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External Communications

Is there currently any functionality to send game information to an external server, preferably with something like an HTTP POST? There is at least one Unreal Engine plugin (https://wiki.unrealengine.com/JSON_Query) that adds JSON querying to blueprinting, but I am not familiar enough with the ARK Dev Kit and Unreal Engine to know if it is possible to incorporate that plugin with ARK on my own or if it requires a deeper level of access to make them work together.

Being able to send specific pieces of game data to a web server would open up a lot of possibilities.

Hmm, would be interesting if we could implement our own RCON functionality.

With the potential for server performance impact (verbose logging) and gigantic logs consuming disk space… I think it would be useful to give some examples of what and how data could be useful.

It might give the devs some ideas on how to tackle the problem.

e.g. logging XYZ game events/data via a SQL connector to an adjacent mySQL database (or maybe on another server)… would allow developers to harvest the information from that source and do whatever they want in terms of exposing the data.

For non-realtime data… maybe a way to read the ark files/profiles.

Ideally I’d like to see it implemented as an action on blueprints similar to the JSON Query plugin. In my opinion, the best method would be to just send the information as HTML POST data in a format such as JSON. That makes it far more flexible and lightweight than requiring the game server to have to worry about managing database connections and everything that entails. This could be as simple as just posting the request to an external web server and then discarding any responses.

I imagine that with most mods that any data sent would be measured in bytes as opposed to kilobytes, so extra bandwidth usage would be miniscule and like with all mods, if it is a badly written mod that causes server performance problems then it will be down voted and not used. As long as the destination server wasn’t hosted on the same machine as the ARK server, it would be the destination doing all of the heavy lifting leaving the ARK server to handle the game as normal.

JSONExample.png

Modders could use this in a myriad of ways, just a couple of examples off the top of my head would be:

  • Web based score boards for tracking player kills/deaths, especially in SoTF or other TC match type games. This could also be used to see when the game started, how long until the match begins, how long until it the time is up, how many players remaining, etc. Until we get a better match queuing system in place, this could also be used to make it easier for players to find games that just open up and connect immediately.
  • Persistent leader board for SoTF matches.
  • Alarm system that emails or texts registered users to alert them to base raids.
  • Have a modified ingame transponder item send pings with location coordinates every so many minutes to an external server that overlays the information on an image of the game map.
  • Create a log of when players and specific tribes last played game so server administrators can more easily identify players that haven’t played in a long time and remove abandoned structures and dinos to reduce server lag.