Integrations

Corona SDK

Documentation for the GameAnalytics SDK for Corona.

For more information about the GameAnalytics service please read our support pages.

If you have any feedback / questions / bug reports then please do not hesitate to contact our friendly support ninjas. ?

Do you already have your game registered at the GameAnalytics website? If so, you should already have access keys. Head over here and get your game keys!

SETUP

Download (Enterprise users)

Enterprise users need to download the latest package directly from our servers. Unzip the file and use include the libraries for each platform (iOS or Android).

→ Download link.

Project setting (non-enterprise users)

To use this plugin for non-Enterprise users, add an entry into the plugins table of build.settings. When added, the build server will integrate the plugin during the build phase. For Enterprise users please read instructions below.

For Android, the following permissions/features are automatically added when using this plugin:

INITIALIZE SDK

Configuration

The configuration phase happens before initialization is called. The available configuration options are listed here.

  • build
  • available (allowed) custom dimensions
  • available (allowed) resource currencies
  • available (allowed) resource item types

Build

Build is used to specify the current version of your game. Specify it using a string. Recommended to use a 3 digit version like [major].[minor].[patch]

User id

The SDK will automatically generate a user id and this is perfectly fine for almost all cases. Sometimes it is useful to supply this user_id manually – for example if you download raw data for processing and need to match your internal user id (could be a database index on your user table) to the data collected through GameAnalytics.

Note that if you introduce this into a game that is already deployed (using the automatic id) it will start counting existing users as new users and your metrics will be affected. Use this from the start of the app lifetime.

Specifying allowed values

For certain types it is required to define a whitelist containing possible unique values during the configuration phase. When the SDK is being used (after initialization) only the specified values will be allowed. 20 values are allowed for each list.

Processing many unique dimension values can be taxing for our servers. A few games with a poor implementation can seriously increase our cost and affect stability. Games will be blocked if they submit too many unique dimension values. We have this configuration requirement to guide users into planning what dimension values can be used.

Each resource currency string should only contain [A-Za-z] characters.

Initializing

Before you can send events you have to call gameanalytics.initialize().

Session

Once gameanalytics.initialize() is called it will start the first session and automatically handle session changes based on activity events. Read more about sessions [here](Session Handling) including manual session handling.

Example

Below is a common example of the code placed in the main activity class.

ADDING EVENTS

About

GameAnalytics feature the following event types.

Event Description
Business In-App Purchases supporting receipt validation on GA servers.
Resource Managing the flow of virtual currencies – like gems or lives.
Progression Level attempts with Start, Fail & Complete event.
Error Submit exception stack traces or custom error messages.
Design Submit custom event id’s. Useful for tracking metrics specifically needed for your game.

Event id’s are strings separated by colons defining an event hierarchy – like “kill:robot:large”. It is important to not generate an excessive amount of unique nodes possible in the event hierarchy tree. A bad implementation example. [level_name]:[weapon_used]:[damage_done] level_name could be 100 values, weapon_used could be 300 values and damage_done could be 1-5000 perhaps. This will generate an event hierarchy with: 100 * 300 * 5000 = 150M possible nodes. This is far too many. Also the damage should be put as a value and not in the event string. The processing will perhaps be blocked for a game doing this and cause other problems when browsing our tool. The maximum amount of unique nodes generated should be around 10k.

Please read our event guide here. You will get the most benefit of GameAnalytics when understanding what and how to track.

Business

Business events are used to track in-app purchases with real money.

Mobile games can be hacked and distributed illegally. Hacking an app will often involve faking/simulating all purchase requests. This will result in several Business events being sent to GameAnalytics for transactions that never occurred. GameAnalytics provide the option of receipt validation for each purchase sent to GA servers. This process can ensure that revenue metrics reflect the actual spending in your game.

Some configuration is needed before receipt validation will be active. Read information about validation and requirements for different platforms here.

Receipt validation in Corona is supported for the following stores.

  • App Store (iOS)
  • Google Play Store (Android)

Go to gameanalytics.addBusinessEvent() to see how to send a business event.

Resource

Resource events are used to register the flow of your in-game economy (virtual currencies) – the Sink (subtract) and the Source (add) for each virtual currency.

Before calling the resource event it is needed to specify what discrete values can be used for currencies and item types in the Configuration phase.

Source (add) Gem currency from an in-app purchase.

Sink (subtract) Gem currency to buy an item.

Sink (subtract) Gem currency to Source (buy) some amount of another virtual currency (BeamBooster).

Sink (subtract) 3 BeamBooster currency that were used during a level.

Go to gameanalytics.addResourceEvent() for more information on how to send a resource event.

Be careful to not call the resource event too often! In a game where the user collect coins fairly fast you should not call a Source event on each pickup. Instead you should count the coins and send a single Source event when the user either complete or fail the level.

For more information on the resource event go here .

Progression

Progression events are used to track attempts at completing some part of a game (level, area). A defined area follow a 3 tier hierarchy structure (could be world:stage:level) to indicate what part of the game the player is trying to complete.

When a player is starting a progression attempt a start event should be added. When the player then finishes the attempt a fail or complete event should be added along with a score if needed.

Add a progression start event.

It is not required to use all 3 if your game does not have them.

  • progression01
  • progression01 and progression02
  • progression01 and progression02 and progression03

Go to gameanalytics.addProgressionEvent() for more information on how to send a progression event.

For more information on the progression event go here.

Error

Used to track custom error events in the game. You can group the events by severity level and attach a message.

To add a custom error event call the following function:

Go to gameanalytics.addErrorEvent() for more information on how to send an error event.

For more information on the error event go here.

Design

Every game is special. Therefore some needed events might not be covered by our [other event types](About Events). The design event is available for you to add your own event-id hierarchy.

Please note that custom dimensions and progression filters will not be added on design and error events. Therefore you cannot (at the moment) filter by these when viewing design or error metrics.

To add a design event call the following method.

It is also possible to add a float value to the event.
This will (in addition to count) make the mean and sum aggregation available in the tool.

Go to gameanalytics.addDesignEvent() for more information on how to send a resource event.

It is important to not generate an excessive amount of unique nodes possible in the event hierarchy tree. A bad implementation example. [level_name]:[weapon_used]:[damage_done] level_name could be 100 values, weapon_used could be 300 values and damage_done could be 1-5000 perhaps. This will generate an event hierarchy with: 100 * 300 * 5000 = 1.5M possible nodes. This is far too many. Also the damage should be put as a value and not in the event string. The processing will perhaps be blocked for a game doing this and cause other problems when browsing our tool. The maximum amount of unique nodes generated should be around 10k.

Please read our event guide here. You will get the most benefit of GameAnalytics when understanding what and how to track.

CUSTOM DIMENSIONS

Using Custom Dimensions

GameAnalytics support the use of 3 custom dimensions.

  • Custom01
  • Custom02
  • Custom03

During the game it is possible to set the active value for each custom dimension dynamically. Once a dimension is set it will be persisted across sessions/game-start and automatically be added to these event categories.

  • Business
  • Resource
  • Progression

Setting each custom dimension. To reset a set custom dimension simply just set it to empty string

Go to gameanalytics.setCustomDimension01(), gameanalytics.setCustomDimension02() or gameanalytics.setCustomDimension03() for more information on how to set a custom dimension.

Read more about custom dimensions here.

DEMOGRAPHICS

User Information

During the game it is possible to set information about your users that will then be annotated to all other events.

  • gender
  • Facebook ID
  • birthyear (age)

These user values will persist cross session/game-launch. Set them to empty string to reset.

Set gender.

Set birthyear.

Set Facebook ID.

Go to gameanalytics.setGender(), gameanalytics.setBirthYear() or gameanalytics.setFacebookId() for more information on how to use these functions.

DEBUG & VERIFY

Debugging

The SDK is designed to be as silent as possible and use very few resources. You will therefore not get much information by default in your development console.

We have 2 different debug log types that can be enabled / disabled (at any time).

  • info log
  • verbose log

Info log

Short messages will be output when enabled explaining when some action is being performed by the SDK. Sometimes cropping text / values to make it more readable.

Enable info log when implementing the SDK – remember to turn it off in production!

Verbose Log

Console output when each event is added (all fields) in JSON string format. This is the data being submitted to the GA servers for each event.

Enable verbose log when troubleshooting events.

This can result in a lot of text. When troubleshooting/debugging events it is therefore recommended to enable/disable when performing the action that need inspection.

Troubleshooting example.

Go to gameanalytics.setEnabledInfoLog() or gameanalytics.setEnabledVerboseLog() for more information on how to use these functions.

Verify Implementation

Enable the Info Log to verify that events are being sent from your game project without any issues being reported.

Events submitted should register after a minor delay in our realtime dashboard in the GameAnalytics tool.

Read more about the realtime dashboard and our data processing.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Session Handling

By default the SDK will handle session start/end automatically, but it is also possible to manually control this yourself.

Be aware that the initialization will always automatically start the first session even with manual session handling. If you are using ads in your game there is a big possibility that the onPause() and onStop() events will be triggered when the ads are showing which will interfere with the session length for information on how to fix this to look here

Automatic session handling

The automatic session handling will track the focused time the user is spending in your game – from game launch to the user leaving the game.

session start
On Android a new session will start once the game is launched or when the app is resuming if there is no current session.

session end
A session will end once the game is going to homescreen (or is not visible anymore).

It will end the session at once if the application received the onStop event from the game activity. It can also end the session if onPause event was received and 90 seconds have passed (sometimes only the onPause will trigger even though the user left the app).

Manual session handling

The automatic session handling only works if the game is contained in one activity.

It will then handle session end and start based on the events on that single activity. This behavior is common (having one activity) but some games define multiple activities and this automatic session handling will not work in an optimal way.

If your game does have multiple activities (or you just want to be in control when to start and end sessions) you can enable/disable manual session handling by calling this at any given time:

You will then need to call endSession and startSession at the appropriate times.

With manual session handling it is recommended to also call endSession when the game activity event onStop is fired. This will ensure a correct session close when users click the home or on/off button.

endSession()

This will end a session if:

  • manual session handling is enabled
  • a session is active
  • SDK is initialized (initialize will start a session automatically)

startSession()

This will start a new session if:

  • manual session handling is enabled
  • SDK is initialized (initialize will start a session automatically)

If a current session is active then it will end the current session and start a new one.

Handling ads and preserve correct session length

Ads will most likely trigger onPause() and onStop() which will interfere with the session length of the game. To prevent this you need to use manual session handling at least when you are about to show ads.

If you are already using manual session handling from the beginning of your game then you don’t need to worry about this.

Behind the scenes

This is what happens when the session is starting or ending.

Session start

  1. Generate new session.
  2. Add a session start event (a “user” event).
  3. Start the periodic activation of submitting queued events.
  4. Next event submit will fix potential missing session_end from earlier sessions.

Session end

  1. Stop the periodic activation of submitting queued events.
  2. Add a session_end event.
  3. Submit queued events.

Event Queue

Whenever an event is added (and validated) it will be added to a local database queue.

Interval

Every 8 seconds the SDK will start a task for submitting queued events since last submit. This processing is done in a separate low-priority thread that will have minimum impact on performance. The payload is gzipped and will therefore only consume a small amount of bandwidth.

Offline

When a device is offline the events are still added to the queue. When the device is online it will submit.

Thread Handling

For the Android platform almost every piece of this code is run using a dedicated low-priority serial thread queue to avoid UI lag or sudden performance spikes.

The queue will execute each task sequentially. If the SDK add several tasks to the queue then each will be executed in turn. A task could be adding an event or submitting all queued events.

Consider this example with 3 calls.

The configureBuild is required to be called before initialize is completely finished. The design event call is required after initialise is finished. The queuing will make sure that each task is completely finished before proceeding to the next one.

There is more!

There is much more to GameAnalytics and we suggest that you read our general documentation.

Please create a support ticket if you have any feedback like..

  • bugs
  • confusing features or UI
  • great ideas!

We hope you enjoy our service!

FUNCTIONS

Available functions

Here is a list of available function in the GameAnalytics plugin:

gameanalytics.configureAvailableCustomDimensions01()
gameanalytics.configureAvailableCustomDimensions02()
gameanalytics.configureAvailableCustomDimensions03()
gameanalytics.configureAvailableResourceCurrencies()
gameanalytics.configureAvailableResourceItemTypes()
gameanalytics.configureBuild()
gameanalytics.configureUserId()
gameanalytics.initialize()
gameanalytics.addBusinessEvent()
gameanalytics.addResourceEvent()
gameanalytics.addProgressionEvent()
gameanalytics.addDesignEvent()
gameanalytics.addErrorEvent()
gameanalytics.setEnabledInfoLog()
gameanalytics.setEnabledVerboseLog()
gameanalytics.setEnabledManualSessionHandling()
gameanalytics.setCustomDimension01()
gameanalytics.setCustomDimension02()
gameanalytics.setCustomDimension03()
gameanalytics.setFacebookId()
gameanalytics.setGender()
gameanalytics.setBirthYear()
gameanalytics.startSession()
gameanalytics.endSession()