$_SESSION Looks like a winner!

So, I’ve been looking into $_SESSION as the way of perpetuation data across web pages, now that I’ve got the site into PHP.  Very likely there will be session data flying around when moving between pages on PlayDeez.com.

Of course, there will be no content associated with having a session. Its the plumbing for future expansion, and I think a reasonable first target is the Silverlight Jetlag, since it is a smallish code base, and it is relatively easy to get my PHP session data into the object via a <PARAM>.

I’ve also been reading into getting a Silverlight application to call another webpage silently. After reading the documentation on it, I must say that it is a whole lot easier doing this from Flash or even simply JavaScript.

I also need to start investigating getting information from a FlashVars param into Haxe. I’m going with a lower flash version(7) because I want compatibility with the Wii browser and potentially other flash lite devices.

The first Haxe target is CTYR. I’m going to take the art assets from the Yahoo! Widget I made of this game.


Migration to PHP complete!

So, changing PlayDeez.com from html to PHP is now complete, and it looks pretty much the same as it did before, but that was rather the point really.

Next, I’ll be integrating the user system into the site, thanks to the new user system API I wound up writing a few days ago.  This’ll be my first usage of $_SESSION variables in PHP, so we’ll see how it goes.  Then I need to start having content that responds to being logged in.


Back to my old user system

I have now decided to go back to my old user system, which has been around for years.  It was originally an MDB/ASP based solution which morphed into a MySQL/ASP solution which now is in the process of morphing into a MySQL/PHP solution. I’m currently laying out the rough plumbing for it. The eventual goal is to make all of the pages able to be logged in.

For facebook apps, I’m going to find a way to shunt facebook users into the system, rather than do this the other way around.

So far I’ve constructed and tested my little helper functions for sending emails and connecting to and querying the backend.   Soon this will grow into a set of php functions for dealing with users.

Which means I need to get the rest of the HTML pages on the site converted over to PHP.

The plumbing stuff is just so time consuming.



I decided against putting iframes into my html pages to shove everything over to PHP.  I’m instead doing HTML redirection, which I’m not a big fan of, but I do what I must.  Thus far, I have made a new default page, and default.html redirects to it.

I’ve also put some image links to the various games on the site onto the default page.  This brings me to a decision point: I have multiple versions of JetLag. Am I going to put an image on the main page for each? The difference between Javascript JetLag, JetLag: Crystal, and Silverlight JetLag are relatively minor.  Also, when it comes time to start putting in the server side, the old stuff I’ve got for JS JetLag is going to be 86’d.

Slowly but surely, I need to severely revamp PlayDeez.com. Unfortunately, with all of the other time constraints, it’ll be a long road.


Nix on Facebook Connect

For now, I think I’m not going with Facebook connect for any of my games, at least until I get more of an idea of how it is done properly. Also, the way my website is built is sort of strange and apparently facebook connect objects don’t like being loaded on the fly, at least not in firefox. (My web page is built using various elements and setting the innerHTML value).

Another issue is that I would like to change over to php.  The problem is that my website is currently in regular HTML.  My plan for changing this is to put up the php versions, and then have the HTML versions have an iframe that talks to the php version. The php version links will need to have the “top” target so that the actual page gets changed.  But it is definitely time to get away from my weird dynamic JS website scheme.

In any case, it looks like that needs to be done first.


HamQuest: Server Side

So I’m now getting to a point with HamQuest where I can start to look at the server side stuff. For the most part, the server side portions are merely those of statistics tracking. For example, the game will have a record of how many lovely hams have been picked up, how many skeletons have been killed, and how many potions quaffed.

But as is usual with this sort of idea, I want to check it out on a smaller scale game with fewer statistics. Something more along the lines of Click The Yellow Rhombus. I’m also not interested in using my old user system, nor in creating a new user system to use with these games, and so I’m probably going to go with Facebook, who will nicely deliver me a userid depending on who is logged in, and I don’t have to worry about that stuff.

In CTYR, there are only a few values to track: Hits, Misses, Score, Number of Games Played. I would track these on a daily basis per player, and keep only the last thirty days of information. I can then show reports depending on the last 24 hours, the last 7 days, and the last 30 days, and have rankings for each category.

But beyond rankings, which are good for a game, but people will lose interest after a short time, there needs to be some sort of incentive system, and the incentives need to be rule bending.

So, if I go with an experience point system, one game of CTYR earns the player 1 XP.  After a certain threshhold, he reaches a new level, and gets a number of cheater points he can use to buy advantages, like 10 free hits in his final score of CTYR, or eliminating 10 misses, or whatever, but some sort of advantage that he can purchase with his cheater points.

The XP based system is all cool and stuff, but there needs to be another way to earn cheat points. Each day must have a high scorer, and whoever gets that high score gets a cheat point.

So, two ways to incentivize: play a lot, and earn new experience levels, or do really well compared to others, and bypass the grind.

Which always leads to the third manner of getting cheat points, which is paying for them. I don’t have any current plans, but that’s how these systems ultimately work, and I’m not forgetting that.

In order to make this work, I will need a Facebook enabled, MochiAds enabled, Server side talking version of CTYR in Flash written in Haxe and interfacing with PHP and MySQL, with this simply being a straw man test for its eventual incorporation in HamQuest.

Does this mean that HamQuest will need to be written in Haxe? Maybe.


Installation Weekend

This weekend, I installed apache, php, and mysql on one of my home boxes.

You know, just to have a local dev environment.

It’s hard to make anything more complex than Feed the Fish without having a local web server and all of the plumbing behind it.

I also started a bitstrips series.  This is about my fourth attempt at something worthwhile.

I’ve been watching the old filmation Flash Gordon cartoon, so I’m starting out by lampooning some of the cliche elements of Flash Gordon.

I suppose I also have a heavy influence of 60s television and pulp sci-fi in general.  I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek: TOS lately.

So, I present to you: Peptide Kangaroo Umbrella! (click to go to bitstrips for the rest of the, for the moment, short series)