Over Engineering a PBBG

Hot topic today, over engineering a PBBG. As a little background, I run a game that brings in mid 5 figures in revenue each year, so this is what I’ve learnt from that. I would also like to mention I inherited a legacy code base so that definitely effects some of my decisions.

On the PBBG Discord I’ve noticed a lot of great discussions about how to do something or whether something should be done. Or more over promoting doing certain things. So here is a few bits of food for thought

Tests

One of the main ones is tests. My game has 0 tests, it was built for some ancient version of PHP way  back when, I’d hazard a guess and say pre 5.0. In the last year I have  bought it up to 7.3, soon to be 7.4. Every decent developer would advise, write tests. I’d say don’t. I guess  that makes me a terrible developer. There is a time and a place for  tests and in my case I really don’t feel the need for them. If a bug comes up, I fix it, the players I have are understanding enough  to not warrant potentially hundreds of hours writing tests.

I’ve also noticed that some people suggest writing tests despite not  having anything out there. I personally would much rather see something  than need to wait another few months so the developer can write some  tests. Don’t be afraid of letting your players be the testers. We don’t live in  a perfect world. Your BETA doesn’t need to be perfect.

But please, make sure you actually log your errors, we use Sentry which handles a whole bunch of apps, you can use it for frontend, backend, android apps, any applications really in most languages.

MvP

Get something out the damn door. Stop over thinking and over complicating things. There is a slim chance your game will massively succeed, and by that, I mean make a living off of it. You need to get players impressions as soon as you can even if you have a minimal base with a minimal feature set. Because if you can’t get any players, or players don’t like it you can easily pivot without worrying about spending thousands of hours building something people won’t want.

So get something out there for people to see and use

Storing IP’s

IP’s are a crucial part of an anti cheat especially when it comes to duping. Yes there are ways to get around this, using a proxy or VPN, TOR even. But not everyone playing your game is a wizard or even understands what an IP is. Chances are you’re reading this and you’re a developer, remember, not everyone else is! We log everything against an IP, any action taken, be it selling something on the marketplace, shooting someone, even things like transferring money into your bank. We log it, IP, name, previous amount of items if applicable.

You can change your IP after logging in, so remember to record it  against actions, rather than just a check on login. Attaching an IP to a session is also helpful, that way they get instantly logged  out if they change IP. There are many benefits to knowing this.

Conclusion

Stop over thinking technical things and start getting an MvP out  there for the world to see. People expect hiccups when you launch it’s only natural.

Get developing, get something out, iterate over time rather than aiming for perfection off the bat!

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