No-Code Overlays — The Blog

Empowering anyone to create interactive streaming overlays without learning how to code.

First Look at the Web App

Published Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Guess what I did today? I planned the features for the MVP, set up a Next.js app and its GitHub repository, and I merged the first PR for the No-Code Overlays Web App! If you'd like to read all of the details in the PR, you can do so here, but I'll give you a quick run down.

The first merged PR as shown in GitHub.

So, when you arrive at the app, you need to log in with an email and password. Having a login keeps everyone's information separate and private. I don't want anyone to be able to edit my streaming overlay, and no one wants me to edit theirs either! Here's a preview of that page:

The No-Code Overlays login page. It shows email and password inputs in a white card on a dark purple background.

To put all of this together, I added a couple of pages to the app, installed the Firebase npm package, set up a new Firebase project, added a test user for logging in, and set up some functions for interacting with Firebase auth in this API file. This part was a little tedious, but pretty straightforward!

The last step was to handle redirects to the login page when a page that requires a logged in user is trying to be reached. Next's router makes it very easy to redirect, so the hardest part was checking with Firebase for a logged in user. In the API file I mentioned, I wrote a function for getting the current user. If there's no current user, then there's a redirect to the login page.

I'm thinking about writing a blog post on this for my personal site, but no promises. This project has me pretty busy at the moment! Stay tuned for the next update! :)

Challenge Accepted! Just F*ing Ship It.

Published Thursday, October 1st, 2020

First of all, welcome to the No-Code Overlays blog! I really appreciate the time you're taking to read about No-Code Overlays. I'm going to format this post like a FAQ, that way anyone can read it at anytime and gain the same value.

Challenge? What challenge?

Women Make has a challenge called Just F*ing Ship It. This year is the third edition of the challenge. It's not competitive and there's just one thing you have to do: build and launch something in 30 days. It has to be launched on October 31st. You can read more about the challenge here. My project is No-Code Overlays.

Neat! So, what's No-Code Overlays?

No-Code Overlays is an idea for a web app that I've been holding onto for a few months now, just waiting for the right time to work on it. Back in April, when the stay-at-home order first started for my area, I found myself needing to find a new way to socialize with people. I really missed my local knitting friends, so I decided to create a Twitch channel where I could stream myself knitting and talk with anyone who decided to hangout in the chat.

Not longer after that, I found that people stream coding too! I learned all about having different streaming scenes and layouts, all depending on how many cameras you wanted to show, you browser window, etc. After meeting so many streamers with widely varying backgrounds, I realized that the more technical streamers had much more complex layouts, or overlays.

A lot of these overlays were React apps. They could handle chat commands, show fun GIFs, and some even had games that viewers could interact with via chat. These overlays are super fun! But I noticed that many people I watched didn't have the technical or coding knowledge of how to do create interactive overlays. That's when this idea came about.

No-Code Overlays will empower anyone to create interactive streaming overlays without learnign how to code. People will be able to set up their video and audio devices, upload images and GIFs, and so much more.

Wow! That sounds like a lot. You can do that in 30 days?

Nope, I definintely can't get all that into the app in 30 days. What I plan to have at the end of this 30-day challenge is an MVP that can have features added to it easily. Not only am I going to be writing the code for the actual app, I'll also being working on making this site look nicer and writing blog posts for updates. This page right here is where you'll find those.

YES that's exciting. What's next?

In the coming days, I'll be writing up a more rigid plan with the exact features I want to include in the MVP for launch and I'll find an accessible way to publish that plan. After that, I'll get right into the code! I don't have a repository for it yet, but I'll make sure there's a link to it in the next blog post. Until then, thanks for tuning into the first post! I'm extremely excited about this project and it's potential impact. I totally appreciate you sticking around to read about it.