We built Blerp while going to school at the University of Utah, specifically working from the Lassonde Student Dorms. We saw a problem when trying to find audio clips and soundboards specifically when searching for clips regarding the Shia Labeouf Meme. When it turned out that finding and sharing these clips was super frustrating we decided to start working on a platform that would make it easier for us to find and share our favorite audio clips. We hope to see Blerp enable people to find their voice so that we can express and connect in ways that we couldn't before.
What it does
The app lets people search for soundbites and soundboards right from Twitch. Twitch streamers can switch soundboard recommendations in and out for viewers to control the entire mood of his or her stream. Viewers and streamers can upload sounds and create blerps to share within the twitch stream and chat. A streamer can also set the content rating (G, PG, PG13) of the type of blerps they want viewers to see and use in the extension. Viewers can also play around with various cooldowns as well as empower viewers to play with the soundboard while he or she is away from the keyboard. Viewers can playback the sounds or use bits to broadcast the sounds to everyone on the stream! Because of the ability to search for sounds within the extension, the twitch tool can be used as a communication application for viewers to further relate and engage with the streamer and his or her community!
How we built it
We used the API from blerp.com and tenor.com in order to make a fun audio clip browsing experience. We then integrated various services from Twitch like the PubSub and their user API in order to build a clean experience for viewers to interact with the streamer.
Challenges we ran into
New API, a new platform to build on, It was definitely challenging to first learn the new environment, but it was really fun at the same time! We had a lot of moments where things were not quite working and we needed to figure out why. Balancing making this while going to school is also a tough challenge.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We wanted to get a minimum valuable product out for the competition. As we kept building new features into February, we surprised ourselves with the number of new features that were able to get into the app. We did not think we would get streamer board recommendations and content rating management within the competition! We hope that we can continually add features that both streamers and viewers keep requesting. We also hope to continue to make the experience better for streamers and viewers!
What we learned
We learned how the Twitch API works and how to build an application that can handle "bursty" traffic. We learned about implementing web sockets. We learned more about the streaming culture and how to build great experiences for Twitch streamers! We were happy to learn about how Twitch is a very cool platform!
What's next for Blerp for Twitch
What started as a side project started on a college campus has now turned into a story of a team trying to build aconsumer app company in Utah. Our goal is to keep investing time and money into marketing and building the Blerp Twitch app. We have been diligently watching Twitch streams and we have thought of new features that will continue to help both streamers and viewers enjoy using blerp! We want to continue to support Twitch and it's new APIs. We are thinking of creative ways to better incentivize subscribing to a channel. We have also been working out plans to partner and launch content with bigger studios and local artists to expand our database of content. We are going to utilize the Twitch API more to put features that are subscriber specific as well as add triggers for when the sounds can be played on stream. We also want to add the ability for viewers to bid for sound spots! We are going to continue to be open to feedback for discovering new ways we can further bridge the engagement and communication between viewers and streamers!