S4M Global High Score System
For Game Maker Studio
Online High Score System

S4M Global High Score System

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What is a Global High Score System?

Many games maintain a high score table, usually displaying the top ten players for that game on that system. These scores are local to that system. A global high score table contains the top scores achieved by all players of that game title, which can be a great incentive to play. You may think you have done done really well, only to discover others have out-classed you.

Could your games benefit from having Online Top Scores?

Using an Onlinel High Score in your game can present a few technical problems. Although many game creation software packages (including Game Maker Studio) contain functions which can communicate with a web-server, the communication isn't as straightforward as it may seem.

Communication
The term "Connecting to a server" is often misleading. Games don't exactly connect but rather send data to a destination (the server) and the server replies by outputting data which the game can receive. This form of data exchange is more akin to text messaging in as much the exchanges are one-way, often without acknowledgement.

The game sends data but has no idea if that data arrived until it gets some kind of reply. Similarly the server can only act upon data it receives. It can output a response but has no notion if the game received or processed that response correctly. There is also a lot which can go wrong, much of which is beyond your control. (If the destination server is on the other side of the world the data sent may get routed through several servers.)

There are sites which offer to host your top game scores, either for a fee or for free. There are however several potential issues you need to be aware of when choosing a 3rd party service.

  • Control
    When using a 3rd Party service to host your global high scores you must accept their terms and conditions of service. Conditions (and pricing) vary. Some services offer free accounts but may require in-game acknowledgement, an active link or even advertisements in your games.
  • Compatibility
    Most high score systems require data to be sent in a specific format for that system. There is no standard format so each service may differ slightly. Some systems require users (players) to create an account with that service in order to play, which can in some cases be a little off-putting to new players.
  • System Updates
    Software is ever changing, particularly to keep up to date with browser updates, OS updates and new techniques. If the administrator of the high score system changes or updates their system you may find you also need to update all current games using it accordingly.
  • Browser (HTML5) Games
    Games which are played in the end user's browser are unlikely to connect to a 3rd Party site offering to record global high scores unless the games themselves are hosted on that domain. Whilst browsers will readily permit communication to and from the originating domain, the browsers default security settings usually (and silently) block communication outside this domain. No error warnings are generated, the connection simply fails.
  • Termination
    The ultimate insult is when the administrator of the global high score system decides to "shut up shop". This can be for any number of reasons and although you can recompile your games to use a new domain URL, any existing games will no longer be able to connect.

A more reliable and robust method is to use your own system on a site which you control.

Owning your own online high score system to maintain your global game scores is not as difficult as it may sound. The S4M High Score System can be installed on any website offering PHP and access to at least one MySQL database. You don't even need to be a computer genus to install it either.

As the System administrator you control all aspects and can even allow other Authors or game distributors to use your system, either for free or for a fee and keep all profits. All you require is a web-hosting account offering PHP and MySQL (most do) and you can become the System Administrator of your own Global High Score System.

And the S4M Global High Score System makes this a simple affair too.

Key Advantages of the S4M High Score System

  • Easy To Install And Setup
    No prior knowledge of PHP or MySQL is required. Simply enter your database settings, upload all files then point your browser to the installer and follow the on screen instructions and you are done!
  • Easy For Your Games To Use
    The S4M High Score System is designed for use with Game Maker Studio and contains extensive online help complete with coding examples. It also comes with a built-in System Test Game together with its source code enabling you to examine working examples.
  • No Username Login For Games
    The system is designed to seamlessly integrate with your games without requiring the player to have any kind of account. Simply send the system the score details for the player and it will return the top ten scores for that specific game title.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility
    Any internet capable device can use this system, including HTML5 games hosted on the same domain. The System Test game itself is a ready compiled HTML5 application.
  • Easy to Use Administration Center.
    The S4M High Score System comes with a feature rich admin area complete with an automated login recovery system. The Admin area allows you to add new game titles, set each games default top scores, reset scores, view the top scores, monitor usage and much more.
  • Multiple Admin Accounts
    After installing the system on your site you become the main System Administrator. As such you can allow other game authors or distributors to use your system, either for free or for a subscription and keep 100% of revenue earned. Each Admin account you create has its own admin login which can only access game titles.that admin adds to the system. You can also set a limit to the number of game titles a specific Admin Account can add.
  • Unlimited Games
    The system utilizes the power and speed of MySQL and allows you to add any number of game titles you wish to any number of Admin accounts you create.
  • Extensive Security
    No sensitive data is sent to the system however it is "sterilized" to help prevent "hack attempts" or possible injections. All sensitive Admin data (like passwords) never leave the server and are encoded for extra security and piece of mind.
  • Ultimate Control
    it is your system so you dictate the terms and conditions of use and control who can or cannot do what on your system.
  • Free Trial
    You can download the full installation package without obligation and try it out for yourself at zero cost. Your 30 day trial gives you full functionality of your own global high score system, allowing you to fully evaluate it to ensure it is right for you..
Download and try it FREE for 30 days

Integration
The S4M High Score System is designed to allow your games to integrate seamlessly, often without the player being aware. At the end of their game it sends their score details to this system. Their score details are only added to the database if good enough for this game title. The server then fetches the top ten score details for this game title from the database and after formatting, returns this data to the game.

The system records three sets of data, the player's name, score and an extra score value. This can be any numeric value specific to that game title. You can use the extra score value to record a rank, the level attained or money earned. The system supports names up to 40 characters in length and score and extra score values up to two decimal places giving you flexibility.

Administration
The S4M High Score System has a comprehensive administration center allowing multiple Admin Accounts.

Each Admin login account you create gains access to games added to that specific admin account. You can also control how many game titles each specific Admin can add to their account.

The system also includes an automated lost login recovery system which can send a reminder to the registered email address for that Admin should they forget their login details.

Login

The administration center allows you manage game titles added to each account with ease. You can also gauge the popularity of each game by the number of times each game title connects and the dates each recorded score was updated.

Admin

The Administration center displays the top performing games by default but you can view scores for any number of game titles added to each admin account. For flexibility the system records three types of score data. The player's name, their score and an extra score value. Up to two decimal fractions are supported for both the score and extra score values, allowing monitory amounts to be recorded.

Unlimited Game Titles
When adding a new game title to the system you can specify some default score values for that game.

If your game maintains a list of local high score too then generally you would set the score for the last place to a score greater than your local top score.

The increment amount is how much each score from the score in last place it increased by. A last place score of 1000 and increment of 100 would give a top score of 1900.

Add Game

The Game ID number is unique and used by the system to identify that game. The system will not allow duplicates and once set it cannot be altered; changing a game ID equates to adding a new game to the system. The Game Title is used in the Admin section to make identifing games easier than rememering or looking up game ID numbers. This can be any text you want. You could for example have two versions of a game (Clash Bash iOS and Clash Bash HTML) each with their own independant scores and monitor popularity.

The number of times played counter is used to give an indication of popularity of a game title. This value is incremented each time that game title sucessfully connects to the system sending a score greater than zero. This value is not returned to the game but can be fetched and displayed on a web-page.

Error Reporting is disabled by default but you might want to enable it when developing your game. With error reporting turned on the system will send back any connection or data errors. When dissabled only basic connection errors are reported, all others are suppressed.

Finally you can also dissable this game from connecting to the global high score system. Games added to the system are active by default but you can use this option to temporarilly disable them.

Viewing The Top Scores
The scores for a specific title can be selected either from any displayed in the Top Performing games or from an option offering a drop down list of titles.

The system records the top ten scores for each game title, displaying the name of the player, their extra score data (if required for that game) and score together with the date that score was attained.

The number of times played counter is also displayed to give an indication of popularity. This value is not returned to the game but can be retrieved and used on your site as a counter.

View Scores

Comprehensive Help
To enable you to gain the most from the system the S4M High Score System contains comprehensive help.

 

Minimum System Requirements

  • Web Hosting account with access to PHP and MySQL
  • PHP4.3 or greater (PHP5 recommended)
  • MySQL 4.or later (MySQL 5 recommended) with at least 1 database available.
  • FTP access recommended (to upload the necessary files)
Start Your No Obligation Free 30 Trial Today!
Your free trial offers full functionality for 30 days, enabling you to evaluate if it is right for you. No data is lost at the end of the trial period. Game titles you have added to it will continue to register their high scores unimpeded. Download and try it FREE for 30 days
 
On Sale Now Special Introductory Better Than Half Price Offer! Normal Price $99 Now Only $37
You Can Buy A Registration Code For Just $37 (USD)

Registered Versions Offer Additional Benefits

  • A single one-time payment gives you unlimited use.
  • Registered versions never expire and can be reinstalled at any time.
  • You can charge other Admin's for the use of your system and keep all profits.
  • As the main system administrator you have total control.
Purchase with confidence using PayPal®
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A single one-time payment grants you unlimited use. Purchase via PayPal® and the price you see at the checkout is the price you pay. There are no hidden costs or charges. After the transaction is processed select the Return to Merchant link to collect your registration code. Simply enter your code into your S4M High Score System registration form and you are done!
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