Update 1.24.11: I realize the January 20, 2011 update to the gamercard has broken the plugin. Basically, the plugin expects the HTML of the gamercard to be exactly so, and the HTML of the new card doesn’t match the plugin’s expectations. I don’t know if I’ll update the plugin to work with the new gamercard.
I’ve put together a WordPress plugin that will display a customizable XHTML and CSS Xbox 360 gamer card. There are plenty of sites out there that will make good looking gamer cards using image files, but this method will give you complete control over the appearance. It also acts like a gamer card, with a link to your Xbox Live profile and “compare to” links to your five most recently played games, something the image file cards can’t do.
XHTML and CSS Xbox Gamercard WordPress Plugin
For those of you who want a raw PHP script with the same functionality, I’ve included one farther down in the post.
How the plugin works
The plugin uses cURL, a command line tool for transferring files with URL syntax, to read the contents of your Xbox Live gamer card from http://gamercard.xbox.com/YOURTAG.card into a string, and then uses the PHP function preg_match to perform regular expression matching on that string. The various elements of your gamer card are extracted and then assigned to variables for later output.
The plugin attempts to create a unique text file for each gamertag (gamercard_cache_YOURTAG.txt) for use as a cache in your blog’s root folder automatically. This is done to reduce the number of times the target HTML page must be accessed and parsed and therefore reduce server load and page load time. Some server configurations may not permit the plugin to create this file and you’ll see resultant errors; in this case, you may have to upload a file with that name and perhaps set permissions on the file. You can edit the plugin to adjust how old the cache can grow before the script refreshes the information from gamercard.xbox.com.
The plugin accepts two arguments: the first is your gamertag; the second, which is optional, toggles whether the recently played games are displayed.
Insert the code:
<?php if (function_exists('gamercard')) gamercard('YOURTAG'); ?>
into a template file wherever you want the gamer card to appear, replacing YOURTAG with your actual Xbox Live gamertag, ex.:
<?php if (function_exists('gamercard')) gamercard('ardamis'); ?>
You can include multiple, different gamer cards on each page.
To show the recently played games icons, add the “full” argument, ex.:
<?php if (function_exists('gamercard')) gamercard('ardamis', full); ?>
Do whatever you want with the CSS to integrate the gamer card into your site.
The download includes:
- xbox-gamercard.php (put this in your /plugins/ directory)
- gamercard.css (copy and paste the contents into your theme’s style.css)
- /gc_images/ (optional – put this folder of reputation images in your WordPress theme’s /images/ folder if you want to use them)
The plugin by default now uses the gold stars with transparent background from the ‘mini-card’ in the top navigation of http://www.xbox.com/. The rep image is a transparent .png, however. If you’re worried that people using IE6 will see an ugly rep because of IE6′s lack of support for transparent .png, you may want to edit the plugin to use a different rep image. It’s easy.
a screen shot of the ‘mini-card’ from Xbox.com
The optional ‘gc_images’ folder contains 20 images, one for each reputation rank, to replace the default gamercard gauge. They are based on the gauge used in the smaller, menu bar gamercard on the old http://live.xbox.com/ site, but with transparent backgrounds instead of gray for greater flexibility. You don’t need to use these, of course. I’ve written 3 variables into the plugin if you want to use the official Xbox rep images. Just edit the plugin to replace $navgamerrep in the output with one of the other variables. (Seriously, it’s easy.)
Download (beta 1.3)
Get the files here:
Download the Xbox 360 Gamer Card WordPress Plugin
I’m getting an error message
If your server does not have cURL enabled, you’ll get an error message that reads something like Fatal error: Call to undefined function curl_init() in PATHwp-contentpluginsxbox-gamercard.php on line 54. The best solution is to ask your host to enable cURL. If that option is unavailable, I’ve provided an alternative that uses the function file_get_contents(), but a number of hosts have disabled the URL retrieving capabilities in file_get_contents() for security reasons. Download the FGC Gamer Card WordPress Plugin only if you’re getting an error message with the regular download.
Can I get this as a WordPress Widget?
Honestly, the plugin is much more flexible than a widget. Widgets are limited to your sidebar, while the plugin can be used in any template. Installing the plugin isn’t very complicated, either. So, in short, there are no plans to adapt this as a widget right now.
How can I use this on a non-WordPress site?
Download the Xbox 360 Gamer Card Stand-alone Script
Just PHP include the xbox-gamercard-standalone.php script wherever you want the card to be displayed, adjusting the path to the reputation images. Add the contents of gamercard.css to your main CSS file, and modify to suit your site.
Be aware that message boards and forums (eg: vBulletin forums) won’t allow you to use PHP as part of your post or signature. In short, don’t expect this method to work anywhere but on your own site.
You can either edit the script to use your gamertag, or call the script with the line:
<?php include 'PATH-TO-SCRIPT/xbox-gamercard-standalone.php?tag=YOURTAG'; ?>
To show the recent games, use:
<?php include 'PATH-TO-SCRIPT/xbox-gamercard-standalone.php?tag=YOURTAG&full=full'; ?>
Obviously, you’ll replace ‘YOURTAG’ with your gamertag. If you have any spaces in your gamertag, replace each space with %20.
Further customization (optional)
A number of neat image and Flash sigs contain way more information than just what’s provided at http://gamercard.xbox.com/YOURTAG.card, but as far as I can tell, it’s all gathered in the same way. If there’s something you’d like added to the script, find a page that contains the information and post a comment about it, or give programming a shot yourself…
View the source code of the target page and locate the data you wish to extract. What we want to do is identify everything but the desired data. Isolate the desired data within the source code of the target page by copying everything from the first character before the data back to and including something unique, such as a div’s id. Paste that into a preg_match line as the first half of the pattern that the script will look for. Follow that with the characters (.+?), a bit of code that represents the data we want to extract. Do not copy the actual desired data from the target page into the modified script. Last, select and copy a few characters immediately after the data, such as the closing div, and paste that after the (.+?). Everything in between the two copied strings—the stuff now represented by the (.+?) characters—will be assigned to a variable.
Thanks to Constantin Hofstetter for getting me started on this project and to Jeremy at 360gamerCards.com for eliminating the need for the Snoopy script, reducing the process to a single file and otherwise greatly simplifying the whole thing. And thanks to everyone who emailed or posted with error messages and other problems; it’s a better, more robust plugin because of your efforts.
My gamertag is ardamis, should you want to add me to your friends list and give me some positive feedback.