Modifying an RC Controller to Play Forza Horizon

I’ve always been fascinated by RC cars. The dynamics, the engineering, the speed… all wrapped up in a package that you can hold in one hand. Almost more than the cars themselves I’ve always loved the remotes. Ever since I watched Back to the Future and saw that awesome modded Futaba remote I’ve been captivated by the possibilities contained in one of those mystical black boxes. I was playing a racing game the other day when the idea came to me: what if I could modify an RC controller to control a racing game?

And just like that, I decided to convert an RC controller into a gamepad to play Forza Horizon 4.

(more…)

How to Use an RC Controller with an Arduino

Whether you’re modifying a remote controlled vehicle or creating something completely new, Arduino boards are a great way to expand the functionality of your RC receiver. Adding a microcontroller lets you program complex logic functions, sound effects, lighting animations, and more – all managed from the comfort of a wireless remote.

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to connect a PWM-based RC receiver to an Arduino and read data from it using the Servo Input library.

(more…)

Twitch Chat OwO Browser Extension

The news is currently very bleak. Just the pandemic alone is enough to make you want to never read the news again. Thankfully there’s a solution: “Bweaking NuwuS” (@BBCBweaking), a Twitter account that posts news stories passed through an “UwU” kaomoji filter to make them “cutesy”. The result is some serious dark comedy, with posts about corruption, sickness, and death translated into something exceedingly saccharine.

After reading a bit about the automation behind the news account, I thought it would be fun to do something similar and make a browser extension to convert Twitch chat into “OwO”-speak on the fly.

(more…)

Making an OBS ‘Mute’ Indicator

I have a friend who likes to stream on Twitch, and he has a problem. Every hour or two he likes to be healthy and take a five minute break – standing up, stretching, going to the bathroom, etc. During this time he mutes his microphone and puts on some background music to keep the audience entertained. But when he comes back he frequently forgets to unmute his microphone so that the stream can hear him. It’s not unusual for him to be talking to himself for five minutes or more until some kind soul in chat speaks up and says “you know you’re muted, right?”

To help him and others who frequently forget to unmute their microphone, I decided to build a physical indicator for the mute status in OBS Studio.

(more…)

Playing Spin Rhythm XD with a Modified DJ Hero Controller

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a new rhythm game. Unlike previous titles such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band that use multiple discrete buttons in order to match different notes, this game used a virtual wheel – an analog input to slide, spin, and tap along with the beat. To top it off the game featured an electronic music tracklist and was a blast to play.

The game is called Spin Rhythm XD, and it was designed to be played with a DJ MIDI controller. Having no such professional DJ-ing equipment handy I decided to do the next best thing: convert my old plastic Wii DJ Hero turntable into a controller for Spin Rhythm XD!

(more…)

FrameVis – Video Visualizer and Movie Barcode Generator

FrameVis is a Python script for creating visualizations from video frames, also known as “movie barcodes” due to their vertical striping. The script uses the OpenCV library to read from a video file, load frames into memory, and then stack them together to make a new image visualizing the entire film. The resulting visualizations are as fascinating as they are beautiful… you can see the flow of the color grading, the pacing of the editing, and if you know the film well enough you can even pick out certain scenes or even shots.

This script works on Windows, Mac, and Linux and is compatible with all OpenCV file types and codecs. You can download it on GitHub.

(more…)

How to Emulate an Xbox Controller with Arduino (XInput)

In my opinion, one of the more novel things you can do with an Arduino is put it to use as a custom game controller for your favorite games. Whether you’re retrofitting a Nerf gun, converting a rhythm controller to play an FPS game, or playing PUBG with a frying pan – using an Arduino makes it quick and easy to build your own custom controller.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to program your own Arduino to emulate an Xbox controller using the ArduinoXInput library.

(more…)