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This post is part of a series about making a Facebook game from scratch in one week. Go read the Overview to find out more and see a list of all the posts.


As I mentioned previously, I'm going to be trying out Social Gold for this experiment. Their interface and sign up process are pretty good, though there were a couple questions that seemed unnecessary - why do they need to know my title, for instance?

The Social Gold API is fairly standard, and easy to understand. Compared to TrialPay working with their system and interface is much, much better. My complaints are small, but I think valid. To start, there are some inconsistencies between the key names you send Social Gold, and the ones they send back: "ts" and "sig" versus "timestamp" and "signature", respectively. This just seems silly - why not make them exactly the same? They also mix GET and POST parameters in their callback, which means that if you're using a framework like Pylons - which can only retrieve parameters from one or the other - you're going to get stuck. And why do I have to send the name of the virtual good to them as a parameter in my request when they have it in their database? That's just redundant.

Their awesome sandbox mode more than makes up for these shortcomings though. It made testing and working out the kinks of my implementation a breeze.

Perhaps the best part is that there's no approval process. You just set up your goods or currency and it's ready to go. If there are problems they email you with exactly what went wrong. This made it very easy to get setup quickly, and troubleshoot when I ran into problems.

My single biggest complaint is that you can't re-name, delete, or re-use virtual currencies. This nullifies any use for their potentially huge time-saving feature where you can automatically "load a template" to fill out a form with the same info as a previously entered product. It also means that you have to get things right the first time around. It's strange that you can edit everything else after it's been saved, but not this.

And finally, while I'm at it, it'd be nice if their redirect URL had the offer ID automatically appended to it. I've had to add it by hand to each of my 16 virtual goods.

Daily Wrap Up

Now for some stats about Day 3:

  • Working Time: 6 hours
  • Number of Commits: 3
  • Total Number of Files: 57
  • Total Lines of Code: 1242

Update: Go on to Day 4.

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