How I added Philips Hue support to Fortnite & Valorant

And why you should build apps on the Hue platform.

Philips Hue’s RGB lights have become omnipresent. You can find them in any big name store, they come in bundles with popular voice assistants, and you can see color lights everywhere on Twitch.

With the current RGB craze in gaming, it would be natural to wonder:

Why can’t Philips Hue lights sync with the action in major gaming titles?

It would seem to be a win-win feature. Game developers get a really cool feature and Philips Hue gets even more integrated into your lifestyle!

Philips Hue actually made an special entertainment API with gaming in mind, so game developers would add amazing features that couldn’t be built with the old API.

So why aren’t game developers using it?


Having worked at several gaming companies as a software engineer, I know that one of the main issues is time. Large gaming projects are often behind schedule, so any feature that isn’t vital gets cut.

Plus, large gaming companies need their engineering teams focused on either running their current games or building the next ones. So, no time for non-critical features. They’re also unlikely to allow engineers at Philips Hue to build support for them. Doing so would require giving them access to the game’s code, their most cherished secret!
In short, big companies cannot do small things.

To summarize, we have an audience of RGB gamers, who would like to sync their lights with their games, yet no one seems to be able to deliver that feature. In other words, an untapped market with a natural moat against large players.

Typical RGB Gaming station

BUT, as you can imagine, Epic Games and Riot Games won’t let you hack Fortnite or Valorant directly.

I know people in the gaming industry. When I asked, the most support I got for adding lighting to people’s games was “if we build a modding engine, you’ll be the first to know”.

That’s where Overwolf comes in.

Overwolf

Their SDK has been integrated by a number of big games and allows anyone to build apps for these games. It basically gives these games a plugin development platform. Plus, it’s easy to pick up since it uses standard HTML + JavaScript, with the option to use C# DLLs.

In case you’re wondering what a basic Fortnite + Philips Hue + Overwolf looks like, here’s a sample. It will make your lights blink to simulate an explosion on kill/death and will change their brightness depending on the game phase (lobby/gameplay).

Note that it requires very little original code, thanks to the Overwolf samples and the JavaScript Hue API.

With all these realizations, RGB Hero was born!

I still need to learn how to use Photoshop
RGB Hero + Fortnite.

At this point, the only missing piece of the puzzle is a good discovery mechanism, meaning a way for people to find and download your app.
Running ads is simply not profitable (at least, not for the business models I’ve come up with).

This is where Philips Hue will certainly help. The iOS/Android ecosystem of Hue apps is absolutely amazing, thanks to the “Apps we like” section of the official Philips Hue app. And I have no doubt that something similar will be coming to PC/Mac soon.

“Apps we like”

The remaining question is: Can you create a viable business model?
If you do something cool and innovative, you’ll have 2 solid companies here to help you: Philips Hue and Overwolf.

Integrating games with Smart Home features is so cutting edge that most people don’t understand the concept. This is likely the ground floor of a whole new software category and we’re at a point where having competition will actually make the market grow. And that’s why I’m willing to publish a guide on how to do what I do.

If you can make software and you’ve been looking for a way to start something on your own, now is your chance! So why not get started?


If you’re on Twitch, check out this article

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