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LiveOps / Game Backend - Tools and Platforms - Giving your game the ultimate power-up
What's LiveOps / Backend-as-a-Service?
First of all we need a bit of history..
When games shipped on physical media there was a gold build and then that was it. Game finished -> Sell it -> Move onto next game.
Then games started updates and were patched/fixed/improved.
Now games are living entities: they're released and digital so they live a long long time. Key to that longevity is keeping things interesting and adapting to change. The key to that is LiveOps. Put simply this is the way that we allow a game to live after it's release.
How do we do LiveOps?
In the old days we'd use coders for everything and the change was in code. If you wanted a new badge/currency/feature/leaderboard or anything else you had to change code. This isn't just super laggy and difficult to do: it's incredibly expensive as your development team is stuck improving a game in minor ways when it should be evolving the game or working on the next title.
Except for the biggest of games we can use LiveOps platforms to help us - examples are Heroic Labs' Nakama, AWS's GameSparks, Microsoft's PlayFab, Unity Game Services, Beamable, AcceleratXR and a host of others. They allow us to concentrate on the game and plugin the platform. The platform then gives us prebuilt goodness - like currency support, achievements, digital goods, leaderboards and a lot lot more.
When should be integrate LiveOps?
We find it most productive when you integrate LiveOps early. Ideally post-prototype (although we use it for prototyping too - it allows us to give control to clients so they can try things out without needing us to code it) but definitely before an alpha.
By starting early you get familiarity and, more importantly, you can weave your marketing & community management plans into the setup. Then your tests and live launch can be tuned up for the audience using LiveOps (and not code).
Also, if you're considering esports appeal, then you can use your LiveOps platform to create APIs and data feeds to give results out for ingestion into tournament platforms. In that way you're making your game more consumable to the esports field.
Is LiveOps just for games?
No. We use exactly the same platforms to add "Gamification" to various products. For tracking levels/progressions/skills trees we find these platforms allow us to create highly tuned up gamified experiences that really work for people and can evolve over time.
How can Code Wizards Help?
We're experts at helping you find the right LiveOps platform that works for you and for configuring and extending it to match your exact needs.
Need to implement LiveOps but don't know what's right for you? We can help you find the right platform using
- AWS GameSparks
- Azure PlayFab
- Custom and tuned exactly for you - we've implemented systems based on Azure and AWS core services
If you've got an existing LiveOps platform you want to port to another then we can help with that too.
- GameSparks support (including manage screen support)
- PlayFab to an alternative LiveOps platform
- GameSparks to another AWS LiveOps solution
- GameSparks to PlayFab
- Helping your community managers and support teams access your LiveOps data
- Integrating analytics data/segmentation into LiveOps
- Plugging esports or other systems into your LiveOps
- Reports on your LiveOps usage and performance improvements
And if you're using LiveOps for Multiplayer then we can help there too: We've ported GameSparks Realtime to GameLift Realtime (and other systems like a custom server running on Multiplay) and Microsoft's PlayFab Multiplayer Servers (MPS). We also work with the nice guys at Gameye too.
Nobody does more around LiveOps than Code Wizards - need to check? Speak to your local AWS Account Manager or Solution Architects, or to the fine folks at Heroic Labs and ask about us. There's a reason we're globally recognised as a leader in the area.
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Code Wizards were very efficient and transparent. It was a pleasure working with them as they brought valuable advice, insight and development to achieve our project's success.Daniel Ross, Head of IT and Development, 52 Entertainment / Virtual Regatta
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