Supporting long-running multiplayer games

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Alon Dener

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Oct 17, 2015, 11:31:57 AM10/17/15
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Hi,

My name is Alon Dener. I have been working on a game sharing platform called PlayHub.
Basically, the idea behind it is to play games over existing groups from other apps, such as WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.

I saw this chess game and I thought that it would fit PlayHub perfectly.

I have taken the liberty to do 2 things:
1. Fork chess to my own repository which I modified to support PlayHub.
2. Publish it for testing purposes onlyI will remove it imminently when finishing testing, or at your request.

The adjustments needed were rather small and simple, as you can see in the diff between the repositories, and have no effect on the chess users, except for the fact that they can now also play it via PlayHub.
I would really appreciate it if you could tell me about your thoughts regarding this, and about merging these changes to Chess in the future, in order to add support for long-running online games.

Jeroen Carolus

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Oct 17, 2015, 11:42:11 AM10/17/15
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Hi Alon,

Will look at it. Sounds excellent!

Cheers,
Jeroen

Op 17 okt. 2015 17:31 schreef "Alon Dener" <alon...@gmail.com>:
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Alon Dener

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Oct 17, 2015, 6:38:32 PM10/17/15
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Thanks!

Notice that currently the forked chess cannot be installed alongside the real chess, so in order to check it you need to use a device that either don't have the real chess installed, or to temporarily remove it just to check the forked one. Sorry for that, I guess I didn't change some value between the apps which can't exists twice on the same device.

בתאריך יום שבת, 17 באוקטובר 2015 בשעה 18:42:11 UTC+3, מאת Jeroen:

Jeroen

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Oct 18, 2015, 4:18:58 AM10/18/15
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Hi Alon,

By changing the AUTHORITY in MyPGNProvider.java, both apps should be able to register their content providers and run next to each other.
Could you please update that for the app in the Play store. I don't mind that you publish the app, but it should not block install of the other app.

Cheers,
Jeroen

Alon Dener

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Oct 19, 2015, 12:54:31 AM10/19/15
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That did indeed fix the problem. I have changed the authority and republished the forked app about 7 hours ago. 
The new version should be now available in the store, and its version number should be 8.6.12.

בתאריך יום ראשון, 18 באוקטובר 2015 בשעה 11:18:58 UTC+3, מאת Jeroen:

Alon Dener

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Oct 31, 2015, 12:48:03 PM10/31/15
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I have now also made some adjustments to the activity used to play chess over playhub, to make it more suitable for an online game.
I would really love for you to check it out.

Here is PlayHub in Google Play, and here is the forked chess.
You simply need to start a new game in PlayHub, and either choose the forked chess if you already installed it, or choose it from the supported apps shown. 

בתאריך יום שני, 19 באוקטובר 2015 בשעה 07:54:31 UTC+3, מאת Alon Dener:

Jeroen

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Nov 1, 2015, 5:38:26 AM11/1/15
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Looking into it. My spare Android crashed on me, so have to arrange some other device.
If you create a pull request I will probably merge if there are no issues.

Alon Dener

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Nov 1, 2015, 4:12:52 PM11/1/15
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Great!
I have created a pull request :)

בתאריך יום ראשון, 1 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 12:38:26 UTC+2, מאת Jeroen:

jobje

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Nov 5, 2015, 9:13:09 AM11/5/15
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Where can I find this request ?

Op zondag 1 november 2015 22:12:52 UTC+1 schreef Alon Dener:

jobje

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Nov 5, 2015, 9:18:49 AM11/5/15
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How can you change media (Facebook, Google+ or Whatsapp)?

Have first chosen for Whatsapp but how do you go to Facebook?


Op zondag 1 november 2015 22:12:52 UTC+1 schreef Alon Dener:
Great!

Alon Dener

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Nov 5, 2015, 3:43:01 PM11/5/15
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You can find it here:

בתאריך יום חמישי, 5 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 16:13:09 UTC+2, מאת jobje:

Alon Dener

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Nov 5, 2015, 3:45:12 PM11/5/15
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When you create a new group or a new game in playhub, you choose where to publish it (i.e. whatsapp, facebook, etc).
By publishing it in another app's forum you de-facto create a playhub group / game based on the people in that forum.

Also, you can always send invitation to games that hadn't started yet or to existing groups. By doing so you can add users from multiple apps to a single playhub game / group.

בתאריך יום חמישי, 5 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 22:43:01 UTC+2, מאת Alon Dener:

Alon Dener

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Nov 7, 2015, 12:43:53 PM11/7/15
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I have seen you approved the pull reqest. Thanks :)

Notice that if you want chess to show up in PlayHub's "Get more games" results, you simply need to add the phrase "PLAYHUBSUPPORTED" somewhere in chess's description in google play (playhub simply shows all apps containing this phrase when pressing the "get more" butten).

Jeroen

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Nov 8, 2015, 5:17:20 AM11/8/15
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Hi Alon,

The latest version is now published and contains the PLAYHUBSUPPORTED in the description.
I would like to improve the PlayHubActivity view a little, so it also supports landscape orientation (otherwise the portrait feature limits the number of devices that can be targeted in the play store). 
Also it would be handy to start PlayHub from chess. Is it possible to create an intent including some "extra data" or content type that will be picked up by PlayHub? This will increase traffic to PlayHub as well.
What is the best way to develop in combination with PlayHub - is there a test version that will allow for a non published development build on a device?

Can you remove PlayHub Chess from the play store as well, so there is no confusion due to same logo and name once installed.

Cheers,
Jeroen

Alon Dener

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Nov 8, 2015, 5:32:11 PM11/8/15
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Hi,

There is currently no way to open PlayHub from chess in the way you described, I will work on making it possible in the next few days.
I will also add landscape support to PlayHubActivity's view, as suggested.
Also, I have removed PlayHubChess from the play store.

Regarding development with PlayHub, you can use a non-published development build of your app and check it against PlayHub. It will work just fine, accept for the fact that the version available in google play, and therefore the version installed as a result of a PlayHub game invetation, will not be the development build. So you must manually install the development build on all the devices over which you develop and check the app.

בתאריך יום ראשון, 8 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 12:17:20 UTC+2, מאת Jeroen:

Jeroen Carolus

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Nov 9, 2015, 2:49:22 AM11/9/15
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Hi Alon,

Great, thanks for the update!

Cheers,
Jeroen

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Alon Dener

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Nov 12, 2015, 3:22:55 PM11/12/15
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I have created a pull request with the improvements you suggested.
It now supports landscape orientations, and also can open playhub from the start menu. When it opens playhub, it directly opens its "new game" activity, with chess as the game to create.  

בתאריך יום שני, 9 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 09:49:22 UTC+2, מאת Jeroen:

Jeroen

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Nov 14, 2015, 3:21:47 PM11/14/15
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Hi Alon,

I am merging the new pull request. 
I think it is better to have PlayHub open in the default Activity - it is not practical to always create a new game when going to PlayHub from Chess. Or maybe PlayHub can detect that if there are no games for the supplied "gameEngine" it then goes to the new game activity like now, otherwise the default.
What do you think?

Cheers,
Jeroen 

Alon Dener

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Nov 14, 2015, 4:00:39 PM11/14/15
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I was initially uncertain myself. However, I think it will be a bit confusing for the user if PlayHub will open different activities depending on whether there are active games for the supplied game engine.

After playing with it, I think the most intuitive thing for the user would be to simply open the default activity, as you suggested.
In order to open PlayHub in the default activity, simply remove the "i.putExtra("gameEngine", getPackageName());line when starting it.

בתאריך יום שבת, 14 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 22:21:47 UTC+2, מאת Jeroen:

Jeroen

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Nov 15, 2015, 7:39:27 AM11/15/15
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Indeed - going to remove the gameEngine from the intent.

Alon Dener

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Nov 20, 2015, 11:40:13 AM11/20/15
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I have modified PlayHub to ignore the "gameEngine" in the intent, so you can also leave it in the code as it is, if you wish.

בתאריך יום ראשון, 15 בנובמבר 2015 בשעה 14:39:27 UTC+2, מאת Jeroen:

Jeroen

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Nov 20, 2015, 2:46:02 PM11/20/15
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Hi Alon,

I am not going to put the PlayHub option in the start menu anymore. 
The reason being that people are confronted with advertisements (I only recently found out). Not having ads is a feature of Chess which is greatly appreciated by its users, so this is an issue. 
We can leave it like the original setup - Chess being an engine (PlayHubSupported app) that is available from the PlayHub app - that is perfectly fine by me. 
So the next update will contain the landscape view, but not the option in the start menu.

Cheers,
Jeroen
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