2024-01-09 Auto-Capture Early Access! - NightLight Desktop 1.0.x

It’s finally here! Version 1.0.0 of NightLight Desktop which brings the long awaited auto-capture functionality is now available in early access to Supporters!

Once it’s been more widely tested it will be released to everyone so don’t worry too much if you’re not one though your support makes cool things like this possible and is very much appreciated.

Auto Capture Interface

This is the heart of the new automatic capture & upload system, it allows you to configure most settings, see the current status, and view the capturing history.

Behind this interface is a system which regularly grabs a screenshot and checks if the game is displaying the scoreboard. It’s a task which isn’t as simple as it might seem, particularly when you factor in the wide range of resolutions, UI scales, filters, and even things like custom icons it has to deal with. I’ve endeavoured to have it handle these as universally as possible and it seems to be working really well.

(If you find something isn’t automatically captured there’s the option to force a screenshot via a hotkey - make a bug report in the Discord with it and I’ll see what I can do).

Performance

One of the main concerns I had while building this was the potential performance impact it might have. I’m happy to say that while using it on my laptop I saw CPU usage up to about 2% while in game. It will momentarily spike a bit higher when it captures a scoreboard but at that point it shouldn’t matter.

Something which may be of more concern than CPU usage is network usage as while screenshots should be a few megabytes at most, some people (particularly streamers) may be more limited by or conscious of their connection. To address this, there’s a capture quality setting which allows you to trade some recognition accuracy/performance for smaller uploads. I’d highly recommend leaving this set as high as you can but if you need it, the option is there.

One other concern I’ve seen expressed in the past is the disk usage screenshots can end up consuming. In the interest of allowing those who would like a copy to have one, and to allow uploads to be retried in the event of network (or other) issues, all screenshots are saved locally by default. To address the space concerns however, there’s an option to automatically delete them once they’ve been uploaded. For the general release I also want to add a “Keep last 100” or similar setting. Between these, I think there should be an option to suit most people.

Anti-Cheat

Another concern I know some people will have is whether this system will upset the anti-cheat. I unsurprisingly can’t guarantee anything, but the capturing part works much the same way as tools like ShareX (which has been used to upload tens of thousands of screenshots to NightLight without issue). All the app then does is think about each screenshot for a few milliseconds before either discarding or uploading it. Some friends and I have been testing it in various stages for several weeks and haven’t had an issue but if something does happen there’s likely nothing I can do. It’s very much use at your own risk, but I really would be surprised if there were any.

For more information about the auto-capture system and it’s settings check out the docs!

Match Review Changes

Icon Reviewing/Editing

The match review process has been around since day one and while it’s changed a bit over time, I felt it was due a bit more attention. The biggest thing I’ve wanted to change is how icons are edited. In the “old” match review (which is still available on the main site), icons are edited through two systems, the unknown icon list and the recognition editor. These are almost entirely separate systems which were built at different times with different goals. They each did their job well but overlapped in a weird & not particularly intuitive way.

To solve these issues and to simplify everything, I’ve replaced the two systems with an amalgamation of them both - the icon editor. This sits where the unknown icon list did previously but can be used to edit anything on the scoreboard. One thing can be selected at a time & by default it will be an unknown icon though you can select anything just by clicking it.

I know what you’re thinking, you sometimes end up with several things to identify and having to click each would be a nightmare. I agree, and that’s why when you’ve got the input selected you can press tab to save and jump to the next unknown icon if there’s any left. From that perspective, it works the same way as before but with two benefits - everything saves as you go, and you don’t end up with a half mile long review list with glitchy tab/scroll behaviour when using custom icons.

Saves as you go, no scrolling, no modals to open for editing, more reason to look at the scoreboard and consequently chance to spot any mistakes - wins all round right?

Icon Editor tab to save

Map Selection

The map/realm input has always been a bit of a weird one, it ultimately is just one piece of information because for a given map, you can only have one realm and yet it was broken into two inputs. A less obvious benefit of it was if you only knew the realm, you could just set that and leave the map as unknown (which was particularly handy for Springwood).

The thing is, you don’t actually need two inputs to achieve that, and while the map would auto complete the realm and vice versa (where possible) it was still more complicated than it needed to be.

To simplify things, the map and realm have been combined into one and there’s now an image for each map so you can now search via map or realm and view the unknown options in one place!

New Map Input

Association Selection

Selecting associations (that is telling NightLight which player is you, any friends, and “randoms”) has always had the QoL feature of being able to double click one to automatically set others. You can double click “me” and it will set everyone else to “random” for instance. The thing is, while this is incredibly useful, it was the furthest thing from obvious. To try and improve this, there’s now a visual effect on the associations that would be apply if you were to click while hovering over any of them.

Conclusion

It’s taken a long while to get to this point but I’m excited to be able to finally share this awesome update. If you have any thoughts or run into any issues, please don’t hesitate to share them in the Discord!


Changenotes:

Added patch 7.5.0 for Icon Pack uploads
Added buttons to open icon pack folders on the settings page
Fixed an issue with the pack updater which caused certain version numbers to be presented as invalid (this may or may not be related to the app updating issue…)

Auto Capture:

Added a “jump to review” option to automatically open the review page when a match is uploaded & recognised
Changed the scoreboard change logic to not upload on bloodpoint changes - it should now upload on the first scoreboard appearance and again when the killer is revealed if it wasn’t originally
Fixed a couple of review desync warning cases
Fixed an issue which caused the map input to no longer be accept typing after selecting an option
Fixed the total hook count not automatically calculating when all hooks are set
Fixed a “no change” error when clicking off a blank gens left or total hook input
Fixed Badham being incorrectly labelled in the map dropdown

2024-01-15 NightLight Desktop 1.0.3:

Changes

  • Fixed an issue which could cause the app to crash when opening

2024-01-21 NightLight Desktop 1.0.4 & 1.0.5:

Changes

  • Added match reviewed/builds claimed total on the upload page after review completion
  • Added a badge to the upload list to indicate which were captured via the hotkey
  • Moved all eye perks to the start of the icon editor list
  • Fixed an issue which could prevent the app from realising when the killer was revealed
  • Fixed the review Confirm button incorrectly showing the “Confirm and next” when there’s no more matches to review
  • Fixed an issue which caused the disconnected status option to not appear
  • Fixed the icon editor showing the “and next” text when the last unknown icon is selected
  • Changed the upload process to use UTC to avoid issues when the computer timezone doesn’t match what is set on the site
  • Disabled the review confirm button while edits are in flight
  • Fixed an issue which prevented the enter key being used to submit the match after tabbing to save an unknown icon