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Hockey Game Bot

Generic badge PRs Welcome Maintained Python Version Beerpay Twitter Follow

The Hockey Game Bot is a Python application that leverages the NHL API and other hockey related statistics sites to send (near) real-time messages to social media platforms. The game bot allows fans of NHL teams to view the events & stats of a game all in one convenient place.

The game bot currently supports 3 social media platforms - Twitter, Discord & Slack. If you would like to add your own, feel free to submit your code via a Pull Request.

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Game Bot Messages / Events

The messages are broken down into four sections for each part of a game day (and one extra section of the day after a game day). I am currently adding more events and features as they are requested or they are found to be useful in the context of following the game via social media. This list will be kept up to date as more types of messages and / or customizations to these are added.

Each message is linked to a sample tweet from the NJ Devils game bot Twitter account.

Pre-Game Messages

Live Game Messages

End of Game Messages

Day After Game Messages

On the day after a game, the game bot will generate two charts that provide context to how the team is performing for the entire season and in their last 10 games compared to the league average. The chart includes the following categories -

  • Team Point Percentage
  • Expected Goals & Actual Goals
  • Shooting Percentage & Save Percentage
  • High Danger Shooting Percentage & Save Percentage
  • PDO (SPSV% - the sum of a team's shooting percentage and its save percentage)

Getting Started

The game bot ideally runs on a server that is always on as it is built with that assumption in mind - this is because the game bot is set to start hours before the game and checks at defined intervals for updated information related to that day's game.

The stand-alone Python script can run on anything from a Raspberry Pi to an AWS EC2 instance, while the current Docker implementation can only run on x86_64 machines.

Coming Soon: Currently there is a Docker image that is built for x86_64 and I am currently working on building an image that supports Raspberry Pi ARMv7 / ARM64 machines.

Prerequisites and Installation

To run the game bot you'll need Python 3.6 or higher (tested on 3.6.x & 3.7.x). A basic understanding of virtualenv and pip are required to get started.

To start the installation process, perform the following steps in order -

  1. Download the most current release from Github.

    $ git clone git@github.com:mattdonders/nhl-twitter-bot.git
  2. Change to the cloned directory, create a new virtual environment & activate it.

    $ cd nhl-twitter-bot
    $ python3 -m venv .env
    $ source .env/bin/activate
  3. Install the Python requirements packages via pip.

    $ pip install -r requirements.txt

Social Media Setup

In order for the game bot to send messages to social media, you will need API or Developer keys for each service.

  • If you are sending messages to Twitter, Create a new Twitter application by filling out the form on Twitter's website. Your account will be revied for developr access. Once completed, create a new application and request an Access Token once completed as 4 keys are needed for Twitter integration.
  • If you are sending messages to Discord, create a new Discord Webhook by going to your Discord channel, choosing settings, webhooks and click the “Create Webhook” button.

Once you have the application's keys and /or webhook URLs, rename config-sample.yaml to config.yaml and fill in the proper credentials.

$ cp hockeygamebot/config/config-sample.yaml hockeygamebot/config/config.yaml

Social media services are enabled & disabled through this configuration file as well (by marking them as True / False). Access tokens and keys are secret and should not be shared or uploaded to Github for any reason.

There are two sets of Twitter credentials defined in the configuration file. The second set can be used to setup a debug / test account, but are not required and can be left blank.

This part of the config.yaml code is what you will edit to provide the API Keys / Tokens & Webhooks to the game bot process.

# Team Name used if no --team argument is passed into the game bot
default:
    team_name: New Jersey Devils

# Enabling / disabling of social media services
socials:
    twitter: True
    discord: True
    slack: False

# Twitter API Keys / Tokens
# Only use debug if you have a secondary debug account
twitter:
    prod:
        consumer_key: XXX
        consumer_secret: XXX
        access_token: XXX
        access_secret: XXX
        handle: XXX
    debug:
        consumer_key: XXX
        consumer_secret: XXX
        access_token: XXX
        access_secret: XXX
        handle: XXX

# Discord Webhook URLs
# Only use debug if you have a secondary debug server / channel
discord:
    prod:
        webhook_url: https://discordapp.com/api/webhooks/XXX
    debug:
        webhook_url: https://discordapp.com/api/webhooks/XXX

Execution

The Github repository contains a shell script named hockeygamebot.sh which will automatically start the Python script in the background and disown the process. When a Linux process is disowned, it means that you can disconnect from your Linux session (if running on a remote host) without stopping or interrupting the script process.

Manual Execution

To start the bot using the script, run the hockeygamebot.sh command (modify the location to your cloned folder) -

$HOME/python/nhl-twitter-bot/hockeygamebot.sh

If you want to start the Python script from the command line and pass in debug arguments, you can execute the script directly. Some of these options are debug or testing options, but have not yet been cleaned up for this version of the script.

$ python -m hockeygamebot --help
usage: hockeygamebot [-h] [--notweets] [--console] [--debug] [--team TEAM]
                     [--debugtweets] [--debugsocial] [--localdata]
                     [--overridelines] [--yesterday] [--date DATE] [--split]
                     [--docker] [--discord] [--config CONFIG] [-v]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help       show this help message and exit
  --notweets       log tweets to console instead of Twitter
  --console        log to console instead of file
  --debug          print debug log items
  --team TEAM      override team in configuration
  --debugtweets    send tweets from debug account
  --debugsocial    use debug social accounts
  --localdata      use local data instead of API
  --overridelines  override lines if None are returned
  --yesterday      get yesterday game on the schedule
  --date DATE      override game date
  --split          split squad game index
  --docker         running in a docker container
  --discord        Send messages to discord channel
  --config CONFIG  Overrides the config.yaml with another filename.
  -v               Increased verbosity.

Automating The Game Bot

If you want to run the game bot automatically every day, you can setup a cron job on Linux / Mac that restarts the bot everyday at any specified time (mine runs at 9:00AM so I can start checking other sites for game data as early as possible). You can edit your crontab file by executing the crontab -e command and pasting in the below line (again modifying the path to your script path).

Crontab is also supported in the Windows Subsystem for Linux if the game bot is running within this type of environment.

A sample crontab entry -

0 9 * * * $HOME/python/nhl-twitter-bot/hockeygamebot.sh

Currently Operating Game Bots

As of March 15, 2020 there is currently game bot covereage for 12 of 31 teams. The table below contains information about the accounts, their respective owners and any notes. More than one person can run one for the same team without issue, but there will be overlap in the Twitter feed.

Team Name Twitter Account Owner Notes
Anaheim Ducks
Arizona Coyotes @CoyotesGameBot @mattdonders
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres @BotSabres @KurekRobbie
Calgary Flames
Carolina Hurricanes @HurricanesBot @bancksholmes
Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Columbus Blue Jackets @CBJGameBot @mattdonders Willing to reliquensh to a Blue Jackets fan.
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers
Florida Panthers
Los Angeles Kings
Minnesota Wild
Montreal Canadiens
Nashville Predators @OTF_Preds_Bot @projpatsummit
New Jersey Devils @NJDevilsGameBot @mattdonders
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins @bot_penguins @skiminer36
Saint Louis Blues @STLBluesGameBot @mattdonders Willing to reliquensh to a Blues fan.
San Jose Sharks @Sharks_Gamebot @projpatsummit
Tampa Bay Lighting
Toronto Maple Leafs @MapleLeafsBot @RevelMagic
Vancouver Canucks
Vegas Golden Knights @VGKGameBot @702goonie Forked version of V1 - not sure about V2 upgrade.
Washington Capitals @CapitalsHill @CapitalsHill Game bot mixed into regular feed.
Winnipeg Jets

Versioning

We use SemVer for versioning. For the versions available, see the tags on this repository.

Authors

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to all who have helped test along the way and provide data and stats to help improve the game bot and allow it to be a one-stop shop for most in-game events.

About

🚨 Hockey Game Bot is a Python application that sends important NHL events to social media platforms in (near) real time.

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