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Registered: ‎03-28-2011
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PlayBook Online Leaderboards

I noticed that supporting online leaderboards potentially falls under the "User Generated Content" section.

 

What are people doing to meet all those crazy requirements when you're just a single developer?

 

Profanity filters are a complete joke and are quite easy for the determined player to get past.  

 

It's not like I'm going to be able to moderate the highscores personally around the clock.

 

What we need is an accountability system so that it is tied to an account I'd guess.  Will we be able to access the PlayBook user profile name?  I could see how player's might not want to submit scores under their profile name though for both privacy reasons as well as if the player of the game isn't the owner of the PlayBook at the time (like a friend / sibling / etc.)

 

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.  I'm currently using Playtomic for my leaderboards integration.  What are other people using?

 

Best regards,

Dave Evans

Hybrid Mind Studios

 

Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
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Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

To which "User Generated Content" section are you referring?

 

If I add a release in the vendor portal, I see a section called "User Generated Safeguards".  Is that it?

 

What "crazy requirements" do you see that would be difficult to meet?


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

I'm referring to the section below during submitting a new app or update:

 

"User Generated Safeguards

If your product supports user generated content such as images, text, profile names and messages, you will need to confirm that appropriate safeguard are in place to protect users - especially minors, and monitor and manage inappropriate conduct.

 

My product supports user generated content"

If you check the box above to say your product supports user generated content (see my red section above) then you get 5 text areas that appear that ask you to meet/list all sorts of requirements:
  • You prominently disclose the existence and nature of the safeguards.
  • You conform to relevant business practices to the disclosure made about the safeguards.
  • You established processes to accept complaints from Subscribers about nudity, pornography, harassment, unwelcome contact, fraud or other inappropriate conduct or activity.
  • You established processes to immediately (within 24 hours) acknowledge receipt of a complaint about inappropriate conduct or activity and promptly (within three (3) business days) provide an explanation to the complainant of the steps taken to address the complaint.
  • You established processes to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
There is no guidance on best practices for doing the above list though. It seems complete overkill to have users wade through a waiver/terms of use just to submit a darn score.  I don't want pages of legalize in my game for online competition.  Am I supposed to cover my in game leaderboard with "Mail profanity alerts to blah@blahblah.com" ??
Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
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Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

You're right that there's no guidance given, but I think you're over-reacting a bit to some of that.  I don't see that it says you have to force users through a waiver, for example.

 

1. "prominently disclose".  Is that very hard?

 

2. "confirm to relevant business practices to the disclosure": I'm not clear on this one, but I've never tried to figure out what business practices might be relevant to disclosures about safeguards.  I can't imagine there's much there.

 

3. "establish processes"... that's not hard.  Figure out what process you want to use and document it.  I'd provide an email, possibly just my vendor support email in App World.

 

4. "immediately acknowledge receipt"... not hard.  It's not like you're criminally negligent if sometimes you don't manage to meet the 24h requirement either... you don't have to set up a 24x7 NOC to handle this.  And responding within 3 business days isn't onerous at all.

 

5. "establish practices to ensure compliance"... again, some guidance would be nice, I agree.  But I can't imagine that there are many laws, rules and regulations applicable to profanity filtering on profile names.

 

Is it that hard to filter your profile names to detect a handful of "offensive" words?  I'd make a simple list, and I'm sure there are many such on the web :-), and use a regular expression to pull out any string of consecutive alpha characters to see if they match.  Reject and/or replace offensive names with ??? or something.

 

Generally you want to adjust the degree of protection appropriately for the level of risk involved.  A few swear words in top score lists is rather less of a problem than pornographic images uploaded to your server (if you were allowing images)... nobody's expecting perfection in the results, just that you think it through, document some procedure, disclose it, and be prepared to carry it out when required.

 

By the way, I wouldn't in a million years actually try writing even a simple filter for this myself, at first.  I can't imagine there aren't a dozen free and open implementations already out there for the borrowing... (but I haven't checked).


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

There are a number of prebuilt filters available. They are just notoriously easy to circumvent because the true problem we can't teach computers is language comprehension. Meaning it is really easy to still get past them. I'll likely throw a basic one in though yes.

 

You are right that I'm likely over reacting to the wall of requirements. I still can't think of a nice, clean, and elegant way to present everything within my game/leaderboard regarding the language/support emails.  I like minimal UI and it's this kind of stuff that just gums up things. Smiley Very Happy

 

Thanks for your thoughts on each bullet point.  While I know you are responding within the realm of how I too would like to think the scope of it is the fact remains that it is the BlackBerry review team that will be judging those points and they have not provided guidance.  That adds to the difficulty in determining the scope of work involved.

Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

 


HybridMind wrote:
I still can't think of a nice, clean, and elegant way to present everything within my game/leaderboard regarding the language/support emails.  I like minimal UI and it's this kind of stuff that just gums up things. Smiley Very Happy

 

Thanks for your thoughts on each bullet point.  While I know you are responding within the realm of how I too would like to think the scope of it is the fact remains that it is the BlackBerry review team that will be judging those points and they have not provided guidance.  That adds to the difficulty in determining the scope of work involved.


 

I don't think I'd even put this into the leaderboard stuff... don't you have some sort of About page, or help?  Putting it there should be fine.  I'd consider a small bit of text where they enter the profile name, saying "Offensive names will be rejected -- see Help" or some such.  I also wouldn't attempt to make that realtime or anything... it's not like you've got an obligation to users to warn them in realtime as they type the name that it will be rejected.

 

Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about the review team's judgement on this either.  My guess is that they don't even know exactly what they want yet, and they're collecting all the ideas they are getting from people and will, eventually, publish some sort of guidance that clarifies their minimum standards in some fashion.

 

And, if they don't, I'm sure we ("the people") will... there's always the playbookwiki.org or this forum as a place to start reporting on feedback from RIM about inadequacies in one's processes in this area.

 

A good policy to follow here is probably it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission... just come up with something basic that you think serves the need, and submit it.  If they don't like it, the worst they can do is give you a more detailed request, which is itself a form of guidance (sad though it may be that they're doing it this way).


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
Developer
Posts: 1,003
Registered: ‎01-16-2011
My Device: PlayBook (sim)
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

Peter, that's assuming they'll give a detailed request lol. However I'd have to agree, you're definitely better off submitting what you feel is adequate than waiting for RIM to spell out exactly what they think they want.
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- Hockey DrillBook -
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Posts: 342
Registered: ‎09-28-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

Just take the arcade approach. Three characters, replace the handful of potential abuses with a string of your choice. There are many such lists around, compiled from the old arcade machines.

Developer
Posts: 1,003
Registered: ‎01-16-2011
My Device: PlayBook (sim)
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Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

That's actually a really elegant solution. It's also fun to try to come up with a memorable 3 letter name (makes me think of George and the frogger machine lol).
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- Hockey DrillBook -
Developer
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎03-27-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: WiFi

Re: PlayBook Online Leaderboards

No matter what you do, there will probably always be room for abuse. This reminds me of a poll I saw on a web site a long time ago, I don't recall where. The 'question' was 'we are not responsible for the results if this poll' and the four options are 'U', 'F', 'K', and 'C'. You can guess which order they were ordered in the results...

I think the important thing for your needs is just having a contact email to report offensive names.

Do you require users to register to submit high scores? You could always add a disclaimer here and have nothing or very little in the actual app.
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