Mobile gaming as we all know is a niche in industry. There and tons and tons of mobile games available, each with about a million downloads.
Every mobile based game, be it online or offline requires some kind of backend services. Usually, game developers/studios focus all their energies on game development rather than on backend services and its server infrastructure. In this blog, we will try to highlight what are these backend services and break them down based on functional and operational perspective.
Backend includes all important logic and processes running behind the game and that are not visible to the user playing the game on his/her device. The backend enhances the gaming experience through multiple value-added features and an architecture that makes games dynamic and interactive.
The backend of your mobile application mainly depends on the functionality and features that are integrated. These functional services are nothing but features through which an end user would interact with on a daily basis while playing the game. We have listed down the most common and essential ones.
Every game requires some backend service which can handle its user data, some of the most common features include:
Clans, Guilds or Teams, all these terms mean the same, every game uses its own jargon. The functionality (mostly) boils down to players joining groups to play together or compete against other teams. Though the implementation for each genre of game maybe nuanced, here are some common features:
Leaderboards have become an essential feature with online games since it adds a competitive and social element to the game, which eventually increases player retention.
More people are spending time on online games than ever before. Players feel a sense of community when they are able to share their ideas/thoughts with other players at the same time help out other players through gifts, coins, etc.
The below-mentioned features enable real-time, event-based communication. Most commonly used libraries to create the same are socket.io & redis pub-sub.
Having a robust game economy helps with better monetisation prospects making sure you maximise revenue at the same time keeping players invested in the game.
Gone are the days when players used to play chess or a race car against a computer system. Every game developer/ studio wants to enable real-time multiplayer capability for that extra thrill element. But building a reliable multiplayer engine comes with its own challenges which requires careful considerations.
Operational services are utilised by the game developer/ studio who has developed the game and wants to manage different operational aspects of the game. They may also be referred to as Admins who can add various functionalities to the backend portal. They are further segregated as Admins, Game admins, user admins and support.
There can be hundreds of metrics which can be analysed by combining data from multiple sources for understanding user behaviour, stickiness, revenue, etc.
Some of the KPIs are:
AssetBundle is content that is stored separately from a main game. It helps create and manage assetbundles which can be deployed whenever required. With AssetBundles, content management is simplified and textures, game objects etc. can be replaced easily.
Few features within AssetBundle includes,
This is something that no gaming studio wants to miss out on. Most studios entirely focus on developing a robust game, but fail to provide support for technical or any other gaming related assistance. By providing gamers this kind of support, they will feel valued and satisfied, creating loyalty and lifetime value.
Some key features in game support services include:
There are numerous BaaS (Backend as a service) platforms which can support all or most of the above features mentioned. You can just build your game and plug in the required backend services from a BaaS provider. Easy, right? Well, there is a catch. Most of the big and successful games out there are hosted on their home-grown backend platforms. This doesn’t mean you have to start building your own, but with big scale comes big costs with these BaaS providers, which most of the times is not sustainable in the current cut throat market. Hence, building and managing your own backend can help alleviate that cost and bring more flexibility and opportunities to customise features as per the game’s demands.
Stay tuned for our next blog in this series where we will focus on how it looks like to build your very own custom backend on Cloud.
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