The latest addition to play.kilumanga.com is a view of currently active Borderlands 2 SHiFT keys. For those of you who have neither played a Borderlands game nor know what a SHiFT key is: basically, it’s a key (code) that you can use in a game to get a number of in-game (golden) keys, which in turn allow you to collect pretty good in-game items.
The backstory to this part of the app is simple. I played Borderlands back in university, and Borderlands 2 when that was released. I have had a lot of fun playing these games. A few months or perhaps years after getting into the series, I found out about the SHiFT keys. They were actually being published twice a month on Twitter (and I didn’t even realize until I started development that a separate set of keys were published on Facebook). But as much as I wanted to follow the official Borderlands accounts on both these platforms (which I did), it’s hard to just take a quick look on two social networks, search for a specific kind of post and parse it every time you happen to want to play the game. So I created the new Borderlands view.
The Borderlands view relies on a new backend implementation, which, simply enough, periodically uses the Twitter API to search for and parse tweets from relevant accounts. When keys are detected, they’re added to a database, and when keys are expired (based on information from the tweets), they’re removed from the database.
When I created this view and API, I was kind of expecting something like it to already exist. To my surprise, however, I couldn’t find anything with the same specifications: a view of currently active keys with a public REST API; e.g. a really simple UI with an even simpler machine parseable API. I did find some pages reposting or retweeting some keys, whether manually or automatically, but I didn’t find what I created. Even though this is nothing but a hobby project that probably won’t be used by anyone, especially not in any serious capacity, I feel a small sense of achievement for being first here.