New Contest : Flash / ColdFusion Based Halo 2 Application

As you probably know by now by all of the posts in the community, Microsoft has released Halo 2 for the Xbox this week. One of the things that is really cool is how they are linking online stats to the Bungie website, and even providing RSS feeds of data for individual user stats (for example, here is a RSS feed of my Halo 2 online stats).

So, since since it looks like a lot of people in the Flash community are playing Halo 2, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for a new contest. So, here it is:

The contest is for the best application that uses game stat information from the Halo website. Here are the rules. The entry:-Has to be a Flash and/or ColdFusion based application (Flex apps included)-Has to be based on dynamic data from the halo site (such as the player RSS feeds)-Has to be deployed on a public website and be publicly accesibleThe contest ends at 5PM PST (-8 UTC) on Friday, December 3 (Note, the deadline was extended 2 weeks to December 3). It is open to anyone, except Macromedia employee. Here are what the winners will get:-1st Place : Flash Timbuktu Messenger bag (these rock!), Flash Hat, Flash T-shirt and assorted Flash books-2nd Place : Flash Hat, Flash T-shirt, and assorted Flash Books-3rd Place : Flash T-shirt and assorted Flash booksYou can find information on the Halo 2 RSS user feeds here (scroll down to section 6.6).Update [Nov 19, 2004] : Kevin Hoyt has posted some ColdFusion code for parsing the RSS feeds. You can find more info here.To submit your entries, post the URL to your app in the comments section.

59 Responses to New Contest : Flash / ColdFusion Based Halo 2 Application

  1. ericd says:

    we can’t load those rss feeds from Bungie directly into Flash yet 🙁 I love the idea though. Nice one. We should see some cool stuff!!

  2. mike chambers says:

    Yeah, right now you will need to use a server side proxy.Hopefully bungie will add a policy file to their server.mike

  3. Hey, shouldn’t the prizes include a copy of Halo 2??? 🙂

  4. Sam Robbins says:

    I’ve noticed a bug with the rss feed today. I went to check my stats via my html rss page and it was showing some other guys stats not mine! I’m using the same link to the rss feed but it wasn’t my info. After refreshig a bit it was fine but the links / feeds seem a little unstable right now, I hope they get them running better in the future.

  5. Nik Khilnani says:

    hmm…. i think u need better incentives. flash books arent very appealing anymore and a lot of people have timbuktu bags…better prizes like 3rd party tools a flasher needs…. they already have flash since they developed a flash app.or scrap the prizes and let the winner write or co-write an article for devnet or something similar… that would be a lot more appreciated im sure… something to get the winners name out there and display his talents (which id think he has since he won)open a section on MM or mxna for contests and the contest winners and archive some of the work… ?i know id love to browse past unofficial mm contests…

  6. ericd says:

    Hey – something is caching @ the other end of the requests – not to mention the flawed requester. I’m getting all kinds of people’s feeds, and then when jumping from one to the next, there is strange caching going on.I don’t know if its stable enough to build on yet. Ugh.

  7. mike chambers says:

    Yeah, I noticed in my RSS feed that I get the wrong data sometimes. Hopefully bungie will fix that soon.Regardless, I wont hold that againsts any of the contest entires.mike

  8. mike chambers says:

    >hmm…. i think u need better incentives.Well, sorry you are not excited about the prizes. You can always wait for the next contest, and maybe we will offer something you like.mike

  9. mike chambers says:

    fyi, I made a post on the bungie forums about the problems with the RSS feeds: you are running into it also, it probably wouldnt hurt to add to the thread.mike chambers

  10. caseyc says:

    Hmm, how would one without an Xbox or Halo2 (sad, I know) get access to the rss feed?

  11. joe rinehart says:

    Crazy consollers. Play some Counter-Strike: Source and support your local PC. :)Actually, Halo 2 looks pretty cool.

  12. Boyzoid says:

    I keep getting a ‘ Document root element is missing’ error when Itry to parse the feed with CF.

  13. mike chambers says:

    yeah, it looks like the feed is not validating: should be able to pull in the feed too a variable, and then parse it. Does that work?mike

  14. DoohanOK says:

    LOL! And I have up being on the waiting list for Mesh’s XBox Live “Friends” List.

  15. It seems that the stats have been shutdown and replaced with a “coming soon” banner. This includes returning a completely empty channel in the RSS feed. Was anyone smart enough to save a copy of their RSS? Are we assuming that it’ll be back up in the same format by next Friday?P.S. Boyzoid: There is a line return or something before the XML that seems to cause trouble. Try this… XMLParse(Right(cfhttp.FileContent, Len(cfhttp.FileContent)-1))

  16. mike chambers says:

    Yeah, their site was down for a while, but is back up again. Maybe they are fixing some of the bugs with the RSS feed?mike

  17. Boyzoid says:

    Ben -That did it…Thanx!

  18. Emerica says: but it works. :)Contact me in the forums located there as well if you have questions

  19. rob abbott says:

    Okay – I have seen this working in Flash, now let’s see if my man Chuck will post it!Hopefully he’ll respond to this post…cuz he needs that Timbuktu bag.rob

  20. Thanks for the push Rob! Here’s my entry: the GamerTag, or enter in your own rss URL. All games are loaded into a DataGrid.Is it wrong that this was almost more fun than the game itself? Almost! Thanks for the challenge.

  21. ericd says:

    Drat – I’m going on vacation this weekend and am slammed with checking for regression bugs. I’ll update my app = I have to implement the datagrid, the charting, etc. but I have an app working somewhat here: hope to get it working a lot better but am pressed for time. It’s a ton of fun playing around with though!!!

  22. This is very cool. Where could I find tutorials for working with RSS feeds and how to manipulate the data?Thanks,Ed

  23. ericd says:

    google is probably you’re best friend. I am doing all kinds of string manips to get what I want out of the rss feed, its a pain but it works.

  24. EpyonV says:

    I’ve been looking over the entries so far and this is amazing. You guys are doing a great job. I do hve one request, though.For those of you doing overall stats, could you please divide it into Slayer and non-Slayer games? People generally have very different play strategies in CTF matches (where kills and deaths don’t matter) and Slayer matches (where kills and deaths are everything).Even if that doesn’t get implemented, I’m still very impressed and will be using/sharing these apps with my friends!

  25. ericd says:

    i just added Peril to the experience. I can look into the Slayer thing – shouldn’t be too hard.

  26. rob abbott says:

    If it’s any constellation I spent a few hours last night building a FlashCast channel called Halo2RSS. You can only assume what’s in it. It’s a bit rough, but it works none the less.I must note it’s not totally publicly accessible, so that’s why I’ll see if I can roll out a web version on my site this evening if I can break away long enough to play Halo 2.rob

  27. Papalmonkey says:

    Just wanted to clarify… will the winning entry need to turn over the actual code of the app, or is placing the app on a public-facing site acceptible?

  28. mike chambers says:

    Just need to make it publicly accesible. You dont have to release the source.mike

  29. mike chambers says:

    here are the php docs for readfile that the proxy script is using: this comment:–Tip: You can use a URL as a filename with this function if the fopen wrappers have been enabled. See fopen() for more details on how to specify the filename and Appendix L for a list of supported URL protocols.–Might want to check that.mike

  30. Nice contest, I just want to mention here if anybody is going to do with PHP/MySQL/FLASH and used of AMFPHP then i will like to suggest to use rss parser from best of luck everybody…if anybody wants any help in regarding PHP and AMFPHP with FLASH for this contest let me know.

  31. Nhyrvus says:

    OMG, yous guys make me weep 🙁 . ..I been playing with sites for a while now, and i admit, the code side of things has always been a mystery to me ..Now, i Play Halo 2 with my clan, and its GREAT, and i do the site for the clan too … …. all my own work :D. .But i got a problem now, cos the ONLY way i can improve on the site is to add one of these interfaces to it, on the clans stat page ….Sooo. . .question is, how would I, with no knowledge of how you did this (i dont do flash, never done xml/rss, i do sites in DW and PS/IR) get one of these really nice thingies for OUR site ??IE, are the files availiable for upload and use on my own server? or even gimme some pointers to how i could do my own ? ..Nice work, so far, btw, to all entries. . .i know who’s i like best, but wont say. . .lol. ..Thnk in advance for anything yous guys do to help me out 😀 ..

  32. Spartan018 says:

    Is there anyway to get the readfile effect in proxy.php by using something else that is compatible with the Bungie RSS feeds? if not, any other suggestions for a proxy file? (i’m not that good with the xml components yet)

  33. Chris says:

    Wow, I just stumbled onto this site after googling for “Halo 2 RSS”!If anyone is interested in an ASP/VBScript solution to displaying your Halo2 feeds, feel free to use use my current entries have inspired me to try something more complex! Good job everyone.

  34. DrChaos says:

    I would like to see your code but your page dont, anyone else have any “examples”

  35. Spartan018 says:

    I got the recommended proxy file (in PHP) to work by using:$my_var = file_get_contents(“”);print $my_var;hope this helps anyone else who needs it, and i look forward to seeing everyone elses finished product

  36. AmG says:

    I was able to get the PHP proxy to work per Macromedia’s recommendation. The problem was a modification made to the RSS so it wasn’t parsing correctly. Regardless, here it is again. leave feedback here: everyone for the suggestions!

  37. Looks like Bungie has broken their rss feed. I compared the current feed to a version I saved when this contest began. Looks like they are no longer ‘escaping’ one of the ‘bold’ tags in the description node, thus causing the feed to break.Is there any way to request that they fix this?If/when this gets fixed I can fruther develop a new feature on my entry at A new datagrid shows you your average kills/deaths on each map. Sort of like the back of a baseball card for your master cheif!

  38. Tim says:

    The rss feed from Bungie still seems to be a valid RSS feed. Is a specific feed coming up broken for you?

  39. AmG says:

    It was actually this change to the bold tag that gave me what I thought was a connectivity problem. If you look at a feed, you’ll notice that this line within the desscription node has been placed in a new line, so now there are 3 child nodes of the description node: bold being the second. I modified my parsing schema to address this for the time being.

  40. Tim says:

    Unfortunately we can expect the content of the feed to change at any time. The only thing consistent will be the fact that it is a standard RSS feed. The way we are parsing the description node isn’t the cleanest way of getting data from them and I think we’re lucky enough right now that there are at least some tags to search for so we can get the data into a usable format. Hopefully it won’t change much, but I don’t think we can say the feed is “broken” and make requests to Bungie to “fix” the feed.

  41. Spartan018 says:

    Looks like the feeds have been taken down again…

  42. CyberG4 says:

    hey spartan018, looks great. Can you make your submission an exe or something so i don’t always have to go to your page for stats. Great stuff

  43. Tim says:

    I’ve posted my app.’s some info on it:Purpose:Let’s you compare two RSS feeds in a head to head match up. Total averages are calculated and graphed. I figured there would be plenty of viewer type apps and thought it would be fun have an app that keeps with the competitive spirit. By the way I don’t have an XBOX so thanks to everyone that posted their rss feeds publicly.App Info:All flash solution with a php proxy for loading xml feeds. All of the processing and parsing is done on the client side in flash.To Do:Auto saving of feeds that pasted into the input box and I’d like to add a filter that lets you compare averages for the maps you and your opponent have in common.Since there is no saving, feel free to email me with your gamertag and rss feed if you’d like to be added to the list.

  44. Tim says:

    Just wanted to post a follow up that the saving functionality has been added. If you’re not listed in the dropdown but enter a valid feed then the feed and gamertag should be automatically saved. FYI these are saved on the server so that we can keep a list of gamertags for everyone to compare themselves to.

  45. persist says:

    My entry is here (you should be using a fast computer): can just hit connect and use the example feed, or if you have a halo2 feed, replace the example with your own. If it fails to load the feed, reload the html page and try again. The bungie rss feeds are a bit unstable.Blue lines denote a particular player’s stats. White lines connect data types. Together they give you an overall topography of the game. You can spin the graph by holding the mouse down and moving it. You can mouse over specific nodes on the graph for data. Open the games menu to load more graphs.I didn’t hear about the contest until the announcement that the deadline was extended, so thank you Mike for the extension, this was fun.I will continue working on it, so you might see changes, but it’s basically all I got.I love all the entries so far. Mine is a bit different/weird, as I wanted to focus on a fun GUI and a display that focuses on the game as a whole rather than individual players. I also tried to make it more of a game like interface, but I can’t afford an x-box, and I have never played halo2, so who knows.

  46. Tim says:

    Different/wierd is good.

  47. ericd says:

    Okay = all new code: now I’m displaying Consortium’s (Sam Robbins) feed… but I can easily swap in whatever URL & have it generate UI for that feed.Class-based. If you want to use this for yourself, all you need to do is change the URL in the proxy file to your own. Error handling, and addresses feeds with no game date (shame on you for not playing lately!), fixed some bugs, etc. I made it a lot easier to implement for yourself when its released. I have a list of 6 things I’d like to add to this including stats per map, game type, etc (general) but ran out of time.Nice entries guys.

  48. Hi!Lots of great entry here. I’m impressed with the all the graph usage. Here’s my submission for the contest: purpose of this apps is to help user to analyze other players who have played with his/her. Thus, this apps will list all player’s name with total number of game played. Upon selecting one of the player, all related games and some additional info will be displayed, such as maximum and average score of all the games played.Once a game is selected, the application will display the player score, user score, average group score, and max group score (plus who achieve it).Hopefully this apps will help user to find out other player to compete with based on that player achievements :)For future enhancement, I think it’ll be great to use more statistical value so that the apps can make prediction some group performance. Thanks for trying, Hopefully you guys will find it useful.

  49. Hey someone pointed me here after I had made a Halo 2 stats signature. It’s designed for use on forums. It actually doesn’t use the RSS feed at all (yet), it takes a player name or clan name and parses the resulting HTML from Bungie’s page.So here is my submission:

  50. Well it’s still a little sloppy, but here is my last minute submission. I decided since we were depending on a particular format in the RSS description, I had might as well go all out and pull data from their site. My app is completely dynamic and will update with anyone’s data given a valid rss feed (even the master chiefs armor color changes).

  51. Ed says:

    Are these times off? I posted my previous entry before 8PM EST, but it’s reading as posted 8:37PM. I’m posting this one at 8:02PM now…

  52. Mike Chambers says:

    Contest is now closed.Ill post the winners in the next couple of days.mike

  53. peter says:

    A bit off-topic, but i found this site tonight from a link on Google News: guy built an impressive Excel interface to the Halo 2 RSS feeds. Mind you, this could have been way better in Flash using CFMXs charting abilities, but you have to admire anybody who bothers working in Excel to build a web app.

  54. mike chambers says:
  55. mac says:

    halo 2 is awsome i have lots of fun playin it its really super fun