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Question Unity Analytics alternatives for Consoles?

Discussion in 'Unity Analytics' started by CaseyHofland, Sep 12, 2023.

  1. CaseyHofland

    CaseyHofland

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
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    Hi there, on behalf of my client I'm implementing analytics into their Unity project. They are an indie studio with (currently) no funding, making Unity Analytics unfortunately not the right tool for them.

    We tried integrating Game Analytics as it was highly praised, but there seems to be no way to enable it for consoles.

    EDIT:
    I’ve since learned more, here is how to implement console integration in Game Analytics yourself https://forum.unity.com/threads/unity-analytics-alternatives-for-consoles.1491466/#post-9415814

    What analytics tool should we target? The game will release on desktop and console devices. It needs to have a free plan or a one-time payment with a money-back guarantee. I would also love to know your satisfaction with any tools you've had first hand experience with.

    (P.S. my clients totally deserve funding, they’re making a puzzle game with gravity-shifting portals, it's brain-breaking mind-boggling guchiiness).
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2023
  2. YD_JMysior

    YD_JMysior

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    Posts:
    60
    Hi,
    consoles are very tricky to implement. For years even Unity Analytics (Legacy) did not support consoles. I don't think you will find a free solution out there that works on consoles.

    Also Unity Analytics is free for the first 50k MAU each month. An indie studio with no funding has a very low probability of exceeding this limit and if they do, they will most likely be able to support the costs of billing (unless this is a free to play game which the current Unity pricing is really screwing over).
     
  3. CaseyHofland

    CaseyHofland

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    Thanks YD, I’m coming to learn this myself.

    Out of interest, would you happen to have insight into why collecting data on consoles is tricky? I’d love to learn as much as I can.
     
  4. CaseyHofland

    CaseyHofland

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    It’s more so that Unity analytics is fairly expensive: $540 a month for 150.000 (once the game is out and earning money) compared to the competition is still a big commitment for a growing boy studio.

    More so, they recently changed their payment scheme to earn 2.3x more than it was in July, with little warning. That was disturbing enough, and now with the ongoing scorched-earth policy we are in no rush to tie our futures up with any Unity service.
     
  5. Nathanovicio

    Nathanovicio

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    Apr 28, 2022
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    It seems you've made a small miscalculation, 150.000 users would be $360/month. The first 50.000 should be free. Still I fully understand your hesitation to use Unity Analytics ;)
     
  6. manutoo

    manutoo

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    Jul 13, 2010
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    On this page https://gameanalytics.com/how-it-works/ , it's stated :
    Why wouldn't it work on consoles for you ?

    I'm in the same boat as you, just started looking for an alternative to Unity Analytics : in case of success, I'd rather roll my own solution than pay ~$5000 per year for something so basic. o_O
     
  7. CaseyHofland

    CaseyHofland

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    I’m glad you asked! Because as is so often the case, a greater understanding has helped me understood the tool better and using Game Analytics for consoles is definitely possible! Unfortunately, due to their secretive nature, I can only give you a half-answer. Let’s get into it.

    The game analytics integration doesn’t support consoles out of the box, so you’re gonna have to change their implementation a little. I suggest creating a fork of the Game Analytics SDK (and creating PRs back to the community if you find any optimizations ;))

    Here is ours, currently doesn’t change the implementation yet because we’re focussing on desktop first, but we know we’re gonna eventually have to do this.
    https://github.com/Cubusky/GA-SDK-UNITY

    The main class you’ll wanna look out for is the GA_Wrapper. This is a partial class with a different implementation per-platform: just open a few GA_Wrapper scripts, you’ll know it when you see it. You can implement your own GA_Wrapper then for Xbox, Playstation and Switch.

    Unfortunately, how you do that I cannot explain. It will be a bit tricky: Game Analytics uses libraries written in .Net Framework 4 and I don’t think those platforms support that (perhaps Xbox does). And if I did know, I couldn’t tell you. However, each of these platforms have their own dev portal with their own forums. There you will be able to find the unfiltered knowledge that you need :)

    Bit of a long answer, but I hope it helps you forward! I’ll be writing a bit about console implementation / GA extending for the documentation of my team which will be available on the GitHub wiki of our fork. Since it’s in markdown I hope to get it to the GA team as well because I seriously wonder why the don’t just have a tab for this, it’s easy oNCe YoU kNow It!
     
    manutoo likes this.
  8. CaseyHofland

    CaseyHofland

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    Hey there @manutoo , as promised here is the wiki page for how to add platform extensions yourself.

    https://github.com/Cubusky/GA-SDK-UNITY/wiki/Platform-Extensions

    Make sure you can actually make changes to the GA-SDK-UNITY though, i.e. install it as a local package. I recommend forking their repo and using that inside your game as opposed to.

    This only tells you how to fix stuff from the Unity-side though. For the plugin side... well that's harder to explain. Especially since I can't say anything platform specific, so I'm still figuring out what to write about it (do NOT hold your breath, for now I'm going to focus on other stuff). Just know that where it says
    Bla bla bla stuff about GameAnalyics.Playbox plugin.
    , that's the hard part of taking the game analytics dll and supporting it for xbox, playstation and / or switch, which you can only learn about in their respective developer portals. Still, I hope this explanation will save you some time!



    However:

    This doesn't cover connection with the web tool. Game Analytics has an annoying implementation where they will only send Android data to the Android web tool. That would be fine if you could configure your web tool to support consoles, but you can't, so I'm going to add a rerouting option in my own fork which allows you to e.g. send playstation data to the android webtool. If you want you can simply use my fork and wait for me to update it. If'n ya do, I'd appreciate a donation once the feature's out.
     
  9. manutoo

    manutoo

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
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    @CaseyHofland ,
    thanks for the heads up !

    I might not work on that before a few months though, as I just started to port my game to Xbox, but it's good news that it seems to be feasible to make GameAnalytics operational on consoles.

    Please let me know how it goes in the end. :)
     
    CaseyHofland likes this.