Discussion External API Requirements Thread

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It would be nice idea to create huge api for Public and Private info.

For Public API you could check everything what is available to everyone. Just like Systems with coordinates and data available via Maps.

I dissagree to publicate info about trading, prices, possible outfitting items and info which you need to obtain or buy. What can obtain for credits should be available in api via Private section. *1

For Private API you need firstly to login with some credentials or maybe generated apiKey.
And after login there should be possible to access everything what you can in game... well without all simulation/piloting thing.
Lets imagine that some app based on private api data would be visualisation of player sitting in a room on the station.
In app you can check listing of market of station you are in, check your ship info, and do everything which is not needed when you are not in your ship but have access to station info.
There is huge need for managing friend list, groups, or any form of player organisations. So api would allow to communicate with other just like ingame (well it can be limited only to something like mail but chat/voice chat would be great).

I know it sound like making an game elements somehow on the outside, without game launch. Which would be serious security issue. :)

With private api data, players can decide what they want. So if player want to share his info with other networks, like Slopey's ED BPC, OCR or Astro Analytics, the player need to export them by himself, well it can be automatic of course. ;-) *2

*1 Or there can be official Public markets info. Can be access for everyone, data are shared by stations. So station can decide (AI) to share it's Commodity market info, all info or only what is highly demanded/stocked.
*1 and *2 Well this outer shared (public) market info could be available ingame/api, and maybe possible to limit to group/organisation/Empire/Fed/etc. So if you are in organisation, all players share theirs market info. Empire/Fed can decide to share more info with friendly players or via licences.

Well after reread that... its somehow unreal. ;-) but funny. And sorry if it was writen before. ;-P
Between me and the wall, the wall knows more about how to program Apps or using API's.
However, I know what I would find useful.
If I'm away from my game and wanting to show off my progress… it would be good to be able to show a screen that displays the same information as the stats screen in the game.
Also the current load out of my ship at the time too.
As a companion app for use while playing the game, I can imagine a good number of people would like to have the facility to display certain ship aspects on a separate screen or device.
e.g. pointer display (like the speedo of a car) for heat, power usage, etc.


Volunteer Moderator
I'm not convinced an API is necessary, expansion of the "verbose" logging would probably serve most purposes.

The Logs way of doing it is messy though. All they need to do is let us parse the iOS app url (and remove the silly email verification thing that's on it).

For Market data, commander data and stats, that's more than sufficient, provided we could get the system coords in there too.

Telemetry stuff will need some sort of client side API/access however.

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Between me and the wall, the wall knows more about how to program Apps or using API's.
However, I know what I would find useful.
If I'm away from my game and wanting to show off my progress… it would be good to be able to show a screen that displays the same information as the stats screen in the game.
Also the current load out of my ship at the time too.

The iOS app does that already...
To be able to see myself playing ED long term, I feel I will need to participate in the background simulation in meaningful ways. I will want to pick a side and raise it to dominance. Today, it seems some of those features are broken or not implemented but I am hopeful. In the future, I would like to be able to obtain the following information, to make smarter choices about where I will choose to fight:

1) How many non-NPC ships pass thru a system over a given day.
2) How many of those are trading and/or completing missions for sub factions
3) The distribution of influence increase/decrease for sub factions caused by these completed trades/missions

Because of solo mode affecting the background simulation, I will have to choose where to fight and create an impact since systems with high solo-mode traffic will be a lost cause for people like me that will not have hundreds of other players at my disposal to grind missions.

API to change computer voice, change music on events (battle, etc)....

THIS, right here!
I'd like to expand it further and ask for in-game events and their details to be passed through to allow a more interactive AI feel for those who use voice to control other parts of the ship as well as sending other requests.
For example:
Docking request
Radar reading (whether or not it's tied into interdiction to only read then is up to the app that makes use of this)
Ship parameters (heat, power, modules status)
(Event) engage/disenage of frameshift/hyperspace jump.
Remaining fuel/range
Information about targeted object:
- How far I have to be to scan it.
- Target sub systems
- Information presented in system view but would be too... "texty" to show in HUD.

Goes without saying that Communication should be among those events, the future should be voice comm, not text messaging. Including but not limited to
- Names of the ships, aside from number of ships from radar reading.
- Channels on which you can either talk 1-1 or group talk.
That last one I suppose is sort of a feature request at it as well. Considering real world you don't have communications targeting each person, you target the frequency/channel and whoever on that channel responds, or listen in. Private channels and encryption exists. But perhaps it's too late in game to change the communication model.

All in all, my objective is to be able to fly the ship completely with HOTAS, Rift and voice for all functions, without fiddling with the menu options to say turn on and off engines. FD can take this on yourself to create said interactive AI, or provide API for third-party devs to use their own voice banks, their own responses, or even use a gesture control like the leap motion controller.
For my own site what I'd be most interested in would be things regarding the system, station and market data at the players current location.
The system name, it's economic, political and background sim state and it's coordinates.
The station and available services.
The commodities, prices and supply/demand.

The reason for this would be for my users to do searches and plan their trades but really I'd prefer it if the in game tools were brought up to scratch. I've always felt that my site was just a stop gap while you folks worked on the game. Give us our pilots log and let us search our own data we've gathered in game and a lot of the need for an API would go away. :)


Tutorial & Guide Writer
Why did I miss this thread? Its like an unexpected X-mas morning present. Luckily a commander send me a PM about this thread!!! Gonna read the posts twice to see what has not been said before.
Michael Brookes: You just made my day. Thanks so very much that the planned web-api is going to get implemented AND that we can talk about the requirements. So much appreciated.
Primary thing for me - Personal trade data. I actually like that it's harder to get accurate trade info from other people now via the likes of Slopey's tool, and I like that the markets are now (apparently) responding more rapidly, meaning the data in the tool goes out of date faster. What I want is an interface to my own personal learned trade data. If i've visited a system in the past 24 hours I want to be able to access my last 'snapshot' of that system's data, and compare it to all other systems I've been to similarly recently, so that I can see what the most efficient trade routes are. I want to be able to see which systems sell what ships and outfitting modules before I go there, so that I can search for where to go to find a specific item I want for my outfitting. I want to be able to plot routes within the app, access the GalNet news for systems i've recently visited etc. Maybe an API to the chat interface so that I can use my X52 for flying and my iPad for chat, and never touch the PC keyboard. I actually know at least two pairs (one couple, one father and young son) who work together as a pilot/navigator pair, so anything that facilitates that. Like using the API to accept and hand in missions that you're in-system for that don't require an exchange of physical goods, from supercruise or maybe just normal space, without actually having to fully dock to see them. Or to plot routes between systems that you're not currently at in readiness for the next stage of your journey, request docking at the station, etc.

Probably not what you were talking about, but an official client API for X/Y/Z axis movement so that people can use motorised seating setups for motion feedback during flight. I'd also love it if I could access an API for the left and right panels in the game, so that I can use an interface on my iPad or Android tablet or whatever to select targets, select target subsystems, turn on ship lights, choose a combat side, etc from that rather than having to use the in-game interface to look left or right.
One note here: the API should not give more information than the game itself

This one is very important, especially with market data. As much as I credit Slopey for his work, there shoudn't be an automatic way to collect all market data from all Players as it's diametrically opposed to the idea of Elite. The market System definitlely needs an overhaul, but this should be done ingame (and slopey's proably the first who agrees on this). This essentialy means, that no market data should be exposed to the API!

On the other hand, all static data (current system info with coordinates, stations, services, outfitting data, factions, faction standings etc etc) should be queriable, so we could create some sort of travel log. One could review his travel data, bookmark important places and add remarks to them, find friendly systems, blackmarkets ("just found some really nice artifacts, where's the closest bm I know of?").

Are you guys planning to implement a WebAPI or one hooked into the client?

I'd love to see a .NET / c++ api where I could subscribe to events (entering system, station etc) and then display all the info in real time on my second screen (and your webserver would probably love that too :))!!

But an ingame solution to this, would always be better!
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This would benefit the Community as a whole in all activities and does not replace the game information in any way.

1. List of Conflicts active within the last 24 hours

2. Top 100 Bounties by Major Jurisdiction ( Alliance, Empire, Federation ) and last location known ( intervals of 24 hours )

3. Top 100 Traffic systems by Trade amount in credits ( weekly report )

4. Top 100 Extraction point by Mining amount in tons ( weekly report )
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Is the API meant to be one-way? If not, would be cool if we could send the name of the current music track to that display between our legs (in-game)
My first questions would have to be about the high-level architecture that you have in mind (or will consider). In particular:

  • Are we talking about a web-based service that will have access to our data, or an interface directly with the client via mods/plugins?
  • If a web service, would it be fair to assume that the game will not be pushing notifications, such as events on changing systems?
  • Will the API be able to push changes to the game, such as setting a route plan that would persist across sessions? (Incidentally, persistent routes would be nice please ;)) If so, it would need to be heavily restricted—tools to monitor commodity prices and buy below some price, for example, I think we'd want to avoid. With extreme prejudice.

Personally, I intend to join others in building a "Commander's log". This would be usable even in the absence of an API, through manual entry, so any information acquired automatically would be a bonus. At its It would basically boil down to something that could remember a Thing That Happened and Where It Happened, allowing me to get back to or stay clear of that place. Obvious desires would be:

  • System name,
  • Last station name,
  • Galactic coordinates.

Beyond that, Galaxy and Map info (where known), such as stations/economies/imports/exports etc. would be a next step, as accompaniments to what is already available to commanders in-game.

A step up from that would be snapshots of station data at a given time. While it comes down to what FD are willing to to give us, I'd probably suggest that this info should be available only while docked at the station (though the app would, of course be allowed to cache those data):

  • Commodity market prices,
  • Faction standings and current states1,
  • Available outfitting/shipyard,
  • Existence of black market2,

(1It occurs to me that I'm not sure how politics propagate. If you've mapped a system and one of its stations flips while you're 1000LY away, can you see that in the system map?)
(2Assuming BM info hasn't made it to the system map yet)

Beyond that, for my (current) purposes, anything more would be a bonus. Current personal data such as rep, and whether or not you're wanted in the current system, would help the tool to keep track of such things without manual intervention; current ship loadout wouldn't hurt (in-game too please?) etc.

And I'm sure I'll be inspired by seeing what everyone else is thinking here!
Data for Route Planning. I mean the Galaxy map is seriously missing some cool tricks. It doesn't even have a straight line between your location and target but I want to bring you lines, misty tubes and ... a ... winky swirly thingy.
Data for Trading. Just what players can see in game, but it should be available to any API. The data qualty issues of a galaxy larger than the possible human userbase should lead to interesting emergent behaviour.
Data on Missions - what was on offer where. Doesn't mean they still are but please don't make me write it all down if you don't have to.
Data on the Ship - I bought what in 1985? Data on kills - that tricked out eagle really was a better bounty hunting tool than the imperial mongoose - It Is Known, Khaleesi.
Sensor Data - why wouldn't I want my uFlat to give me an enhanced radar? Three screens and a tablet for power-grid isn't enough! Or an app that shouts "Police Proximity Warning, please do take the time and trouble to Avoid Friendly Fire Commander!" would be cool. Followed by ... "Oooops".
User input data - why wouldn't I want my PC to scream something undignified and rude at me when I just boosted inside a station?
Personal finance - I bagsis The "you have no insurance warning" app, when someone spends themselves into that situation. Maybe I can retire on that.

Why stop at making data available.

Ship Controls - I want a supercruise autopilot or even an autopilot which will execute the 200ly route I could only hope to plan with external tools :p. There is no reason I shouldn't be able to hand over certain functions of my ship to a 'bot' in well defined situations (so proximity or events could cause a situation where the client reverts to user inputs).

I don't seem to have mentioned specific data items but just everything man, just freaking everything! Please.
My 2c

  1. Transaction logs: What I bought, where, when and for how much, and the ability to store it and make graphs and such. If we had this and the right tools to analyse it, there wouldn't be as much perceived need for live market data.
  2. Navigation Logs: Where I went, when, where I docked. I want to show off my travels.
  3. Local Market Data: Live prices and supply/demand but only for the system you are currently docked in, and any systems which you purchased market data for in the last 24 hours from the Galaxy Map.
I could imagine with the right info developers could make an out of game orrery like the mock up of one shown during development, providing present location of self and friends and other useful info.

This is what I was thinking, or at least access to the stellar forge galaxy basic data, as it is purported to be the first fully merged star catalogue data set. This could be used for:

  • Educational visualisation of the real, known galaxy (stellar forge added stars removed).
  • An off-line (from the game) mapping and galaxy browser, potentially a version of the Galaxy Map for route planning giving pilot location. (So you can show people where you've got to.)
  • For individual commander saves, access to the system map level data for star systems explored or purchased.
  • For individual commanders, locations of friends/group members.

Doing quite a bit for University outreach, the first point would be highly useful. If the original catalogue merging was rigorous enough then it could even become a useful scientific research data resource. (Someone at Frontier may even be able to get a paper published.)
I could use an access to ship telemetry and station docking-bay telemetry, in purpose to reproduce the IFOLS (Improved Fresnel Lens Optical System) on HUD, also call, mirror landing system.
The iOS app does that already...

The iOS app only gets updated when you're docked, at least to do with commander status, the prices are current, I think (which is probably a bug). I've been exploring for over a week so it's not updated my location etc. at all.
Going to reiterate what may have already been said, just to make sure! I'd like

Current Station Market Data
So that I can build up an offline database of commodities seen at stations I've visited, with a 'last seen' value for price. This would help those 'bring me silver!' missions where I have to refer to an ever-growing spreadsheet. By restricting the API to only showing the data for the last station visited, you prevent the internet from instantly crawling the price data from all stations and rendering the fun of exploration obsolete!

API Calls to allow the use of a tablet for plotting routes
This would allow the use of a tablet as an extra screen that could potentially interact with the game client to guide you to star systems, showing things like distance of next jump, estimated fuel consumption, star types (for fuel scooping), etc. Similar to how iRacing has apps that can tie in to show telemetry, this would be awesome for in-game.

API Calls to read (and potentially write) telemetry data
Being able to change power settings from a tablet would be awesome. Roccat power grid can do this, but an official app (or something a bit less kludgey) would be great!
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