What inspired you and what was the process of making NightLight?

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for statistics and ways you can present them and I loved whenever someone made a post on the DBD subreddit with their hand-gathered statistics. For a long while I’ve also been looking for a bigger project to work on - something that pushed my coding ability way outside what I’m used to. So, when my good friend Zeeky mentioned the idea of a stats website for DBD the idea really stuck a chord.

The idea lingered at the back of my mind for a few months until I sat down once again and finally found a way to actualise my idea - an image recogniton system to make the site slightly more enjoyable to use. The site could simply get it’s data from a form where you input everything manually, but I have a slight suspicion that not many people would enjoy that.

Once I had worked that out, I started trying to identify a couple of perks from a few screenshots, and after a while I had worked my way up to 120 perks from 400 or so screenshots. I spent a bunch of time tinkering with things and improving the recogntion rates and accuracy until I was happy with it. At that point, I got the first automatic print out of the perks used in my screenshots and it gave me a lot of motivation.

After that, I started work on building a website around it, this took a fair while because I wanted to code it as if a lot of people were going to use it (for the experience, and well, the hope that may one day happen) so performance and usability were key concerns. I got a really simple upload page working, then the stats database, and then a simple dashboard. At that point things were starting to look pretty cool and after a bit more work and a lot of feedback from my friends, I ended up with an account system and finally something I could show to the world.