Cloud sync at its worst

Since upgrading to Windows 10 I’ve been playing one of the free car-games from the Store.

It’s free so I can’t really expect too much, but it’s still interesting to note how much wrong things could go. So here’s the story so far.

I started playing on one of my computers, the first one upgraded. There were a few annoying errors in regards to Xbox sync failures but I ignored them. One profile, one computer.
The profile with all its achievements did get overwritten every now and then if I chose the wrong profile at start, dumping be back down to level 1 from wherever I had gotten, and that started to get slightly annoying.

So i tried contacting the game support, but there was never any answer. Which led me to the game’s forum instead. There was a separate thread where people could post unanswered ticket numbers (and maybe support would find that and get back to them, the thread seemed inconclusive, so I ignored that option).

There was also frequently mentioned that the Xbox sync was flawed and you should instead rely on Facebook sync. I decided to give that a try and linked the game to my Facebook account.

Lo and behold, the errors on the first computer vanlished, and the game nicely kept one profile, even telling me every now and then that “synchronization is complete”. Leading you to believe your profile was safe and sound “somewhere in the cloud”.

Meanwhile my two daughters had started playing as well, and I had gotten round to upgrading the second computer so we now could play against each other. So we’re talking 3 persons on 2 computers, 6 accounts. This is where cloud sync would be really nice. If it had worked.

Alas, all did not work as intended. First of all even though both my accounts were logged in successfully to both Xbox and Facebook and both were telling me they were happily syncing to the cloud, the content of the two profiles was completely different. Still at this time stable even though different.

Now, after the girls started playing, and they’re 6 and 9 and don’t speak english so they’re trying to guess which profile to use, mostly the right one, but sometimes things go wrong and there’s lots of tears for having lost all cars and stuff and having to replay from start what took days to achieve.

The worst part is still what seems as though the game keeps some kind of local cache or copy of the progress somewhere in some shared folder where everyone can access it. I’m not sure of the game’s inner working (nor do I want to be) but the effect is one of mayhem.

At present we’re constantly overwriting each other’s profiles, most visible when someone gets the wrong player icon and looses all cars, more smiles though when someone who’s been at level 1 suddenly can choose to jump up to level 10 or 20 at login. But still mayhem. Also, it makes me wonder where all those successful synchronizations go…?

This does not seem to be the way cloud sync should work, and does not inspire much trust in doing actual purchases of new things with real currency if you can’t even keep the things you’ve purchased for in-game levelled up virtual currency.

The game in itself is quite fun though, nice cars, nice tracks, easy to play both as adult and with my kids. If only you didn’t have to start over all the time. Again and again, and again…

“There is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer”

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