Welcome to the Architectural Revolution:
Game Architecture is Changing

Games are increasingly becoming dependent on server-side components. While this used to predominantly characterize MMOG’s, nearly all games today have some back-end functionality. This trend is set to dramatically increase going forward. The GameSparks platform is designed to provide
you with all of your server-side requirements in one integrated development environment (IDE). Importantly, the GameSparks tool is fully compatible with many of the other tools you use to build the client or device-side game components including Unity 5.4, Unreal, Marmalade, Cocos 2D etc
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Issue

My game runs across many different devices. Even the smallest changes take a lot of effort.

Solution

Update your games in real time, across all devices, without having to re-publish them. Consider this. If you ran a website over multiple devices (which you do) you wouldn’t dream of having to update each and every version of it each time you wanted to make a simple change, would you?

Issue

I am not making as much money from my free to play game as I had hoped.

Solution

Firstly, well done for embracing F2P – that’s the first step. However, no-one is going to get everything right first time. You need help in the form of storefront management and player management. You are unlikely to get your entire set of virtual goods and their prices right first time. A back-end solution lets you change these things on the fly based on data gathered on how your players are playing.

Issue

I need to make my game cross platform and multiplayer.

Solution

Whether you are building a synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer game, you need to persist (or save) the game state at regular intervals for each and every player. The server is the most efficient place to do this when latency can be managed. As high speed connectivity proliferates, more and more multiplayer functionality is being migrated to the backend.

Issue

I have a whole lot of integrations in my game and it is becoming unmanageable. What if one of them fails?

Solution

Integrating with one or two services from within the (client-side of the) game is fine although you do have to make sure the experience is good if one of the services fail for any reason. Its better for you if most of the heavy lifting is done on the backend and you have to think less about how well certain services work together. Imagine being able to enable or disable certain integrations on the fly using the backend without having to touch your game.

Issue

I am concerned about scalability.

Solution

Cloud based services mean that scalability is not an issue. Just take care that you don’t blindly burst or increase the capacity of cloud services without first checking you are earning the revenue to pay for them. Set policies to ensure that you do not incur costs you cannot manage.

Issue

I need cross platform leaderboards – what’s the best option?

Solution

2 things you need to think about: ensuring they are cross platform and ensuring they are optimised for performance as you want them updated in real time.

Issue

I need to message my players when they are not playing the game.

Solution

You need push notifications. There are many solutions to this but they are not integrated into any of the other game elements. In-game messaging and notifications (which are sent when players are not playing the game) should be managed together and are an important part of any game.

Issue

How do I set up database elements and integrate them with my game.

Solution

Lots of games require data structures and there are a number of database tools out there. The more integrated they are the better. NoSQL databases are usually preferred these days over their relational cousins for performance and simplicity reasons.

Issue

I need to manage downloadable content (DLC).

Solution

There are 2 things you need to think about: online storage and bandwidth. Games that have a huge volume of DLC often need to use Content Delivery Networks (CDN) for optimisation of performance and cost.

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