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Unity Gaming Services: 5 highlights from recent releases

April 7, 2023 in Engine & platform | 8 min. read
Unity Gaming Services: 5 highlights from recent releases | Hero image
Unity Gaming Services: 5 highlights from recent releases | Hero image

The Unity Gaming Services (UGS) team has been hard at work delivering on the 2023 roadmap, and we’re thrilled to share the newest releases, which include features our community has been requesting.

To make UGS better for you, we’ve created new solutions like Friends and Leaderboards, as well added C# Modules for Cloud Code. With these updates, we’re confident that you’ll be able to create even more compelling gaming experiences, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll build using these new tools.

View of service usage directly in UGS
View service usage directly in UGS

1. You can now try UGS in just a few clicks

When you’re exploring new tools and services, you need to be able to move quickly. That’s why UGS is now free and frictionless: You can get started with the free tier after only a few clicks. No credit card, no commitment.

In addition, we’ve made it easier to keep track of your usage directly within UGS. The platform will notify you when you’re at 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% of your free-tier limit, and you’ll only be prompted to add payment once you’ve exceeded the limit. You can also check your usage at any time on the Usage Overview page.

Push notifications screen in Unity Gaming Services; shows the four easy steps to take in order to schedule push notifications for your game
Schedule push notifications in four easy steps

2. Engage your players with Push Notifications

Push Notifications is now in open beta. Use this feature to schedule push messages to a selection of chosen players. You can nudge players about your game and measure the impact of these notifications (open rate, purchase rate) using reports. For example, you can leverage this tool to try to reengage players who haven’t been active for a number of days to stimulate greater player engagement and retention.

Still of DragonCrashers running on WebGL
DragonCrashers running on WebGL

3. WebGL for Relay

To support cross-platform gaming for multiplayer titles on any device, we’ve introduced full support for WebGL for Relay as part of our multiplayer solutions. You can now peer-host browser clients on any device with any other platform, such as consoles and mobile. This means that you can create more flexible and accessible multiplayer games that can reach a wider audience.

Introducing Friends and Leaderboards | Breachers friendslist
Players in Breachers will be able to make friendships powered by Unity Friends.

4. Community solutions with Friends and Leaderboards

You can now access two new and much-requested solutions that launched during GDC 2023 to help you build a thriving gaming community: Friends* and Leaderboards, both available in open beta. With Friends, players can build online gaming friendships within your game’s ecosystem. Leaderboards lets players compare their performance against others with scalable and customizable real-time leaderboards.

These solutions unlock various functionalities for players, such as sending, accepting, or ignoring friend requests, viewing friend requests and lists, and seeing the status of friends through the Presence system.

GIF of Cloud Code C# Modules in UGS Dashboard.
Cloud Code C# Modules in UGS Dashboard.

5. Cloud Code C# Modules now in GA

Cloud Code C# Modules are now available, moving out of beta and into General Availability (GA) and offering a new level of server-authoritative code structuring and reusability. With these C# libraries, you can create multiple entry points and reuse code between modules or endpoints. Additionally, you can configure everything in code, including parameters and entry points. Schedules are coming soon.

Cloud Code C# Modules also allow for easy dependency management, including NuGet packages, and provide a consistent data format between the Cloud Code client and your game with the use of a main library and a data transfer object (DTO) library. Using Cloud Code C# Modules, you can speed up iteration time by running local unit tests in the CI/CD pipeline instead of constantly uploading code to Cloud Code to detect compilation or runtime errors.

Discover more updates in the UGS release notes

We’re always improving and iterating on the UGS platform. You can access a detailed view of everything we launch in our release notes. Here’s a quick rundown of even more recent updates to the platform:

  • Improved Player Management – Allows dashboard users to delete, disable, and enable players in Player Management
  • Cloud Save data limits increase – Removes 16 KB slot size limit, giving users 5 MB to work with across all slots, and increases maximum slot count from 200 to 2,000
  • Remote Config increased key size – Enables studios to serve larger configurations to the game client using Remote Config
  • Cloud Diagnostics Advanced – A crash and error reporting tool that is powered by Backtrace, from Sauce Labs, available directly in the Unity Dashboard so it’s easy to use alongside other services
  • Simple events and improved migration for Unity Analytics – Easier creation of events and migrating from Unity Analytics 1 to Unity Analytics 2
  • Enhanced Lobby Experience – Adds the ability to password protect lobbies so players can control who joins their matches, and enables automated, real-time updates for Lobby so you can get state changes without the need to poll the service
  • Serverless Multiplayer Sample – Demonstrates how to use game lobbies and compete in a simple, real-time, arena-style game (Learn more about the sample or get started.)
  • Config As Code Deployments – Allows you to deploy UGS configurations** directly from the Editor and supports them with Configuration-as-code, the formal migration of config between environments, backed by a version control system to bring working with UGS closer to standard code or assets under version control
  • Access Control for UGS (also known as API Authorization) – Defends your game state and logic in UGS from cheaters and exploiters, and lets you control who can access, modify, or delete game data and resources to protect the game from unauthorized access

And we’re just getting started…

Unity is committed to creating the best tools for building live games, and grateful for all of the people who take the time to reach out to us with feedback. If you have an idea or suggestion, join the conversation over at the UGS forum. We read every post, and use your feedback to inform our roadmap

*Available with Unity only. Engine-agnostic API coming soon.
**Currently support Cloud Code and Remote Config.

April 7, 2023 in Engine & platform | 8 min. read
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