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  • Mobile app for captains games

    mirage was mentioning last night that notifying everyone of captains games is becoming burdensome, with > 100 friends on his Steam account.

    I would be willing to write a basic mobile app for TGNS that would have the potential to automate notifications.

    If there is a way to programmatically determine when a captains vote is ongoing (or succeeded, or a game just ended), then it would not be very difficult to have a workflow such as this:

    1) Users install an iOS/Android app and opt in to captains vote alerts
    2) App server detects captains vote is commencing (either by polling the NS2 servers directly, or by the NS2 servers poking the app server)
    3) Push notification goes out to all subscribed users that a captains game has [started|succeeded|ended]

    This could also - potentially - enable other features such as:

    * Viewing server info such as: player list, current map, game time
    * Viewing historical captains game results

    So, my question to you all is: Is there interest in such an app? If so, is there an existing API for the servers that would allow me to poll for captains game status? If not, we can discuss ways of making this happen.

  • #2
    Re: Mobile app for captains games

    It sounds like a nice idea, but I am not sure what it will actually solve. I thought that the notifications were going out to the steam group chat now, so that is one. Would this remove the need to anybody to do anything? Would it also send out updates on other nights when a captains match is getting played?

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    • #3
      Re: Mobile app for captains games

      Ideally, yes, it would send notifications whenever a captains vote is started, and whenever a game finishes, regardless of when that is.

      The Steam group chat is a decent option, but it still requires people to join it and pay attention to it - so the "push" aspect is lost. Group chat also has to be maintained and updated by someone.

      So what I'm proposing is essentially an automated way to poke people for captains, that takes away both the overhead of having to actively poke in various ways (Forum, Steam Friends, Group Chat), and also the uncertainty of not knowing exactly when captains games are running, when they've ended, etc.

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      • #4
        Re: Mobile app for captains games

        If you are really going to take on this challenge then I'd suggest your first milestone/public release be a push notification of when a game (captains or not) is finished on a particular server.

        tl;dr version: yes, I would use something like this but iterative is key.

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        • #5
          Re: Mobile app for captains games

          You would probably have to work with Wyz for this, I think.

          It's been a while since we discussed the details, but I don't believe there's currently any real way of querying the server from the outside.
          Right now, the portal page sort of uses the TGNS shared backend as a middleman. I'm sure Wyz could correct me if I'm wrong, since it's been a while since I was last refreshed on the details.

          Either way, I had suggested at some point that we could have Captains mode set a message in this backend that then gets scanned and propagates over to the portal page whenever Captain's mode is enabled.

          Personally, I don't feel this is all too useful, since unless I'm at my PC, there's really no point in me knowing when a Captain's game is beginning. I believe the Steam group is fine, though it sounds like you guys are all just sitting in a group chat instead of having mirage set group announcements?

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          • #6
            Re: Mobile app for captains games

            I think the Steam Group solves most of the issues, as Mirage can post events to that group and notifications will go out already. Basically, Steam already has the communication side handled.

            The aspect NOT handled by steam right now is non-Captain's-Night games, but I don't see a lot of utility to that if that's just going to cause people to join up and kick the people that already opted into it in the first place? Seems awkward.

            Might I suggest Titanium Appcellerator or Phonegap for your app if you decide to go forward with it? They will enable a great deal of cross-platform ease for this, since you're not doing a lot with the mobile hardware.

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            • #7
              Re: Mobile app for captains games

              Originally posted by TodPunk View Post
              I think the Steam Group solves most of the issues, as Mirage can post events to that group and notifications will go out already. Basically, Steam already has the communication side handled.

              The aspect NOT handled by steam right now is non-Captain's-Night games, but I don't see a lot of utility to that if that's just going to cause people to join up and kick the people that already opted into it in the first place? Seems awkward.
              The captains steam group would be much more useful if there were more than 3 dozen current members. Also, reserved slots are disabled for captains.
              aka Roland tHTG

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              • #8
                Re: Mobile app for captains games

                I'm wondering if any of this is necessary. I know every time mirage sends me the message, it's too early for me to get on, and I generally just close it or I don't even notice it cuz I'm not on the PC. My better half has complained because she was on the PC and my "little friends" are sending me messages. Lol.

                I think the vast majority of us know Captains night is Friday, and we know a general time when it starts. The only reason I can think of creating an app or sending a mass message would be to give out the password to people who already frequent the forums to save time and hassle.

                Mom
                Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
                Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

                You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
                Forever Perplexed

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                • #9
                  Re: Mobile app for captains games

                  I believe the use case for what Shameless is describing is this: I am not at my computer and want to know when a captains game is starting or finished by receiving a notification on my phone so that I can join in the next captains game.

                  The Steam mobile app does not have group chat capability currently (at least not to my knowledge - someone please correct me if i'm wrong) so to get this same end result mirage (or whomever) would have to PM some list of people.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Mobile app for captains games

                    I haven't tested it on mobile, but I know that the steam chat / groups can be used simply via the steam community website and not just the steam client once you've logged in. So theoretically you could use the web page from your mobile device of choice

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