Gamer Footprint Update

6. July 2015 08:02 by Cameron in Gamer Footprint  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments

Hey guys, I know it's been a few months since the last update. Life has been pretty busy! I've been working hard on updating Gamer Footprint to use an on-demand approach for storing/retrieving games, achievements and trophies so that we don't have to rely on a schedule for updating player information. I will still probably have a scanner that runs on a schedule, but using an on-demand approach will allow for players to view the games they or their friends have played even if the scanner hasn't reached their account yet. This is very much a work in progress, but I feel this is the best direction going forward for near real-time updates. Using a linear scanning of all profiles will take a long time by itself and can probably be improved. However, with both the scanner and on-demand content updates, we'll get more frequent updates than before. Currently, I have a rough implementation of PlayStation game listing for any PSN ID, but there is a bug that duplicates games at the moment that I'm trying to work out. Because of this, I will wait to make it publicly known how to access PSN games for a PSN ID. Over the next few weeks I will hopefully be able to fix this bug and everyone will be able to enjoy viewing their PSN games on Gamer Footprint. The nice thing is that with the improvements I'm making, it will no longer require you to provide your username or password for either Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. You will simply be able to link your Gamertag and PSN ID to your account and our scanner will pick up your information. Please stay tuned for more updates soon!

Gamer Footprint April 2015 Update

25. April 2015 22:10 by Cameron in Durandal, Gamer Footprint  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

Hey guys! Gamer Footprint has been receiving some cool updates lately! I have nearly finished the incremental scanner for scanning achievements/trophies and games played! I have just a couple of issues to work out before the scanner is more or less stable enough to run automatically without supervision. One of the main issues sparks from request throttling on Sony's side, but I think I can work around that by limiting the number of requests per minute. There are definitely some tweaks that can be done to improve upon the scanner, but the incremental portion has certainly made updating the timeline a ton faster.

Now that I've extracted a ton of data, I hope to get into more of the frontend development soon. I've setup several skeleton pages that I'll be filling in with content soon. I want to display the games that people play and the trophies/achievements available for each game. Content submission for a game page will be automatic based on the scanner and that will include publisher, developer, game description, release date, and several other available pieces of information. I've updated the site template so that it is more in line with flat UI design. I'm working on simplifying the top menu so that it will be easier to navigate and more mobile friendly. I'm not a huge fan of hamburger menus on mobile devices. I believe that content should be easily accessible by navigation menus and links on respective pages. 

I've been paying close attention to Rob Eisenberg's new framework, Aurelia, and I'm seriously giving it some thought as using the framework for future Gamer Footprint development. I love Durandal and I have been a huge supporter of the project, but Aurelia provides so much more with leveraging ES6 and ES7 concepts in the framework. Aurelia is relatively new with it being released in February 2015, but I have faith that it will be developed into a great product. I'll be experimenting with Aurelia over the coming months and preparing an upgrade path for Gamer Footprint. To the end user, the framework that I use on the frontend/backend means nothing. However, for performance, Aurelia seems to be stacking up quite well to other frontend frameworks on the market.

Please stay tuned!

Gamer Footprint Update

25. February 2015 11:32 by Cameron in Gamer Footprint  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments

It's been a little while since I've updated everyone about Gamer Footprint. Development is picking up with me spending more time each week. I've been primarily working on the backend since the last update, but I have added some functionality to the fronted too.

Users can now register/login using their Google, Microsoft, Facebook, or Twitter account through OAuth2!

Xbox and PSN account linking is now functional and you can see your Xbox Live and PSN presence if you have linked your accounts. Currently, the profile page polls the server every 20 seconds to see if there is a change in presence information. However, I'm looking at making this more like a push notification service from the server through SignalR. The trick will be setting up individual user presence push notifications as it will rely on polling on the server and only pushing to the client when there is a change. I attempted this a little while back, but I couldn't get the connection management quite right to cancel running tasks. I will attempt the push notifications at some point, but it's not a high priority at the moment.

I'm reworking my data persistence and scanning algorithms to update a user's played games on PSN, Xbox and other platforms. Once that is complete, there will be a sort of timeline feature that incorporates all actions that a user wants displayed. Tracking of games played and achievements/trophies won't require a login, but if you want to share your online status with your Gamer Footprint friends and the community, due to privacy settings on each network, you'll need to link your accounts with Gamer Footprint. As of right now, there is no way to view games that you are actively online playing on PSN if you are not a friend of someone. This shouldn't be a big deal though. Rest assured, your information is safe and no passwords for Xbox or PSN accounts are ever stored on our server.

I will be posting more updates in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Happy 2015 and Development Update

7. January 2015 10:52 by Cameron in Gamer Footprint  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments

I know I'm a few days late, but Happy New Year 2015! It's crazy how time flies! Last year was a big year with me getting married, changing jobs, and moving to North Atlanta! They say that some of the largest life events are getting married, changing jobs, and moving. I did all three! My wife and I are finally beginning to settle in at our new jobs and our new area.

Gamer Footprint development is slow but still active. I added an API for gathering latest firmware versions for various consoles including 3DS, Wii U, Wii, PSP, PSVita, PS4, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

A full list of supported consoles can be found here: http://dev.gamerfootprint.com/api/firmware/consoles

A sample response for 3DS: http://dev.gamerfootprint.com/api/firmware/3ds

[{"versionNumber":"9.4.0-21 U","region":"US"},
 {"versionNumber":"9.4.0-21 J","region":"JP"},
 {"versionNumber":"9.4.0-21 E","region":"EU"}]

I plan to add caching to the firmware versions API as it can take a long time to pull back firmware versions for consoles such as the 3DS or Wii U that have different firmware version sources for each region. I'm working on a generic Neo4jClient repository for managing stored objects and relationships. This will help abstract the need to interface with Neo4jClient directly. There is an existing Neo4jClient repository, but it hasn't been updated for Neo4j 2.0. I plan to open source my work once complete so that others may benefit.

I've learned a ton on generics programming while writing the generic repository. While some may argue that the generic repository is an anti-pattern, it does have its use when paired with a non-generic repository for gathering/storing objects related to a specific model. I am working on abstracting Neo4jClient calls such that I can pass in Linq expressions directly to the query engine without explicitly having to access the query engine. I'll post some example code shortly to show some of my progress.

I'm continuing to develop the Durandal/Web API/OAuth implementation of Gamer Footprint and once I have the data layer established, I will begin writing more page functionality. The Gamer Footprint development site is very unfinished currently, but in the next couple of months, I expect to get basic account management and profiles finished. Please stay tuned!

Life Update and Gamer Footprint Update

7. August 2014 09:03 by Cameron in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

Hey guys, I know it's been a while since I've written a blog post. I've been busy with wedding planning and other life events! I'm still alive and kicking!

Gamer Footprint (GFP) continues development in the spare time that I have. It's making slow but sure progress. I've moved Gamer Footprint to use a single page application (SPA) approach. The previous iterations of GFP were based on strict ASP.NET MVC, but as of late, I've been on a single page application kick. :) The advantages to SPAs are excellent over traditional multi-page applications. With SPAs, you can load your application shell and then load/post content on demand. This gives a perceived faster and more responsive application. 

With GFP, I've been playing around with Web API 2 and Durandal. Web API 2 is Microsoft's take on RESTful API development. It's very robust and supports all types of HTTP calls as defined by the REST design principles. By using Durandal, I can use RequireJS, Knockout.js, and jQuery to build rich single page applications. This proves to be a good choice for the development of GFP because I already have experience in RequireJS, Knockout, and jQuery. If I had chosen to use AngularJS, it would have required to learn a completely new framework. While some might not worry about that, I've already been using Knockout in some projects at my day job, so naturally, it made sense to learn Durandal.

Gamer Footprint Update

4. March 2014 11:27 by Cameron in Gamer Footprint, Programming  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments

Some of you may be wondering what is the current status of Gamer Footprint? Development is live and well! In fact, there is a slightly functional proof of concept available to test at https://www.gamerfootprint.com. I have also bought the domain www.gamrfp.com but this domain doesn't have any SSL configured yet. I mainly bought it for a shorter domain.

Please do note that the website is rapidly changing with new features several times a week and I sometimes have to clear out the database when my domain model changes or I find bugs that cause duplicate data. Therefore, the site is not 100% stable yet. I'm working very hard on making the user experience enjoyable. Some features that have been implemented are:

  • User profiles
    • The profiles are very basic right now, but I plan to implement a full timeline-like profile that includes a gamer's events such as played games or achievements/trophies
    • Your avatar is currently pulled from Gravatar and if you don't have a Gravatar, you should get one! It's a very nice service to have the same avatar across multiple websites. If no Gravatar can be found for your account email, it will display a generic image in place of your avatar.
    • If you have entered a PlayStation Network and/or an Xbox LIVE account, your profile will show your current presence on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE
    • Your information is safe and secured and transmitted over SSL. You only have to login once for your PSN or Xbox LIVE accounts. We don't store any passwords for accounts on our servers. I'm working on providing a method for not requiring account credentials, but you won't be able to send messages. If messaging your Xbox LIVE or PSN friends from a PC is important, you'll need to enter your account credentials.
  • Xbox LIVE games and achievements (Xbox One games and challenges support to come soon!)
  • Data APIs that directly interface with Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network, and Steam
    • Get Xbox and Xbox One games, achievements, challenges, friends, presence and profile information
    • Get PlayStation games, trophies, friends, presence information and profile information - supports PSVITA, PS3, and PS4
    • These APIs have not yet been made public, but they should be available very soon. I will post documentation on how to request an API key and API endpoints for PSN and Xbox LIVE. I will not provide a data API for Steam since Valve provides their own and I don't want to use up my daily requests to the API with a wrapper API. There might be a way to let developers aggregate everything from all supported game networks (including Steam), but it would involve providing individual Valve issued API keys and I don't want to do that as it might be against their terms of service.
Planned features:
  • PlayStation Network games and trophies
    • The core for interfacing with PSN has been finished, but I have yet to write the data access layer and data persistence layer for this part
  • Timeline system - user level and global level
  • Message friends on Xbox LIVE and PSN from the website
  • Invite people via Xbox LIVE or PSN message
  • and much more!
Here are some preview screenshots:
 

IGA name change in the spring of 2013!

6. December 2012 11:36 by Cameron in Gamer Footprint, IGA  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

In the spring of 2013, the IGA will be known as Gamer Footprint. Work is being done on the new Gamer Footprint website and will officially launch this spring. The new website address will be https://www.gamerfootprint.com/ and the old web address, http://www.iga-home.net/ will no longer be active. Registration is currently active on the Gamer Footprint website, but the site is not fully functional yet so don't expect much yet. Stay tuned for updates! Updates are posted to the Gamer Footprint Twitter and Facebook.

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