Online games finally outputting XML data feeds

It was just recently that I noticed Mike Chamber’s Halo-inspired contest — in which he invites Flash and ColdFusion developers to use Halo 2’s stats feed in RSS format to create applications and try to win one of several cool prizes Macromedia is putting out. The thing that stroke me as cool was the fact that game companies are finally relying on the XML format for the distribution of public data.

Recently, I was looking for some data feed for airplane flight status, but even though there’s something like this around, it seems to be only available through commercial products… and since I just wanted to do some simple/open source screensaver with that information, that product is not for me (it was just a personal project). Then I turned to the gaming world – I knew Flight Simulator had some multiplayer capabilities, so I had a hope that it could have some online flight information on real time on XML format. That was asking too much, though, and nothing like this was available for Flight Simulator or for any other massive multiplayer flight sim.

Maybe in the future this will change and RSS/XML feed will become more common. I, for one, welcome Microsoft/Bungie’s user stats data feed and hope this becomes a trend in online games.

In the meantime, if anyone knows of a flight sim/real flight data XML feed online, please let me know. I know that there are commercial screensavers like that around, but what I want to build using Flash is quite different.