2014: What’s happening edition

Hopefully everyone had a great end to 2013 and good start to 2014.

First off, I’d like to explain a bit about whats been going on for the past month. For those (few) following my Twitter currently, you may already know that I’ve mentioned a PHP scoreboard system a couple of times. Since then, I’ve expanded it to include support for multiple games on any platform that is capable of sending a HTTP post, which as of right now is pretty much every platform on this planet called Earth.

Is it secure you ask? Well, session handling and score submission are all encrypted, and on top of that, it is bound to your device via a hashed version of its unique ID. A hash is basically an irreversible encryption that prevents  the original data/text from being read, and this is what prevents anyone from ever seeing your device’s actual unique ID, should anyone ever manage to poke their way into the scoreboard database. This is the same kind of encryption most websites use to mask your passwords in their database to ensure that it can never be read by a hacker, should they try to steal it, which would be a disaster if you like to use the same password in lots of different places.

No personal data is required for any of this. All that is needed is a player name when you first play a supported game, an internet connection and a mobile device. When support for PC is eventually added, this will probably need extra bits of info, such as a person’s email address and password management, but for now, I’ll skip over that since it won’t be added any time soon.

If your still with me, congrats, because that was quite a techie chunk of text! 🙂

Next up is what got added on top of the scoreboard system. Me being the crazy programmer I am, I decided to add support for a light-weight news-feed system so any games that support it can display bits of news without munching a player’s data usage. Those of you who have played Physworks may have already seen the early version of it, since that uses almost the same feed system that I’ve described here.

Lastly, the system also includes a change-logging system for those huge patch notes many of you love (or hate) so much! But is able to automatically sort the patch-notes by version, while only sending what a game asks for. So for example, if Burger Hut 2 wanted to get the patch notes for 1.3.2 and the previous 4 versions, it would ask said system for those logs and the server will spit out a JSON script back to the game containing the changelogs for the 5 versions it asked for.

So there you have it, a massive boring, techie news update. On the brighter side of things, its almost over, and I’ll be back to working on my next game very, very soon. 🙂

Have fun!