Making a silly game using Google Cloud Vision and Instagram

I was recently invited to the first alpha release of Google Cloud Vision, which is a game changing new API from Google. I can programmatically upload any picture and get this kind of stuff back:

  • Face detection, with pixel annotations of the corner of the mouth etc, plus unexpected values like sorrowLikelihood
  • Landmark detection, with LatLon polygon boundaries to real world landmarks
  • Logo detection
  • Text detection
  • Safe search detection, which can detect medical, nude and violent content

I wanted to dig right in, and decided to build a really silly little game. I call it Game Of Cats, and has nothing to do with Game of Thrones at all.

A user logs in using their Instagram credentials. My game engine starts polling all recent pictures from the people the user follows, and awards a point for every cat picture that occurs. The game goes on forever, without any interaction.

Screenshot 2015-12-08 22.35.28

I won’t bore you with details about how Instagram handles OAUTH, but you might be interested in how Google Cloud Vision wants to talk to an app like this? I built this quick and dirty as it should be, in PHP.

I would love to have the energy to build a WordPress plugin that adds a taxonomy to the media library, and automatically tags all uploaded images using Google Cloud Vision, but I don’t. Someone else will, and they write better code than I do anyway.


Note: I can’t post the URL to the actual game, yet. The alpha’s terms and conditions prohibits me from deploying to production.