Millions of game developers use Unity, a game development engine, to build games for the most popular platforms, including iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox and Wii U. With Couchbase Mobile for Unity, those developers can store game data, such as state and scores, and synchronize it to other devices and across platforms without having to write complex synchronization code themselves.
To accomplish this, Couchbase Mobile for Unity combines Couchbase Lite, a lightweight embedded version of Couchbase's NoSQL database, with Couchbase Sync Gateway, a synchronization server that handles the exchange of data between devices and the cloud.
Using Couchbase Mobile for Unity, developers can build games that function perfectly whether a user is online or offline. Additionally, they can build games that update without reinstallation. This is implemented by adding new game elements to the cloud and pushing them to a user's device through Couchbase's Sync Gateway. Traditionally, Couchbase says, developers have been forced to add new game elements to a game's core code and push a new version to users, a process that requires a reinstall.
According to Macy Mills, director of strategic partnerships at Hitcents, developer of a number of popular mobile apps and games, Couchbase Mobile for Unity is a "game changer" for game developers. "Couchbase Mobile for Unity will enable the game development community, including Hitcents, to more easily build multiplatform games and worry less about coding for data management or synchronization," she explained in a press release.
Couchbase Mobile for Unity is implemented using a set of libraries that it has wrapped in SDKs. Couchbase says that at launch, it will support at a minimum Windows Desktop, OS X, Linux, iOS and Android, and SDKs for additional platforms may be added by request. Couchbase is providing demos of Couchbase Mobile for Unity this week at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.
Doing More With Less
"Game developers are under significant pressure to quickly build and launch the next big blockbuster game — often without the resources they need to meet critical deadlines," Ravi Mayuram, senior vice president of products and engineering at Couchbase, said in the press release. Using his company's new offering, developers can "significantly reduce the amount of time spent on writing code," he said.
While the development challenges prevalent in the ultracompetitive gaming market are well-documented, the trend toward rapid development and short iteration cycles is not unique to the gaming space. It's increasingly common in many markets, and as a result, companies of all shapes and sizes are turning to third-party platforms and libraries that can eliminate the need to build from scratch functionality that is important but not core to an application's functionality.
That's creating lots of opportunities for companies like Couchbase, which can drive developer adoption by creating platforms, APIs and SDKs tailored to specific verticals and development use cases.