Our lead designer chats about the new version of the Screach API

Dave Potts

 

This is my first contribution to the Screenreach blog so I thought I’d kick start us off with an insight into the new version of the Screach API that I’ve been working on and the new features I’ve integrated. Here we go…

 

Multiscreen experiences:

Until this point each experience you created would have been given a unique code and could only run on one screen.  With the new API, you can create one experience and run it across numerous locations around the world, or even in different parts of the same venue.

This means that Screach can now deliver multi-player games in multiple locations, bringing a whole new level to Screach’s social gaming capabilities. It means for example, that huge brands such as McDonalds, Coco Cola, basically any you can think of, could run worldwide digital-out-of-home marketing campaigns that include social gaming, and have consumers in New York, London, Paris or Tokyo all playing against each other in the same game to win vouchers and rewards.

It’s a really exciting feature with a lot of possibilities. Obviously, organisations such as Playstation and XBox enabled multi-location social gaming a long time ago, so this aspect isn’t a new development – the exciting bit is that previously not everyone had their own controller. As Screach turns your smart device into a controller, every smart phone user in the world now has the power to do this.

Error Reporting:

Next up I’ve been focusing on improving the way that the API troubleshoots problems. Previously, if there was a problem you’d only see one message saying that the connect code was incorrect, regardless of whether that was the problem or not.

I’ve been working to make the API smarter so that it can start identifying issues and begin fixing itself. One difficulty that arises from enabling the multi-screen experiences is the question of what happens if one computer disconnects while the others are running? What happens to the instances if the master connection disconnects? As a result, I’ve set it up for the master to keep telling the instances that he’s still there and working away. If the instances don’t hear anything for 60 seconds they’ll try to reconnect. Previously the master wouldn’t know if it had disconnected from the internet, but now it identifies that it has and tries to reconnect. It can also send an email to an administrator to inform them of the problem.

Before, if the master disconnected then everyone got kicked out of the experience but with the new API the instances are smart enough to know that one of them needs to now become the master. It means that the API can fix almost all of the problems it might come across on its own.

New Interface:

The final significant change is the new interface. With the new API you can both generate your own graphics and make it look the way you want, or we can create the logic for you and you can use our Screach graphics.

We’ve also changed the log-in feature so that you now have the option to include a tutorial video in your experience to allow your consumers to learn more about how they can interact. You can select whether you want the video to show and how often you want it to appear.

We have significantly improved reporting in the new version of the API, which means that you can literally see everything that has happened since the application began running, allowing you to see information such as how many people are interacting, when they are interacting, and any problems occurring, in real time.  This allows you to assess your experience as you go along to identify trends and issues.

The new version of the API is available today. If you want to find out more about it or if you’re interested in creating your own experience then get in touch, I’ll be more than happy to talk it through it with you.

Any feedback or thoughts on the new features would be greatly appreciated too.

You can click on the images below to see what the new API will look like…