Generally I don't do as many of these blog posts as often as I should because I generally take too long to write em' and sometimes find it hard to justify with currently low views / comments etc, however, on this occasion I'll try to be concise and quick!
Lets go back a few months
As you may (or may not) remember from previous posts , I had been working on completing aDance, my physics-based arena dodging arcade game and even did a vlog for it. I also began talking about big ideas of including achievements and an in-game indie music play system.
All of this was well and good, but I came to realise I was very limited in my ability to actually deliver and implement these features in any of my creations due to the fact that my skill-set was limited in the necessary areas to do so. I was stuck with relying on other third-party options (such as mochi, heyzap, gamersafe and the like) to implement some of these features or hack around them to make them work in a non-seamless fashion, not ideal and not good.
Now I'm not bashing these 3rd party options, they save time and enable many developers to earn money and socialise their content which is great, however if you want certain features implemented (such as a proper achievements system rather then the medals in mochi) you have to either hope and wait, hack it around the provided features or (as they rightfully often say) implement it yourself, so that's just what I decided to do! :)
Databases, PHP, MySQL, CSS and all things Dynamic Web
Around the 23rd of August of this year (around the same time 2 years that I started my journey with Flash), I began learning all the necessary web technologies to implement my OWN gaming and community platform (an ability I was always missing in my development tool-kit) for the above (and a few other) reasons.
I'm not gonna go through all the technically terms and details (Wikipedia's real good for that), but I can safely say that PHP was a tough but joyful language to learn and was made all the more easier because actionscript is very similar too it.
The hardest parts to learn were probably things like security (very important), relative file loading / linking and the differences in Class and Object based development in PHP vs Actionscript. Once I got my head around things like this it was simply a case of combining it with Dreamweaver, MySQL and AMFPHP, which results in me having a system that has the capability of doing all the things previously stated and all the things in my head, on the website and off via Flash.
Introducing the gameDentity™ network
And so gameDentity (or #gDn) is born. It will be entering beta 0.01 very soon and in a sentence I describe it as a Premium Social Core-Gaming Network.
The primary goal is for it to be a complete back-end, profile / user link and community system for Eternal Syndrome games and content (online and desktop). It's going to be online gaming's answer to XBox Live which I'm a huge fan of and use a lot (once I implement the online game play module).
The features include (some implemented already):
- User Account Profile
- Achievements (Currently 6 - 8 types including Titles, Treasures and classic types)
- Leaderboards (Fully customisable and can contain many columns of criteria)
- Save / Load system
- Site and Flash based Login (works anywhere Flash does thanks to AMFPHP)
- Native virtual currency (gCash)
- Stats via gXP and gPoint (which can be used to get savings on premium content)
- And more...
It has the flexibility and capability of allow third-party developers and partners to use the system.
Most of thee above will much easier to understand and visualise once it's out their in the wild, but as an example, a game like Diamond Raider will have treasure achievements for finding limited special treasured Diamond types that are only available dynamically to a limited amount of players and therefore highly sought after, think of it as the achievement only the quick and great get.
Right that's it, this was almost a hour in writing and I've still got a lot of work to do on this, mainly the Flash gDn modules, so thanks for reading and my twitter (@eternalsyndrome) is really the best place for regular / up to minute development updates. Thanks again!