Engine Works

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
TheOC
14 - Magnetar

Hello everyone to my first ever Alteryx blog! Hopefully, this is the first of many, so bear with my terrible writing skills for now.

 

So, what is it?

 

The ‘Alteryx Because I Can’ blogs are intended to be a series of blogs that don’t question why, but how. What I mean by this is that Alteryx as you may know opens the doors to many possibilities – even to the point that you will often hear @mceleavey and I say, "If the question is Alteryx, the answer is yes." So, the point of this series is to prove this to be true. We’re going to be developing some very interesting things with Alteryx, which may not necessarily be the best application for the platform but will be fun use cases that break some of the imaginary limitations of the platform.

 

The idea behind this blog series is inspired by George Leigh Mallory, who famously replied when asked why he wanted to climb Everest, "Because it’s there."

 

Rules of the Blog

The first rule of the blog: You don’t talk about the blog. (No, please do, I really need the gratification.)

 

The second rule of the blog:

via GIPHY

 

The third rule of the blog: Don’t question why – only how.

 

Okay, okay, fine. I’ll give you a little bit of the why.

 

When I first started using Alteryx, I was shown by @mceleavey and @MarqueeCrew the Easter eggs within Designer. If you haven’t seen these before I’ll give you a hint: Open Designer and navigate to Help > About.

 

TheOC_0-1649884721461.png

 

There are three Easter eggs that I know of on this page. Both Pong and Space Invaders will open if you double click something specific, and you can convert all the Alteryx icons to their old versions by clicking another part of this screen (please note you can do the same steps to revert the icons back).

 

I found this idea hilarious – playing some games within Alteryx Designer, the platform I had known to be for everything data. Alteryx is already incredibly fun to use, especially if your reference point is coding and waiting for Excel to load more than 1000 records.

 

via GIPHY

 

“Come on @TheOC, just tell me what it is.”

 

Sure!


I wanted to see where the boundaries are within Alteryx. We’ve seen some basic games with the Easter eggs, but I have no idea the backend of these, and if they would be replicable. I won’t be going into too much technical detail here, but if you’re interested in how this works in detail, get in contact with me. If there’s enough interest, I could also make a second blog post breaking down my Python code. Do note, however, I am not a games developer, and my Python knowledge is not as good as my Alteryx knowledge.

 

Inspired by the Easter eggs – I set out to make a game. To be perfectly honest I didn’t expect it to work initially, as I suspected there would be a barrier running Python code within Alteryx. However, as our @mceleavey's age-old proverb says, "If the question is Alteryx, the answer is yes!"

 

A long evening of reading the documentation for specific Python libraries and thanking people on Stack Overflow ensued. [Cue literally the most fitting video.]

 

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to get something up and running, with a basic snake game:

 

Snake.gif

 

Again, if you can believe it, I’m not a games designer or UX/UI designer! Crazy how well I hide that, right?!

 

The next step was music. I was fortunate enough to find a few sound effects and music completely in the public domain, free to use. I love public domain/open-source resources, so despite not being required, here are the links to the music, level up, and game over sounds.

 

And There We Have It

Snake running from Alteryx, all inside a macro.

I’ve attached the analytic app you will need to run to have a play of the game of snake yourself. If it’s your first time running this and your Alteryx version is the admin version, you may need to run Alteryx Designer as Administrator on your machine to download the Python libraries required to run.

 

Get Competitive!

As I might have indicated, I don’t think this will be the only game I make within Alteryx. I would enjoy making this as a series, hopefully increasing the complexity of the game each time. Be sure to post your scores in the comments, and your Alteryx Community name might just make it into the next game somewhere!

 

So, should I write this game in Alteryx? Of course not. Why did I? Because I can.

Comments
mceleavey
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

"We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

Shifty
12 - Quasar

Shifty_0-1649926203292.png

And like that, it was 1999 again. Set the current top score of 55

This is going to ruin my Easter. 🐍😁

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

@Shifty 

Nice score!
It beats my current best:

TheOC_0-1649928520136.png


Watch this space 👀

mceleavey
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

mceleavey_0-1649929510091.png

I'm not very good at this.

DavidSkaife
11 - Bolide

Not too bad of a score for starters!

 

Nice use case of what Alteryx can do!

 

DavidSkaife_0-1649930271243.png

 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

@DavidSkaife 

Nice score, I'm sure there will be a leaderboard at some point, so feel free to come back and improve if you feel like it 😁

Thanks for the feedback!

JosephSerpis
16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

Great blog @TheOC there is another easter egg if you press the control button and click on the Alteryx icon after you navigate to Help - About you get Data Breakers as a game.

 

Data Breaker.PNG

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

hey @JosephSerpis 

Thanks for the feedback!

Also... You've now ruined my afternoons productivity 😂 I didn't know data breaker was there!

Cheers,
TheOC

mceleavey
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

mceleavey_0-1649945139986.png

 

I give up

mceleavey
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

mceleavey_0-1649947511549.png

 

 

 

Grrrrrrrrrr

shannonem
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

I'm mostly here to beat @mceleavey for right now.

 

This is a great throwback Thursday for this Millennial. I feel like I have my scientific calculator out in class playing the snake game.

 

shannonem_0-1649948177691.png

 

mceleavey
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Dammit!

shannonem
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

Also absolutely brilliant @TheOC, this was fun. 😊

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

hey @shannonem 

Glad you enjoyed it! I'll be happy creating a leaderboard where you are above @mceleavey... I'm just glad he's better at Alteryx than he is at Alteryx Snake 😂

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

Also - it has been suggested a couple of times already to unlock the tool inside the app. The new version of the app now has an unlocked macro, so feel free to dig into how this has been created - but please... don't judge me for my coding skillz.

shannonem
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

Because this is the internet after all @TheOC so you must know we are all judging your coding skills. Especially me, I got my "only knows enough to be dangerous" coding degree from GoogleTheInterwebs University. 😉

 

shannonem_0-1649951420153.gif

 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

Oh, I know there will be a tribunal held for my coding format... I'm calmly awaiting Snake Game to be the end of my career 

TheOC_0-1649951605249.gif

 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

TheOC_0-1649951921480.png



TheOC_1-1649951939630.gif

(me trying to make sure i have the highest score over @Shifty )

MarqueeCrew
20 - Arcturus
20 - Arcturus

I'm going to blow your mind @TheOC  🤯

 

There are 4 Easter 🐣 Eggs on the about screen!

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

@MarqueeCrew it's the perfect time of year to look at Easter eggs! 

 

(I'm very excited) 

grossal
15 - Aurora
15 - Aurora

Fun idea!

 

grossal_0-1650029449526.png

 

marcusblackhill
12 - Quasar
12 - Quasar

Really nice @TheOC, excellent way to show Alteryx it is a platform for everything!

 

I'll try my best later, but I'm not so good in this type of game 😂.

 

I was thinking about do something similar these days. Good to know you already proved that's possible! ahahha 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

Nice score @grossal, confident you'll be up there on the leaderboard! 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

Thanks @marcusblackhill! the idea came from messing around within python inside of Alteryx with some old projects of mine. 

 

As mentioned, the tool is open if you would like to look at how it's done, just be nice about my coding 🤣

 

We have plenty of ideas for the 'Alteryx because we can' series, but if you have any ideas for us do let us know! 

cplewis90
13 - Pulsar
13 - Pulsar

I will have to try this soon! I feel I need to get a high score. Also another game inside Alteryx, of you CTRL and double click you get a block breaker game. That one is a blast!

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

@cplewis90  thats an Easter egg I was unaware of prior to making this blog post.... I'm glad I wasn't a game of snake 🤣 

 

Hoping to see you top the high scores soon! 

fmvizcaino
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Hell yeah!!!!!!

 

fmvizcaino_0-1650486314456.png

 

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

hey @fmvizcaino , nice score! 

That's certainly the winner so far!

marcusblackhill
12 - Quasar
12 - Quasar

Oh man, 86 @fmvizcaino?

 

And I'm here happy with no more than 20 😂 

shannonem
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

Came back a few weeks later to find out my measly score was obliterated by @fmvizcaino. Congrats, sir! 

Lucyxbite
6 - Meteoroid

image.png

@TheOC  😁

TheOC
14 - Magnetar

@Lucyxbite 128?!

wow, nice score, that's certainly the winner so far!

Qiu
19 - Altair
19 - Altair

Not sure about I am doing it right. 😁

As of now.

Icon.png

If Double Click the Icon
MicrosoftTeams-image (2).png

While Pressing Shift, then Double Click.

MicrosoftTeams-image (1).png


While Pressing Ctrl, then Double Click.

MicrosoftTeams-image.png