SOAP: Gameday 2009

For those of you who don’t care about all the stuff below, jump right into it…

What is GameDay?
For those of you unfamiliar with the service that we provided last year, GameDay is essentially a live event portal. The basic top level experience combines webcasts, live event data (scores, rankings, etc), and a chat together in one easy-to-use web interface, all in real-time. This simplifies the steps needed to track the events as they happen and immerses you in the data, providing an experience never really accomplished before 2008.

Version 1 (2008)
Originally, this was a concept that went from idea to an open prototype instantly, all on the eve of week one last season. Initially, it was intended to only handle the NJ regional. It received so much praise and attention even as a relatively featureless creation, that I just had to turn it into something bigger and worthy of official release. So, by Saturday of week one, GameDay was rewritten from the ground up, with a bunch of new features, supporting all regionals and the Championship.

v1.0 (week 1):
v1.1 (week 2+):

Aside from the occasional set of bug fixes and minor feature releases, there was little change after 1.1. It was pretty solid and served its purpose well for the duration of the season.

2008 Statistics
Here are some numbers to put everything into perspective

Period: March 6, 2008 to April 19, 2008 (Week 1’s prototype version was not setup to track usage statistics)
Days active: 21
Unique Visits: 12,243
Pageviews: 442,575
Average pageviews: 36.15 per user
Average visit time: 34 min

Max online: The most online was 259 at 10:37am EST on April 19, 2008 during the Championship. The total number topped 200 several times during 3 different weekends.

The webcast servers were trampled, the chats were flooded, and you guys managed to flag our site as being a DoS attack target because of said usage. We haven’t collected any definitive numbers, but from what I have been able to gather, GameDay viewers accounted for the majority of the 2008 webcast viewing audience.

Version 2 (2009)
First off, I want to say you guys are pretty crazy. I just uploaded the redirect script about 2 minutes ago and there are already 20 of you in the chat.

So yes, as expected, gameday is back for another season. All of the original code from last season has been scrapped and replaced with more efficient and reusable code that not only makes it easier for me to rapidly develop, but keeps the server nimble and free of unnecessary traffic. What you will notice right away is that I refrained from using a frameset, and the UI is pretty much entirely custom made using a couple of jQuery plugins and some homemade glue. Enough with the smalltalk, I’ll get right to the features.

Browser support: Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari have all been tested on windows and working mostly fine. Please note that this does not work in IE at the moment, and a fix is not expected until next week. Sorry!

Layout: a series of resizable & collapsible panels. Please note that the state of your layout is saved in a cookie and restored when you revisit. If you have any issues, pressing F8 will reset your layout.

Video sidebar: you select what you want to watch. One regional? no problem. Two regionals? No problem. Just hit the titles on the left and the video will toggle. Expect the functionality of the video to improve over the next 36 hours.

Tabular Data: the data is in tabs, not much else to say. I am not happy with the way it functions entirely and will be altering this this weekend and over the course of next week until I am happy with it. At the moment, data only refreshes when switching event tabs. Expect it to be live, self-updated data, by tomorrow (Saturday)

Chat: I know, Meebo, yuck. It is still the easiest solution at the moment, and the chat is no where near a top priority. If you want to be a moderator, send me a PM.

The future: Video and data are my main focus for today and tomorrow. Any major bugs you have will also be fixed asap, just let me know as you find them.

PLEASE, with any feature requests or bugs, please see:

I need to get back to work. I apologize for the sloppyness of this week’s version. Alot of things will change by next week, and I promise to deliver to those of you who have no choice but to use Internet Explorer.

Have fun, keep it clean in the chats, and help me help you by using the uservoice site to track the changes you guys want to see. I will implement what you want in a timely manner.

Where are you scraping match results from? BAE match results aren’t on FIRST’s site yet (, but you have two of them. Is the Twitter updating in more-real-time than the HTML match results?

[edit] Yup, the Twitter appears to be faster. [/edit]

The twitter feed is faster, but I am not convinced it has been 100% accurate yet. There were some issues with missing teams yesterday, and what seems like a match that was added prematurely today. I am about to start my new daemon that will update the match list and check against the twitter data.

dumb question from the old guy !!

How do I get the chit chat off the screen so that there is only video and audio ?

There are applications where the video is useful but don’t want the chat !

If you click the dark space on the bar above the chat, it will disappear. That space will be taken by the stats. If you want the video full screen you can click the option in the video player.

Well the twitter data is the same thing that is at commit score on the match, so it’ll be the same as the web posted match results, and whatever is in the official database of the event. The missing team numbers yesterday appear to be people familiarizing themselves with the new system taking teams out of practice. We all know your team number stays for qual.

Posting this morning started out slow because some of the scorekeepers forgot to uncheck “test mode” which changed the event code to test (some may have seen this on the webcast scoreboards and the on the twitter hash tags) but they all got straightened out by lunch.

Should all be good tomorrow, I’ll change defaults for next week so it doesn’t happen again.

The only thing that really threw me off today was NH’s first tweet this morning.

It came waaaay early and never had a follow up tweet to replace it, which I found a bit odd. This is when I started to use the match results pages on first to determine the final say in any conflicts.

Other than that I didn’t have any other issues. Everything worked well. :smiley:

It’ll get better, brand new complex system put together with another complex system for the first time run by volunteers at 8 events, still being tweak, I suspect around the 3rd or 4th week of regionals this year we’ll have it well characterized. I feel this will be better than the years it took to tweak out the IFI systems. We know much more now through the years of experience of doing this, trying to apply that the best we can.

And I’d really appreciate it if any of you meet my programmer Mike Linnen at the Championship that you thank him for putting 140K lines of code together in just over 200 days to build the new FMS software. The FIRST community owes him much, he busted his butt to make sure this would all happen, he’s a coding machine… :smiley:

Take me to him when you find me again :stuck_out_tongue:

i opened up gameday on IE today, i didn’t see much issue with it. acutally it was easier to toggle the size of the chat/video/stats than it was on chrome

Thanks for all the hard work Matt. hope to see you at Florida.

One of our students had Gameday up on his computer, and I have to say that I was impressed! It is definitely a FIRSTaholics dream come true! :yikes:

Will Gameday be returning?