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Program Announcements / Online Scoreboard

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mr_d
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Posted: 25th Aug 2010 16:56 Edited at: 5th Mar 2014 10:24
Final update to this thread: Sorry to resurrect a nearly deadish thread, but I just want to mentioned that I've now released this for free on my website. Nearly everything below is still relevant (except the purchasing bits obviously). Enjoy!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
Just like to let everyone know that I've just release my new utility called "Online Scoreboard" that allows game scores to be uploaded and downloaded from an online host server.

Example above is for the BRIXOID game by The Slayer.

It is available now through my website store:
http://www.geeksanon.com/store/index.html
More information may be found on the product page.

BTW, I know it is still a bit plain. I am concentrating on functionality first and will hopefully get around to aesthetics if there is enough interest in this.

My plans are to allow users to upload their own banners, background images, and links on their game's scoreboard page.

Here is a link to an example page for the game "MyGame":
http://www.geeksanon.com/scoreboard/scoreboard.php?gamename=MyGame

Comments welcome.

UPDATE: I have modified the scoreboard.exe file to now require the GameKey as one of it's arguments for extra security. It has been uploaded and previous version purchasers can now download this version (v0.8) from the same link as before.

UPDATE: I thought I'd attach the updated readme.pdf (user guide) file (for v0.8) to this post.

UPDATE: An update to the DBPro example in the appendix to include the changed syntax for the put command - Thanks to IBOL for pointing this out to me.

UPDATE: New addition. The Scoreboard Administration Page now has a new checkbox toggle that will determine if the country flags are shown in the main scoreboard table.
Please note that although it is not displayed, the value is still required to be populated. If you don't care what this is you can just set it to be the default "zz" when you update the players score.
It works a little strangely, in that after you check or uncheck the box, you have to save the current scoreboard (the same as if you were updating a players name, score, or country flag code, and then use the [--> Click Me To Refresh And See Changes <--] button.

UPDATE: New addition. The Scoreboard Administration Page now has the option to upload your own background image. Depending on the size of the image used, you may have to add dummy top and bottom banners to make it look nice. cheers.

UPDATE: Added a new Games List page and incorporated links to this from the main scoreboard pages of each game. Also made a change to the backend (server) directories, which unfortunately broke the update app (sorry) - so previous purchasers, please download and use the new version (v0.8) from now on (until at least my next updates)

UPDATE: Have made a small change that will now enable user's games to have space(s) as part of their names.
i.e. "CrazySoccer" should now be able to work as "Crazy Soccer"

UPDATE: SplatterSpawn is no longer operational and has been shut down Good thing I worked on and kept a backup purchasing option on my own site: http://www.geeksanon.com/store/index.html please use the above link from now on.

I have improved my PayPal purchasing process to now be more automated, so now buyers don't have to wait for me to check my email and send the download instructions manually. This means you can start playing around and implementing this into your games as soon as payment has been made. you should get an email with the download link sent to you once the PayPal transaction has been cleared. Please remember to check your junk/spam folders.
If you do not get such an email within 2 hours after purchase, please send me an email an I will check up on this for you.

BTW I have cleaned up and removed outdated information from this post.

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ShaunRW
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Posted: 26th Aug 2010 06:58 Edited at: 26th Aug 2010 07:06
Hey this is a great idea. When i need an online scoreboard i'll be sure to come to check this out.

What if the one game has different game modes to keep track of?

mr_d
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Posted: 26th Aug 2010 18:00
Hi ShaunRW,

Thanks for your encouragement, seems you're the first and only one that's paid any attention to this - I had thought that this would have been in more demand as I was surprised I hadn't seen anything similar previously on these boards (that I can remember anyway).

The simplest method, in my opinion, with how it works now would just be to set up multiple "Games" that have similar names (assuming no-one else has beaten you to them; e.g. if your game is called "Snail Sniper" (say), and you have game modes of "Normal", "Expert", "Crazy", and "Impossible", then you could create 4 "Games" called:
"Snail Sniper - Normal", "Snail Sniper - Expert", "Snail Sniper - Crazy", and "Snail Sniper - Impossible".

As once you purchase the application package, the number of games that you can register is unlimited.

Currently the game can have any of the characters ['0'..'9','a'..'z','A'..'Z','-','_','.',' '].

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Dr Tank
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Posted: 26th Aug 2010 18:35
This looks interesting. I plan to do an online scoreboard at some point. Perhaps you've saved me a job. When the time comes I'll check this out properly. Don't cry about lack of replies: these boards are fairly slow.

One thing I wonder about is what you've done to prevent people hacking scoreboards. I figured you'd want the game to generate some kind of code based on the score via some secret algorithm, that would be checked by the code on the "sever" end or something.
mr_d
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Posted: 26th Aug 2010 19:26
Hi Dr Tank,
I wasn't crying...well maybe started to get a bit of the sniffles
At the moment there is some simple code-thingy that's tied to the game name, but it isn't mega-secure.

This is my initial release to gauge interest and if there is enough I plan to expand the functionality, user customization options, and of course the security involved. At the moment I doubt that there would be anyone bored enough to try to hack this. Cheers.

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mr_d
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Posted: 27th Nov 2010 12:23
Hi All, In an effort to gather together other posts that are on the TGC forum that have more details on this product, here is another post I made (on the 15th Nov.) in another topic that you may be interested in: http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=169862&b=11&msg=2119434#m2119434

And in regards to this, I'd like to announce that I've made some updates that now include the ability to manually update player data using a web page interface, and to upload header and footer banner images to the scoreboard page.

Please find some screen shots attached below:







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Silvester
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Posted: 27th Nov 2010 17:44
Seems interesting, would it be possible to make a part where only the scoreboard is shown on a page we can then load into our own websites? I mean loading the entire page would seem a wee bit silly, as well as linking to that site when most of us might have our own..

Also, would it be possible to gather the data from INSIDE your application? Just to add in-game scoreboards and such.

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The Slayer
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Posted: 27th Nov 2010 18:08 Edited at: 27th Nov 2010 18:09
Well, as some of you may know, I'm using mr_d's Online Scoreboard for my game BRIXOID, and I can honestly say that it is a great application and very easy to implement in your game(s). It requires only TWO commands to get it to work. One to upload the highscore data, and one to download the highscore data.
Mr_d has been very helpfull too, and is making improvements on his program aswell. Like, I asked him if it would be possible to add a country flag feature in, and voila, he did. Thanks again for that, mr_d!
Here's a pic of the highscore board in my game, just by retrieving the online data and displaying it.



Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
mr_d
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Posted: 28th Nov 2010 08:18
Hi,

@Silvester, yes this is possible, and as The Slayer has kindly jumped in and described, one of the 2 simple commands allows the downloading of the current scoreboard data, so you can make use of it in your own game.

The command to do so is along the lines of:

scoreboard.exe get,MyGame

where MyGame is the name of your own game, and the resultant file would look something like:

TOP10
debug|10000|zz
debug|9000|zz
debug|8000|zz
debug|7000|zz
debug|6000|zz
debug|5000|zz
debug|4000|zz
debug|3000|zz
debug|2000|zz
debug|1000|zz

where debug is the player name and zz represents the player country (2 digit code).

I have now uploaded to this post the readme.pdf file that is included with my product that describes it in more detail.

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Silvester
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Posted: 1st Dec 2010 21:17
I see, that's a neat addition. I was thinking of a game that'd require a scoreboard.. I might get this in the near future.. Saves me writing my own database system.

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Virtual Nomad
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Posted: 1st Dec 2010 22:48
the link to the store is still dead. am curious what you are charging for the service?

Virtual Nomad @ California, USA . DBPro V7.5
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mr_d
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2010 14:37
Hi, because it is still fairly new and in it's early stages of development, I am currently offering the service for free (the developer just buys basically the score update program from SplatterSpawn) and they can set up as many "real" games as they need.

Yeah, the site still seems to be down; I have been trying to upload my updated v0.6 (to replace the v0.4 that's up there now).

The readme.pdf file in my previous post is for v0.6.

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baxslash
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 13:52
mr_d, I'd like to use this as it saves me a whole host of problems. The Slayer has used it to great effect in Brixoid and I'd be willing to pay for a copy for use in my next game (Ker-Bang! in WIP section). Just one thing, the splatterspawn link is broken.

mr_d
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 15:14
hi baxslash,
That's good news for me to hear.
Yes, The Slayer has done a great job of integrating this into his game BRIXOID, and I'm sure you'll do just as well with your game Ker-Bang!
I have been keeping my eye on the SplatterSpawn site as I need to update the product there to the latest version (as mentioned above).
Since they are getting their site renovated, and I don't want to loose a sale (strike while the iron's hot as they say), I will send to you an email with the link to my own download page, and the password for access, if you'd like.
Just PayPal me the $5 USD to debug-at-gmtplusten.com, and I'll send you the info.
Cheers, mr_d(debug).

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baxslash
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 15:31
Done mr_d

Payment is from Steven Holding...

mr_d
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 15:39
got it, thanks
have sent you the download info.

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IBOL
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 17:30
still thinking about it...
but the link is still down.

C0wbox
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Posted: 7th Dec 2010 20:54
@ mr_d
As I understand it, this plugin runs by sending and receiving data to something you control, yeh?

Is there any way you can edit this so that the end user (us with the scoreboards) controls/hosts the scoreboard? I just don't like the idea of having data related to one of "my" products hosted on "someone else"'s webspace.

I don't know how it works or whatever but ideally what I'd want is some kind of parameter that says where I store the scoreboard information so that I could have it stored in the Soharix FTP.

But if its running off a server then I guess there's no chance of that.

This is kind of a wishy-washy request because I don't know the innards of how it works to know precisely what to request. - I'd just want it so I can set my DBP app to use a .html or something that resides in soharix.com or soharix.homestead.com



mr_d
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Posted: 8th Dec 2010 01:40
@IBOL,
Yes the SplatterSpawn site is still down (very annoying), but if you are interested enough, as I did for baxslash, I can send to you an email with the link to my own download page, and the password for access, if you'd like - and until SplatterSpawn is back up, this applies for anyone else that may be interested.
Just PayPal me the $5 USD to debug-at-gmtplusten.com, and I'll send you the info.

@C0wbox,
I think I do get what you are getting at, but am sorry to say that I do not offer this as an option at this time; the reason being, that as well as trying to sell this product, I am also trying to advertise my own site and get a buildup of traffic there. This is one of the first steps to that end - I am looking at developing more apps, etc. to market and sell as well to help this along.
The information that is currently stored on this server for your games shouldn't be confidential or anything like that,; and I don't see that changing as well. I understand your preference for control (I feel the same way sometimes), but I'm sorry to say that you will have to give a little of that away to use this Scoreboard.
Anyway, have a think about it; read the PDF if you haven't yet and get back to me.

Cheers all, mr_d(debug).

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C0wbox
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Posted: 8th Dec 2010 06:40
No thanks, I'm only interested if Soharix can run the plugin independently. Without this ability we have no way to ensure security, speed and long term standing (i.e. your service may one day die but Soharix will live on and we'd have apps using a service that stopped running - with Soharix running its own services, if Soharix dies, its services die with it.)

mr_d
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Posted: 8th Dec 2010 09:01
that's ok - i understand. my service could one day die as you say, but i'd make sure that my customers wouldn't be left out in the cold; so if that did happen, I would release the underlying files for the service so they could either move to another (i.e. their own) server.
good luck to you anyway.

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zapakitul
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Posted: 8th Dec 2010 19:43
I tried to buy it, but it seems your website is down for maintenance. Any idea when it will be up?
mr_d
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Posted: 8th Dec 2010 22:39
hi zapakitul,
If you are referring to SplatterSpawn, then this is not my web site and I don't have any control or idea of how much longer it will be out of commission. I have checked my fallback site, and that looks fine to me, so if you'd like to follow the instructions in the 3rd post above yours and send me an email, I would be glad to send you the alternative download details.

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zapakitul
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Posted: 9th Dec 2010 00:04
@mr_d Payment sent! Writing you an e-mail as we speak.
mr_d
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Posted: 9th Dec 2010 09:17
hi zapakitul, thanks for that, and sorry for the delay in sending you the download instructions.

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zapakitul
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Posted: 9th Dec 2010 12:30
No probs. Looking forward to integrating it in my game.
Morcilla
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Posted: 10th Dec 2010 10:27
Very interesting, I might be using this.

One question, I guess it can be used with DGDK, and in fact with any language that can call a system .exe, right?

Another question. As far as I understood, to get the high scores it would be something like,

scoreboard.exe get,MyGame

Then read/write the text file and then (I guess) something like,

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame

Is that right?

Thinking out loud, I guess this doesn't deal with concurrency locking (two users achieved the high score at the same time), so I guess as well that the best way to use it is to read the high score table just before writting it.

mr_d
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Posted: 10th Dec 2010 13:37 Edited at: 11th Dec 2010 14:01
Hi Morcilla,
You are correct; any game development system that can call an external .exe file is able to utilize this.
The syntax for score retrieval is correct as you have it (replacing MyGame with the name of Your Game of course ).
However, to update the scores, the format is like:

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,John Smith,12345,us

Please have a look at the pdf file I attached to an earlier post as that provides this (and more) info.

Concurrency should not be a factor as it would be near impossible for two users to get the exact same score at the exact same time (even a few hundred milliseconds should be distinguishable by the web server).

@All, BTW, I see that the SplatterSpawn site is starting to make it back to the land of the living; as soon as it's operational, I'll be loading the latest version up there (v0.7). In the mean time, if you are interested and don't want to wait, then you can still order directly from me as explained a few posts up.

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mr_d
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 02:10 Edited at: 11th Dec 2010 14:02
Sorry for the double post - I hope it's allowed for this purpose...

Until SplatterSpawn is back on it's feet again and I'm able to sell my product(s) through them; I have set up a very simple purchase page on my site: http://www.geeksanon.com/scoreboard/scoreboard_purchase.php

Please be advised that this is only the purchase part, and I will have to check and send the download instruction email back to you manually. This may take up to 4 hours during my day(usually faster), and 8 hours during my night (I do have to sleep you know).

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Morcilla
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 10:25
Thanks for the clarification.

Quote: "However, to update the scores, the format is like:

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,John Smith,12345,us"


Sorry but, what does prevent that a malicious user executes scoreboard.exe with the values that he/she wants?

Someone could execute something like

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,John Smith,999999999999,us

and have the high score without even playing, ajem?

Perhaps this would need some kind of basic encryptation/access code to be totally safe...

mr_d
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 11:07 Edited at: 11th Dec 2010 13:56
Hi Morcilla,
I'm not sure if I should thank you for pointing this out or not
Yes, you are right that this could be done with how this works with this version of the app...
The major condition that need to be fulfilled for this to happen is that the end user of your game knows how scores are being updated; I.e. you use my app.
This could be disguised by renaming the scoreboard.exe to something else that you want, and possible hiding it in another folder.
I know this is not optimal, and would eventually be overcome; and because I've always had this issue in the back of my mind, I will update this app tonight (in about 4 hours) to implement a simple authorization system so the command needed will then have the following syntax:

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,<GameKey>,John Smith,12345,us

Where <GameKey> is the unique code provided to to the game developer at the time they sign their game up, and is needed to administer the online scoreboard through the website.

I hope this puts your mind at ease. Cheers.

@all previous purchasers, once I have updated this app, I will upload to the download location given in the email sent to you at purchase. Please use this to download the new version (for free of course)

UPDATE 11/12/2010: I have modified the scoreboard.exe file to now require the GameKey as one of it's arguments for extra security. It has been uploaded and previous version purchasers can now download this version (v0.7) from the same link as before.

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Morcilla
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 16:30
Hey good job. You did the right thing, it shows your commitment regarding the on-line scoreboard system
The GameKey feature should suffice for this purpose.

Quote: "I'm not sure if I should thank you for pointing this out or not"

Well, sorry I had to ask to know the level of 'happiness' of the program

And yet I have more questions, in any case, I hope they help you to improve your system, let's see:

Quote: "... previous version purchasers can now download this version (v0.7) from the same link as before."

Does that means that v0.6 will stop working?
I'm afraid that it would be desireable that previous legacy versions were still working.
Otherwise if the scoreboard.exe is distributed with a released game, it will cease registering the on-line scoreboard for the game, as soon as an update appears, and it would be needed to ask all people who downloaded the game to download it somehow again with the new scoreboard.exe implementation.

If you are un-supporting legacy versions maybe we should wait for a final version of scoreboard.exe before including it in any release...Can you give some light one this?
Sorry again for being picky
I'm not really intending it, just analyzing your system, for free

mr_d
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 16:59 Edited at: 11th Dec 2010 17:03
Quote: "Well, sorry I had to ask to know the level of 'happiness' of the program"

My comment was supposed to be a cheeky joke, but I must have used the wrong smiley face. I hope you didn't take it the wrong way.

Quote: "Does that means that v0.6 will stop working?
I'm afraid that it would be desireable that previous legacy versions were still working."

No The v0.6 version would still work as is so no worries there for anyone who purchased that before (there haven't been that many; and I believe they are all still in the development stage with no released games using that version).

Quote: "
If you are un-supporting legacy versions maybe we should wait for a final version of scoreboard.exe before including it in any release...Can you give some light one this? "

This has also been in the back of my mind as well, and I have been playing around with the different options.
I have pretty much settled onto the idea that all versions up to and including v1.0 of the scoreboard.exe will now not change the parameter list, and any further changes will be made on the server web page side; so this will not impact any games that use the exe.
i.e. i may be forced to implement a better encryption method, but even though the guts of the app would change, the 3rd parameter will always represent the code/key/encryption required.

Any future versions of the exe file that needs to change parameters will start at v1.1 and go to v2.0 and beyond.

At that time (starting at v1.1), I will put a distinguishing feature that will be sent to the web server to indicate the version of the app used and then the relevant extra options for the online pages will be available/active. Otherwise, if it detects an older version is used (i.e. v1.0 and below) then those new features will not be there.

BTW, and in case you were thinking that this means that you should wait for v1.1 or higher, I expect that I will be raising the price for this at that time, so if my Online Scoreboard product currently has most (or even all) of the functionality you need or want, I suggest you buy it now and suggest to me the features you would like added before I hit v1.0 and I'll do my best to give them to you.

Quote: "Sorry again for being picky
I'm not really intending it, just analyzing your system, for free"

That's OK, and as you say, you are helping me and my product to improve.

I'm thinking of creating a forum on my site with a FAQ and feedback section; as I don't think these type of questions and answers really belong on these Program Announcement threads...

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Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Dec 2010 10:23 Edited at: 12th Dec 2010 10:28
Quote: "My comment was supposed to be a cheeky joke, but I must have used the wrong smiley face. I hope you didn't take it the wrong way."
Oh no, don't worry, it's me the one who was too formal

Quote: "The v0.6 version would still work as is so no worries there for anyone who purchased that before"

That's the way to go

Quote: "that all versions up to and including v1.0 of the scoreboard.exe will now not change the parameter list"

Quote: "...Any future versions of the exe file that needs to change parameters will start at v1.1 and go to v2.0 and beyond."

I understand that many things can be pending to improve, but I would try to do optional any additional parameters from now on.
For example, until now,

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,John Smith,12345,us

Now,

scoreboard.exe put,MyGame,<GameKey>,John Smith,12345,us


What I would do:
('<>' = Mandatory, '[]' = Optional)

scoreboard.exe put, <MyGameName>,<Score>, [GameKey], [PlayerName], [Country], [...future options...]

So, only the game name and score would be mandatory. The newer the version, the more the parameters, but as they would be optional, there would be no need to update all distributed versions.
Pure theory, just an approach. [Edit: In this example 'GameKey' is optional, only required if the game is registered in the server as with mandatory GameKey.]

Quote: "...i may be forced to implement a better encryption method..."

I think any simple gamekey would suffice. It already changes the previous scenery.

Good luck with this, I'm still thinking about using it, not completely sure.

mr_d
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Posted: 12th Dec 2010 10:59
All good things for me to think about; and I'll be sure to keep your suggestions in mind.
I'll use your suggestion on having mandatory and optional parameters more clearly defined using the symbols you suggest, but I'll probably have different requirements. e.g. I wouldn't have player name as an optional parameter - what would this default to that would make sense?

I also have another alternative in mind anyway for the next versions (v1.1 and beyond) that would mean I should be able to have a single version of the scoreboard.exe file that will not change as more functionality is incorporated

Thanks for the well wishes and suggestions. Take your time - I don't want to rush you you won't be disappointed if I do say so myself.

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Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Dec 2010 15:27
Quote: " I wouldn't have player name as an optional parameter - what would this default to that would make sense?"

"Anonymous player".

Quote: "I also have another alternative in mind anyway for the next versions (v1.1 and beyond) that would mean I should be able to have a single version of the scoreboard.exe file that will not change as more functionality is incorporated"

That sounds great.

More suggestions,

-Allow a custom background images, along with the already customizable top & bottom banners.

-Allow banners to link to an external url.

-Allow text & banners at the same time (if it is not already allowed). Text could go under the banner, web search engines will be favored.

-Reduce font size for "Scoreboard administration page" and place that link in a corner, almost hided, so it doesn't catch the eye so much.

That's all, looking good by now

mr_d
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Posted: 13th Dec 2010 04:18
Quote: "-Allow a custom background images, along with the already customizable top & bottom banners."

I have been looking at this and have even been experimenting a bit and have something working(sort of; it's not available from the Administration Page yet though - I have to manually upload the pic)

Quote: "-Allow banners to link to an external url."

This was always in my TODO list (as you can see in my first post); I'm thinking of holding this as an extra feature for the next version

Quote: "-Allow text & banners at the same time (if it is not already allowed). Text could go under the banner, web search engines will be favored."

This is sort of in place; where either the title or footer can be either text or a banner pic.
Not sure about anything more than this - it could get messy.
I'll have to think about this one some more and maybe play around with some possibilities.

Quote: "-Reduce font size for "Scoreboard administration page" and place that link in a corner, almost hided, so it doesn't catch the eye so much."

Not sure about this either; it's probably a good idea so normal users/players don't try to click this(too often anyway - no matter where it is or how big it is, they will always click on it sometime). Hmmmm....Maybe I will move it to the bottom right corner. Or maybe make it a super-secret 1pixel by 1pixel pic or 1 character link...

Anyway, more things for me to think about; Thanks for the input Later.

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mr_d
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Posted: 14th Dec 2010 12:30
Hi Guys, I'd like to announcing to all current users of my service, that I've made a little (but I believe useful) addition. The Scoreboard Administration Page now has a new checkbox toggle that will determine if the country flags are shown in the main scoreboard table. Please see first post for more details.

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baxslash
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Posted: 14th Dec 2010 12:44
Quote: "Hi Guys, I'd like to announcing to all current users of my service, that I've made a little (but I believe useful) addition. The Scoreboard Administration Page now has a new checkbox toggle that will determine if the country flags are shown in the main scoreboard table. Please see first post for more details."

Nice addition. I've got a long way to go before I can try this though unfortunately... still getting my media and level editor working.

mr_d
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Posted: 14th Dec 2010 13:47
Thanks That just means you'll benefit more from all the other changes/additions I have in mind...

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Libervurto
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Posted: 14th Dec 2010 16:29 Edited at: 14th Dec 2010 16:30
This looks good Mr D,
If I were you I would not worry about aethetics at all, the main idea is transfering the data isn't it? It would be better to concentrate on making this plugin as flexible for the programmer as possible. Let them deal with the aethetics.

I also thing the game key is sufficient security. If the call containing the key is within the game code then the malicious user would have to hack into the game to get the code, so this becomes an issue for the programmer to worry about and not you.

I would also think about releasing the program to be hosted independently, maybe at a higher price. I can understand that it would put a lot of people off if they can't host this on their own server.


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mr_d
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Posted: 14th Dec 2010 22:52
Thanks OBese87
Quote: "If I were you I would not worry about aethetics at all, the main idea is transfering the data isn't it?"

Yes and no...I beleive I ahve the transfer of data pretty much covered and are not having any issues with this so far.
Quote: "It would be better to concentrate on making this plugin as flexible for the programmer as possible."

It should be flexible enough - it's only 2 commands, 1 to get and 1 to put, I can't really think of any other (base) functionality that is required, everything should just improvements on these areas.
Quote: "Let them deal with the aethetics."
That is fine for their own games, but I'd like my site to be attractive as well for visitors and users alike; as I mentioned before, I'm trying to build up traffic as well.
Quote: "I also thing the game key is sufficient security. If the call containing the key is within the game code then the malicious user would have to hack into the game to get the code, so this becomes an issue for the programmer to worry about and not you."
I think I agree with you on this (at this point in time anyway); there are always unexpected events that could cause this to change.
Quote: "I would also think about releasing the program to be hosted independently, maybe at a higher price. I can understand that it would put a lot of people off if they can't host this on their own server."
I understand this perception, but at this time, I don't see myself changing this; as I have mentioned in a post before I believe that keeping it with my site is best (in the long term) to getting more customers. By offering the other option, I may get a few more sales now, but in my opinion, would be shooting myself in the foot. Even at a higher price, I believe I would pay for it later. The other benefit on keeping it on my server is that I can roll out changes and newer web-side changes much faster without worrying about end-user lag to keep up, etc.
Thanks for you comments, I will keep them in mind and may change my point of view later; but for know I'll keep gong the way I am and see how it goes Cheers.

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mr_d
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Posted: 25th Dec 2010 13:14
Hi there, just like to announce a small update.
The administration page now has option to upload your own background image. Depending on the size of the image used, you may have to add dummy top and bottom banners to make it look nice. cheers.

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mr_d
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Posted: 9th Jan 2011 18:03
FYI, Product page on SplatterSpawn is now live, please refer to info in first post.

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zapakitul
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Posted: 14th Jan 2011 23:12 Edited at: 14th Jan 2011 23:14
I'd also vote for making it some kind of a plugin/library/dll! I tried integrating it in my DarkGDK project! When ever I execute it my Game looses focus and minimizes. I'm calling it the following way:
mr_d
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 01:57 Edited at: 15th Jan 2011 02:14
@zapakitul
That's not very good to hear. I haven't used DarkSDK myself, and have only a passing knowledge of C++, but isn't it possible to use the appropriate show commands of ShellExecute to shell my program unfocused?

i.e. ShellExecute Command:

where:


Any one (or a combination of) the flags SW_SHOWNOACTIVATE, SW_SHOWNA, SW_SHOWMINNOACTIVE, or SW_HIDE should work.

update: I have just Googled the DarkGDK and have found that it should have the dbExecuteFile command that should work (I would expect anyway) the same way as the DBP version (i.e. will not activate the new executable being called); could you give this a try (before trying the above native C++ command with flags), to see if this works better for you?


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zapakitul
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 02:32
Thanks for the quick response mr_d. I tried it the following way:

in order to keep my window on top without minimizing! Gonna try your suggestions in a few minutes, right now I got to implement some features in my demo. Gonna keep you updated.
mr_d
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 02:38
no problem
be sure to try the method in the update part first as that is much easier and should correspond to the DBP command the most.
hope it works - fingers crossed

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mr_d
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 05:57
Hi All,
Small update: Have made a change that will now enable user's games to have space(s) as part of their names.
i.e. "CrazySoccer" should now be able to work as "Crazy Soccer"

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Scraggle
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 11:00
Does it handle users playing offline?
For example: If I write a game that uses this online scoreboard system and then users play it without an internet connection. Obviously it will try to connect to download/upload the high scores, so, will it fail silently, give a message that it is working in offline mode or crash?



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