Integrations

JavaScript SDK

Documentation for the GameAnalytics SDK for JavaScript. 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 and Installation

To download the SDK use this link or use the Download ZIP button from the repository.

→ Download link.

Unzip the downloaded .zip and include this in your project (the files are located in the dist folder):

or

GameAnalytics.js includes local logging to the console and is 60Kb in size, while GameAnalytics.min.js is without logging and is 48Kb in size. It is recommended to start out with using GameAnalytics.js to quickly if you have instrumented the SDK correctly to send events and then you can switch to GameAnalytics.min.js in production if you need to save the extra kilobytes.

npm

If you use Node.js you can also install the SDK via npm:

And use it like this:

The JavaScript GA snippet

It is also possible to use the following snippet to asynchronously load GameAnalytics SDK when your website loads and still be able to configure, initialize and send events before the SDK is fully loaded (just like you can do with Google Analytics). The code should be added near the top of the tag and before any other script or CSS tags:

The above code does four main things:

  1. Creates a <script> element that starts asynchronously downloading the GameAnalytics.js JavaScript library from http://download.gameanalytics.com/js/GameAnalytics-[VERSION].min.js (replace [VERSION] with the latest or desired version of the SDK)
  2. Initializes a global GameAnalytics function (called the GameAnalytics() command queue) that allows you to schedule commands to be run once the GameAnalytics.js library is loaded and ready to go.
  3. Adds a command to the GameAnalytics() command queue to enable info logging.
  4. Adds another command to the GameAnalytics() command queue to initialize the SDK (replace GAME_KEY and SECRET_KEY with your actual keys).

Alternative async GA snippet

While the JavaScript GA snippet described above ensures the script will be loaded and executed asynchronously on all browsers, it has the disadvantage of not allowing modern browsers to preload the script.

The alternative async GA snippet below adds support for preloading, which will provide a small performance boost on modern browsers, but can degrade to synchronous loading and execution on IE 9 and older mobile browsers that do not recognize the async script attribute. Only use this tracking snippet if your visitors primarily use modern browsers to access your site.

GA command queue

The JavaScript GA snippet defines a global ga function known as the “command queue”. It’s called the command queue because rather than executing the commands it receives immediately, it adds them to a queue that delays execution until the analytics.js library is fully loaded.

In JavaScript, functions are also objects, which means they can contain properties. The GA snippet defines a q property on the GameAnalytics function object as an empty array. Prior to the GameAnalytics.js library being loaded, calling the ga() function appends the list of arguments passed to the GameAnalytics() function to the end of the q array.

For example, if you were to run the GA snippet and then immediately log the contents of GameAnalytics.q to the console, you’d see an array, two items in length, containing the two sets of arguments already passed to the GameAnalytics() function:

Once the GameAnalytics.js library is loaded, it inspects the contents of the GameAnalytics.q array and executes each command in order. After that, the GameAnalytics() function is redefined, so all subsequent calls execute immediately.

This pattern allows developers to use the GameAnalytics() command queue without having to worry about whether or not the analytics.js library has finished loading. It provides a simple, synchronous-looking interface that abstracts away most of the complexities of asynchronous code.

Adding commands to the queue

All calls to the GameAnalytics() command queue share a common signature. The first parameter, the “command”, is a string that identifies a particular GameAnalytics.js method. Any additional parameters are the arguments that get passed to that method.

The rest of the documentation will refer to how to call methods unsing the traditional way and using the GameAnalytics() command queue.

How to build

You only need to read this page is your are interested in modifying and building the SDK from Typescript source. If you aren’t you can skip this page.

Dependencies

  • Node.js
  • Gulp

Run the following command to install all devDependencies:

All source code (Typescript) is located in src and resulting distribution files from building are placed in dist.

To build run:

This will build GameAnalytics.d.ts (declaration file), GameAnalytics.debug.js (includes sourcemap, not uglified), GameAnalytics.js (logging included, uglified, around 60Kb in size) and GameAnalytics.min.js (no logging included, uglified, around 48Kb in size).

Alternatively you can just build one of the targets by running one of these commands:

No logging included

If you want to build the mini-release without logging included to save on the build size you can add the –nologging argument:

Testing

To run the test, run:

INITIALIZE SDK

Utilize the SDK

Now we should be ready for adding code to activate the SDK!
There are 3 phases the SDK will go through.

  1. configuration
  2. initialization
  3. adding events or changing dimensions

Configuration calls configure settings for the SDK and some will not be able to be altered after initialize has been called.

Initialize call will start the SDK and activate the first session.

The configuration and initialization steps should be called when the application starts.

Once step 1 & 2 is done you can add events at different parts of the game code where some relevant action is happening.

Remember to add this line to the html file whenever you need to call the SDK.

Configuration

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

  • build
  • custom userId
  • 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]

Custom userId

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. Do not use a custom userId unless you have a specific need for using it.

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 when you need.

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

Call this method to initialize using the game key and secret key for your game.

Don’t have any keys yet? Head over here and register your game at the GameAnalytics website!

Below is a common example of the code placed in a script lets call it main.js.

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 real-money transactions.

Field Type Description Example
currency string Currency code in ISO 4217 format.
http://openexchangerates.org/currencies.json
USD
amount integer Amount in cents. 99 is 0.99$
itemType string The type / category of the item. GoldPacks
itemId string Specific item bought. 1000GoldPack
cartType string The game location of the purchase.
Max 10 unique values.
EndOfLevel

For more information regarding business events go here.

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.

Field Type Description Example
flowType enum A defined enum for sourcing and sinking resources. gameanalytics.EGAResourceFlowType.Sink
currency string The resource type/currency to track. Has to be one of the configured available resource currencies.
This string can only contain [A-Za-z] characters.
Gems, BeamBoosters, Coins
amount float Amount sourced or sinked. 0 or negative numbers are not allowed. 100.0
itemType string For sink events it can describe an item category you are buying (Weapons) or a place (Gameplay) the currency was consumed. For source events it can describe how the currency was gained. For example “IAP” (for in-app purchase) or from using another currency (Gems). Has to be one of the configured available itemTypes. Weapons, IAP, Gameplay, Boosters
itemId string For sink events it can describe the specific item (SwordOfFire) gained. If consumed during Gameplay you can simply use “Consumed”. For source events it describes how the player got the added currency. This could be buying a pack (BoosterPack5) or earned through Gameplay when completing a level (LevelEnd). BoosterPack5, SwordOfFire, LevelEnd, Coins400

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
Field Type Description Example
progressionStatus enum Status of added progression gameanalytics.EGAProgressionStatus.Start gameanalytics.EGAProgressionStatus.Fail gameanalytics.EGAProgressionStatus.Complete
progression01 string Required progression location. World01
progression02 string Not required. Use if needed. Stage01
progression03 string Not required. Use if needed. Level01
score integer An optional score when a user completes or fails a progression attempt. Remember to set progression02 and/or progression03 if they are not used when using score parameter. 1023

For more information on the progression event go here.

Error

Error Events

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:

Field Type Description Example
severity enum Severity of error gameanalytics.EGAErrorSeverity.Debug
gameanalytics.EGAErrorSeverity.Info
gameanalytics.EGAErrorSeverity.Warning
gameanalytics.EGAErrorSeverity.Error
gameanalytics.EGAErrorSeverity.Critical
message string Error message (can be null) “Error when entering level12”

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. 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.

Field Type Description Example
eventId string The eventId is a hierarchy string that can consist of 1-5 segments separated by ‘:’. Each segment can have a max length of 32. “StartGame:ClassLevel1_5”, “StartGame:ClassLevel6_10”
value float A float event tied to the eventId. Will result in sum & mean values being available. 34.5

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.

Field Type Description Example
customDimension string One of the available dimension values set in the configuration phase. Will persist cross session. Set to empty string to reset. ninja

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 nil to reset.

Set gender.

Set birthyear.

Set Facebook ID.

Field Type Description Example
gender string Gender of player. gameanalytics.EGAGender.Female, gameanalytics.EGAGender.Male
birthYear integer The year the player was born. 1980
facebookId string Facebook Id of the player. 123456789012345

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.

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

Sessions are the concept of a user spending focused time in your game – from game launch to the user leaving the game.

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

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 initialize 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!