How game developers build internal tooling with Superblocks

Superblocks Team

Multiple authors

March 20, 2023

5 min Read



Games have evolved rapidly from offline software encoded onto a piece of media to large sprawling multiplayer environments, complete with in-game e-commerce environments, built over large-scale microservices and with more telemetry than ever before.

Surrounding each release is a huge network of teams from technical and customer support, to revenue teams, to management layers, and many, many more. Each one of the teams requires a view into the numerous datasets that is captured from within each game. 

Internal tooling allows these teams to chart player progress, identify areas of frustration, track in-game revenue growth as well as handle customer queries. Superblocks empowers developers to build these tools swiftly and securely to allow them to spend more time doing what they love, building games.

Common challenges for gaming companies

When building out internal applications, developers need to understand the intended audience.  Who are they, what is most important to them, and where does the required data need to be gathered from?  There are many different teams and use cases that are unique to the organization but below are a couple of examples.

Internal Analytics team - Teams focused upon internal analytics require visibility into the vast wealth of metrics and telemetry that modern games create. Data will be spread over multiple sources such as Postgres, Rockset, and Kafka, which will need to be combined together to produce real time dashboards and reports.

Customer Support - Customer Support teams require systems to investigate and handle customer queries. For these teams, an understanding of each customer is essential; purchase history, play frequency, and a view into any previous support requests.  Data required for these use cases could typically be found in Postgres, Jira, Intercom, and Zendesk.

Management team - The Management team are much more interested in high level views of data with realtime health dashboards as well as daily/weekly reports delivered via Slack and email.

Building out internal tooling within a company requires integration with different platforms and systems, authentication and role-based access controls (RBAC), single sign-on (SSO), security, audit logging, scaling, and uptime.

Over time, these tools become expensive to build and maintain, and take away development time from the engineers. Superblocks drastically reduces build and maintenance costs whilst at the same time providing a secure view into your data.

Building an internal Application in Superblocks

Internal facing Applications can be built in minutes using Superblocks thanks to the intuitive and easy to use interface. Backend APIs and frontend UI are broken down into two separate sections, this makes connecting to your existing datasets a simple task, with the drag and drop UI making frontend development a breeze without the need to learn Angular or React.

The Application here provides an overview of players’ progress through different levels of a game, tracking the time taken and completion breakdown of each level. It also gives the Customer Support team a table of all in-game purchases and the ability to refund players with a single click.

Backend APIs are built to query a Postgres database and then Python is used to transform the data. Queries can be built and previewed directly within the interface to ensure the correct data is returned. All data is returned as JSON which is passed onto the frontend UI.

Frontend UI is built out via the built-in library of components which can be drag-and-dropped into the canvas. Data from the backend APIs is then connected to the component and presented back to the user. Each component can be customized within the properties panels, for example with a table columns can be individually configured to best represent the displayed data types.

Making processing refunds simple with Workflows

Processing customer refunds is a repetitive task that is error-prone and a great candidate for a developer to automate. A Superblocks Workflow can be used to load and update data from Postgres, trigger a GraphQL mutation to refund via Stripe, and then email the respective customer with the refund confirmation. This can be triggered via a button on each row from the table within the Application, or called via REST from any other location.

Scheduled daily reports for Management

Creating and sending daily or weekly reports is another time-consuming and costly task that can be easily automated. Using automation ensures that the most up-to-date data is used and allows for centralized development and change management as business needs evolve.

The daily in-game purchases summary scheduled job below reads purchase data from Postgres and uses Javascript to create a post formatted for delivery into a Slack channel.

With the ability to clone existing Scheduled Jobs, making changes for different audiences is simple and fast. Superblocks’ built-in integrations make accessing data very easy and with support for both Javascript and Python, developers will be able to make adjustments as required.  

Get started with Superblocks

Superblocks has helped hundreds of developers move faster and gain deeper insight into their customer base. By creating internal tools in a fraction of the time and deploying fast, organizations save 100s of developer hours and 1000s of Sales, CS, Marketing, and Finance hours, accelerating the ability to reach new markets, launch new products, and scale back office operations.

To learn more about how to create internal Applications, Jobs and Workflows with Superblocks view our documentation. Try creating your first Application today with a free 14-day trial​​.

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Superblocks Team

Multiple authors

Mar 20, 2023