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Online high scores

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Hi. Does anyone know of any good tutorials for creating an online high score with c++? I need it for a game I'm making in Dev-C++. I already have a rudimentry database and score submit/retrieve ASP scripts on a webserver, but I'm having trouble finding any info on how to access them from C++.

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Check out cURL and libcURL: http://curl.haxx.se/

There's quite a bit of documentation to go through, but the C++ binding (http://curl.haxx.se/libcurl/cplusplus/) has some nice samples that should get you started with the HTTP Requests that you need to make for the online high scores.

It took me a few days (less than a week) to implement high scores in my game while taking a full load (17 credits) at a university. But there is a few "gotchas" that are best learned by experimenting with the code samples.

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I'm curious about this problem too. Its easy enough to make a CGI or server-side script manage high scores in an SQL table, and make the client program open a socket to the webserver on port 80 and use the usual HTTP protocol methods to GET and POST high scores (to partially answer your question).

In a closed-source client, you can use a magic number hidden in the code to verify the client's score submission. But how can you make this moderately cheat-proof, using an open-source client - and not restrict players to use a specific build? Maybe someone can answer this for me.

I've just thought about this stuff now and I would usually research the idea before resorting to the forums. But since someone's already started the topic, I might as well ask now.

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Quote:
Original post by EnemyBoss
In a closed-source client, you can use a magic number hidden in the code to verify the client's score submission.


Well, not particularly effectively. You need to do a little more than that to discourage all but the most pathetic cheaters.

Quote:

But how can you make this moderately cheat-proof, using an open-source client - and not restrict players to use a specific build?


Maybe have a different high score table for each build. Don't allow people who compile their own client to use the official client high score table. Have a different (unpublished) high score security mechanism for official binary builds.

I can't see another way of doing it.

Bear in mind that there are certain techniques that are effectively undefeatable, e.g. attaching a debugger and modifying the score in-memory before it gets saved.

So don't try too hard.

Needless to say, I wrote a game with an online high score table which is trivial to hack, and it has not been hacked yet.

Make sure there isn't a prize for the highest score.

Mark

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With rBlocks, I kind of hacked it and had it write the highscore to an encrypted file. When they were satisfied with their score, they uploaded the file through a website and then PHP would decypher the file and add the highscore to a MySQL database where everyone could then see their results. Unfortunately I had to take the highscore uploader down while I did some maintenance on my site, but you can still see the highscores.

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I just realized its impossible to make an open-source client that can't be re-built to allow players to cheat in the game. The high scores table should really only support officially released builds. The issue here isn't just about transparency.

Thanks,

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Quote:
Original post by EnemyBoss
I just realized its impossible to make an open-source client that can't be re-built to allow players to cheat in the game. The high scores table should really only support officially released builds. The issue here isn't just about transparency.
You could include a certain number with the highscore to verify it and when releasing the source, just change the number.

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Yup, a number or a secure identifier scheme exclusive to the build release. Thats what I and I think markr mean by official binary builds. The client can still be open-source, but unofficial builds can't post high scores on the official server. Others can of course build and host their own highscores tables, then build and release clients to support them.

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Well, what id do for a nice online high score list is use a PHP file of some sort, post the results to from the application, and store them in a MySQL database. Of course you would have to develop a very secure way of doing this by perhaps encrypting things and setting a cookie, along with some sort of ID system that corresponds with the score you have. Otherwise people would simply hack there score.

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Quote:
Original post by wyrzy
Check out cURL and libcURL: http://curl.haxx.se/

There's quite a bit of documentation to go through, but the C++ binding (http://curl.haxx.se/libcurl/cplusplus/) has some nice samples that should get you started with the HTTP Requests that you need to make for the online high scores.

It took me a few days (less than a week) to implement high scores in my game while taking a full load (17 credits) at a university. But there is a few "gotchas" that are best learned by experimenting with the code samples.


Thanks, looks quite powerful. I'm having a bit of trouble compiling/linking my code with the binary though. I get the error:
The procedure entry point ANS1_STRING_data could not be located in the dynamic link libeay32.dll


The documentation talks about needing to install it first but I can't actually find the various install files it talks about (mingw32.bat, curl-config etc). Are there any other more basic HTTP libraries?

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