How to Develop a Game Backend

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Game Backend

Over the last few decades, gaming has developed from a pastime for a chosen handful to a huge network. The online gaming market is growing and expected to reach $79 billion by 2025 as further people turn to connected games. The expanding popularity of online gaming makes it crucial for developers to provide quality, memorable experiences to players through thoughtful development.

The foundation of a game relies on the infrastructure it is built around and needs the proper architecture tools. In this article, we’re going to explore the 3 categories of cloud solutions and the tools you need for developing your game backend.

You can check out our webinar to learn more about the foundation of a successful application.

Infrastructure Planning

The first big step in developing an application is to pick out the framework type and manufacture the technology stack. Then choosing the correct foundation for your game is crucial for its improvement.

There are 3 fundamental choices for building your backend: This section firstly presents some critical highlights for every category of cloud solutions along with some of the best providers in the market.

1-Public Clouds

Public clouds are computing services provided by third-party providers over the public Internet, so anyone who wants to use or purchase them can use them. They may be free or sold on demand, so that customers only pay for the CPU cycles, storage space, or bandwidth used.

ProsCons
-High scalability
-Cost reduction
-Disaster Recovery
-Reliability and flexibility
-Security
-Can become expensive
-Lack of closer support
-Lack of customization
-Minimal understanding of the Backend Process

Best Public Clouds

2-Private Clouds

Private cloud is a type of cloud environment provided through the Internet or a private internal network, which is used exclusively by one business or organization.

ProsCons
-Higher performance
-Resource Saving
-Availability
-Security
-Expensive
-Maintenance
-Deployment and Support

Best Private Clouds

3-Backend as a service (BaaS)

Backend as a service is a cloud computing service model that automates backend development and is in control of the cloud infrastructure. As a matter of fact, BaaS enables developers to focus only on the front-end of their application and integrate all the required backend functions without having to build the backend by themselves.

ProsCons
-Speed of development
-Scalability
-Out of the box solutions 
-Low flexibility and less control over hosted code
-Security concerns : Risk of losing the backend if the provider shuts down one day

Best Baas Clouds

Choosing The Right Cloud Solution

The necessity of continuous progress in the gaming industry requires a high-performance, solid and adaptable foundation.For that reason, products sold on the market as game backend servers often try to provide functions or create functional building blocks such as leader boards, achievements, challenges, and tasks. They also extend basic functions like authentication, cloud data storage, and real-time messaging between players that are usually required to build games. 

Deciding which infrastructure provider to use for your backend should be influenced by several factors, which depend not only on the game type, but also on your workforce and business constraints, in other words, there’s no simple answer as to which method you should pick, so here are some main points to consider when choosing a cloud solution:

  • The operating cost of each model
  • The traffic demands of your network
  • How often the system should be updated
  •  The web connection quality within the local area

A good resource to help you decide- https://www.futuremind.com/blog/how-choose-right-cloud-service-provider

The Tools you need for developing your Game Backend

Pc online gaming

1.Non-Relational Database Tools

Of course, developing a game backend requires creation of multiple databases. Fortunately NoSQL databases arose in the late 2000s as the expense of capacity significantly diminished.

Non-relational databases (such as MongoDB) are vastly improved for games, as they’re more adaptable by the way they model information, while being more performant than relational databases (such as SQL) which lack flexibility and forces you to model data to fit the needs of the database, rather than the database accommodating the needs of the model.

2.Logging Tools  

The intense data volumes coming from the logging creates operations issues that hurt your key performance indicator. Therefore, the best way to deal with this problem is by using a log management tool, which can help you isolate and fix them faster. 

Check out logging tools like Loggly and Splunk to take care of the work right off the bat.

3.Keep an eye on the Server

As a game developer, there are numerous parts of your game that you have to screen, such as the servers that are hosting your game, your best players, your best converting actions, error reporting, transaction speed, etc.

New Relic, DataDog, and AppDynamics are tools that are well suitable for applications and server monitoring. And in many cases your cloud provider can supply performance metrics for your infrastructure. 

4.Tracing your Data

At one phase in your career, you’ve started to think about data. Therefore, mapping out the key execution markers that you require for development, such as installs, new and returning player volume, active user volume and player lifetime, provides you with the critical insights needed to achieve your game’s growth.

That’s to say, without tracking this valuable information, game developers won’t be able to identify the most ideal approaches to spend their resources nor to improve the experience for your players.

Tools like Flurry, HasOffers, and Countly offer enormous value in tracking your game’s performance over the long run.

In conclusion , we must say that delivering a quality, memorable experience for the players through thoughtful development is crucial; after all, they do invest their cash on these games.

The backend of the game should have scalable, flexible and reliable tools. Your players will never see them, but generally it will make a significant impact on the quality of the game experience. These tools should also be well maintained and easy to manage so that you can focus and create the most important content: game mechanics and dynamics. 

So It’s up to you to consider the game backend infrastructure, the cloud solution type and the provider, as well as the tools you need in order to offer further features to improve player enjoyment, interaction with the game, and its commercial performance to eventually launch a successful game to the market.

Interested in app development? You can watch our webinar to find actionable tips on how to build a successful application.

Manny Henri
Manny Henri
Emmanuel Henri grew up in Chambly, a city in the tail of Quebec (Canada) near Montreal. He’s an established technologist with 25 years of experience in the world of programming and design, and also published 125 courses on several platforms such as Linkedin Learning, Pluralsight and O’reilly. Since his teens, he always had a knack for storytelling, especially monster-driven tales, and has compiled a boatload of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and horror ideas he’s thrilled to put into words. To keep his head sane and healthy, especially after his close call with cancer in 2020 (now in remission), he’s pledged his body to a strict diet and rigorous exercise plan. He’s currently working on his novel "Ashes" and editing “From the mist” and several short-stories, such as “The Agency”.
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