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8 new features to support game backend development

December 9, 2022 in Technology | 8 min. read
8 new features to support game backend development | Hero image
8 new features to support game backend development | Hero image

Support the live service of your game with the most recent updates.

After listening to feedback following the general availability launch earlier this year, the Game Backend team has worked to continuously make updates to solutions like Remote Config, Authentication, Player Management, Cloud Code, Economy, and more.

We’ve gathered various updates made to Game Backend over the past few months to provide you with a high-level overview. For more information on the solutions available in the Unity Gaming Services Dashboard, visit our LiveOps insights page.

Remote Config

Versioning in the dashboard

Versioning is now available for Remote Config, allowing developers to cycle through a backlog of versions of your game, timestamped to the respective moment of publishing, almost like a time machine.

Remote Config versions backlog: Sample view

That means if a mistake is made during development, you can go back to a previous version. You can also determine what the exact live configuration was at the specified time. Remote Config keys can also be safely updated.

No action is required to start using this feature and it can be accessed through the dashboard. Config as code allows you to create and edit your configuration in a file and is easily versioned.

In the example below, we showcase how you can compare an older version with the latest version currently in flight. This will allow you to make changes before publishing the older version as a new version.

GIF of Remote Config view

Remote Config Authoring tool from the Editor: Pre-release

This feature allows someone to author changes, all within the Unity Dashboard and  Editor. With Remote-Config Authoring, you won’t have to leave the Unity Editor as often, allowing you to author and modify the Remote Config files in the editor, deploy assets from the Editor manually or by entering play mode, and increment faster.

GIF of official Remote-Config Authoring tool from the Unity Editor (in pre-release)

Authentication

Bring your own ID

Unity Authentication now supports bring your own identity (BYOI). With the first phase of our BYOI release, you can integrate with any OIDC-compliant identity providers, such as Firebase, AWS Cognito, and Epic Online Services. Since OIDC support does not solve all BYOI use cases, we are evaluating options to further expand BYOI support based on your needs.

You can refer to our documentation (API and SDK) on how to set up and configure OIDC identity providers. The below example showcases a demo from start to finish.

Unity Gaming Services: Example of Authentication in backend for AWS

Sign in directly with Firebase account:

Unity Gaming Services: Example of Authentication in backend for Firebase

Meta Quest (Oculus) support

We are excited to announce that Unity Authentication now supports Meta Quest (Oculus) Sign-In. We are currently evaluating to provide support for Apple Game Center, Twitch, and Discord. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

You can refer to our documentation (API and SDK) on how to set up and configure Oculus Sign-In. See it in action in the below example.

GIF of Unity Gaming Services Oculus support/sign-in in backend

Player Management

Player overview

Our most recent update allows you to directly view players on the find player page by clicking on the specific PlayerID, allowing for a more streamlined player management experience.

Rather than having to write extra code to get this ID from the client through debug logging, you can just see the ID in the overview, making it simpler for developers to find a player when there is only a small number. This will also ensure a smoother onboarding process for both Economy and Cloud Save.

See the example below to see the new find player view in the dashboard.

Backend player dashboard: "Find player" view

Cloud Code

External services access from Cloud Code

We noticed a few developer challenges such as wanting to preserve and own older service providers in the existing pipeline and wanting to integrate UGS solutions without compromising existing workflows. This led us to develop an update allowing developers to migrate to UGS while mixing and matching external services.

You can now access external services in Cloud Code. That means you can mix and match any UGS service through public API or Cloud Code SDK with your own existing tools and services.

This new feature will essentially unlock a lot of interesting use cases and make it more simple to migrate to UGS while retaining access to services you and your team don’t want to leave behind.

Users can now utilize Cloud Code to design workflows and logic combining various types of services with UGS.

Cloud Code Authoring tool from the Editor: Pre-release

Similarly to Remote Config, this new feature allows for smoother authoring in Cloud Code. All your workflows can now be brought over from the Unity Dashboard to the Unity Editor.

For more details, and a visual example, please take a look at the Remote Config Authoring tool section above.

Economy

Public Admin API

With the new Public Admin API feature, users are able to create, edit, and publish their game economy configurations directly through a REST API. This will better support a wide range of workflows.

In the future, this update will provide our team with the ability to unlock even more customer workflows through UGS-wide initiatives like the command-line interface(CLI) and file-based workflows.

When to expect our next batch of updates

Game Backend has allowed many users to effectively service their live games and projects through the UGS Dashboard. While we’re excited about these updates, the team is determined to continue providing new features to make the development process easier for all gaming needs.

Our next round up of updates will come in the spring of 2023, so we hope you’ll stay tuned to the blog for more information. For any questions you may have about Game Backend, feel free to contact us.

Want to read more about all the Game Backend possibilities within UGS? Discover how you can use LiveOps to get the insights you need for a better player experience.

December 9, 2022 in Technology | 8 min. read
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