PlayFab is a backend-as-a-service startup for games. They provide an easy API for player authentication, inventory, leaderboards, push notifications, and server hosting. When your game is featured on the App Store, you’ll be able to handle the crush of users if you’re using PlayFab.
I was hired in May 2015 to maintain and upgrade their Game Manager product, the user interface for game developers to create an economy, manage player data, and monitor events. It was written in Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 5 and used Knockout and jQuery on the client.
After several months of bug fixes I completely overhauled the front-end architecture.
- Prepared the site for localization and added proper MVC routes to every page
- While it wasn’t a single page app, the Game Manager did need client-side redirection, so I built a system to deliver .NET routes to the client and keep the front-end and back-end in sync
- I also developed an easy way to run all model validation on the server and deliver the results via AJAX, highlighting any fields the user filled out incorrectly
- Created a unified navigation and breadcrumb system and made it simple to call from the layout
I wrote the new user tutorial for using PlayFab, showing game developers how to authenticate a player, create a simple economy, and use advanced features like segments and store overrides.
Working with the backend team, we implemented the ability to have beta features available to specific customers, as well as migrated the site to a proper roles & permissions security model.
PlayFab’s public website went through many technology stacks. First it ran on Drupal, then WordPress. To save on server costs, I was authorized to port it to Hugo, a static site generator.
Fortunately there exists a WordPress-to-Hugo exporter so I didn’t have to copy and paste all 150 blog posts. From there I built a Gruntfile to compile and minify the TypeScript, SASS stylesheets, then prettify the code and remove any stragglers. We’re now hosting the site on S3 for almost nothing.