Search Unity

Introducing PlayFab, a complete backend-as-service for Unity

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by PlayFabJames, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Posts:
    15
    Hello everyone,
    We're excited to officially introduce PlayFab to this forum for the first time. Our goal is to provide a complete one-stop-shop backend for games, including both the services you need to build your game, and the game management tools you need to actually operate your game once it goes live.

    Our service is quite powerful and mature (it has been in continuous operation for 3 years -- you may have known it as "UberNet" -- and has powered 3 games into the top 10 on Steam) but we only recently released it to the public. Our documentation and getting started materials are still pretty weak, but we're working hard to make them better, and we release new features all the time. If you decide to check it out, PLEASE send us feedback on how we can improve our first-time developer experience.

    What do we do? A brief list of our features includes:
    • Player accounts (cross-platform, cross-device, profile storage)
    • In-game e-commerce (virtual currencies, real-money receipt verification)
    • Virtual goods management (player inventory, item catalog)
    • Game data storage (per title, per player, shared session state)
    • Multiplayer (server hosting, matchmaking, auto-scaling, coming soon Photon integration)
    • In-game marketing (basic messaging)
    • Game analytics (out-of-box reporting, custom game events, direct data access)
    • Game management tools
    • Segment.io integration (use game events to drive 100+ different 3rd party tools, like CRM or marketing automation)
    Want to check us out? Here are a few ways to start:
    We were proud to announce at Unite 2014 that we have partnered with Photon to provide a complete multiplayer backend solution, including our backend services for things like player profile management, leaderboards, or in-app purchasing, and Photon for building and operating your multiplayer game logic. We hope to release more details on that integration in the next month or so -- we are working hard with Exit Games to build a special version of Photon Cloud and Photon Server that are tightly integrated with PlayFab services.

    We started PlayFab because we wanted to help developers make awesome games more easily. We hope PlayFab can help level the playing field by giving all developers, no matter what size, access to the best tools for building and operating their games.

    We are really looking forward to your feedback and suggestions on how we can make our documentation, services, and tools better!

    James Gwertzman
    CEO
     
    rakkarage and shkar-noori like this.
  2. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Posts:
    1,302
    Nice to see your presence here.

    I have tested this package since it has been introduced on photon forums, and I cant wait to recommend it.
    I was using Kinvei, then Kii, this package definitely give more feature and the free offer is much more generous.

    one little suggestion would be to add the SDK in the unity asset store as a download option, its more convenient for updating to me.
     
  3. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    This sounds very good.
    Will definitely check this out since I need this for my online racer.
     
  4. shkar-noori

    shkar-noori

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Posts:
    833
    we've considered PlayFab since Unite 14. good job.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  5. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Are there any guides on how to use this with Photon Cloud?
     
  6. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    Not yet, im looking forward to this info also , great job by the way playfab!
     
  7. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Okay, thanks.
    While I wait for some information I started making a little webinterface to manage the catalog since you can only upload / download JSON data in the playfab interface.


     
  8. BFGames

    BFGames

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,543
    Interesting! I love photon, and the collaboration seems awesome.
     
  9. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Posts:
    15
    I'm afraid we're just starting the Photon Integration now -- it's going to be a little while before they're tightly integrated together. In the meanwhile, however, if you're already a Photon user or customer, there's nothing stopping you from using the full set of PlayFab services from your Photon game logic. If you go down this path, however, please email us at "devrel@playfab.com" - we'd love to hear from you, since we'll be looking for feedback on our integration plans.
     
  10. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Posts:
    15
    Very cool! Our future version of the game manager tool will include a graphical editor for the catalog, but in the meantime a tool like this one is very useful. Are you willing to share it with other developers? If so we'd love to promote this as a GitHub project!
     
    shkar-noori likes this.
  11. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,436
    Been looking at PlayFab for a while now, its a very interesting system with some great features.
    Looking forward to what you guys can come up with regarding Photon integration.
     
  12. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Sure, why not.
    I started making it yesterday, so it is not finished yet (by now it only reads data).
    Also this is a licensed design, so I when I finished my version I will search for a free design to use and post a GitHub link here.
     
  13. 3D Omelette Studio

    3D Omelette Studio

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Posts:
    130
    At first I thought this was a networking engine solution for unity, like ulink, smartfox etc. since it states a backend solution for unity in the networking forum.

    then when i was reading it says photon integration?
    so now i am confused.

    is this like highjack my userbase databse kinda deal where you keep my userbase score in a webinterface and you charge for hosting my game stats?

    them reading your faqs i found this:


    really?



    what exactly is a DAU?
    users?, bandwidth per user?, i looked all over the site and could not find the definition of a DAU
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  14. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,436
  15. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Small update on the interface:
    • Editing Items working.
    • Deleting Items working.
    • Adding new Items working.
    • Modified Form to show object type under the textbox so you don't have to look up everything in the documentation.
    • Tried myself with AJAX and Buttons no longer open a new page, they check the request first and tell you if it was successful or not.
    If you have any suggestions to the interface, please post them here or contact me via PM.
    The Dashboard is still empty and I have no clue what to put in there.

    I will upload the Interface to GitHub soon, but without the design I use.
    I will link the design on the GitHub page and if you can verify that you purchased the design I will send you the missing files.

    1663 lines of Code in 2 days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
    shkar-noori likes this.
  16. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    very cool man looking forward to trying this out!
     
  17. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    @PlayFabJames will there be stuff like saving images from items at playfab soon?
    Otherwise I will add a database to my interface and manage that there.

    Could not wait for response, guess what..

    Blub.

     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
    ManAmazin likes this.
  18. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    looks awesome man....soon as its available im jumping on this!
     
  19. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Glad to hear, I'll probably do a release until monday.


    2488 lines of Code in Day 3.
     
  20. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    Monday? cool sounds like a plan
     
  21. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    He he.
    Anyone knows / has a free design to use? I can't release the one I use due license issues.
     
  22. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    any luck with the free design? @ITGeist
     
  23. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Not yet, did not find anything yet.
     
  24. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
  25. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    ahhh man i was so looking forward to monday lol...hope to see it released soon
     
  26. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242
    hey @ITGeist has this been dropped? or still haven't found a free design?
     
  27. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Sorry, my PC broke and I was not at work since I had an accident.
    I also did not find any free design yet.
     
    Neophen likes this.
  28. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,436
  29. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Posts:
    15
    @ITGeist, sorry I haven't been in this thread recently. What sort of free design are you looking for? Maybe we can help. We'd be happy to support your tool. We will be adding content management to PlayFab (w/ images, etc) but not until next year.
     
  30. moosag

    moosag

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Posts:
    1
    Hi James

    I am currently putting together a game around Photon "Turn Based" and I am looking between Kii and Playfab.
    I do prefer "Playfab" as it has far more features that fit my roadmap.

    My only question is around the Photon integration ? Is there any ETA on when you will have Photon integration built into Playfab. I currently have my game built and running against photon. I would like to know how much of a "change" would it be from a code perspective to plugin Playfab Photon server over my current implementation ?
     
  31. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Posts:
    1,302
    as what i understand from there forum, most of photon features are integrated into a package pricing with photon.
    but their pricing page is not easy to understand, no idea how it works
     
  32. Neophen

    Neophen

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Posts:
    21
    @ITGeist, any news :)

    Also can someone show an example for :
    Auto login:

    Start()
    // if player has already loged in, then auth the session with playfab
    // else
    // if platform ios, try login with gamecenter, if fail, login with deviceID
    // if platform android, try login with google, if fail, login with deviceID
     
  33. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    242

    to my knowledge this isnt available yet as i asked about this myself, when testing i have to keep logging in lol...the way i set it up is like facebook.. after player logs in the first time it retains the username so they only have to ener password and there is a "this is not me option" to wipe fields and enter new info.....auto login would be nice tho
     
  34. Brendan-Vanous

    Brendan-Vanous

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Posts:
    73
    Yes, our partnership with ExitGames started off with the business side of things - making sure that developers using PlayFab can also use the Photon Cloud technologies for free. If you're using Photon Turn Based, Realtime, or Cloud, and you want to take advantage of this, please be sure to talk to us so that we can make sure things are all signed off.

    For integration at the tech level, that's what we're working on now. From the ExitGames side, they'll be integrating some of our core features (in particular, authentication) into their code base, to make it easier to use PlayFab from their Cloud. From our side, we'll be doing things like integrating the Cloud into our Game Manager, so that you can have a one-stop shop for all your backend configuration and monitoring. That's going to take some time though, so we do encourage you to just treat them as distinct packages for now.

    Back on authentication, my own feeling is that getting the player into the experience quickly is critical on first play, and then add more claims later (if needed). The thing to do is to look at the platform you're targeting, to see what's available. With iOS and Android, you've got the device ID. On Steam, the player is normally signed in when running the game, so you should be able to get an auth ticket. Device IDs are not sufficient long-term, so you'll want to find a way to get players to provide another sign-in, but for some platforms, you can just keep using the method which is as low-friction as possible. In the Steam example, you could just keep using the Steam login every time.

    Brendan
     
  35. Neoshiftr

    Neoshiftr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Posts:
    67
    Anything like that : http://themeforest.net/category/site-templates/admin-templates
     
  36. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Posts:
    1,302

    thanks for all the details, so if we have 1000 DAU user with playfab, you will provide a licence for photon realtime&chat for 1000 users? that sound too good to be true.. but that would be awesome.

    do you have a roadmap? would be nice to share with your users something like that:https://trello.com/b/UfqlXqXy/2d-toolkit-roadmap

    I am pretty impatient to see the chat integration and game manager.
     
  37. Kazzack

    Kazzack

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Posts:
    27
    This looks amazing. After going through all your tutorial videos i'm very keen to start.

    I see that you have options to link the PlayFab user's with Steam / Facebook / Game Center etc,
    But at the minute we're still waiting to be Greenlit, so we're using Desura and sending people the Alpha keys out through E-Mail.
    What I would like to do is, when the Player creates their account in-game like in the demo, they would have to type in their "Code Key" and then it would check if it's unique and link it to their PlayFab account.
    Although, I guess that would mean when someone purchases Alpha access from us we would somehow need the code that they are given to be entered into the PlayFab server so then PlayFab can see that it can be activated and is unique?

    Or better yet, would there be anyway to sync profiles/user from our game website / forum to unique PlayFab accounts?

    Any help / suggestions / idea's is highly appreciated ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  38. Neophen

    Neophen

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Posts:
    21
    I'm writing an auto login script for android/ios, with 4.6RC, and I will also make prefabs with the new UI system to replace their GUI scripts. Will keep you updated guys!
     
  39. Brendan-Vanous

    Brendan-Vanous

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Posts:
    73
    @Damien Delmarle: We have a thread in our forum that also talks about this, but long story short, if you're a Core Tier customer (have a look at the Pricing page for info on what the features are part of each tier), the Photon Cloud features are included. And yes, the first 1000 DAU are always free, so if you have less than that, you wouldn't be charged. The main idea there is to try to ensure that developers can, as much as possible, make their games without having to pay for any of the backend components until they actually have a launched game with users.

    @Kazzack: We have an existing key system that was used for one title already, but it sounds like you may have some pretty specific needs, given your Desura usage. If you'd like to have a deeper discussion on possible approaches for this, feel free to email us at devrel@playfab.com.
     
  40. BFGames

    BFGames

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,543

    The thing is that it is hard know if it will be better to go core for the photon features, as DAU and CCU is quite different. Not sure it is.
     
  41. Brendan-Vanous

    Brendan-Vanous

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Posts:
    73
    Agreed, they can be tough to equate. While there's certainly a good bit of variance across games, the estimates the Exit Games folks present on their pricing page is a reasonable starting place:

    "To calculate monthly active users (MAU) we assume 1 CCU to translate into 10 daily active users (DAU) and each of these into 20 MAU."

    But the deciding factor ultimately is, what features does your game need. If you need features which are part of the Core Tier, going that route means that you've also got the Photon Cloud costs built in (effectively free). If you only need the Casual Tier features, having them be separate accounts is likely the way to go.
     
  42. GeorgeK7

    GeorgeK7

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Posts:
    3
    JohnTube likes this.
  43. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Posts:
    15
    Hi there,
    We've posted about pricing on our website before. In particular, you may this article or this whitepaper interesting.

    However, to summarize my thoughts about that article on Daikonforge, and pricing...

    As the author of that post says, when you use a backend service like PlayFab, you're paying for a lot more than just the physical servers themselves. If you only look at the physical price of the hardware, then of course renting servers from a budget service provider will be cheaper. We appreciate that the MoPho games guys ultimately decided to go with PlayFab for Orbital Assault -- that's the same decision more and more developers we talk to are making, because with PlayFab you're getting:

    - the huge up-front investment in backend services and tools. At this point we've got close to 10 person-years of work invested in the platform, and it keeps going up since we're adding new features all the time. Building your own back-end and tools from scratch is at least 1-2 years of work, which can cost $100K+ depending on how much you're paying your engineers -- and that's for a minimum platform, without the sort of advanced live-ops tools we're providing.

    - ongoing maintenance and upgrades. If you build it yourself, you need to keep it running, even when Facebook or Apple change their API, or some new security threat comes out requiring patches and upgrades. With PlayFab, we're doing this continually for you -- it's one less thing for you to worry about.

    - faster time to market. With PlayFab, the backend is already there ready for you to start using it -- you can start integrating our tools & services from day one of development. Putting a price tag on time to market is hard, but if it means beating a competitor to market with a new idea it can be priceless.

    - a continuous DevOps team monitoring your servers. With any live service, stuff inevitably goes wrong with your servers, and typically at 3AM or some other inconvenient time. Setting up a bullet-proof system that's fully redundant, that can auto-scale with load, in multiple data centers, with automated alarms, is another huge task all by itself -- and one that requires constant tweaking. With PlayFab, this is all included in the price -- if you do it yourself, you're having to not only pay the salary of whoever is doing your DevOps, but it's also a distraction away from the important task of actually operating the game itself. Also to have a redundant system, you need to multiple all servers costs by 2x since you need multiple servers handling your services so if something goes wrong with one server there's another waiting to take over.

    - help and support. If you have a problem using PlayFab, you've got someone to email. If you're doing it yourself, and you hit a snag, you're on your own. Plus we've got a community of other game developers using the same services that's growing all the time. If some other developer hits a bug and we fix it, you benefit -- so you're benefiting from the "bug catching surface area" of hundreds of game developers.

    - pre-integrated third party services. We've already done the hard work of integrating with services like Steam or GooglePlay, and we'll be integrating with many more in the future, like our upcoming deep integration w/ Photon. As we integrate new services, you can start using those right away -- and not have to do that work yourself.

    - peace-of-mind. I'm not sure exactly what this is worth to you, but inevitably if you roll your own system, your players will discover bugs and issues that may prevent them from enjoying your game. In extreme cases, this can bring down an entire game for days or weeks.

    So those are just a few things to think about when you consider building your own vs. using PlayFab!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
    JohnTube and Meltdown like this.
  44. BFGames

    BFGames

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,543
    Pretty good post
     
  45. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts:
    1,813
    I think one important point to be made is that, even though Playfab overtakes the price of custom-rolled on Leaseweb at around 300-ish CCU, the fact that it starts out cheaper can be a big deal to indie developers.
    There's a couple of other factors to keep in mind as well.
    • Playfab provides ready-made infrastructure for accounts, friends, leaderboards, and in-app purchasing. That last one is particularly important. If you roll your own IAP infrastructure, you are liable for anything that goes wrong.
    • When custom-rolling with Leaseweb, at least in the given scenario, there's no scalability whatsoever. So you have to pay for anticipated usage rather than actual usage (and if actual usage exceeds anticipated usage, bad stuff can happen), whereas for Playfab you get charged based on actual usage.
    So, as mentioned in the article. Really simple games that have low requirements for backend service could probably go with Leaseweb just fine. However, if your game needs something more involved, Playfab is IMHO the better option.
     
    JohnTube likes this.
  46. JohnTube

    JohnTube

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Posts:
    64
    Hey @PlayFabJames,

    I just need confirmation that there is no way we can configure webhooks for Photon from PlayFab right now.
     
  47. EddieChristian

    EddieChristian

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Posts:
    687
    Does this work with the free version of Unity?
     
  48. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,436
    Yes
     
  49. Brendan-Vanous

    Brendan-Vanous

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Posts:
    73
    @JohnTube

    We can host game servers (for complex/state-dependent logic) or custom JavaScript (for stateless logic) for you, and we'll be adding a way to call into the hosted JavaScript via the Photon webhooks in an upcoming sprint. Basically, not this month, but early in Q1. We prioritize based upon what developers are telling us they need (and when they need it), so if you have a project you're looking at building in PlayFab which would need this feature, feel free to start a thread with us.
     
  50. EddieChristian

    EddieChristian

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Posts:
    687
    For myself, I am wondering about how to handle currency, purchases, etc.. If I am using Photon Cloud (Now called Photon Realtime).
     
unityunity