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MBaaS perfect service for my game

Discussion in 'Connected Games' started by beppim, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. beppim

    beppim

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    Hello everybody

    I am developping a race game for Android / iOS / (maybe)Steam that will allow asynchronous challenges. This will be made through saving online many replays (not just scores) and loading opponents' replays from a online server able to run some logic for pairings.

    Together with this, the game will use gold ingame currency to allow users buy powerups and so on.

    Finally, I will need authentication through social networks and all that stuff.

    It's three days now that I'm exploring possible MBaaS solutions and I know that there is a lot of debate about which is the best one. I'm completely stuck, so I ask for help here!

    My available options right now are:

    - Parse.com
    - Kii.com
    - Gamesparks.com
    - App42
    - Playfab.com + photon.com

    There are tons of other possible services, but everytime I explore a new one it falls apart against these 5.

    These are my personal pros and cons:

    PARSE: stability
    Pros: it looks the biggest, base on alexa and google search returns. It is owned by facebook, so maybe it won't shutdown in 3 months. It recently has become opensource, that is a guarantee of fast future expansions and future stability.
    Cons: at a first glance it lacks some features, in particular all inapp purchase for android (is it true? and is it difficult to bypass this limitation?).

    GAMESPARKS: elastic
    Pros: claims to be the biggest one, although Alexa doesn't confirm it. Allows a incredible number of services.
    Cons: here and there people don't talk very well of this service and of its pricing.

    PLAYFAB + PHOTON:
    Pros: a lot of users say well about this combination. Photon itself is a real winner on google search returns, if this is of any interest. Also, Playfab looks the only one to integrate with Steam.
    Cons: being a noob it's hard to choose from scratch two services instead of one, with doubled learning curve.

    KII:
    Pros: At a first glance KII looks less game-oriented, but they are partners of Unity and surely of other bigs, so it looks they are playing great.
    Cons: I don't understand if and how inapp purchase is allowed. I think not.Pricing is also not very clear appearantly.

    APP42:
    Pros: a huge number of services, included all the gaming stuff. Pretty nice free indie developer (1 millions call)

    Is there some one that would like to help me in this research? :D Which one is worth spending time, knowing the needs that my project has?
    Thank you very much in advance for any comment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  2. jpv1234

    jpv1234

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    From my experience and the platforms you mention, Parse is really good. It's easy to setup and can give really good results when managing data since it's concept is really easy to understand. However I DONT recommend to use their Push Notification service with Unity. It has many problems and is difficult to setup. And if you manage to get it working, there is just a few simple options to send pushes. In my case I went with OneSignal platform

    Hope this helps
     
    gdeglin likes this.
  3. beppim

    beppim

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    Thanks jpv12334, is it true that inapp purchase is not supported for android?
     
  4. jpv1234

    jpv1234

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    I have not tried the IAP from Parse. For that feature I use Soomla, you can find it on the asset store, is pretty good and easy to understand
     
  5. beppim

    beppim

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    Oh Soomla has been a great discovery, thanks for it!
     
  6. njblaze307

    njblaze307

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    beppim - I'm not super familiar with all of the MBaas platforms you mentioned but looks like you did your homework. I came across your post and figured I'd make a suggestion.

    I'd like to suggest you add CloudMine to your list. CloudMine's MBaaS is great for developing games. They have a Unity SDK, as well as SDKs for Android and iOS, excellent support, and experience in the gaming industry.


    Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you want @nicknendel
     
  7. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    I've evaluated them all, and GameSparks came out the winner.

    Gamesparks does support Steam authentication, and their pricing is competitive with all the other providers out there. Don't let someones misunderstanding of their pricing model confuse you. They run a simple MAU cost which is easy to work out. If you contact them about their enterprise license you can get a heavily discounted MAU price.

    Gamesparks supports everything you mentioned and more.
    I've been working with it for months now and absolutely love it.

    It's very easy to integrate any multiplayer system with them, and they are also working on their own realtime multiplayer solution (which is currently in beta). My personal recommendation for realtime multiplayer is uLink.
     
    rakkarage likes this.
  8. beppim

    beppim

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    I'm testing them all now and GameSparks looks to me very powerful and simple, but so terribly documented... even basic functions are a pain. I hope they will answer me in their forum, otherwise I'll have to switch to another platform.
     
  9. johngriffin

    johngriffin

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    Hey,

    John from GameSparks here. Some great insight in this thread and a lot for us to take away. I am confident we have the most complete offering out there for games developers. We have to accept your points about documentation, however, and this is something we are addressing as priority over next couple of months. There are forums on GameSparks where most things can be asked and answered but in this period while we create the best documentation set around you can contact Customer Support for help on how to implement things via the ticketing system. https://support.gamesparks.net

    As a special offer for this forum of developers, we will give you all 15,000 MAUs for free for ALL features and 20% off the MAU price. Just mail us at info@gamesparks.com and use the reference: UNIFORUM2209 to claim*.

    Regards,

    John.

    *Will expire end October '15
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
    iddqd, Meltdown and jpv1234 like this.
  10. beppim

    beppim

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    Thanks a lot for it John.
    From my research now I feel very good with GameSparks, although I still am fighting to understand a lot of things. I was contacted multiple times by customer service and they have always been kind and patient.
    Regarding the documentation, it's complete, but in this exact moment lacks a little bit of help for starters. You are saying that you are working on it: it's fantastic news! Now the starting learning curve is a bit slow, but just a few more tutorials, or maybe a online session (in which users questions are enlightening on those little bits of information that look easy for experts but make it hard for beginners) and GameSparks will become perfect: its number and completeness of service is really amazing, as are your people that are helping me now. Technically GS's technology is very advanced and well working, I can only make compliments for this.
     
  11. snacktime

    snacktime

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    Amazon should be on the list. A lot of their stuff is way ahead of these services that market themselves specifically for games. In particular cognito, analytics, and device testing are especially worth a look.
     
  12. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    Gamesparks has some excellent tutorials on YouTube, you might want to look at those too.
     
  13. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    Working with AWS is a hell of a lot more work in most cases. You literally have to do everything yourself from scratch. While there are hooks for it, it is a lot more time consuming to work with and get up to speed with their massive technology stack.
     
  14. beppim

    beppim

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    As far as I know, but I may be wrong, AWS is a PaaS, not a BaaS.
     
  15. iddqd

    iddqd

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    @johngriffin
    Why don't you add the SDK to the asset store to give gamesparks some more visibility and make it easier for devs to get started with gamesparks.
     
  16. banacola

    banacola

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    Hi, John, I've sent email to the email address you've mentioned as below. We would like to have a try, but we still do not get reply from you.

     
  17. Jamie GameSpark

    Jamie GameSpark

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    Hey Banacola,

    Sorry for the oversight there. I have replied to you directly via email.

    Kind Regards,
    Jamie
     
  18. GraphXCreations

    GraphXCreations

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    Same here, I sent an email to info@gamesparks.com with UNIFORUM2209 as subject requesting the special offer yesterday Oct the 14th but no reply yet,
    seems that offer expires today the 15th, so I am not sure if they meant to honor the offer still.

    please advice since not even an acknowledge reply at all.

    thanks
     
  19. PlayFabJames

    PlayFabJames

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    Hi @beppim sorry to be late to this thread! I'm CEO of PlayFab, and I've got a few thoughts. I'm glad you're having success with Gamesparks - the most important thing is that you get a good solution for your game. Certainly compared to the list of 5 choices you posted there, I'd put PlayFab and GameSparks at the top of the list.

    That said, of course I think PlayFab is the most complete solution, especially when you go beyond just the backend services themselves and start thinking about your post-launch operations phase. At PlayFab that's really where we put the most emphasis, all the tools and services that you need to operate your game after it goes live, since if you're successful you're going to spend a lot more time operating than you are building in the first place.

    There are some very cool services coming soon from PlayFab that we can't talk about publicly yet, but I encourage anyone here who is considering us, but not yet sure, to email "devrel@playfab.com" and discuss your game with us. I'm pretty sure after we show you what we're working on you'll pick PlayFab, since whatever backend you choose, you want want to switch once your game goes live.

    Also, like GameSparks, we never want pricing to be a reason a developer picks one service over another. You should pick the service that you think has the best features, documentation, tools, etc. We all let you evaluate our services for free.

    And if you decide that's PlayFab then we have lots of flexibility to work out a deal that works for your game. Normally we price by DAU, because we think it's more fair, but we've also done MAU pricing for some developers, and we've done generous free DAU offers for members of this forum before. Again, just mail "devrel@playfab.com" and we'll take care of you.

    Finally, to @iddqd 's point about the asset store, I'm assuming GameSparks SDK is not in the asset store for the same reason the PlayFab SDK is not in the asset store -- Unity doesn't allow backend services in there, not without paying massive fees. So we have to market and promote on our own!
     
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