Snapchat is a great application but many times you simply don't have any good ideas of what to snap. SnapHunt is the first game for Snapchat that can be played directly inside the application with your friends where the game dictates what you snap.
How it works
All you need to do is add our bot, send a message to invite your friend, and wait for his acceptance of the match. Once both parties agree to play the game, a random word will be messaged to both of your Snapchats and whoever is the first to take a picture that identifies the word will win. Our bot runs on the Linode cloud hosting platform, uses Mashape to perform object recognition as well as Natural Language Processing to further increase confidence in a correct decision about the word being made. We also leverage Moxtra to provide a gallery of past match winners as well as allow discussions on the matches and show the crazy items that users had to find. Lastly but most importantly, we used a 3rd party Snapchat PHP API to control the Snapchat bot that hosts the game.
Challenges I ran into
Performing image recognition is not an easy task. Fortunately, Mashape provides a few API's that helps us out. However, to further increase the confidence that a users image accurately defines the requested word, we created an algorithm that uses NLP to lead to better judgments.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Snapchat has no official API, thus it requires a lot of hackery in order leverage their services. They also have systems in place that attempt to decrease the use of 3rd party applications - this forced us to leave Namecheap hosting and instead use the platform offered by Linode. Ultimately, we created a feature for Snapchat that uses their API in a new and unintended way that will lead to fun user experiences.
What I learned
What's next for SnapHunt
Becoming an official feature in Snapchat and paving the way for many more games.