A picture of the Azure PlayFab logo, next to an illustration of Bit the Raccoon.

An effective LiveOps strategy can make the difference between success and failure for a modern game. LiveOps techniques can be the single most important reason why great games connect with players over the long haul.

Azure PlayFab can bring you this LiveOps strategy, as well as numerous other tools to improve the management of your game releases.

 

Game Services

This encompasses a suite of tools that complement the existing backend infrastructure of your game. These include:

  • Player Auth and Linked Accounts
  • Storing and Managing Player Data
  • Leaderboards
  • Multiplayer Services
  • Commerce

These are particularly useful for delegating particular workloads that would otherwise be handled in-game to Azure PlayFab itself. In many cases this can be a big time save, and others such as Multiplayer Services allow you to keep P2P communication handled externally. Be sure to check the full list of Game Services to see which might work for you.

 

Analytics

By using Azure PlayFab, you gain access to a wealth of statistics and information about player activity. Dashboards are real-time, refreshing every two minutes and without processing lag, meaning you’ll be able to see spikes in activity and any potential problem areas as soon as they occur. You can even search for particular events, if you need to track whether particular errors are happening too regularly, or to track particular player actions.

While this demonstrates just how deep you can dive into this data, you can also have PlayFab provide top-level stats for at-a-glance tracking. For example, if you just need to see a dashboard that tells you average time played, revenue earned and retention stats, this can be very simple to set up.

 

LiveOps

Improve your game on the fly, taking bold actions without waiting on engineering. LiveOps can range from the simple management of news stories and push notifications, on a schedule or when required, to making granular tweaks to things like game difficulty and content.

For example, if you find that players are becoming bottle-necked at a certain point in your game, you have the ability to tweak difficulty without relying on a traditional title update. You can also run in-game events this way, from the in-game announcement to the bonuses the event gives.

You can even send targeted emails to players that meet specific conditions. For example, you could offer in-game currency to players that haven’t logged into the game for a while, to encourage them to come back.

 

Using Azure PlayFab

As part of .NET Conf 2019, Martin Gudgin hosted a talk that walks through some of the features of Azure PlayFab, how you might use them, and even some live demos. Be sure to check it out in the video below, as it’s sure to give you some useful hints and tips about how you could implement it in your own games.

 

Resources

Looking for more solutions? Microsoft Game Stack offers the tools and services indie game developers need to build, manage, and share their passion with their audience of gamers around the world.