The games industry is one of the most data-driven industries in the world. Games generate massive amounts of data every second, from player behavior and in-game transactions to social media engagement and customer support tickets. This data can be used to improve games, make better business decisions, and create new and innovative experiences for players.
However, the games industry also faces a unique challenge: how to analyze this data in real-time or near-real-time. This is because games are now constantly changing and evolving, and players expect a personalized and highly responsive experience. Imagine, you and your friends are all set to join your favorite game’s new version launch! You take the day off, get your snacks ready and POOF! Server unresponsive… Reload… Still nothing.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), for instance, need to be able to handle a large number of concurrent players while simulating a virtual world in real time. This can put a strain on game server infrastructure, and it can be difficult to scale the infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing player base. Here is where real-time analytics plays a role in auto-scaling infrastructure in response to these events.
Automating infrastructure scaling in real-time
Aiven for Apache Kafka provides time-value to player-volume-based data, allowing automation of infrastructure scaling, based on traffic patterns and load. In addition, with Aiven for InfluxDB and Aiven for Grafana, data infrastructure teams have insights into the health of gaming services — as the gameplay is happening. Once certain thresholds are detected, automation scripts employing the Kubernetes Operator or Terraform Provider can spin up new game services to answer demand.
As one of the most demanding industries for computing power, online or mobile games need to be able to handle a large number of concurrent players. This can put a strain on game server infrastructure, and it can be difficult to scale the infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing player base.
The Aiven Platform offers multiple features, across all managed services, that make it well-suited for automated game service scaling, including:
Scalability: Aiven services can be scaled to handle any amount of data, making it ideal for high player volume gaming scenarios, such as a highly anticipated version launch.High reliability and availability: Via the management plane — or Aiven Console — highly reliable services are designed to be always available. (Typically, even smaller plans provided by Aiven for Apache Kafka include three High-Available Nodes, out of the box.)Security: The Aiven Console offers a number of security features and compliance by default to protect your data, including encryption and authentication.
Some of the benefits gained when using the Aiven Stack, shown in our reference architecture, to scale game servers are:
Improved performance: By automatically scaling the number of game servers up or down as needed, you can ensure that your game servers are always operating at optimal capacity.Cost optimization: You can save money on your cloud computing costs by only running the number of game servers that you need.Improved scalability: Aiven for Apache Kafka, coupled with Aiven observability services (Aiven for InfluxDB and Aiven for Grafana), can be used to scale your game server infrastructure to meet the needs of your growing player base.
Future-proofing automated scaling
Google Pub/Sub capabilities within the BigQuery suite can be used together to perform longer-term analytics for the games industry. Pub/Sub is a near-real-time/longer-term messaging service that can be used to collect data from game servers, in our case, messages from Aiven for Apache Kafka.
There are a variety of use cases beyond the scope of auto-scaling infrastructure that can be leveraged when using Pub/Sub and BigQuery for longer-term analytics of player telemetry data:
Player behavior analysis: By tracking player behavior over time, game companies can identify trends and patterns in how players are playing their games. This information can be used to improve the player experience, develop new content, and balance in-game economies.Game performance analysis: By tracking game performance over time, game companies can identify areas where technical performance is struggling. This information can be used to fix bugs, optimize performance, and improve the overall quality of the game experience.Business intelligence: By analyzing data on player engagement, revenue, and other metrics, companies can make better business decisions. For example, a gaming company could use this data to identify their most popular and profitable titles.
Several benefits games industry customers will see by using Pub/Sub and BigQuery for longer-term analytics in the games industry are:
Scalability and reliability: Pub/Sub and BigQuery are both highly scalable and highly available services that can handle any amount of data.Security: Pub/Sub and BigQuery offer a number of security features to help protect your data, including encryption and authentication.Cost-optimization: By analyzing longer term data points, Pub/Sub and BigQuery can help forecast future player workloads and enable adjustments to auto-scaling behavior.
Aiven + Google Cloud = better together
By partnering with Google Cloud and Aiven on Google Cloud, the games industry can prepare for a worry-free launch while having the data to understand players and keep them coming back for more. Service reliability is key — a hassle-free experience dictates the success of the game! — but cost should always be considered. By lowering the total cost of operations, and right-sizing in real-time, you can achieve greater game-play usability while minimizing unnecessary overscaling.
Predictive analytics in BigQuery allows you to tweak the scaling parameters based on past data, enabling greater control of future volumes that would otherwise be lost. The combination of managed services from Aiven and Google Cloud add time value to data — and increased revenue from a successful launch. Game on!
Conclusion and next steps
As the games industry continues to evolve and embrace data-driven decision-making, the combination of Aiven for Kafka and Pub/Sub capabilities within the BigQuery suite will become increasingly essential for success. By harnessing the power of real-time data, games companies can unlock new opportunities, enhance player experiences, and drive sustainable growth. If you’re ready to learn more, check out the following links below:
For further reading of connecting Aiven with Google Native services: Shorten the path to insights with Aiven for Apache Kafka and BigQuery.How Google Cloud empowers the games industry to achieve success: Game on and on and on: Google Cloud’s strategy for live service gamesReady to give it a try? Click here to check out Aiven’s listing on Google Cloud Marketplace, and let us know what you think.
Source : Data Analytics Read More