Since launching back in 2013, GameSparks has consistently worked with a one-track mind: to provide developers with the most comprehensive tool-set available, enabling them to create anything imaginable to better engage with their players and produce a truly immersive and compelling gameplay experience.
As part of a continuous effort to ease the development process, the GameSparks team have spent the past couple of months building a multitude of new functionality and features, as well as producing an endless repository of documentation and resources to accompany them.
In this latest features rundown I have provided a broad outline of just a select few of the recent additions to the platform. To see the full power of GameSparks and how each recent addition can positively affect your game’s performance and longevity, please visit the GameSparks Community page, or sign up for a free evaluation account and test drive the features for yourself.
Multiple Live Game Operations features are found in the GameSparks Manage section. Here you can bend and mould your configuration to manage your game based on your own rules, thus extending the life of your live game whilst also increasing player engagement rates.
The latest addition to this post-launch tool-kit is Experiments. This new feature gives you the opportunity to trial different configuration options on multiple portions of your game population at the same time in order to compare the real impact of these decisions on your players’ behaviours.
Experiments allow you to A/B test configuration changes, such as the difficulty level of a particular stage within your game, on a selective range of players. You can drastically or only ever so slightly alter these parameters for a certain period of time and measure how your players respond to these changes in-flight.
For a game to stand the test of time and be as profitable as possible, developers must constantly analyse their players’ behaviour to work out the pinnacle of engagement and retention, then tailor the game based on the results found to give their audience what they want. By using GameSparks Experiments you have the ability to manipulate and measure such details by simply changing the parameters and watching the results. You then have the opportunity to fine-tune your live game accordingly to become a truly captivating experience for your players.
Virtual Goods are a vital monetising component of any game, and is therefore a frequently updated and expanded feature of the platform. In recent weeks GameSparks Virtual Goods have undergone several improvements, providing users with a whole host of new functionality.
A new RemoveVirtualGoods request has been added, enabling you to revoke virtual goods purchased through marketplace transactions. This request allows you to use the unique transaction ID from a store purchase to remove any virtual good or currency wrongfully given to a player.
GameSparks recently introduced the ability to assign other Virtual Goods against a good, giving you the possibility to create a bundle of goods as well as different qualities. New TransactionalHistoryRequests have also been added, allowing users to list the full currency and virtual good transactions for their players. On top of the above additions, the GameSparks ListVirtualGoods request has also been updated to display the base price of any purchased good, as well as the actual purchase price paid by the player.
For more information concerning all new add-ons to GameSparks Virtual Goods, please see the detailed release notes.
Bulk Player Operations
Bulk Player Operations enables users to create and use bulk jobs to update sections or all of the player base details en masse. This removes the need for players to action their own updates, as well as an admin user having to individually update each player record. As an example, Bulk Operations could be used to send a global message to all players, informing them of an upcoming Live In-Game Event.
To create and execute a Bulk Job Request, you first need to enable the AdminBulkJob request in your credentials. There are two possible methods for this new feature, the first using a PlayerQuery and a Script, and the second creating a Cloud Code Event to trigger a scheduled job. For more detailed information concerning Bulk Player Operations with guidance including examples of code, please see our documentation.
As mentioned above, in order to execute a Bulk Job Request, you must first enable the AdminBulkJob request in your credentials. Security Credentials is yet another new addition to the platform that allows you to both configure and create existing and new credentials.
GameSparks Security Credentials also enable you to set the credential against the system or against players. In an example, you may want to restrict access to the MatchMakingRequest, preventing players from searching for online matches.