Tig Stream Announcement
- Saturday Jan 15th at 6:00 PM Central
How would a PCB assembly service be gamified?
- A tutorial level
ClippyMac the PCB Guy
- Experience Points
- Badges and Achievements
- In Game Currency
- Weekly and Daily rewards
- Design Raid
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:10
Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast, a weekly show about all things engineering, DIY projects, manufacturing, industry news and game development, where your host electrical engineers, Steven Craig, and this is episode 311. So we have an announcement. Well, we had the same announcement last week, but we're redoing it again. We have a TIG welding stream coming up this Saturday, January 15, at 6pm Central. So if you guys want to come and just hang out watch Parker and I try to get better at TIG welding or even like, get any bit better at TIG welding. Yeah, come and join us. That's Saturday, January 15. At 6pm Central, you can catch the stream at twitch.tv/macro Fab.
Host 2 01:03
So I want to spend more time actually welding or grinding tungsten tungsten
Host 1 01:09
Into you know, I'm planning on moving my, my grinding wheel to be right next to me.
Host 2 01:17
I actually have one of those like, I took a like a, like $8 Dremel, I got on Amazon. And I touch one of those like housings on top. Oh, you bought one of those like special ones? Yeah. Oh, wow. Nice. It's like it's $15 It was only 15 bucks. I might buy that. Like the whole thing. Yeah,
Host 1 01:38
I might have to go look for that. Every time I've seen those. They're like $200 Knowing that
Host 2 01:43
You can get them pretty inexpensively. And the good thing about it is it doesn't throw radioactive tungsten dust all over your shop. Well, that's true. That also depends on which which element you're using. Yeah. Or electrode not element. This is going to be using this weekend is what is thorium? thoriated whatever. Yeah. thoriated Yeah. 2%
Host 1 02:07
I have I have the E 90 Whatever. The purple ones.
Host 2 02:13
I have probably got purple stuff.
Host 1 02:14
But you're gonna be doing stainless, right? Yeah, I'm doing stainless and steel. Then just like cold.
Host 2 02:21
I think I have purple as well. Yeah, I think I've read as well I think reds, reds, the radioactive
Host 1 02:25
Stuff. Or that. We're, we're gonna, if this is any indication of it, we're gonna have a lot of fun. We are trying to set up extra cameras. So you can actually catch the arc itself and get some close shots of us attempting to weld
Host 2 02:49
Attempting. The thing is like I was, for me, I'm a fairly proficient MIG user. See how I did not say welder? I said user.
Host 1 03:01
Host 2 03:06
So this is like trying to learn a bicycle all over again, on trying to weld I think this
Host 1 03:14
Is very much like for you like somebody who's proficient at some musical instrument, trying to learn another musical instrument, because you know what the end goal is. And goal is two pieces of metal stuck together, right? The physical motion of your fingers or your mouth or whatever plays the actual instrument. It just doesn't exist. And so that's what we're going to stumble our way through. So I've been cheating. I've actually been practicing a little bit. And I've been laying down just small beads, like two inch long beads, and they just look like crappy caterpillars.
Host 2 03:46
This is like going from a recorder. Yeah, sure. Saxophone.
Host 1 03:50
Yeah, a saxophone and a violin at the same time.
Host 2 03:56
Violins a better thing. It's a little more. There's a lot of finesse with TIG welding, yes, with MiGs got a lot of finesse too, but you you use like your wrist more than your fingers where TIG is for me. It feels like more finger work. But I could be wrong about that because I suck at it.
Host 1 04:16
So you know, the one thing I know I'm bad at right now is I've been doing most of the maneuvering of the wand with my wrist and not sliding my hand across the workpiece. And everything I've watched like, there's less wrist movement.
Host 2 04:38
It's all MIG welding. Same thing. Yeah, but the thing with MIG is I generally use like some left handed. So I'll hold the gun and my the MIG gun in my left hand and then arrested on my right hand if I can use my right hand to slide my wrist across my hand across the workpiece because that way you You can actually control really well. And so you using your your gun hold her hand as like your, your pitch basically like how far you are away. So you can adjust that. And then your other hand an arm is, is working with making sure the puddle is moving, right? Can't do that with TIG. Nope,
Host 1 05:18
Nope. Take both both hands are doing skillful things,
Host 2 05:23
Completely different kinds of skill for things. So yeah, it's like trying to pat your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.
Host 1 05:28
It is yeah, I think it's interesting too, because like, there's like that your left hand with your feed wire or whatever hand is feeding your feed wire in it, you it needs to be at a particular angle to the angle of your electrode, which is at a different angle to the piece you're actually welding. And of course, there's like, you know, there's plenty of like slop and how you do it. But when you're learning like you, you're trying to pay attention to all these things all at once. And it's just, it's overwhelming. But we're gonna stick some things together. I guarantee you we will.
Host 2 06:04
Yeah, but not just that. You also have to modulate the current that you put into your piece at the same time. Yeah,
Host 1 06:13
Your foots doing something to your foots doing something.
Host 2 06:17
Now, I have actually been able to put some pretty decent welds down with a TIG using the pulse setting. I don't know if we're gonna consider that cheating for this stream. I don't think so. So, I have been looking at getting basically rid of the pedal. And I found some like, finger controls that you put on the TIG gun. Yeah, I had one of those I said gun torch torch on torch. But it's like it's not variable. It's just has discrete settings. Yeah. So it has like four discrete settings depending on how hard you press it. Because some have variable like are are infinitely variable, like the foot pedal. Yeah. But honestly, like when I was when I was actually trying to learn. Or actually I wanted to say learn like I'm like I needed to weld some stainless together for our project and I need to get done now. It was like, set the pulse and just like pedal to the floor and do it. Hey, that turned
Host 1 07:26
Out it'll work. Okay, things together. Oh, yeah. It's hasn't fallen apart. Yeah, there's okay. There's a difference between a weld and not a difference. There's there's sort of like two levels of things that I'm gonna make it three real quick. There's crappy welds that just don't work. That will fail. Right. And then the next level up is welds that will work fine. They just look like garbage. And then there's the Level Up where they work perfectly. And they look amazing. That's the Instagram. I'm trying to get to level two.
Host 2 07:58
Yeah, kids level two. Yeah. I've already done a couple level twos that I guess it with TIG. But I, I'm, I'm one of those like 99% of my projects I can do with the big. So I just grabbed the MiG I like to get to the point where like, I can pick either one. And I could do the weld just fine. That's where I want to get to I built
Host 1 08:23
A lot of box frame to stuff of with TIG like I've made really abstract art. That's just like all practice welds. Were like abstract art because like I have a frame that I weld up and then I cut it and then I welded a different way and then I cut it just for practice, right? Yeah, and that's that's been fun. So I'm you know, we make it sound hard. It's like, right now we could both go stick two pieces of metal together and be confident with Oh, yeah, but making it look nice is the hard part.
Host 2 08:57
I want to get to the point where I can make it look as decent enough for like my MiG. And get because this thing is Steve and I were going to grind our welds we don't 100% Yeah, yeah. Because most of them were paying it anyway. So yeah. Doesn't matter what it looks like. As long as there's zero porosity, good penetration.
Host 1 09:20
Hmm, yeah. Generation and yeah, just make it actually one of the issues that I'm dealing with right now that I'm trying to figure out is ending a weld bead and not having it fisheye. Have you have you seen the fisheye thing with TIG welding?
Host 2 09:35
I see that a lot with TIG. Yeah. And you're supposed to like back off and then feed a little bit. Yeah, yeah, that's the I haven't figured that out yet. Like by no I know what you shouldn't do. Yeah, haven't been able because I usually I just did a big thing. You just go click off off of
Host 1 09:51
The gun. Yeah, I know you can you can back off and then you can you can hit more current into it for a short period of time it just melt The Eye of the fish eye real quick. Yeah. And then. So like, there's just so much these little like tricks, you know? Yeah. All right, well, yeah. Okay, January 15 6pm, Central twitch.tv/macro Fab comm crack a beer and hanging out with Parker and I.
Host 2 10:19
So this week's topic is going to be the game, gamification of PCB assembly. And how this came about was today I got a ad from a or basically email from an ad agency that was just cold emailing probably tons of startups and that kind of stuff. And then like, we can gamify, macro fab to increase users. And I just kind of chuckle at the fact that gamification of PCB assembly, is kind of funny to think about. And I'm like, You know what? Let's actually see what that would be like.
Host 1 11:01
Yeah, let's talk it through. Like, how do you gamify PCB assembly?
Host 2 11:07
Yeah. And I think it'd be a lot of fun to think about this kind of like a conceptual composite. And, by the way, if someone actually does this
Host 1 11:17
Guy, give us some kickbacks. Yeah, yeah, scratch your back a little bit.
Host 2 11:21
And we're predicting the future of where McWrap goes. Because this is how you get that next round round of funding. Right? You come up with the next big idea?
Host 1 11:30
Yeah, we're turning this into a mobile game. Yes, actually. So a lot of the things that we we've kind of we just threw down some some ideas about this before the
Host 2 11:40
Break Chateau PCVs.
Host 1 11:44
But before we get into the podcast, let's hear a note from our sponsors. The so yeah, the we kind of were taking a lot of ideas from like, globally how video games work, but also a lot of these are a bit more geared towards mobile gaming.
Host 2 12:05
Yeah, mobile games and and stuff like what was it force was forced was the was a Foursquare what was the app that people like? Like you owned your area, and you had influence over your local area, because you like went to restaurants and rated them and stuff?
Host 1 12:26
I don't was a Foursquare Foursquare.
Host 2 12:29
I didn't wear space, no square spaces. It's like
Host 1 12:33
Website site generator. Yeah.
Host 2 12:37
Some app that that basically kicked off the style of gamification.
Host 1 12:45
Oh, geez, I don't I don't remember. Like you had your own zones or territory or something. Yeah, you
Host 2 12:53
Had your own like zones and territory. And so like, the more you reviewed places, or like, ate out checked in at places, it would boost your
Host 1 13:03
Oh, that's kind of like cash. My wife does that for like, visiting breweries untapped?
Host 2 13:09
Yeah, untapped. It's the same thing. But untapped is for breweries. This is for like everything. And it was a big deal when like, we were in college, by the way, like actually exiting College, I'd say like, 2010 ish. Yeah, was when this was big. I don't know. But whenever someone says gamification, I immediately think of that app. Okay, is is this kind of stuff so the first thing that we have to have if we're going to gamify PCB assembly is we have to have a tutorial level
Host 1 13:43
Oh absolutely. Like anytime you download one of these games there's just a mandatory thing like let me show you all the little things you need to know about this so it would like it would have to bring you into like some kind of PCB view and then like have arrows pointing and arrows pointing everywhere yeah, with like a textbox that pops up and maybe like a voice that talks to you. Oh, yeah, I would press one of the buttons and like coins would appear and it'd be like nice whenever
Host 2 14:11
Confetti thing about this tutorial level we're gonna get to it later is part of the tutorial is it introduces you to the in game currency. No 100% is how they so what they do is they give you a little P It's like giving you a sample the samples free Yeah. And so they give you a piece of Indian currency and they make you use the in game currency to buy something in
Host 1 14:36
Them in the tutorial level
Host 2 14:38
You can't spoil Yeah, so that's part of the tutorial is you give them a taste of whatever the in game currency does. Yeah. So people know I can buy this and go to a store in the game or in the PCB assembly house. Yeah,
Host 1 14:55
You guys PCB boss or whatever. Yes, it says
Host 2 15:00
But yeah, I'm just thinking of like, it's like a 15 minute tutorial. walking you through with big ol arrows pointing everywhere and then like a voice overlay talking to you.
Host 1 15:14
Yeah, yeah, with some kind of like, like, almost like an anime character at the bottom like explaining things as you go. Little textbooks,
Host 2 15:23
This is where you set your stack up.
Host 1 15:26
Host 2 15:30
Like when every part of stackup is like, this is copper thickness.
Host 1 15:33
Yeah, this is yeah, you know, the funny thing is, like, in a lot of ways, this is already not a terrible idea. I mean, no, this is not a terrible idea. It's actually pretty cool. Yeah. Although, I mean, I think it would be weird if I was like, I need to find a place to manufacture, you know, a bazillion dollars worth of stuff. And there's like this weird character like bouncing around the screen that doesn't screen professional for me, but
Host 2 15:58
Whatever was Mac though. What if it was PCB guy? Mac?
Host 1 16:02
Yeah. What if it's Clippy?
Host 2 16:07
No, no, no.
Host 1 16:10
But Mac Mac's cool. Yeah, MAC MAC is super cool. Mac is the Gosh, how do you explain MAC MAC was like sort of a mascot for microfine
Host 2 16:21
Unofficial mascot like he lives. So he's the icon I use on Twitter. And the only place that he lived on the website was on knowledge base. And he's not even there anymore.
Host 1 16:35
Yeah, but there was also a t shirt of him right? What was that? It was a t shirt of him, right?
Host 2 16:41
Yeah, there's the let's build together red t shirt. That is probably my favorite McWrap t shirt. I definitely think I shouldn't make more of those. And all that should be the first swag we give out. Yeah, is rerun those shirts and give those out because those are really cool shirts. But do you even have one of those?
Host 1 17:00
I do not have a Mac t shirt. I want one. Yeah, that's a that's a really cool shirt. You know, speaking of shirts, your avatar in this game should be able to get different swag that they can wear. Oh, yeah, like you all.
Host 2 17:16
That's one thing we need to put into someone list. Let's talk about that. Next. So you make an account. Yeah, but you have an avatar?
Host 1 17:23
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Host 2 17:26
A PCB assembly avatar that you can customize.
Host 1 17:30
And they start out real plain like black T shirt jeans. But like later on, you can get all kinds of stuff. No, no, it can't be a black because everyone wants a black T shirt.
Host 2 17:40
A bunch of nerds has
Host 1 17:42
A white t shirt. Yeah, just a blank slate character.
Host 2 17:46
Yeah, but the last one you unlock is a black T shirt.
Host 1 17:53
Medical engineer garb?
Host 2 17:55
Yeah, jeans. Black t shirt.
Host 1 17:59
Okay, I like it. Yeah.
Host 2 18:02
But yeah, you have an avatar that you can customize? Yeah. And what would the avatar I guess it could just represent your account. It doesn't really need to do anything besides anything. It's like the old Xbox avatars. They don't actually do anything besides. You know, be there.
Host 1 18:23
Well, okay. But later on, we have some ideas that that could involve other people and other avatars. So being able to see the other people. Okay, yeah, you're I think and if you ever need to talk to somebody you talk is your avatar, right?
Host 2 18:39
Yeah. Whenever you talk to customers, this is a customer support avatar.
Host 1 18:43
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Can you
Host 2 18:46
Imagine? So Jared? Jerry is head of our customer support. Could you imagine a Jerry avatar?
Host 1 18:53
That would be pretty awesome. If he asked Yeah.
Host 2 18:59
We have to we have to have this it'd be so much fun. God
Host 1 19:02
No, no. Like, no. I'm just like, have tons of images in my head of like cartoon eyes versions of everyone at Mac or Feb.
Host 2 19:12
Like a me version?
Host 1 19:13
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, man. Now I kind of want this.
Host 2 19:21
So, okay, okay, so
Host 1 19:22
You create your avatar, once you have your avatar, this is where you now have an account where you can accrue things as you utilize the game to make PCBs, right.
Host 2 19:34
Utilize the platform platform, right?
Host 1 19:37
So one of the first things that's in like virtually every game out there is experience points. So of course, like you start out your level one character, a level one macro favour at that point. And as you utilize the platform, your you gain experience points. I kind of think if we're going mobile game style, it's not like You've done like, after you've done like a whole PCB or after you've done something then you get experience points. I'm thinking mobile game style where every little thing you do gives you experience you experience more. So just those like, you know, hits dopamine, like every time you Google the whole thing is everything's got to have a meter that fills up. Yeah. Everything you do you up. So say you upload a PCB. Yeah. Right.
Host 2 20:24
As you're assigning the layers, there's a bar that goes up,
Host 1 20:28
Even if you manage to fill up again.
Host 2 20:32
Yeah. And so like, as you're going progressing through sending your PC certifications, the, the bar for the PC specifications goes up all the bar, all the bars?
Host 1 20:43
Oh, yeah. I like that. Yeah. So just so
Host 2 20:47
Your avatar is occurring, all those experience points. But why?
Host 1 20:53
Well, okay. Because at the end of the day, you need to broadcast to all the other avatars, how awesome you are, so you can gain titles. So I guess when you start out, you're just like, level one macro. Fabri. Like that is like the base title. But I mean, you should be able to go to like, you know, start leveling up to like multiple levels of engineer, or all the way up to like, Master gray beard or something like that, like way up at the top. So I think all the experience points eventually gets you different titles that stick along with your with your avatar, but also badges. So badges are like, I guess, I guess, actually come to think about it. badges and achievements sort of go together? Kind of same thing. Yeah, yeah, we have both of those written here. But they, they're both effectively the same thing. So a badge, or an achievement would be like, create a PCB that could be an achievement. And you've you've done that you did it in like, anyways, my first order, but there's also but like, if you're if you're like level 100, grand gray beard, then like, you have the achievement like run one 100, PCBs or something like that, you know, like all the stuff you see in Steam achievements,
Host 2 22:12
Production master built 100,000 board.
Host 1 22:16
Yeah, exactly. These are not bad ideas to be.
Host 2 22:21
They're not bad ideas.
Host 1 22:24
And I could see most of these achievements having like, bronze, silver gold as well, you know,
Host 2 22:31
It was star ratings two
Host 1 22:35
Years to this. Ah, okay, so yeah, badges. Alright, so let's, let's think of some more achievements that can be pulled off. So there's, there's obviously like, the ones where they like, pat you on the back achievements, where it's like, I've ordered a board. But what are some more like, obscure ones?
Host 2 22:55
Like, pass DRC first time?
Host 1 22:59
I like that. Yeah. Yeah. Pass DRC first time, you know, how about an achievement where like, you have literally spent over 24 hours on the platform? Like
Host 2 23:16
Yeah, some kind of big long time. You can have like, like achievements, like, like, a, like configured 100 Different bombs, something like that, like longterm meter meter filling achievements? Yeah. Let's see, you have
Host 1 23:36
Oh, have achievements or how many layers you've done. So have you Have you ordered a two layer board a four layer board a six layer board? Yeah.
Host 2 23:44
But I was gonna build on that is, most of you upload multiple EDA tool styles. So like, Oh, you've uploaded an eagle board? And then it gives you like a JIRA for that. But if you upload like, oh, you use three different EDA tools to design products, see,
Host 1 24:00
Okay, yeah, I like that. That's not an achievement. That's a badge and it's called, like tech master or something like that master EDA master. Also, let's pause for a quick second here because in our Twitch, twitch chat, awesome blossom, ask is this going to be on the macro fab website? Let's, let's clear the slate right now. No, none of this is gonna be like when it
Host 2 24:22
Happens. It will not happen like tomorrow.
Host 1 24:26
No, no, no, like, none of this is real. Like we're envisioning. Like, if macro fab was a game.
Host 2 24:33
Yeah, if you. The whole idea is if you were going to gamify PCB assembly in regards to like, macro fab, because macro is an online platform. So it makes it easier to think about gamifying right? Yes. And the reason why it's coming up, is I got a cold call email. That was like spam. have a have a marketing firm that wanted to gamify the McAfee web app. Right? Like,
Host 1 25:07
Well, let's let's envision that. Let's see what that looks like. Yeah, that's it looks like I like that tech master.
Host 2 25:16
And so we got all these achievements, badges, that kind of stuff. Yeah, but and you have your avatar. Yeah. What doesn't matter if you can't show it off. So you got to have rankings and leaderboards,
Host 1 25:32
Leaderboards, I love that.
Host 2 25:35
So you can you can leaderboard like, who spent the most money or ordered the most amount of boards or had the most line items for that month?
Host 1 25:44
That kind of stuff. Yeah, number of number of placements. Yeah, number of placements.
Host 2 25:49
Oh, that's such a cool as such a cool idea. Like, I'll chat is like this is a good idea. And I'm like, you know what's gonna happen? We're gonna put this podcast out on this Friday. And the marketing teams like Parkinson's who get it? These are these are all good ideas. Gonna take the podcast?
Host 1 26:12
Oh, wow. That's, uh,
Host 2 26:14
Oh, that's really interesting. Meta data about PCBs, like, number of vias. The biggest trace?
Host 1 26:22
Yeah, that's it. Smallest board biggest board. Most number of layers.
Host 2 26:28
Okay, yeah, leaderboards for the like, if you haven't rollover every week or month. That's a cool idea.
Host 1 26:37
Yeah. Longest board that takes the longest to pick and place and board that takes the least amount to pick and place.
Host 2 26:46
Like that. Oh, oh, biggest mix of like, oh, this would be achievement board is 100%. Pick and placeable.
Host 1 26:55
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Somebody just uploads a board with a one resistor on it. Achievement. Gain.
Host 2 27:05
You can gamify you can game the game. So
Host 1 27:08
Yeah, yeah, totally. So yeah, rankings and leaderboards. So yeah, you as your title increases? Well, as your rank increases, you get different titles, based off of as you go through.
Host 2 27:21
I'd be the idea. So like, your avatar will be like, like crab foam, Master PCB layout Master. Master twice? Yeah, that's choice. I like it. What else in there? I really actually really like the metadata, leaderboard kind of thing. The metadata stuff
Host 1 27:45
Is fun. Like, I wonder, I guess you have that capability to extract information, right? From boards, like, oh, yeah, we could you could go and find that right now.
Host 2 27:57
Now, I wouldn't be too difficult to do.
Host 1 28:01
I mean, it would be it would be kind of fun to just have like a ticker that's like, macro fab has placed this many components this month, just to like, have like, how many? How many? Just SMD parts has macro fab, put on boards in 30 days?
Host 2 28:18
Yeah, the only thing you run into is some people consider that like, their personal data, whatever. Oh, honey, perhaps you'd have to modify the user agreement to be like, we're going to mine your data and publish it publicly. Again, everything we're
Host 1 28:39
Talking about here has problems.
Host 2 28:42
That has problems with with IP.
Host 1 28:46
Oh, yeah. Personal IP. Yeah. Well, and I mean, because what a lot of it could boil down to like, just consider this hypothetical Licious. Pretend like you had one customer that did have sensitive data. And they and they didn't want that shared. And let's just pretend like all the other customers left the platform that that month. So the only customer that was left was the one with sensitive data. And then you're posting those numbers. Well, it's just their numbers that yeah, so this is all hypothetical fun stuff. Yeah,
Host 2 29:19
I guess you could anonymize the leaderboard they weren't you really run into like leaderboard problems, because those are public would be public. You could have to opt into it. Yeah, you can have titles badges. An avatar. The, in my opinion, the best idea so far is tutorial level. And the idea. Yeah, I mean, all the other things similar
Host 1 29:43
Things, but they're not really gay. Me. Yeah, Nike. Um,
Host 2 29:50
The next thing these a gamification would require we touched on earlier is in game currency. So macro bucks.
Host 1 29:59
Yep. Yep. PCB diamonds.
Host 2 30:03
Yeah. And I think there'll be like chips.
Host 1 30:09
Oh MC. Okay. Yeah. So diamond tasty chips. Yeah, tasty chips.
Host 2 30:14
And so you don't buy your PCBs with USD, you had to convert you USD to macro bucks.
Host 1 30:24
That's right. Yeah.
Host 2 30:25
All right, this is not real.
Host 1 30:30
This so hard just to make sure that people know that like, we're just coming up with good ideas here.
Host 2 30:35
So it'd be in game you'd have to have in game currency, because that's how you lock people into your ecosystem. And you can't have any sort of some costs, like 400 macro bucks, you can't have a way to go from USD to 400. Macro bucks. You always have to go slightly over. So you have to be like, yeah, it has to be like 500 macro bucks. So you have a 100 macro bucks left over, just sitting in your account, burning a hole in your digital wallets. Right. But the cheapest item is 101 or something. Yeah. 150 150. Yeah.
Host 1 31:14
Right. Right. So the second time you add money, it still doesn't get II still have stuff left over? Yeah.
Host 2 31:20
So what could you buy it with PCB assembly? What would you use in game? So if you had a buy currency, so you can like buy boards? But what else could you like in games? What does in game currency? Do? It speeds things up?
Host 1 31:36
Yeah, yeah. This oven is gonna take eight minutes. But if you give me a couple of macro bucks, it's gonna take, you know, one.
Host 2 31:44
Yeah. So you could get a you could you could skip ahead in lines. Yeah. Accelerate your experience points. That would be a thing you could do. Melee and skipping lines, like, because Because kind of like you kind of do that already. By spending more money for like faster services.
Host 1 32:11
You get and you could you could spend money and get engineering support, and it would fix problems on your boards.
Host 2 32:20
Yeah, I guess you could do that. I'm just trying to think of like, what is in mobile games that you spend like in game currency on? Like, you owe stuff for
Host 1 32:31
Your avatar? Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah. All of your out by that macro shirt. Yeah. You need to have different swag.
Host 2 32:42
Oh, so for your avatar. You had to have seasonal items. Oh, 100%. So Christmas, Halloween? Spring Fourth of July. For the July. One that we have to celebrate because as you know, Chinese New Year.
Host 1 33:03
True. That's true. Yeah. Yeah. So you gotta you got to spend those macro bucks before Chinese New Year's just to make sure that you get stuff.
Host 2 33:15
Get stuff through fast enough. Yeah. What else would there be?
Host 1 33:21
I'm trying to speak though. Go ahead.
Host 2 33:23
I think we're actually this is serious. By the way. I think we're actually usually during Chinese New Year, we have like our like, we have to like, relax a lot of our lead times. I think we don't have to do it that badly this year, because I think we were actually going to start putting I don't know if this is public or not. I think there's a solution we have to the problem. But you have to spend more macro bucks.
Host 1 33:59
I see where you go on with that. I guess. I guess if that is secret, you can hack that out?
Host 2 34:05
Yeah, I don't know if that's if it's gonna be that way. I was about to say it's gonna be public or not yet. I don't remember. Let me actually check the blog real quick.
Host 1 34:17
So I'm trying to think of like some mobile games I've played where? Oh, you know, okay, so macro bucks is like, in a lot of games. Like if you if you fail a level or something like that, you can immediately spend your currency and like restart the level right away. Like, if there's a problem with your PCBs, you could spend MakerBot you get ill DRC failed the or you can spend macro bucks and get right back in front of the line. Yep, yep. Yep. Of like order review or engineering review. Yeah. All right. So we did announce it. Oh, we have a fully us source pcva
Host 2 34:56
Setup in terms of like getting boards.
Host 1 34:59
So if you got If it's critical, you have a solution.
Host 2 35:03
Yeah, cuz usually we don't offer our 10 Day quick turn during Chinese New Year. Yeah. Or my bad. Lunar New Year is what I would call it. Because there's more than China that that that honors that, that we can have.
Host 1 35:22
Yeah, I think that's correct. I don't I don't remember off the top of my head something like
Host 2 35:26
Lunar New Year.
Host 1 35:27
We usually say two weeks.
Host 2 35:29
Yeah, it's usually two weeks. Yeah. But we have a US based PCBA manufacture now. So you guys spend that Macco bucks? Get headline? Yeah. Yeah, it's really about usually you spend in these game really bad gamification games. With microtransactions use spend in game currency to speed stuff up. That's what it would be for. Oh,
Host 1 36:04
To get rid of ads to? Oh, yeah, it would be ads
Host 2 36:10
DigiKey Mouser ads all over the platform everywhere.
Host 1 36:13
And then those and Okay, let's do a quick tangent side note, because I like it like games that like I don't, I don't do not mobile game anymore. I used to have a few that like, I would just play around with my like, they've they're so obnoxious. Nowadays. We're like, you play a level. And then there's an ad and they do that thing where there's like a countdown timer. And they put like the x to get out of the ad. It's in a new place. Every time the ad pops up. Like they move it around. So you have to like hunt for it and stuff. And it's really thin. But they're like, Oh, do you want to delete ads? It's you know, 150 US dollars or whatever they're asking for the game. It's often Geez, that I'm exaggerating.
Host 2 36:55
But fans thought well, we got about in game currency. Yeah. So next thing that these gamification apps is they usually have weekly and daily rewards that you can get. I think
Host 1 37:09
It's funny that like, that's actually those are actually words now, like, have you done your dailies? Have you done your weeklies, you know,
Host 2 37:16
That was a that was for like, wow, right? Yeah, I think that really started with all the Warcraft. Yeah, yeah. Now I left. That was really like the first expansion burden, Burning Crusade. I think it's when kind of added that stuff because that I remember when I first played that game, this is like, 2006. They didn't have weeklies or dailies. I remember shortly after I left the game, they added that. Yeah, weekly in daily rewards, you always log in and check. So that could be you could do like, whenever you have like, a, a, like a message, like from a macro engineer. Speak, right? They could you can get your daily reward by like acknowledging or responding to that. But you don't always have a question, though that respond to?
Host 1 38:22
Yeah, what would be like a weekly or a daily?
Host 2 38:28
Oh, I just came up with a really bad some idea. What so? So you know how they have those. Google has those capacitors, that's like pick the palm trees and the nine pictures. Okay, it's like training AI. Yeah. You're gonna get new with it. Okay, is you give the person a datasheet. And they go, you go, Hey, what's the package and the pin count of this part?
Host 1 38:56
Oh, you're teaching an AI to read data sheets?
Host 2 39:00
Well, not AI. But he's just like, and he's just like, just like you send that out to like everyone that one day. And you average the results together and boom, you got your part.
Host 1 39:13
This part has eight and a half pins. Wow. thresholds. But yeah, yeah. Yeah, no,
Host 2 39:21
Everyone that answered correctly. Yeah. Get some experience. They completed the request. Oh, I liked that. That's actually a really good idea. That's evil to leveraging your your your base. Leverage your user base to feed you manufacturing data? Wow.
Host 1 39:47
All right, you could Okay, so you could also train AIS to detect component rotations based off of that where it would send an image of components on a board to people and just ask the question is this row data properly or not, and that just get aggregate tons of data off of that. And then figure that out in the AI can learn about the board and component rotations. Yeah. Good idea. Yeah, that's a that's kind of cool. And then yeah, the people who participate in a game they get some to get experience points and maybe a little macro book. Yeah. And you get badges where it's just like, you know, helpers and things like that.
Host 2 40:29
Oh, yeah. 100 days in a row? Yeah. Oh,
Host 1 40:33
Yeah. footprint, expert foot, ah, like that? Yeah. Data Sheet master,
Host 2 40:39
Host 1 40:43
You know, so we joke about a lot of the stuff there, you know, if you were to strip away some of the nefariousness of what we're going into, like, there's actually some decent ideas in here. Yeah,
Host 2 40:52
There's some pretty good ideas.
Host 2 40:59
Okay, so we have kind of in this weekly daily rewards kind of thing is also quests, which is kind of funny to think about, like, because quests are generally in video games giving you by a non player character, or NPC, and you go do something. Yeah. So you could have quests, as part of like, a tutorial level. Like afterwards, like quest, make a new PCB and place an order right.
Host 1 41:31
Now, yeah, the quest, the quest. I think like the initial quest would have to be like that. But you could also have well, okay, so I put up I put up this this idea of here called Design raids, which raids in like, wow, and old school was like, you get a party of people together and you you go through a dungeon or something like that. Right. And, and at EDA tools, your dungeon? Yeah, the well. Okay, so there's that there's like design raids, where it's like, complete a design, or, and I don't know how, like, the game would be able to handle that. But there's also like, you could have like, speed boards or something like that, where it's like, it sends out like alerts, and you get push notification alerts, like whoever orders now gets like 20% off. So everyone raids and tries to upload their stuff and order it as fast as possible.
Host 2 42:28
So they only know after they place their order. Oh, that's
Host 1 42:33
That's really that's really, people would just order right away
Host 2 42:37
In Yeah, cuz that's things people would just bounce it. The if you didn't do that, well,
Host 1 42:42
Maybe maybe it would have to detect that you're starting a new project uploading, like, it would have Oh, I
Host 2 42:48
See what you're saying. Yeah, see, we're saying so just to drive user engagement to the platform. It's all out to doing?
Host 1 42:55
Yeah, so it's just like your design raid go. And like,
Host 2 43:01
You got to dump all your files in your conversion rate on that would be terrible.
Host 1 43:06
It would be abysmal. Actually, what it could do, no, get this. This is evil. It you could upload your files and it would purposefully screw things up around so you had to go and fix them. And then you upload your bill of materials. And you'd have to go and scrub your own filament here. Oh. That's yeah, like the PCB assembly. Harmonix Yeah. That yeah, this would be because you would order the board and like, there's almost guaranteed to be an issue.
Host 2 43:39
Yes, it's gonna be an issue.
Host 1 43:43
But if there's no issue, you get a badge for that. I survived a design raid. Okay. All the good ideas we've had, this is not one of them. This is
Host 2 43:57
This is a terrible idea. I do. I think the best idea is tutorial level.
Host 1 44:03
Host 2 44:07
I actually kind of like Avatar and experience points with badges and achievements. And then kinda like a meta data leaderboard kind of thing would be kind of cool. The in game currency is terrible idea.
Host 1 44:20
No, no, that's awful. Do not do in Canton Fair.
Host 2 44:24
I do like the daily reward. kind of idea, though. Like setting up a crowd sourced way of getting manufacturing data through a rewards program.
Host 1 44:39
Yeah, that which feels fun for everyone. Yeah, yeah.
Host 2 44:45
It's kind of like, I don't know, if you subscribe to it. On Android, you can subscribe to like the Google rewards thing. And basically, it's a survey Google survey. I think it was called and it sends you a survey if you saw Often that's basically you scrubbing your data basically. And so improves its algorithm is what it's doing. But they pay you basically anywhere from like 10 cents to $1 per survey and you just go into like, it's like, have you did you actually go to this store on this date? Did you pay with blah, blah, blah, blah. And it basically asks you those kind of questions. And it's basically improve. It's like the pick the stop signs, your own data. Yeah, it's subject to your data and you confirming or denying it. And And honestly, that's the only way I get money for the Android Play Store, or Google Play Store. So Oh, yeah. While that was fueling my, it was fueling my PokemonGo addiction.
Host 1 45:52
Just take a couple of surveys and then put money into that game, go
Host 2 45:55
Play. Yeah, Pokemon Go. Yeah, buy some stuff in Pokemon GO and then wait to give them a couple more surveys and do that again. That's cool. So and I stopped playing Pokemon Go. And I stopped doing the surveys, because I didn't have a reason to do them. Yeah. Yeah, it's actually I one time I had like, 20 bucks, just chillin when doing surveys. So you could do stuff like that. That's good idea. Money motivates people. Shockingly.
Host 1 46:25
Yeah, go figure. But yeah, I you know, back on that tutorial level, I think that would be a really cool thing. If it wasn't mandatory on the McAfee platform, if it was something where it's like, Would you like to do a step by step walkthrough of using the platform?
Host 2 46:43
Could we do like a? Could it be like a really? I'm thinking like, late 90s style software, where like, a person walks out on the desktop, like points the things
Host 1 46:54
That I liked that Yeah, that's great. With a laser
Host 2 46:57
Printer me. But me dressed as Mac.
Host 1 47:03
Oh, gosh, that's creepy. That would be super fun. No. And I honestly I, I bet you people would use that.
Host 2 47:14
And you could green screen it. So you'd like you can like climb on the UI elements? Oh, that's cool. And you can read like, here's the drop down menu and you like, grab the slider and pull it down?
Host 1 47:28
Nice. What? Oh, yeah. Right. i It's been a while since I've gone to the mag fed website without logging into it. Just like if you just cold turkey, go to it. And up at the top, there's a demo thing and you can go, you can launch the demo. And it's effectively it's the tutorial. It's basically the tutorial. Yeah, it totally is. It's just not as like, directly interactive, as what I think you and I are doing right now
Host 2 48:02
Are non interactive. And just a
Host 1 48:03
Video, we had this, this demo throws up a board that Parker designed, and you can go and modify all kinds of things about it and see every bit of it. That's basically what this is. And then to
Host 2 48:18
The tutorial would be more about like, walking you through uploading your own first design.
Host 1 48:25
Correct? Yeah, cuz this demo already has a board that you kind of just logged on to.
Host 2 48:30
So it'd be really good way to be like, you opened up and goes, Do you want to turn it on? You click Yes. And go. What kind of EDA tool you using? Yeah. What's your data look like? Right? Because that's a very important way how you first approached the platform is
Host 1 48:46
You have plus plus or are you doing Gerber's and a separate bill of materials? Like
Host 2 48:50
How are you do you have Eagle? Do you have Altium? You got dip trace, you have KY CAD? Or chi CAD? Right. Depending on what part of the world you're in? Hmm,
Host 1 49:01
I don't know. That's cool. Maybe that's a fun thing to add.
Host 2 49:05
Yeah, I think so too.
Host 1 49:06
All right. So any other gaming elements that would be part of this? I think we've gotten pretty far on this.
Host 2 49:16
Yeah, I can't really think of anything else. I want to know what people think about this, just so I can screenshot it and like send it to our marketing team.
Host 1 49:28
I guess I guess just a really cool soundtrack that plays in the back of microphone.
Host 2 49:34
Host 1 49:35
Maybe we'll work on a on a soundtrack, just like as a side project. It could be cool.
Host 2 49:42
Sure. So before we end this podcast, there is the TIG stream, this Saturday, January 14 6pm, Central, same Twitch stream channel that's twitch.tv/macro Fab and Come hang out. And that was the macro engineering podcast. We are your host, Mark Dolman and Steven Gregg. Later Everyone,
Host 1 50:09
Take it easy
Host 2 50:18
Thank you. Yes, you are a listener for downloading and streaming, or maybe beaming this in your brain with an Elon Musk neuro link. But yeah. listen to our podcast if you have a cool idea, project or topic, or gamification, for the macro platform lets Stephen and I know Tweet us at Mac fab at Longhorn engineer or at analog EMG or email us at podcast at macro fab.com. Also check out our Slack channel. You can find that macro app.com/slack And also you can come and hang out with us while we're recording the podcast at twitch.tv/macro Fab
Transcribed by https://otter.ai