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Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by CJWilliams 2019-04-29

Upcoming Roadmap: 2019 Q2 (April – June) Edition

We’re happy to announce our latest quarterly PlayFab roadmap updates. We heard lots of good feedback that you enjoy receiving this visibility into our development process. As always, we want to hear your feedback – you can post in the feedback requests section of our forums.

Update from Q1

Following one of our core values of transparency, we want to first share an update on the features we planned to ship last quarter, before giving details into our plans for next quarter. You can check back to our Q4 roadmap blog post for more context on any of these:

  • New Documentation Portal was released. See https://docs.microsoft.com/gaming/playfab. We now have a very feature centric set of documentation that guides you along the developer journey.  We introduced personas for Developer, LiveOps and Business Intelligence so there is more clarity on information related to specific roles within the gaming industry. Also developers can now suggest changes to documentation directly via GitHub.
  • PlayFab Matchmaking Public Preview was released.  We've added key features to meet more of your needs. We've added team-based matchmaking rules that balance teams based on size, number of large parties and user attributes (such as skill). Multiplayer servers can now be directly allocated when matchmaking finds a match for players. If you are looking for statistics to display to your users in game such as average wait time, we've enabled that as well.  (Public launch is planned for Q3)
  • PlayFab Party Private Preview was released. We have added a set of cross-platform libraries and services for easily adding multiplayer real-time networking and chat communication to your game. Party joins PlayFab Multiplayer Servers, Matchmaking, and Leaderboards as services built to enable dynamic and inclusive community experiences. 
  • PlayFab Insights Private Preview was released. It combines high throughput, in-game telemetry with game data from multiple different sources to measure your game’s performance and create actionable insights. Combining data to provide a holistic view of your players is essential in being able to respond and create great experiences that help retain them. PlayFab Insights gives you this holistic view. 
  • PlayFab PubSub Private Preview was released.  It is a powerful system for relaying messages between services and clients through a persistent socket connection. It solves a wide variety of challenges facing game developers by allowing clients to subscribe to topics and have updates pushed to them automatically. Plus, it’s integrated natively with PlayStream so you can subscribe to standard events like entity_logged_in or custom events you define like player_won_match that your game may already be sending. 
  • PlayFab UGC Private Preview was released. It provides an easy to use, snappy, and relatively generic solution for developers to build UGC catalogs for their games.  
  • App Center + PlayFab Diagnostics was released in private preview. When you link your App Center titles to a PlayFab title, you will be able to see crash data in the diagnostics tab in Game Manager. 
  • Localized Player Communications was released.  With this we’ve simplified the logic around localized player communications. Now you can create a single email, push notification, or title news template to store all the translations for that communication.
  • Self-Service Tier Upgrade was released. You can now upgrade self-serve from our free tier to our indie or professional tier of service, reducing the time and friction to launch your title.

There are several features that we had planned to ship in Q1 that we are continuing to work on in Q2:

  • Leaderboard upgrades
  • Secure Game Center authentication
  • Search for an entity group by name
  • New PlayFab Programing Model
  • SDK Enhancements
  • C# Cloud Script Private Preview
  • Game Manager authentication with Azure Active Directory

Upcoming Q2 features

Our focus for Q2 is to enhance the core components of PlayFab including developer authentication, cloud script, our programing model, and our SDKs. We will also continue to work on products currently in private preview with the goal of moving them to public preview.

Details include:

  • Game Manager authentication with Azure Active Directory. Our goal is to release in private preview for customers who have existing AAD tenants.
  • C# Cloud Script.   Our goal is to release in private preview and will include C#, local debugging and VS Code integration.
  • New PlayFab Programing Model. We are continuing to release portions of the entities model as they are available. Three specific focuses:
    • Core Entities APIs like log-in, entity profile and leaderboards
    • Monetization APIs for entities like catalog, inventory and receipt redemption
    • PlayStream v2 like v2 entity events, actions, and rules
  • SDK enhancements.  We are planning to ship the Android and iOS versions of the SDK including multi-instance support and multi-user support.  Support for these features in additional supported SDKs will come after Q2.
  • User Generated Content. We are working towards a public preview release for Playfab UGC including content moderation features and ratings + reviews. 
  • PlayFab Party. We are building out our platform support including Win32, ERA, iOS, Android, Switch and PlayStation.
  • PlayFab Multiplayer Servers. On our path to General Availability we are adding Linux support through Game Manager and building insights into your billing, networking and usage of the service.
  • PlayFab Insights. We are working towards public preview building out features like churn prediction, high throughput telemetry, bringing player and entity profile data as well as your trends and reports data into your Insights data warehouse.
  • Xbox Data Add On. Xbox Developers can leverage this new offering to access detailed purchase and usage data for their Xbox and PC players, whether or not they use the PlayFab SDK. Direct query for purchases, pre-orders, revenue, minutes played, game pass usage, and more.
  • PlayFab Matchmaking. We are adding some features before General Availability, including analytics usage dashboards, server backfill tickets, max players per ticket enforcement and enabling PlayStream v2 events including PubSub specific events.

As always, while these updates reflect our aspirations for upcoming features, please remember that these features and timelines and subject to change without additional notice. If there are additional features you’d like to see added to our roadmap in the future, please vote on or add to the Feature Requests section of our forums.