Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why I wrote node-twitchtv, a NodeJS client for TwitchTV API

I use daily -- some of the main gamers I follow are nl_kripp, kungentv, kingkongor, and reckful. They're really . The mission is simple for Twitch: connect gamers with their audiences, anywhere and anytime. It is open sourced on Github and can easily be integrated into your existing NodeJS solutions by using "npm install node-twitchtv".

After searching on npm for a TwitchTV / NodeJS client, it seemed like no one has attempted this. I decided to take the deep dive and give it a shot. In part of the design for this module,

Round 1: Retrieving basic data like games, channel streams, users

Round 2: Authentication with OAuth2 (server-side workflow)

Round 3: Video streaming as easy as "npm install node-twitchtv" (once the APIs are open)

Where I was going with this: NodeJS runs on all platforms now, it even runs flawlessly on Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system (which uses the same tools for Tablets and PCs). My heroic vision was, If you wanted to build a streaming client, it would be as simple as, "npm install node-twitchtv", write a UI over top of it, plugin your Oauth2 credentials and off you go (use the Windows 8 APIs like screen recording and pipe it into the client's listener).

As an example, it would be amazing to be able to easily stream your "Pirates and Daisies" (a very popular tablet/pc Windows 8 game) gameplay by simply enabling the permission for the node-twitchtv client emitter. The idea behind this is to empower the Gamer -- Gamers will change games over time and it's important to keep their loyal followers connected to them because it isn't so much the game that is bringing the value, it's the persona and level of expertise they bring to the game.

As part of moving this forward, I wanted to ensure that there was 100% engineering transparency. That means, taking in feedback from the community who were passionate about Twitch's mission and willing to move forward with its streaming APIs.