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iPhone: Global high scores - user expectations?

11-22-2008, 04:30 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 863
Global high scores - user expectations?

I probably don't have enough users to justify a global high score list for Pinch 'n Pop! but I figured I'd add the feature anyway just to have the code around for future use - problem is, I'm not entirely sure what users expect from such a feature...

Will arcade style 3-letter initials be enough? Or is 6-8 letters preferable?

Do you expect to see high scores on a website or just in-game?

How many high scores should be saved/viewable? (I'm thinking 50 max for each skill level).

I've also seen many games ask for an email address or to create an account before submitting a score. I really don't want to impose that sort of thing on users but I'm guessing it's one way to ensure unique user ids and to help prevent hacks/manipulation. I'm curious how many people would actually go through the trouble of creating an account just to get their scores online - personally I wouldn't bother.

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11-22-2008, 04:41 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 19
cant you just have it register a high score tag per device 13 letters ?

11-22-2008, 06:14 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 279
Well having just implemented a worldwide high score table for my game MiZoo (not yet released). I can tell you that there is absolutely no need to register an e-mail address or anything like that. You just need to implement a secret algorithm for CRCing the data submitted to your server, and thats fine.

I go for top 30 scores, plus the score above yours and the score below and where you are (if you don't make the top 30). Identify each user by the Unique Device ID and let them choose whatever name they like.

I must say, the SDK makes this incredibly easy to do. Damn I'm such an Apple convert
11-22-2008, 06:37 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 863
Ya, I'll likely pack a UDID with the high score data for analytical purposes, but in the end it doesn't really matter if a single device sends multiple names so it's not strictly necessary.

SHREDD GO FAST! FREE!
Nozoku Rush Kick Math's Ass!
Critter Panic Break yer brain! FREE!
Silverfish & Silverfish MAX Hardcore arcade insanity!
Nozoku A casual game of math & logic.
More: cbox.me Twitter YouTube
11-22-2008, 06:52 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,710
Frenzic has a nice Global/Local high score system.

For the length my vote goes to 8-letters (or more).
11-22-2008, 08:32 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Condello View Post
Will arcade style 3-letter initials be enough? Or is 6-8 letters preferable?

Do you expect to see high scores on a website or just in-game?

How many high scores should be saved/viewable? (I'm thinking 50 max for each skill level).
The way we handle it in our game is:
  • You can type up to 100 characters, although obviously if you type a very long name it'll get "..."-ed by the renderer
  • We remember the most recent names you entered, independently of scores, so you can just tap a recent name instead of having to retype it at the end of each game (names plural because my girlfriend is always borrowing my iPod to play )
  • You can only view the scores in-game, although due to the way our servers are set up, it'd be trivial to add a public viewer if anyone cared enough
  • You can see ten local scores (the best scores achieved on your device) and ten global scores. We're considering expanding this in future, in various ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Condello View Post
I've also seen many games ask for an email address or to create an account before submitting a score. I really don't want to impose that sort of thing on users but I'm guessing it's one way to ensure unique user ids and to help prevent hacks/manipulation. I'm curious how many people would actually go through the trouble of creating an account just to get their scores online - personally I wouldn't bother.
Yeah, we don't bother with accounts -- scores are registered by the device ID that sent them. There are two reasons to have accounts (though they should be optional):
  1. To allow people to preserve their scores if they need to send their iPhone/iPod in for replacement
  2. To allow for "friends list" features
I've been planning out such a system for a future update (and, like with your situation, because I'd like to put it into future games), but haven't implemented it yet.

One thing that gives me pause is all these people running around trying to be "the XBox Live for the iPhone"... Demiforce, ngmoco and others all want to be "the" online scores service. Once you've implemented your own, though, migrating data across to someone else's service is likely to be a huge pain.

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11-23-2008, 03:12 AM
#7
Im implementing a high score system for my games now as well. I don't see why some apps ask people to set up an account. I am just going to use the Device ID like wooji said to differential between users and create an account for them.

What i'm still debating right now is whether I should use in-game high scores or online highscores. I think people would prefer them in-game, but I think it would be much easier to display them on a webpage, and would also add the ability for other services as well like friends ect... Has anyone else gotten any user feedback on this aspect of it?

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11-23-2008, 03:20 AM
#8
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,351
I prefer them in-game since I have an iPod Touch so submitting my highscore would require that I have WiFi on for the entire time when Im playing a game. And I only do that for games that I play online (Galcon, Tap Tap Revenge), so any offline game that will ask me to submit my highscores, will find that it cant connect. So for me in-game highscores are the only ones I care about. (Again, except for games like Galcon and Tap Tap Revenge)

Stefan
11-23-2008, 03:32 AM
#9
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,186
Some games show in-game and website high scores

Some games show both in-game and website high scores. If you enable the high scores to be shown on a website, then make sending of the high score optional so that if you can choose not to send the score, or to play with the iPhone in airplane mode, etc.

Personally I am not all that fused by highscores. Some people do like them so if it is minimal cost and effort then include both in-game and website high scores. That way everyone is happy. Well at least as happy as possible!
11-23-2008, 03:46 AM
#10
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 279
my scores are in-game but shown in a webview. So you can also see them externally from a browser, but that will not show you your own score, only the top xx scores. The callback from the post just returns the PHP generated html, thrown straight at the webview.