MacMost Now 890: Using Game Center

Game Center is a universal high score system provided by Apple that many app developers can use in their games. Once you extend your Apple ID to use Game Center, you can compete in high score leaderboards, challenge friends and register in-game achievements.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 890: Using Game Center.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at signing up for a Game Center account on an iOS device.

Game Center is Apple's High Score Board and achievement system. It can be used for all kinds of different apps on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The advantage of using it is that instead of having to sign-up for different leader board system with a different user account, ID, and password, and all that for each game that you play you can use your Apple ID and have that across all the different accounts.

Now some games use separate systems and some games use something like Facebook to track the high scores and have you sign in. But a lot of them, more and more everyday, are using Game Center. So it is worthwhile to sign up for a Game Center account so you can access those features of the game.

If you've never used Game Center before then you probably want to start off by going into the Game Center app to sign-up. Here is the Game Center app. I'm going to jump into that and you can see here it starts off blank. You have to enter an Apple ID and password. You should use your existing Apple ID. This is the same as your iTunes account ID. The one you use for everything else having to do with Apple such as iCloud.

You want to use that. You don't want to create a new one unless you absolutely don't have one because is gets very complex if you have multiple Apple IDs for multiple services. So use the one that you've got and sign-up.

After you enter your Apple ID and password you have signed in and you accept the agreement. Then you create a nickname. This is what other people will see you as when you compete with them in games or list your high scores on high scoreboards.

Now there are choices you have to make. You can make your profile public so others can find you inside of Game Center. This helps if you want to build a group of people that you play against or challenge each other. Then you can accept whether or not you get Game Invites. So friends can actually play a new game and then challenge you at it and invite you to the game. Also Nearby Invites for people that are located near you.

You can Use My Contacts to get friend recommendations so this will basically then say here are some friends that are already signed up with Game Center and you can now send them friend invites.

So hit Done and it will Save. You can also here use Facebook to find friends that you are friends with on Facebook that are signed up with Game Center.

You probably want to do most that because you want to have a group of friends that you can compare scores with and challenge. Otherwise when you go to High Scoreboards all you can do is compare yourself to the rest of the world. It is going to be hard to compete with the rest of the world but it is a lot of fun to compete with a group of let's say a hundred of so friends from Facebook and your contacts.

So next here you can add Status. Kind of how you are going. You can add a photo too. Something that appears there. You can see I've got just some kind of shadow figure there at the top. I'm going to click Add Photo and I'm going to choose a photo from my library right here. You don't actually have to add a picture of yourself. You can do something cool like that. Now people will see on High Scoreboard you are represented by that photo and represented by your name listed there under "I am" on the screen.

Now let's look inside of Game Center. So this is stuff about you. Then you can look and see I don't have any friends listed here yet. I don't have any games listed here yet. But what is going to happen is that it is going to bring up this screen here of suggestions of games. I can look at Challenges. This is where I would see friends that have challenged me. This is where I would see requests from people who wanted to friend me on Game Center.

So let's go into a Game Center game here. I'm going to go into one of my own games here, Forty Thieves Solitaire, which has Game Center high scores so I can play it and very quickly here I can see I've scored just a minimum score of 5. I'm going to hit Submit right away, Submit to Game Center, and it will then say Score Submitted.

Different games will do it in different ways. I can now look here and see top scores for this game, today, this week, all time in the Leaderboards there. I can look and if I scroll all the way to the bottom there is can see me at 5 points.

Let's get some friends so I can challenge somebody to a game. Go to Friends here and hit the plus button at the top. Then I'm going to enter here at the top an Apple ID or a nickname of a friend and then invite them. There is my real Game Center account nickname there and I'm going to send that off. Then my real account, on my iPhone in this case, is going to get the request. So on my iPhone I accept that invitation there and you can see right away, instantly, on my iPad I actually get a link there to that other account.

So imagine this is your friend here. I can see I have one friend listed on the left and I can see information they have selected on the right about what games they play and what their high scores are.

Now here I am back in the game and let me go to take a look at my score here again and now you can see Challenge Friends is lit up. I can select it because I have a friend and I can challenge Gary Rosenzweig there to beat my score. I can send that off and that will arrive there. So it is a fun way to challenge friends, send scores back and forth. So you don't have to compete against the whole world. You can compete against a single friend or you can compete against just your group of friends.

You can see here at the top there is the Friends Leaderboard. You can see I haven't played Forty Thieves Solitaire today but all time you can see there I have played it and it registered a score of 120 points. So I can worry about competing against my group of friends rather than competing against all 434 players that play Forty Thieves Solitaire.

In addition to scores another aspect of Game Center are Achievements. Achievements are single goals that you can reach in various types of games. Maybe reaching a certain level or obtaining a certain object, things like that. So that is another thing that you get with a lot of games in Game Center and another reason you might sign up for it.

In the end there is really no reason not to sign up for Game Center. You already have an Apple account so this just adds another aspect to it and it allows some the games that you have to have more aspects to them. You can challenge friends, you can get achievements, all sorts of things like that. As a matter of fact some games won't work very well at all without Game Center because the whole point is to achieve scores or get achievements in Game Center.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 890: Using Game Center”

    John Russell
    6 years ago

    This seems to be a more secure choice, and less intrusive than the Facebook game experience.

    6 years ago

    Conversely, I’d like to disable Game Center, not just every so often but permanently! It’s an annoying interruption to the games I enjoy, and I do not care to challenge anyone else. How do you turn it off?

      6 years ago

      Your best option is to simply not use it. If game has integrated it into gameplay, then there may not be any way to avoid seeing references to it.

    6 years ago

    Great video.

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