Introducing Microsoft Game Stack

Original author: Microsoft
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Microsoft game stack

We are announcing the new Microsoft Game Stack initiative, in which we will combine Microsoft tools and services that will allow all game developers, regardless of whether they are independent developers or the AAA studio, to achieve more.

Today in the world there are 2 billion gamers playing a variety of games on a variety of devices. The community pays as much attention to video streaming, viewing and sharing as it does to games or competitions. As creators of games, every day you try to engage your players, arouse their imagination and inspire them, no matter where they are or what device they use. We introduce the Microsoft Game Stack to help you do just that.

This article is in English.

What is Microsoft Game Stack?

Game Stack integrates all of our game development platforms, tools and services, such as Azure, PlayFab, DirectX, Visual Studio, Xbox Live, App Center and Havok, into a robust ecosystem that any game developer can use. The goal of Game Stack is to help you easily find the tools and services you need to create and manage a game.

The cloud plays a critical role in Game Stack, and Azure meets this vital need. Azure provides fundamental parts such as computing and storage, as well as cloud-based machine learning and artificial intelligence services for sending notifications and mixed reality spatial references.

Companies such as Rare, Ubisoft, and Wizards of the Coast currently work with Azure. They host servers for multiplayer games, safely and securely store player data, analyze game telemetry, protect their games from DDOS attacks and train AI to create a more exciting gameplay.

Although Azure is part of the Game Stack, it’s important to note that Game Stack is independent of the cloud, network, and devices. We do not stop there.

What's new?

The next component of Game Stack is PlayFab, a complete backend service for creating and operating games. A year ago, PlayFab and Microsoft merged. Today, we are pleased to announce that we are adding PlayFab to the Azure family. Together, Azure and PlayFab are a powerful combination: Azure provides reliability, global scale and enterprise-level security; PlayFab provides Game Stack-driven game development services, real-time analytics and LiveOps capabilities.

According to PlayFab co-founder James Gwerzman: “The creators of modern games are less and less like movie directors. Long-term success requires the involvement of players in a continuous cycle of creation, experimentation and exploitation. You can’t just roll out your game and move on. ” PlayFab supports all major devices, from iOS and Android, to PC and Web, Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Switch; and all major game engines, including Unity and Unreal. PlayFab will also support all major cloud services in the future.

Today we are also pleased to announce five new PlayFab services.

In public preview access today:

  • PlayFab Matchmaking : A powerful matchmaking search for multiplayer games, adapted from Xbox Live, but now available for all games and all devices.

In private preview access today ( write to us to get access ):

  • PlayFab Party: Voice and chat services adapted from Xbox Party Chat, but now available for all games and for all devices. Party uses Azure Cognitive Services for real-time translation and transcription to make games accessible to more players.
  • PlayFab Insights: Combines reliable real-time game telemetry with game data from several other sources to measure the performance of your game and generate useful ideas. Based on the Azure Data Explorer, Game Insights will offer connectors to existing third-party data sources, including Xbox Live.
  • PlayFab PubSub: Subscribe your game client to messages sent from PlayFab servers through a permanent connection with Azure SignalR support. This allows for scenarios such as real-time content updates, matchmaking notifications, and simple multi-player gameplay.
  • PlayFab User Generated Content: Engage your community by allowing players to create and securely share user-generated content with other players. This technology was originally developed to support the Minecraft marketplace.

The growing Xbox Live community

Another important component of Game Stack is Xbox Live. Over the past 16 years, Xbox Live has become one of the most vibrant and active gaming communities in the world. It is also a secure and inclusive network that has expanded the boundaries of gaming: players are now teaming up using different devices.

We are delighted that Xbox Live will become part of the Microsoft Game Stack, providing identity and community services. As part of the Game Stack, Xbox Live will expand its cross-platform capabilities as we present the new SDK that brings this community to iOS and Android devices.

With Xbox Live, mobile app developers will be able to chat with the most passionate and involved players on the planet. Here are just a few of the benefits for mobile developers:

  • Trusted Game Identity: With the new Xbox Live SDK, developers can focus on creating great games and use Microsoft's trusted identity network to support login, privacy, online security, and child accounts. 
  • Frictionless Integration: New custom options and no Xbox Live certificate give mobile app developers the flexibility to create and update their games. Developers simply use the services that best suit their needs.
  • Vibrant Gaming Community: Join the growing Xbox Live community and connect gamers to multiple platforms. Find creative ways to implement the achievement system, Gamerscore, and hero stats.

Other Game Stack components

Other Game Stack components include Visual Studio, Mixer, DirectX, Azure Application Center, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and Havok. In the coming months, as we work to improve and expand the Game Stack, you will see deeper connections between these services, as we combine them to make them work more effectively together.

As an example of how this integration is already underway, today we link PlayFab and the following Game Stack components together:

  • App Center: Crash log data from the App Center is now connected to PlayFab, allowing you to better understand and respond to problems in your game in real time, associating individual crashes with isolated players.
  • Visual Studio Code: With the new PlayFab plugin for Visual Studio Code, editing and updating Cloud Script has become much easier.

Create your world today and achieve more

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