Here at GameSparks we are constantly striving for perfection, relentlessly improving our platform to give developers the greatest tools possible to create and manage the server-side components of their amazing gaming creations. In fact, our bright Sparks have been so busy expanding and refining the service, there simply hasn’t been enough hours in the day to shout from the rooftops about the introduction of new features.
On the behalf of us all at GameSparks, I would like to deeply apologise for the radio silence. From now on we are going to be proudly blowing our own trumpet, showing off the countless features GameSparks is introducing and upgrading to boost player retention and monetisation for your game. To make up for the lack of communication, here is a quick rundown of some of the recently released features that are available to use on the platform now. For more detailed information and helpful tutorials about all of our features and capabilities, please visit our documentation pages.
In one of our most recent releases GameSparks became integrated with Viber, fully supporting its use on the platform. This mobile application currently has 606 million users, allowing them to make calls and send text messages to all other users for free.
Integrating your game with Viber allows many different capabilities for your game. Your players could sign in with their Viber account, you can communicate with your players via their platform and let your users connect with their friends and contacts, sending gifts and invites for your game.
To find out more information about how to integrate your game with Viber, head over to their website.
The GameSparks platform exposes various configurable objects to drive further customisation on the platform. Until recently, configuration has been driven by platform capabilities and there hasn’t been a first-class feature allowing you to provide your own custom configuration to push your own custom behaviors for these objects. This is why our bright Sparks have put their heads together, coming up with ‘GameSparks Properties’.
GameSparks Properties give you the ability to store your own JSON configuration in the portal, allowing them to be attached to GameSparks objects and are surfaced when you are using them. You can access these Properties directly, either in Cloud Code or via the web socket API, enabling you to deliver your own custom configuration wherever you may need it.
The GameSparks service gives you the ability to create single Properties, as well as multiple ‘Property Sets’. This is a configuration object that allows you to pull together different, yet related, properties. By linking Property Sets to objects such as Achievements, Leaderboards and Virtual Goods, you will have access to them every time you use these objects.
Another feature that makes Property Sets really powerful is ‘Segmentation’. Once you have segments set up within the portal, whenever you add a Property to a Property Set you also have the option to add segmented values to it, making it easy to deliver different Property values to different groups of players. One example of its use could be to deliver language-specific Properties to a group of players, however this is just one of thousands of possible capabilities.
For more details and tutorials on how to use GameSparks Properties, take a look at our docs page.
Matchmaking is a GameSparks feature that allows players to be matched in real-time, based on common attributes that are shared within a game. Using entirely customised threshold criteria and turn-based rounds of matching, Players can be strictly or loosely matched with a controllable level of precision.
GameSparks Matchmaking allows you to fine-tune your matches with the criteria below, making your them more precise, linking players that have similar attributes:
- Absolute – Matches Players that fall between the specified minimum and maximum range of absolute values. E.g. Only matching players who have a skill level between the values of 19 and 21.
- Relative – Finds a match between two players where their values are no wider apart than the specified minimum and maximum values. E.g. If player 1 has a skill level of X, they will only be matched to another player who has a skill level of three greater or less than X.
- Percentage – This is similar to relative. It will find a match between players where their values are no wider apart than the specified minimum and maximum percentage values. E.g. If player 1 attempts to find a match with a skill level of X, player 1 will only be matched with another player who has a skill level between 25 percent less than and 50 percent greater than X.
GameSparks Matchmaking allows users to decide how quickly or precisely they would like to match players, depending on the amount of thresholds used, and even more precision can be added by specifying the Geo-Proximity between players. The GameSparks platform also gives its users another layer of control by giving them the ability to specify how long they would like to search for a match before giving up.
For more details and tutorials on how to use GameSparks Matchmaking, take a look at the documentation page.
Stay tuned for the next installment of feature releases that are created to equip you with bigger and better tools to build, tune and manage all of the server-side features of your game. Why not try the GameSparks platform out for yourself? Sign up for free here!