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#1 Edited by Avenged (27 posts) -

Hey everyone, 
 
I have been working on an iPhone app for a while now using the Giant Bomb API to create and maintain your video game collection.  It was just released to the app store today so i thought I would just let people know if they are interested to take a look. I welcome any questions or advice!
 
You can get it from the app store here or by searching for Game Vault. 
  
Game Vault v1.1.0 is out now! 

 Updates in V1.1.0:
- Lowered requirement to install (iOS 3.2 and higher)
- Manual game entry. This will allow you to add a release to your collection that does not exist in the Giant Bomb database.
- A feature that allows you to see a list of games that are in the same franchise the game is in.
- Show/hide region flags in your collection list.
- Enable all regions by default (originally only US and Japan releases were shown unless a change was made in the region settings).
- Show releases that do not have a region attached to them.
- Skip platform selection if the game is only available on one platform to speed up the process of adding a new game.
- Dynamic search (searches as you type)
- Fixed a bug that rarely caused the app to crash when saving a game to your collection.

Make sure to check out the Game Vault blog for more info: http://gamevaultapp.wordpress.com/

If you like Game Vault please help me by submitting a review to the App Store.     
Heres a few pics:  
  
         

  
 
 
    
 
 
  
 
 
      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#2 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

That. Is. Amazing.

#3 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@SpikeSpiegel: Thanks, I hope you enjoy it!
#4 Posted by Legend (2659 posts) -

This is awesome! Good job!

Online
#5 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

As much as I would like to try anything created by the GB community (except for a chili & luchadeer sandwich), unfortunately I have an Android. Any chance you will be developing for that OS?

#6 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@ch13696: I would love to make an android version 
#7 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -
@Avenged said:
" @ch13696: I would love to make an android version  "
GREAT!!! Now here's a signed blank check. Put down any undisclosed amount and it's yours.
#8 Posted by crunchmonkey (258 posts) -
@Avenged:
It worked great at first but now it crashes every time I do a search.
#9 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@crunchmonkey: Sorry about that crunchmonkey. I did just find an issue that is sometimes crashing the search after adding a game to your collection. I am going to submit it to apple tomorrow for review.  Does restarting the application fix the problem at all? Might want to try rebooting if that doesn't work.
#10 Posted by BuggeX (75 posts) -

Cool app, very nice!

#11 Posted by Time_Lord (716 posts) -

even more reason to get an i touch dam u internet

#12 Posted by Euey (110 posts) -
@Avenged: Just spent a couple of hours mucking around with it & it's really impressive. I'd love to know what your future plans are for it, if you'll be adding extra features & whatnot.
#13 Posted by 02sfraser (847 posts) -

Just downloaded it and I really like it! Good job dude!

#14 Posted by Legend (2659 posts) -
@Avenged:  I suggest that you add a feature that allows users to link the app to a list without having to log in to the user account. You just point the app to the url of the list, and it adds the items in the list automatically. Also, an export feature that allows users to access the list saved in the app from their computer would be cool too.
Online
#15 Posted by byrjun (154 posts) -

This is great!
Oh god, how will my exam now go? :D
I was wondering, is it possible for you to make Whiskey/GB-user-implementation? Then your user-library can be updated as well! 
And maybe also, by being able to be logged in - the ability to create (at least) releases, when you stumble upon a game that you own, but that doesn't have a release on Giant Bomb?
Thanks, you are awesome!

#16 Posted by Kowbrainz (923 posts) -

Been using this an unhealthy amount over the last couple of hours. D:
 
It does seem to crash fairly often. Other problems I have with it generally stem from people not adding releases to the database here already. :P 
Loving the amount of options in there. Being able to export or import from somewhere might be nice if it was possible.

#17 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
Thanks for the feedback everybody, keep them coming! A few people have discovered a bug that crashes the app when performing a search. I sent out a fix to Apple last night so an update should be available sometime soon.  
 
@Euey:  I have a lot of ideas of what to do next. First thing  is create an import/export system for the users game collection as mentioned by a few other people. This not only will give the user the ability to save their collection remotely, but will make it easier to import an existing collection to another device (like an iPad) to keep all devices in sync. I have also thought about implementing a push notification service for games in your wish list that will be released in the next week (or some amount of time in the future the user specifies). Bluetooth connectivity to share game lists, and recommend games, bar-code recognition... oh man I better get to work!
 
@Legend: This is definitely the first addition I would like to make to the app, stay tuned. 
 
@Cale: There are PC apps out there that do something similar to this, but I don't think most have as large of a database that Giant Bomb has (most use the Amazon API). 
  
@byrjun: Unfortunately, the Giant Bomb API does not have the ability to login, or to make changes to the database. Hopefully the newly proposed re-write will allow this. 
 
@Kowbrainz: Sorry about the crashes, an update is on the way. It was a tough decision when deciding to use releases at all in the app  for this very reason, but when it came down to it I wanted to make sure that a user could add the exact release they have to the collection, not just a generic one. It would be nice if Giant Bomb required at least one release be made when adding a new platform to a game. 
#18 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -

An update for Game Vault is available in the app store. This should resolve the problem some people were having when performing a new search.

#19 Posted by BenLaserlove (48 posts) -

I will give you money through paypal if you develop an Android version, oh man

#20 Edited by HawkSE (216 posts) -

This is a great app. I posted in NeoGAF where I first saw it. A portable library is good!

#21 Posted by SuicidalSnowman (396 posts) -

Going to check it out now

#22 Posted by mccarron (75 posts) -

This looks awesome, you thought about adding bar code scanning? That would make this a KILLER app for sure.  There are lots of OSS libraries to do just that, like ZBar to make it easy to implement.
 
Great work so far, as a fellow iOS developer I salute you and this great product!

#23 Edited by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

Awesome app, good to see someone using the API! Any chance of a quick-n-easy iPad port? I don't like running native iphone apps on the iPad. I'd pay.. like 3$ for a universal version. 

#24 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@HawkxSx: Thanks for the support! 
 
@mccarron: It's definitely something I want to do in the future, but not currently possible with the GB API. Barcode recognition would work, but no way to search GB for results based on the UPC. Thanks man, I'm really glad you like the app. 
 
@XII_Sniper: Stay tuned, I have something in the works...
#25 Posted by mccarron (75 posts) -

I thought that GB has UPC, ISBN, etc for their games that you could use? I haven't looked at what is actually in the API yet, but I'd maybe request that API feature as it'd be awesome to tie into your app.  

#26 Posted by HawkSE (216 posts) -

@Avenged Building off what @mccarron said. If you look at an example page here:  http://www.giantbomb.com/mass-effect-2/61-21590/releases/ it has spaces for EAN-13, UPC/A, and ISBN-10 barcodes. I would think it would require that on that page the information is entered in order for the API to work. I could be wrong, but it might be possible.

#27 Posted by CandleJakk (766 posts) -

This is a really nice app, OP. Fast, responsive with a nice, clean UI.  
 
I'd like to see a dynamic search, like on Giant Bomb, but I can imagine it being a total bitch to code. /small quibble.

#28 Posted by ezekielzero (183 posts) -

wow this is great I'll review it on the app store now, really well done.

#29 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@mccarron @HawkxSx: Right, Giant Bomb does have the ability to add EAN-13, UPC/A and ISBN-10 barcodes, but you cannot currently search for a release based on these barcodes. I wonder if I could perform the search someplace else, then query the  GB database to match the results... 
  
@CandleJakk: I am putting a list together of enhancements for the next update, I will be sure to add this as well. 
#30 Posted by Sogeman (871 posts) -

It's great. The only problem I found was adding Brütal Legend. It didn't find it, regardless of how I wrote it. Had to go via a similar game to find it.
 
Now if only I could scan the packshot with the camera and add it that way ;)

#31 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -
@Sogeman: That's a limitation of the Giant Bomb API unfortunately.
#32 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -

 I just wanted to thank everybody for all the amazing support and advice you guys have given me since the launch of Game Vault. I have an update coming out very soon (hopefully in the next week) that will include the following:

- Lowered requirement to install (iOS 3.2 and higher)
- Manual game entry. This will allow you to add a release to your collection that does not exist in the Giant Bomb database.
- A feature that allows you to see a list of games that are in the same franchise the game is in.
- Show/hide region flags in your collection list.
- Enable all regions by default (originally only US and Japan releases were shown unless a change was made in the region settings).
- Show releases that do not have a region attached to them.
- Skip platform selection if the game is only available on one platform to speed up the process of adding a new game.
- Dynamic search (searches as you type)
- Fixed a bug that rarely caused the app to crash when saving a game to your collection.

After this release I will be working on an import/export tool, iPad version, and barcode scanning just to name a few.    

#33 Edited by jorok_goldblade (9 posts) -

There needs to be some form of compensation in the search for titles that use non-traditional characters in their names. Searching for Pokemon, Brutal Legend, and Okami was a huge pain.

#34 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@jorok_goldblade:  Yes, unfortunately the GB API does not support aliasing so games that have non-traditional characters are unsearchable directly. Hopefully the API update will include support for this, as there is nothing I can do on my side. 
#35 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -

The update has been approved and should be available in the app store (might take a few min to show up).

Updates available for Game Vault 1.1.0:
- Lowered requirement to install (iOS 4.0 and higher)
- Manual game entry for custom releases
- View game franchise list
- Show/hide region flags in your collection list
- Enable all regions by default
- Show releases that do not have a region attached to them
- Skip platform selection if game is available on one platform
- Various performance enhancements
- Various bug fixes

I ran into a few bumps when working on the dynamic search feature, but it will be available in the next update. 

Please let me know what you guys think of the update and again thanks so much for all the support!    

#36 Posted by FiniteAffinity (6 posts) -

It's a fantastic app! The only thing missing is barcode scanning, then it will be perfect! Is there any news on that by the way? When is the next update headed for the app store?

#37 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@FiniteAffinity:Thanks, glad your enjoying the app!  Implementing barcode scanning right now is going to be tough. Most games do not have barcode information filled out for them which makes it impossible to always find the right game.  I feel that it would just cause a lot of confusion for users.

I am currently working on an update that will have an import/export feature, and a bunch of minor bug fixes. I am also working on an iPad version so keep a look out for that as well.
#38 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -
@Avenged said:
" Implementing barcode scanning right now is going to be tough. Most games do not have barcode information filled out for them which makes it impossible to always find the right game. "
I could add barcode information for the games I own...
But I just checked MobyGames and I see that Pikmin 2 (the game I picked out at random) has a different UPC code in Canada than it does in the US. So even if every barcode was filled in, there is still the issue of multiple barcodes possibly existing for a single release.
#39 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@LordAndrew: The problem is that most people will not be willing (or not even aware of the possibility) to enter all of their games into the GB database. It defeats the reason people want the feature in the first place.

Different UPC codes for separate regions would not be an issue in Game Vault since releases are separated by region.
#40 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -
@Avenged: It would be an issue, because Canada is not listed as a separate region. If I'm entering UPC codes, I'm entering them into a US release.
#41 Posted by amomjc (977 posts) -

I have to admit, this is amazing. Thanks a lot!

#42 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@LordAndrew: Right, forgot about that :) Hopefully more regions will be available some day.

@csoup: Awesome, glad you like it!
#43 Posted by Hzaife (160 posts) -

Hey man, just grabbed it.

It looks real good!

#44 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -
@Hzaife: Great, glad you like it. Thanks for the support!
#45 Edited by Dysheekie (2 posts) -

Looks like a cool app - just downloaded it to give it a try.  I'm really looking forward to the bar code scanning, not only would it be fun to do - it would save me a lot of time getting hundreds of games into the system :)
 
edit: Hmm for some reason when I try to buy the app, the icon pops up on my screen like it's about to start downloading and then disappears.  I tried 3 times, I hope I don't get charged for all 3!   I'll have to try again later...

#46 Posted by Dysheekie (2 posts) -

One other feature that would be cool to have is the ability to browse the existing database to add your games -- for example, browse all Xbox 360 games starting with the letter "A".  It would show the list of games (multiple pages if necessary) and you'd be able to check off the games that you own and add them all at once.
 
I realize this could be tricky due to all the different versions and regions for games (the list might be long) but it would still be faster than searching for games one by one.  
 
Of course, if the BAR code scanning is being worked on - that would trump this idea. 

#47 Posted by Silver-Streak (1357 posts) -

I would really love a PC version, and definitely an android version.

#48 Posted by Avenged (27 posts) -

Just a quick update:

Recently a new update for Game Vault was released in the app store. This fixes a few minor bugs that were reported as well as a few changes to support iOS 5.

I have also dropped the price to FREE! Please go ahead and grab a copy if you havent already!

#49 Edited by craigj115 (1 posts) -

Oh my what an amazing app! Have to say this has helped tremendously since I've started collecting games!

So I have a suggestion that doesn't have to be immediate, but for other collectors out there I think it would be great if I could make notes about each game or say I have the box, instruction manual, or collectors edition of this game. I love the fact some games have the option of Player's choice or other released edition. Keep up the great work!

#50 Posted by Enigmatical (135 posts) -

Hopefully I'm not resurrecting a dead thread, but I just wanted to say I stumbled upon your app and while I do love it (and it does exactly what I need) I do have two suggestions:

1) Bar Code Scanning - If you're already at work on this, by all means, don't let me stop you.

2) Flags for Completed and Now Playing visible in the lists - I would love to be able to see, at a glance, all of the games I have completed with a little star or something in the list. Maybe, and this is extreme, but color that row green when finished, yellow when playing? Just a suggestion.