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2017: A Year In Review

If I had to describe 2017 as anything, it would be a roller-coaster designed to significantly injure anyone on it. Even though there were some really harsh moments, there were also really good moments, which overall balanced out the year to an almost perfect neutral. So let’s take a look at what happened this year.

AMD released the HEVC Encoder (January)

It only took AMD a full year to release the API for the HEVC Encoder on the Polaris and Vega GPUs, much longer than what people expected but still not too far out to be completely forgotten again. Implementing it wasn’t an easy task, but in February the first Patron only release was pushed out, which had all the new stuff that work had gone towards, in addition to the new HEVC Encoder.

Going Freelance (February)

One of the better decisions I’ve done this year was to go freelance full time and so far it has worked out perfectly. Since making that decision, I’ve been able to upgrade my living condition from “piss poor” to “normal”, slightly upgraded my computer, gifted a few things to family and had one of the best working experiences with my current employer/contractee, Streamlabs.

The team at Streamlabs is one of the friendliest bunch of people I’ve ever met and worked with, providing a really nice atmosphere for working and talking while still keeping things on track for releases.

OBS Studio AMD Encoder 2.0 (April)

Just three months after AMD released the new SDK, I had also finished up the full rewrite of the OBS Studio AMD Encoder integration, which provided a far easier to use UI compared to the UI of 1.4 and fixed many of the issues that the old legacy code brought along.

While it did take some additional patches to fix some of the outstanding issues, it didn’t take long for the plugin to reach fully stable – 2.2.3 was the last functionality update and was published in August. All patches after that were merely to fix issues with unannounced API changes by AMD or to improve OBS Studio compatibility.

Link: OBS Studio AMD Encoder

OBS Stream Effects (May, June)

What started out as a simple effect test ended up being a full plugin, then got published and so far seems to be really popular. It has a semi-optimized Blur effect, 3D Transform and a Displacement filter which all allow you to do rather interesting scenes.  It’s also been used by AGDQ 2018 for the blurring of the crowd, though they do use a dedicated streaming machine so the GPU usage matters less.

All because I wanted to improve how my streaming scenes looked.

Link: OBS Stream Effects

ffmpeg with AMD AMF (August, November, December)

This was requested by a lot of people and in August the first strides towards a working integration were made. At some point in the integration, I had to drop my work on it and hand it over fully to Mikhail, who managed to get a fully working version by November and have it integrated into ffmpeg in the same month.

While there was a lot of discussion over the AMF SDK (which ended up being excluded), it is now available to anyone wanting it – either by building it yourself or using one of the Zeranoe prebuilt binaries.

BlitzLLVM (November)

A rather odd project, BlitzLLVM is primarily meant to teach me LLVM, Vulkan, DirectSound, WASAPI and other APIs I might come across. It is an attempt to compile the old BlitzBasic language (Blitz2D, Blitz3D, BlitzPlus) into LLVM and then use LLVM for further processing into executable binaries, allowing for better optimized applications at a much lower size. It is currently in its infancy, only progressing slowly as I keep getting distracted with other projects.

Link: BlitzLLVM

Prop Hunt Extended (Garry’s Mod) (November)

Prop Hunt Extended is a full rewrite of the Prop Hunt gamemode in Garry’s Mod, with a much cleaner and newer code base that allows modifications to be far easier to do. If you haven’t played Prop Hunt, it is a very simple game: hiders try to hide among the props in the map while seekers try to find and destroy all hiders.

And in November, Prop Hunt Extended has received some much needed updates. It now shows Name Plates above the players, allows for reflective friendly fire, loads Taunt Packs out of the box, shows a halo around the object you want to turn into and has a custom Scoreboard too.

Link: Prop Hunt Extended (Garry’s Mod)

Streamlabs OBS (August, Public Beta January 2018)

A project I’m really proud and fond of is Streamlabs OBS, which was recently publicly released as a beta. It’s an alternative to OBS Studio and in my opinion far more user friendly, even though not feature complete yet – there’s still a long way to go and we’re working hard to make sure that when we leave beta everything will be as stable as physically possible.

Link: Streamlabs OBS

And that was 2017…

I’ve had a lot of fun this year. Even with the constantly grim news and fear-mongering by politicians and international news, the year was an experience that I will not forget for a while. I hope that your 2017 has been as enjoyable as mine has.

Xaymar signing out.

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