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Thread: External API Requirements Thread

  1. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #1

    External API Requirements Thread

    Hi everyone,

    Following up on our plan to investigate support for third party apps utilising game and player information we’re starting with the requirements capture. In this thread we will compile the wish list for the types of data people would like to see available from an API available to external apps. If you have a specific app in mind then that can make a useful test case to accompany the data requirements – it’s always useful to see real world examples of how the data is to be used.

    This same process will also help guide our plans for our own apps and so we’re pausing development of expansion of the Android and Windows Phone versions of our existing Companion App until this process is complete.

    Please note that this thread isn’t about discussing the merits of third party apps.

    We’ll leave this thread open until February 16th. After this point we’ll review the information and put together our initial proposal. This will cover two aspects: the first is the technical design for the API and the second is the procedure for using this data. During this process we’ll also invite people based on participation in thread and other communications to form a small working group.

    When the proposal is ready the private group will provide feedback on the plan, and will go on to assist in testing the system and the associated procedures as appropriate when we enter development of the API.

    We’ll keep you informed as we progress and thanks in advance for your participation in this!

    Michael

  2. #2
    Good stuff - there seem to be a number of highly competent app creators in the community who should make good use of the eventual API.

  3. #3
    - Station landing pad size (station type basically)
    - Station black market availability
    - Market data

    Those are the most important ones I can come up. Outfitting of course is another what would be nice to have.
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  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Snake Man View Post (Source)
    - Station landing pad size (station type basically)
    - Station black market availability
    - Market data
    addition to these ^

    - Station name
    - Station type
    - System name
    - System galactic coordinates

  5. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #5
    Originally Posted by -zalamander- View Post (Source)
    addition to these ^

    - Station name
    - Station type
    - System name
    - System galactic coordinates
    And what would you use these for? It's useful to see what problem you're trying to solve rather than just a list of information - thanks!

    Michael

  6. #6
    In no specific order of importance:


    Destination selected data:
    • Route Plot Destination
    • Allegiance
    • Government
    • Wanted status in destination system
    • Personal standing among each faction (allied to hostile)
    • Economy type(s)
    • Availability of a shipyard
    • Availability of outfitting
    • Availability of Universal Cartographics (unless this is available at every station anyway)
    • Full list of imports, exports, prohibited goods
    • Local GalNet news (only once in-syatem)


    All of the above are to provide you with a set of details to help determine your journey. 3rd Party developers can use this data to give information on a target a user may wish to find out more about, without necessarily having to go to the Galaxy Map, System Map, etc (e.g. for those of us who want to put our tablets to good use as part of the game interface).

    Current system data:

    • Current system telemetry (which frame of reference are you in e.g deep space or the name of the planetary body you are orbiting)
    • Target e.g. a ship or station in the current system
    • Wanted status in current system


    Most of this is available from the cockpit view anyway, but it's a convenience for some players who like this information duplicated on a separate display, and for those of us without tracking hardware or a VR headset.

    General Game Stuff:

    • Date and time in-game
    • Current credit balance
    • Current Commander Profile e.g. all 3 rankings, standings with all major factions etc
    • Transaction data (missions and fines as per left cockpit panel)
    • Ship function telemetry (everything including hull integrity and module statuses - see below)
    • Advanced control telemetry (e.g. to automate certain procedures such as stowing weapon hardpoints, resetting power distribution and engaging the FSD, with or without using 3rd party software e.g. Roccat Power Grid for tablets and phones)


    The general game data such as ranking, date/time and credit balance is useful for at-a-glance without resorting to switching to a cockpit panel in-game. It could be useful to display on a tablet so you can glance at it as you are handling something else on the game screen itself.

    More aspects of the game API would be beneficial as and when certain new features are added to the game itself e.g. altimeter, atmospheric data, mining rig and exploration drone statuses, crew status, internal storage (for things such as passengers or human crew members who will need to be supported by the ship), time to last service, fault reporting (a-la Hard Disk SMART equivalent for ship modules, to warn of impending failure) and so on.

    Having all of these exposed in the API would be useful for developers who want to code their own companion apps to the game, and especially to those of us who want to code our own control automation apps (so we can tap a single tablet/phone virtual button to simultaneously deploy the landing gear, bring our throttle to a halt, and perform other tasks e.g. reset power distribution, and tap another one to deploy hardpoints, bias power to weapons and systems, switch to a specific fire group, and transmit a pre-set message to a player target to save typing and losing precious seconds that might result in your ship getting destroyed in the process).
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  7. #7
    Player Data :

    Name
    Location
    Account Balance
    Current Ship
    Other Ship Locations (system/station)
    Elite ratings

    (for applications like your app or EVEmon for example)

    System data (limited to what can be seen without any system exploration data/if possible all 'owned' exploration data) :
    System Name
    System Coords
    List of stations
    (for 3rd party navigation applications aka Cmdr Club route finder or Trade Dangerous navigation routines

    Station Data (on 24hr update cache) :
    Name
    Pad Size
    Black Market available (or make this purchasable in game from other black market dealers in systems close by)
    Controlling main faction/Independent
    Market data (or allow xml/json/csv output from client for any system with cached data; accessible from galaxy map or commodities list. Alternatively allow api access to all 'owned' market data bought/gathered as usual in client)
    Ship yard + outfitting data (or again for this to be purchasable in client and viewed remotely for sanity of players trying to buy upgrades)

    For 3rd party trade applications allowing players to filter stations they cannot dock at for reasons of ship size or enemy station (due to main faction, local factions are your own lookout)
    While we can (and do) OCR current data, it seems from a players view to be trivial to allow single station market output to local file.

    Faction Data :
    Owned systems
    Ongoing conflict systems for finding pvp

    Again for 3rd party nav apps to show whos/whats where and find closest pvp/war opportunities. Think the filters in EVE online map

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Hi everyone,

    Following up on our plan to investigate support for third party apps utilising game and player information we’re starting with the requirements capture. In this thread we will compile the wish list for the types of data people would like to see available from an API available to external apps. If you have a specific app in mind then that can make a useful test case to accompany the data requirements – it’s always useful to see real world examples of how the data is to be used.

    This same process will also help guide our plans for our own apps and so we’re pausing development of expansion of the Android and Windows Phone versions of our existing Companion App until this process is complete.

    Please note that this thread isn’t about discussing the merits of third party apps.

    We’ll leave this thread open until February 16th. After this point we’ll review the information and put together our initial proposal. This will cover two aspects: the first is the technical design for the API and the second is the procedure for using this data. During this process we’ll also invite people based on participation in thread and other communications to form a small working group.

    When the proposal is ready the private group will provide feedback on the plan, and will go on to assist in testing the system and the associated procedures as appropriate when we enter development of the API.

    We’ll keep you informed as we progress and thanks in advance for your participation in this!

    MIchael
    shouldn't the first customer of the api be the existing companion app...... actually reading that again
    we’re pausing development of expansion of the Android and Windows Phone versions of our existing Companion App
    so the ipad version is being updated still?

  9. #9
    I guess the most obvious ones would be:

    Route Planner
    Commodities Market data
    Outfitting Comparison Tool
    Star Types - for looking for a specific type of star

    Elite

  10. #10
    I would like to be able to manage my friends and groups from an app.
    I would like to see galaxy map style trade data and system data on an app. (obviously authentication would be required so you only access the trade data availble to you in-game

    Do you think there would be a possibility to make in-game changes based on app input. for instance, plotting a jump on an app.

  11. #11
    For pausing development of companion app for now makes sense - needs a wider strategy before moving forward - to avoid useless duplication.
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  12. #12
    - System Information: Ships visited in last 24hrs
    for creating some kind of heat-map, to see where players are basically

    - System Info: Coordinates
    for any kind of out of game map

    - System Info: Population and Allegiance
    to show changes to the galaxy over time (as soon as there will be some shifts caused by wars)

    - System Info: first discovered by (not yet implemented)
    maybe show rankings for explorers
    also show changes over time


    that's a few that came to mind. more to follow maybe

  13. #13
    Michael, ideally we should be able to access the system map data for systems by name. As for trade data, I would propose letting pilots request the same information they have access to in the game client, i.e. all trade data of your current system, as well as trade information for systems you recently visited or bought trade data of.

    In addition, a great functionality would be to add an API function for requesting trade data for nearby systems for a particular commander. This would of course deduct 100cr from their account. This trade data should be the actual market values (i.e. not just "exporting to" and "importing from" but the cr value of the goods, and which goods are offered/needed)

    Another API function could list the nearby systems along with distance information.

    Combining this data, people can work on really cool third party apps that enhance the experience - without giving them an edge over players using just the game client. I'm thinking about purchasing trade data on my tablet, and planning a lengthy trade route right on that device, then take off and use the tablet as reference. Plus the tablet could get updates on my position and display the progress through my journey - and it could even duplicate or augment the route planner function.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    And what would you use these for? It's useful to see what problem you're trying to solve rather than just a list of information - thanks!

    Michael
    Some will want it for trading tools that also give you the route (so you can decide between 1kcr/T profit on a 2-hop 20ly route and 1500cr/T profit on a 10-hop 150ly route). Even plain route planners that can find routes for systems >100ly apart can make use of the system positional data. As part of this it would be useful to have the current in-system co-ordinates of stations available (with the origin being the jump in point/star). No-one likes a 15 minute SC journey because they didn't know the station was a long way from the arrival point.

    It would also be nice to be able to ask questions like "what's the nearest system with High Tech economy and at least 1million population ?". You might want to add in faction restrictions on the results as well. Whether that would be possible directly in the API, or if the API would provide sufficient information for a 3rd party database and tool to answer it is for you to decide.

  15. #15
    That's very good news!
    Current data gathering methods are very error prone due to the human factor. For me the basic data would be:


    • System
      • Name
      • Allegiance
      • Government
      • Coords


    • Station
      • Name
      • System
      • Allegiance
      • Government
      • Type
      • Max landing pad size
      • Has blackmarket
      • Prohibited commodities
      • Economies
      • Commodity market listings
      • Distance to star


    • Commodity
      • Name
      • Category
      • Average price (is it buy/sell/both average?)


    • Commodity market listing
      • Buy price
      • Sell price
      • Demand / Demand type
      • Supply / Supply type


    One note about station to star distance: Am I right that this is changing all the time? Anyone tested if it affects the distance more than 1%?
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