Gamer Footprint Update and E1337 Entertainment Merger

Hey guys! I know it's been about a month since the last update, but things have been pretty busy lately. I am in the process of merging Gamer Footprint with E1337 Entertainment in order to bring tournaments to the Gamer Footprint community and statistics tracking to the E1337 Entertainment community. We are very excited to be joining forces! Over the next couple of months, we will be supporting tournament brackets, an interactive calendar for events, and statistics tracking for tournaments as part of the merger.

I managed to get automated builds working with TeamCity for both the development and production sites for Gamer Footprint. This was a fun task to finish. I setup a build for both environments to pull down latest sources from Bitbucket and walk through the build steps. This includes getting latest source, downloading Nuget packages, building the source, and minifying the JavaScript (on the production environment). Within a minute or two of pushing changes to Bitbucket, they are live on their respective environments.

Since the last update, I have implemented a few new features and fixed a couple of bugs:

I finished the first iteration of timelines on both the global scale and the personal scale. For now, the timelines are generated manually. I am still working on incremental updates to be run automatically. I expect to have that finished in the next couple of weeks. The timeline on both global and personal includes games played on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live and trophies or achievements earned on each network. I'm playing with the idea of subscribing or following another user to get updates to your subscription feed. This way, you don't have timeline events from everyone on Gamer Footprint. After some time, this could be quite large. As development progresses, I will add other events to the timeline including games/achievements from Steam, games/achievements from Battle.net, and potentially statistics from other games such as Halo 4.

I've been experimenting with getting push notifications setup via SignalR to send near realtime updates of gamers online presence information for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. This is still in active development and is not considered finished. I will look at adding presence information from other networks such as Steam in the near future. Through push notifications, we can also send messages to all actively connected users on the website or specific users on the website. Messages can include maintenance notifications and estimated downtime, notifications of when your friends are online from a specific network, achievement/trophy unlocks, and much more.

The goal for Gamer Footprint and E1337 Entertainment is to provide a place for gamers to meet, collaborate, and participate in tournaments from around the world. Without Gamer Footprint, each gaming community is separated by platform or console. We want to bridge that gap and promote organic connections with players from a plethora of gaming backgrounds.

Please keep informed on the latest updates for both Gamer Footprint and E1337 Entertainment. The name/branding from the merger is still being decided, but we will keep you updated with the news.

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!

Beginning Desktop Client for IGA

2. January 2012 18:45 by Cameron in PSN, Xbox Live  //  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

After some time to think about the most secure method for processing achievements and trophies for an individual user using the user's account credentials, I've decided that using a desktop client rather than server side technology for collecting achievements and trophies is the best approach. Not only is it more secure, but it also reduces the load on my server by turning each user's computer into a node on the IGA network for processing small parts of achievements and trophy data as a whole. The combined data from each user will be uploaded to the IGA dedicated server for importing into the central database. Then data can be viewed from the web interface or smart phone applications.

The web interface and smart phone applications will merely serve as a way to interact with the data from the database rather than pulling data down from the various sources and taking up bandwidth. This is good for smart phone users as data charges can apply for checking for updates frequently.

I'm using a Qt, a cross platform GUI library, for designing the user interface so that the client may run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux out of the box. I will post some screen shots as they become available.

Latest updates on Xbox LIVE script

2. January 2012 13:28 by Cameron in Xbox Live  //  Tags: , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

I have recently added support for collecting data for an Xbox user's friend list to my Xbox LIVE script. Also, since my last blog update, I've changed all dates in the data to use epoch time stamps. I've attached an updated sample:

pcmantinker-xbox.xml (528.72 kb)

Nearly finished with my XBL Scraper and starting my PSN Scraper

3. December 2011 14:31 by Cameron in PhantomJS, Xbox Live, PSN  //  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

I've made a ton of progress on my XBL scraper over the past couple of months and am nearing completion. Features include grabbing a user's full list of games and achievements for all time as well as pulling a subset of information based on a date range. I implemented the date range feature because I wanted to speed up incremental updates. One of my beta testers has reported it takes about 15-20 minutes to do a full dump of his information. He also has over 100 games with about 40-60 achievements each.

Right now, my XBL scraper only pulls down information for the currently logged in user. I had thought about having my users on my site provide their login information for pulling down their achievements and recently played games, but there are huge security concerns with me storing Xbox LIVE user names and passwords in my database. One disadvantage to me pulling information from other user profiles is that any achievement that I have not unlocked the image will be returned as a grayscale image. This is not a huge issue though. I'm more leaning towards using my own account to get user data instead of other users' accounts because I don't want to be burdened with security of storing their credentials on my server. If people want color images for achievements, I will just need the community to submit their color images for their achievements to the database. I have also been thinking of a way to have my script run idle on my server while waiting for input from the caller. This will hopefully speed up processing of the data.

On the PSN front, I have begun analyzing various data sources for getting trophy data and recently played games for a PSNID. I've started developing a similar script for pulling information for a PSNID. The PSN scraper is still in its infancy, but it is making steady progress. With my analysis of PSN trophy images, it appears that images for trophies will be returned as color images for public trophy profiles and personal trophy profiles. However, the locked trophies show a locked image next to the trophy. I'm hoping to get community involvement to submit complete trophy images for the locked images. With the way that PSN shows earned trophies, with enough people in the community, the missing images should easily be filled in automatically.

I plan to release premium subscritpion APIs for these scripts in the future. Please stay tuned for more information.

Newest Progress on my XBL data scraper

31. October 2011 17:09 by Cameron in Xbox Live  //  Tags: , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

It's been a while since I last posted, but I have made some great progress on my XBL data scraper. I made some additions to include CDATA tags in the descriptions of achievements as some sample data that I ran into contained ampersand (&) as well as other xml entities in the text and it was creating xml parser errors. Also, I had to add some code to replace ampersand (&) with the xml entity & in xml attributes as I was getting more parser errors with my sample data. This goes the same for other xml entities. Now that these issues have been resolved, I believe my data collector can pull anyone's profile information, given enough time. After testing the scraper with one of my friend's profiles, he has nearly 100 games with 900+ achievements, the initial import into my database took on the order of 7-10 minutes. To deal with manageable updates, I will have to scan a subset of the most recent games played as I don't want it to take as long with incremental updates. The question is how frequently I should do these updates. The incremental updates have not been implemented yet, but will be put into effect soon. I have setup a test site for processing user profiles and viewing collected sample data. I will not make this link public, but if you're interested, shoot me an email and I can share the link with you.

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