iPad Global high scores - user expectations?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by ChaoticBox, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    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.
     
  2. stupidgamer

    stupidgamer Member

    Nov 17, 2008
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    cant you just have it register a high score tag per device 13 letters ?
     
  3. lazrhog

    lazrhog Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2008
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    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 :)
     
  4. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
    877
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    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.
     
  5. Carlos-Sz

    Carlos-Sz Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2008
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    Frenzic has a nice Global/Local high score system.

    For the length my vote goes to 8-letters (or more).
     
  6. wooji

    wooji Active Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    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.

    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.
     
  7. bovinedragon

    bovinedragon Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
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    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?
     
  8. spmwinkel

    spmwinkel Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
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    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 I´m 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 can´t connect. So for me in-game highscores are the only ones I care about. (Again, except for games like Galcon and Tap Tap Revenge)
     
  9. snow_mani

    snow_mani Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2008
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    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!:rolleyes:
     
  10. lazrhog

    lazrhog Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2008
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    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.
     
  11. wooji

    wooji Active Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    iPhone game developer!
    London, UK
    That's a good point and something I meant to mention in my last post, but forgot. With our system, you can have Wi-Fi turned off (or just be out of range, or whatever) and your scores will automatically be uploaded "later" -- next time you have working internet access and check out the World Wide scores screen. When it goes to update the World Wide scores, it notices you have scores you didn't get a chance to upload, and sends them. All of your scores get backed up, and your best ones are considered for entry into the World Wide high scores.
     
  12. Manta Research

    Manta Research Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2008
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    Toronto, Canada
    We do similar to what others are doing, ie UDID + hash to prevent casual hacking. You can type in a long name, but only the first 30 or whatever characters are displayed.

    If you're out of EDGE/3G/WiFi range, we cache the scores and next time you launch with data access we submit the scores.

    In Cubes for example, we have a LOT of scores being submitted daily, so to keep it more interesting, we've put in 3 global lists (in addition to a local to the device high score list): Daily, weekly and all-time. Since each entry is submitted with a timestamp, it's easy on the SQL back-end to extract out scores from the last 24 hrs, and from the last week. The All-time list shows the top score for each unique UDID. That way if one player totally dominates everyone else, they won't take over the high score list -- it will simply show a single entry for that person with their all-time best score.

    As others have mentioned, it's also a good idea to cache the last name entered and have that show up as default so the person can just hit enter and submit.
     
  13. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
    877
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    Toronto Canada
    So...

    I'll likely show the top 10 local and top 10 global scores in-game and also show the player's best global rank if they're in the top 1000. Nothing on the website for now, but it's simple to add that if the need arises.

    I guess I'm going to use 8-character user names. The in-game list can't really handle more, so there's not much point allowing more. I'm going for a simple "arcade" feel, not a full-out social network.

    "Upload later" functionality was already on my to-do list, and autofilling the last name(s) entered is also good idea.

    I doubt I'll need daily or even weekly stats but I was planning on time stamping all submissions anyway.

    Thanks for the feedback folks!
     
  14. gnadenlos

    gnadenlos Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    >Will arcade style 3-letter initials be enough? Or is 6-8 letters preferable?

    8-10 is preferable, especially if you allow users to register usernames.

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

    In game is enough, but don't open Safari to show them.

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

    It depends on the number of gamers. You should also save almost unlimited highscores internally, so you can view the rank even if the player doesn't reach the Top 50/100.

    >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.

    I prefer if you only allow a limited number of different usernames per iPhone/iPod Touch and only one highscore per username. The best way is to have support for 5 players build in your game and if you delete one of those players the online highscore will be removed too.

    Internally I would use something like device-ID+usernumber to save the highscores.

    Additionally I would love to see daily, weekly, monthly and all-time tables for every game mode and difficulty level.
     
  15. Manta Research

    Manta Research Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    189
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    Toronto, Canada
    One other suggestion. For our games, we also tag the score with the version of the app. This way if we change something dramatically in the code and it makes a big difference to the resulting scores, we always have the option down the road to partition the scoring system between the "old way" and the "new way" if end-users complain.
     

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