Online high scores and similar

Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #1
Any suggestions on a good book/site with examples of how to get something like this working? Despite being fluent in everything from 6502 assembler to Python and Rex, I've never touched PHP, nor would I know what to do with it in order to save out a high score.

This isn't a 'please do my work for me' request - I'm genuinely happy to do the work, but I need a nudge in the general direction of resources.

I've seen this thread here:

http://www.idevgames.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15077

...but it's about one level too advanced for me right now.

Many thanks.
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Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #2
No need for PHP, necessarily. I'd suggest starting by looking at CGI.
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Member
Posts: 351
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
There are also quite a few existing services that you can plug into, a few free ones are Agon, Scoreloop and Geocade. I've just recently implemented Agon and it was very easy and works well.
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Moderator
Posts: 680
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #4
I did the one you linked as a project to help me learn PHP. It isn't very good. Don't use it.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #5
Agon, eh? Looks interesting. I'll have a proper peek tomorrow. Thanks!
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Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #6
I'm liking the look of Open Feint ( http://www.openfeint.com/ ). Nice interface, and ridiculously easy to set up for the user. The downside being that it costs money (about a nickel a user). The upside being it could theoretically pay for itself in new sales with its virtual app store. And it has a fairly large user base. Who doesn't own Pocket God?

AGON ( http://developer.agon-online.com/ ) looks pretty nice too (and is free). Not as easy for users to set up friends, and seems to have a smaller userbase.

Not a fan of Scoreloop. Very bleh interface, and not a fan of the business model where users pay for coins to allow them to challenge friends.

Geocade seems to be just high scores. No achievements or friends list that I see. It's cross-platform though, and apparently you can have ads with revenue sharing.

Plus+ looks very nice in movies (don't own any Plus+ games), but is restricted to only a few partner developers atm.
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Member
Posts: 351
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Post: #7
Yeah, that's a pretty good round up Bachus. I went with Agon in the end because it is free and because the concept of challenges from Scoreloop wouldn't work with how I decided to use a 'Career Score' as the online scoring element in Slope Rider. Agon only took a couple of hours to implement.
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Member
Posts: 351
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Post: #8
Chillingo have just announced their own now, called Crystal. Sketchy on the details so far but apparently "open to all developers". No word on price that I could find.
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Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #9
Yikes Chillingo too now...

I wrote off Open Feint early on but it just got a whole lot more interesting (as in totally free): http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/Open...sp?c=14360 Might have to re-register...
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Nibbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #10
I've read articles that state openfeint is now free.
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Posts: 269
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Post: #11
Tested out OpenFeint, AGON, and Scoreloop.

OpenFeint ( http://www.openfeint.com/ ):
+ The best (in my eyes) interface. Looks the nicest, and I really like how it integrates with the game (like the achievements popping up).
+ Open source. No framework, libraries, SDKs, etc.
+ Went free this week.
+ Easy to integrate with your code. One line to initialize, one line to submit a high score/achievement, one line to open the OF interface, etc.
+ Chat rooms.
+ Very easy for the user to use, with automatic account creation, friend list importing from Twitter and Facebook.
+ Cross promotion between games. You can see all the games another user owns, get info on the games (screenshots, descriptions, etc), and has a link to the App Store to buy the game.
- Written in and requires Obj-C++. So your files that use OF have to be .mm instead of .m.
- Chat room moderation is a bit weak. Can basically only give out warnings and temp bans.
- Not much documentation.
- No way to add friends except through twitter/facebook.
- Not much user interaction except through the chat rooms (sending friend messages, user walls, etc).

AGON ( http://developer.agon-online.com/ ):
+ Just about as easy to set up as OF. About a line of code for everything.
+ Geolocation on the high scores.
+ User walls that keep track of user's history.
+ Can add friends in a wide variety of ways (email, AGON username, Facebook, address book)
+ Better suited to keeping track of your own high scores as well as global high scores.
- Not as nice looking as OF.
- AGON library files are *huge*. 50+ MB and linking against it adds several MB to your binary. Not quite sure what's up there.
- No real defining feature. There's nothing bad about it, but nothing really exciting either.
- Seems to have a small community without much buzz. No killer app.

Scoreloop ( http://www.scoreloop.com/ ):
+ Nice web-site for actual users instead of just developers. Integrates with games to show scores, users, etc.
+ Editable player avatars, though only from the web-site for the time being.
+ Has support for "challenges." Players spend coins to challenge other players at games. Winning gives you more coins, and earns medals. OF is supposedly getting challenges soonish.
+ Apparently there's a Scoreloop app coming for push notifications, avatar editing, etc.
+ Has Obj-C or C API.
+ Best documention.
- Hardest to integrate. Comes as a SDK instead of framework/library or source. There's a separate SDK for every iPhone OS version, and I kept getting hideous linker errors.
- Requires the most code. Lots of delegate methods to handle. Not horrible, but not as easy as the other two.
- Ugliest interface.
- Avatars are no-alibi level ugly.
- No achievements.
- Like AGON, most of the games suck. No big killer app like OpenFeint with Pocket God (and others).
- Users have to pay real money for coins if they run out.

Geocade is high scores only, so not really suitable for me, but if all you want/need is that give it a looksie. Plus+ isn't open to everyone yet, and I just don't want to deal with that hassle. Chillingo just announced their own service called Crystal, but there's no other information available. So at the moment, I'm strongly leaning towards OpenFeint. Easy to use. Looks nice. Has achievements and scores (all I really need). And it went free this week.
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Member
Posts: 351
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #12
Thanks for the excellent round up Bachus! That needs to be an article. Wink

I'm hoping to round up and submit the Slope Rider update with AGON very soon so once that is approved I'll be able to report back on how many people are using it etc. Slope Rider can be the AGON killer app once the update is out! Wink
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Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009.08
Post: #13
Hi,

I'm one of the developers of AGON online. I just wanted to explain why the AGON library files are so large.

The reason for the ~30MB size of each library file is because we have chosen to include Debug Symbols with the library files for both the debug and release builds. Including Debug Symbols allow us to better support the (unlikely) event that a crash occurs inside the AGON libraries during development, since the developer can then tell us where it has crashed inside AGON.

Removing Debug Symbols would remove ~25MB from each library file. However, our feeling is that people do not have any problems downloading 100MB+ files from the Internet and thus the advantages of including Debug Symbols outweigh the annoyance of having fairly large library files.

With regards to the "several megabytes" added to the binary, then this is because AGON has, up until now, been compiled with -mno-thumb, resulting in 32 bit instructions. The reason for this was because of a requirement from a library we were using internally, that has now been removed. Thus the next release of AGON will not add quite as many MBs to your game's binary, since -mthumb generates 16 bit instructions instead.

There has also been a couple of other articles comparing the various social platforms that you might want to have a look at:
We hope that some of you will choose to use AGON online as the social platform for your games. You can read more about the plaform here:
To see the latest version (1.2.3) of the platform in a live game you could try either of:
Alternatively you can check out a short video of some of the latest features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZOhhLXffoo

Best regards,
Morten
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