Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

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Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby johnpeat » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:55 pm

I'm really canvassing for experiences here - have you used a scoring/social SDK in your games/apps??

I've released 2 games using Scoreloop but I'm not really very happy about it and so I'm really wondering whether my experiences have been unique...

Scoreloop has suffered some performance problems - which is to be expected except that in some cases it's causing MY games to crash - this is not ideal! (In fairness, AdMob isn't much better, but it pays me money at least!!)

Worse still tho, the development cycle and testing capabilities of Scoreloop are - and I'm thinking hard for the right terms here - utter and total rubbish!! I'm currently trying to add some new achievements and you'd think I'd asked to calculate the length of PI, such is the complexity (a support query on this has been open almost a week without an answer!!)

I've already covered my back - highscores and achievements are stored locally so I could switch 'networks' pretty easily, it's just a matter of swapping the SDKs and plugging the game into them.

I''m just wondering what other people's experiences have been like/whether you'd recommend another service or whatever??

The AndEngine guys seem quite stuck on OpenFeint but as a USER/PLAYER of games, I find OpenFeint to be unfriendly and when I last checked, their signup page was broken (not a good sign??)
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby gauravkheterpal » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:43 pm

I second your thoughts. I was stuck with the 'Which SDK' dilemma for several weeks and then I decided to give Skiller a try. They may not be as big as OpenFeint or ScoreLoop (now RIM), but they offer a powerful SDK and excellent developer support. You might want to look at their TicTacToe sample to get a feel of their platform's capabilities. I hope that helps.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby johnpeat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:12 pm

Well I'm a but stuck now.

2 games developed and released with Scoreloop embedded - but since the RIM takeover their support has become almost non-existant and I'm just waiting for whatever 'batshit crazy' things RIM decide to do with them.

RIM are a company on the way out - companies like that don't tend to behave rationally.

I signed-up (eventually, when it worked) with OpenFeint and it seems AOK (and simpler than Scoreloop) BUT it doesn't support the sort of things I want to do with my next game (in fairness, nor does the latest Scoreloop SDK when earlier ones DID!!)

Suspect I'll be adding my own stuff from now on tbh
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby BUKsAPPs » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:29 am

I released a game on the Skiller platform a few weeks ago, R:P:S Academy. I made a pretty good relationship with them and they were very helpful throughout the development process, and I was helpful to them as well. Their API is still fairly new, just a few published apps use it, I believe mine was the first. I chose the game I did, rock-paper-scissors, entirely for the purpose of testing out their API. I am currently planning on incorporating their API into some of my future games. I also would like a simple easy to use minimalist global high score API for some of my other games.

There are a few things that aren't perfect, but they seem to be doing a very good job of improving quickly and are very responsive to developer feedback. It is a bit diffeernt than a global high-score board. I didn't get much into the single palyer API, but it is geared towards tournament play.

My game uses their turn-based multi-player API. It is straightforward and easy to use, and things like achievements were super easy, as were in game purchases. There is a global leader board based one ELO rating from multiplayer games and they focus a bit on social aspects. Multi-player games are played for Skiller coins - in game currency that can be used to buy in game items or to upgrade your Avatar. They also have an ad service, but there is virtually no developer control or feedback from it yet.

You can check out my Skiller powered game R:P:S Academy: https://market.android.com/details?id=c ... rch_result
It hasn't gotten much traction yet so random multi-player opponents are rare, but you can alwasy play a friend.

You can also download their Tic-Tac-Toe Online game to see the app that the sample SDK is built about.

Also I would be happy to answer any question about my experience with Skiller, and I bet they would be happy to hear from interested developers as well. Just shoot me an IM or eMail if you have any specific question.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby gauravkheterpal » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:32 pm

@johnpeat: I had the same concern over ScoreLoop. As for OpenFeint, it's mighty powerful but I found the learning curve too steep to be worth the effort. In fact, most of these SDKs are better than one another in some way or the other. I wish there was a way to handpick the best features from each and use them all. BTW, I'm curious to know if tried Skiller as well?

Good luck if you're gonna build everything on your own :)
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby johnpeat » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:53 pm

gauravkheterpal wrote:Good luck if you're gonna build everything on your own :)

My old day-job was writing web-based interfaces, being a DBA (including obfuscating and encrypting data) so it's something I could do in my sleep...

Obviously tho, if I scored a massive hit with a game, I'd end-up with sizeable hosting costs for managing the backend - but that and any 'social' aspect to these SDKs is really the only loss to taking my own path AND one of the things I'm working on wouldn't work inside a standard SDK approach anyway...

I do intent to try OpenFeint - I've already built a test application and it was simpler than Scoreloop BUT there are some concerns which I'm clearing-up in my own head before I raise them with OF themselves (mostly stuff relating to what happens to players who play 'offline').
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby Strategy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:40 am

BUKsAPPs wrote:I released a game on the Skiller platform a few weeks ago, R:P:S Academy. I made a pretty good relationship with them and they were very helpful throughout the development process, and I was helpful to them as well.


Skiller sounded interesting, right up to the point when I read their Developer's License.

Scoreloop has a 50-50% split on coin revenue, which I personally find incredibly annoying (if I want to implement coins, I can do so extremely easily myself and take 70% of the revenue); Skiller feel that split should go 30%-70%. I can follow that the multiplayer service adds some overhead - but 70% is ridiculous.

Skiller also feel entitled to 50% of whatever income the developer makes outside of the Skiller system. To really make the license absurd, the license does not even stipulate that this only applies to apps on the Skiller platform. After which the license actually forbids the developer to add ads or collect payments from the end user (presumably the idea is to prevent the developer from collecting double subscriptions, but as written it would also preclude the developer from selling the app).

Finally, they require the developer to send them an invoice to get their money and $200 income before you see the first cent. I don't like it when potential "partners" make it hard for me to get my share.

I'm guessing this license was either put together by a non-English speaker or someone without legal experience (or both). Either way, I'd think more than a few times before signing up to that.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby johnpeat » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:12 am

Yeah I read that too - you'd be insane to go within 5 miles of it...

It's going to be an interesting time for these systems in the next few months, with Scoreloop now owned by RIM (Blackberry) the only way is down for them I think - which really leaves the market open to OpenFeint to lose.

Thing is tho, OF's attitude to Android is still a bit half-hearted - loads of stuff they offer on iOS isn't available to Android developers (and the documentation has this annoying habit of cycling around to iOS a bit too often as well)

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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby Strategy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:32 pm

To me, the really annoying thing about OpenFeint is that you pretty much never get a response from them. I asked several questions on their old message boards and never got a reply on any of them. Scoreloop has their problems too, but at least one can get a reply from them from time to time.

Frankly, I don't get why one of these companies doesn't go in a 100% to try and be the default system on the Android market. Diversifying is good, of course, but in another year or two, Android devices are going to be such a huge percentage of the market that this is where the money - and the companies will be. I recall discussing with the Agon Online folks (a similar service which I thought was really great) a year ago. They didn't want to port to Android because iPhone was were the money was, which I thought was very shortsighted (and now they're closed). It just boggles the mind that even now companies treat Android as a second-class citizen.

Lots of untapped potential here, but the window of opportunity is closing fast.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby SwarmConnect » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:59 am

This might be a bit late, but if you still haven't decided, or are still looking for alternatives, check out Swarm. We offer nearly identical features to OpenFeint (leaderboards, achievements, etc), as well as a virtual store, but with a better split (80% to you, 10% to the referring developer, 10% to us), and we're super responsive to emails :)
SwarmConnect - Easily add leaderboards, achievements, monetization, and social features to mobile games and apps.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby BenjaminJC » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:51 am

Hey Y'all,

Ben here with Scoreloop.

I just wanted to add our voice and perhaps clear some of the misconceptions here.

First, Someone mentioned that our rev share was 50/50 - while this was true during Scoreloop's initial growth, this was changed quite some time ago - certainly long before the post was made referencing this ratio. Scoreloop rev share is 20/80, and it shrinks further when a developer reaches any of several outlined profit marks.

Additionally, the upcoming Scoreloop 3.0 Android SDK has shaped up to be a gargantuan leap forward for Android developers of all stripes, providing revenue generation options that simply rock. The addition of Premium SMS in 60+ countries enables you to fully monetize in areas where PayPal or Credit Card options simply are not effective, deeply integrated virtual stores tying into both achievements, player challenges and a metric ton of more hype-worthy new features and tweaks.

Regarding Android, previous posters were certainly within their rights to be uncertain as to Scoreloop's future, but with RIM's new management re-affirming the same commitments to our cross-platform growth made last June, those doubts should be put to rest. We are committed to bringing value to all users - regardless of platform. With *well* over 100 million users and the astronomical growth we've been experiencing, we're committed to maintaining the formula that made us market leaders on the platform. Our upcoming Android 3.0 SDK should be the final nail in the coffin for any remaining doubters regarding our constant commitment to the platform.

And, of course, if you have any questions, you can always hit us up! Just send me a PM with any questions or if you just want to get in touch. Alternatively, you can email me at ben[dot]camenker@scoreloop.com

Cheers,

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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby Strategy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:25 am

BenjaminJC wrote:First, Someone mentioned that our rev share was 50/50 - while this was true during Scoreloop's initial growth, this was changed quite some time ago - certainly long before the post was made referencing this ratio. Scoreloop rev share is 20/80, and it shrinks further when a developer reaches any of several outlined profit marks.


Good to hear, as the 50/50 split was really absurd (even if I suppose that you probably felt it was needed at the time). But I note that I never received any notification of this change (and I have an app in the Scoreloop system), and actually digging out this information is non-trivial. Scoreloop is not the worst at this - at least I can find it if I'm attentive enough when reading the terms - I've checked out services where I simply could not find an actual figure for the revenue share. But I really don't get why this information is not placed somewhere visible and obvious in the development dashboard given that - with 100% certainty - this is one of the first questions any new developer would like to ask.

The SDK 3.0 sounds interesting, though the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Any support for real multiplayer coming with this?
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby BenjaminJC » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:13 pm

Hey Strategy,

Making the change more visible is definitely a good suggestion, and it's in line with a plan of providing a simple "essentials" run down for curious devs that doesn't go into the legalese or length of the license agreements.

This is something we think absolutely needs to be addressed and the dashboard (which has already undergone some changes) is certainly not going to remain static in the future.

As far as live multiplayer support goes, there's no support for that in this update. For 3.0, we wanted to focus on helping developers cultivate more revenue and add value to their game by providing more choices to users, as well as offering new tools for nurturing player activity and transactions. It's the more-perfect shopping cart, so to speak.
It all syncs up perfectly with our asynchronous challenges features and virtual currency and the goal of really enabling the freemium phenomenon to gain steam on Android.

EDITED for additional stuff.
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Re: Scoreloop, OpenFeint etc. - do you use them??

Postby Strategy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:25 pm

Hmm... I suppose that you can't comment on this (or may not know, such developments being very new), but one does wonder what RIM's new strategy to (again) focus on the enterprise market means for Scoreloop? Especially given that the CEO's comments pretty much indicate that they intend to abandon the Playbook, which is really the main reason why their buying Scoreloop seemed to make sense in the first place.
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