enough, YouTube will here and fix this!

Basically it started with a message in the GFS Discord server claiming to have taken down my Animate CC video.  This video unfortunately has been taken down and reinstated 4 times in the last two months, this happened after YouTube turned up the bots responsibility due to Covid-19, so I had written it off as bots malfunctioning.  Each time it was taken down, I appealed and it would be restored.  After I didn’t pay the $50 in bitcoin, I started getting Circumvention of Technology notices for 3 of my videos.  That ultimately resulted in a community strike and loss of access to my channel for a week (or until appealed).  Thankfully those  three takedowns were reversed in about 2 hours and channel privileges were restored.

Today I was just waiting for YouTube to restore my 2 year old Animate CC video… then to my shock, it was reviewed and found to be in violation!  Even after multiple previous reviews, as you can see from these email snippets!

YTEmailThread

So that is where things stand now.  My channel is back, 3 out of 4 of my videos are returned.  Thing is, anyone that wants can do this exact same attack whenever they want.  It was reported to YouTube and frankly they did nothing.  Any YouTube creator you love can have their channel taken down by spamming Circumvention of Technology claims, and there really isn’t anything you can do about it.  YouTube assumes your guilt and until the review clears you name, your video is down.  As you can see from the above emails, your video doesn’t always come back.

The single biggest piece of advice I can give to any YouTube creator, make sure your content is mirrored on another network!   After my Animate CC video was taken down the second time, I started mirroring to Lbry.tv and I recommend you do to!  Thanks to mirroring to Lbry, my Animate CC video lives on!  So if you want to try to spot the copyright circumvention YouTube reviewers “found”, you can!

Hopefully if we yell loud enough, YouTube will hear and creators will be protected from insanity like this in the future!  You can learn much more in the video below.  Once again, thank you to everyone that helped amplify my voice, it was and is much appreciated!

Totally Off Topic


1. January 2019


2018 was an interesting year in game development.  In this post/video, we take a quick stroll down memory lane and look at some of the key stories as they occurred throughoutGameDev2018 the year. 

GameDev News General News Programming Design Art Totally Off Topic


9. January 2016

 

If I am completely honest up front, right from the very beginning the HTC Vive was an also ran to me.  The Samsung GearVR was first to market, while the Oculus Rift certainly had the brand recognition and the majority of the press.  Suddenly however with the pre-orders of the Oculus Rift, most of that press is suddenly quite negative.  First because the VR controllers were  delayed, although frankly this talking point is a pretty minor one.  No, the big reason for the negative press is the sticker shock.  Earlier comments from Luckey Palmer (Oculus founder) had people expecting the rift to be around $300 so a $600 price tag was certainly a suprise.  Couple that with the incredibly high system requirements and incompatibility with the majority of high end laptops, suddenly the Rift lost a heck of a lot of momentum.

 

Of course the Rift isn’t the only horse in this race.  Ignoring Google Cardboard and GearVR, the two major players in the space are Sony with the PlayStation VR and HTC/Steam with the Vive.  With the sticker shock, the PlayStation VR had a huge opportunity here as the PS4 requirement is many times cheaper than the PC required to power the Oculus Rift (and assumedly the Vive).  They could have won on the price point alone… then this happened.  If you thought $600 was a painful price point, an Amazon.ca leak had the PSVR priced at $1,125 CDN!  (@800USD).  Of course this is only a leak at this point and I have trouble believing that Sony would actually price it at the same price point as 3x PlayStation 4s but crazier things have happened.

 

This entire process has given HTC a gigantic opportunity.  Does everyone remember the classic Sony “mic drop” price announcement for the original PlayStation?

 

And with the single comment of "$299" at E3 in 1995 the PlayStation won and the Sega Saturn died.

 

Right now, HTC has that exact same opportunity.

Totally Off Topic


5. January 2016

 

Ok, this one is a bit off the topic of game development, but I figured I would share it here for other people struggling with slow renders in Camtasia.  I use Camtasia Studio for all of the video tutorials here on GameFromScratch and while I enjoy the program, rendering speeds vary between awful and OMG!MAKEITSTOPBURNBUUUURRRRNNNN.

 

It pains me to say I never thought about this as a way to speed things up until now.  As of Camtasia Studio 8, they started supporting CUDA rendering on GPU.  Problem is, if you like me are running an Optimus GPU, it uses the wrong one and the results are way slower.  Telling it to run on the dedicated GPU resulted in a 3x increase in speed for me.

 

Simply right click the shortcut or executable and select the high performance GPU:

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This is standard behavior on trying to get all sorts of games to run correctly, but sadly it never occurred to me to try it with Camtasia.  This setting can also be permanently set using the nVidia Control panel, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader, there are a few thousand documents covering this already.

 

If your machine doesn’t have Optimus, it might still be a good idea to try rendering with GPU support off and seeing if you get an increase, simply go to Tools-options and untick the appropriate setting

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I’m amazed that Camtasia support aren’t making this exceedingly to start with.   This little fix is going to save me about 2 hours a week on average!

 

There is a video version of this process available here or embedded below.

Totally Off Topic


15. November 2015

 

We already have motion controls, audio control and of course tactile control, what about controlling a game with your emotions?  It sounds far fetched but it really isn’t, in fact it’s here today.  Just about every single modern gaming device has a front facing camera available in some form or another.  Well, Microsoft Research lab Microsoft Project Oxford just announced the release of the emotion tool which enables you to detect emotions on a persons face.

 

Basically you send it a picture and it returns the probability of various emotions.  For example, I sent it this image here and it returned the following results:

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Basically you feed it an image in URL form and optionally a rectangle selecting the face, and it returns a JSON result with the probability of each emotion.  In this case Microsoft determine with 99.99% likelihood that this baby is sad, with a 0.001% chance that it’s angry instead.  I fed it a handful of pictures and it did a remarkably accurate job.

 

You can use it as a REST API now ( or just play with the playground ) right here.  Otherwise the SDK can be downloaded here.

 

So the tech is actually here already and works pretty well.  The question remains… would gamers embrace having a camera constantly scanning their emotions?  I actually can think of a few genres or tools where they might.  How many “you mad bro?” apps can we expect to flood the market now? If nothing else, it’s a fun tool to play around with on a Sunday afternoon!

Programming Totally Off Topic


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