How to develop a gaming platform?Stories | 02 Aug 2017
When I was given a task to architect and lead the project of developing a large scale gaming platform from scratch, I said to myself, “Well this could be fun”, but I had no idea how much.
The functional and nonfunctional requirements were high, as we were to create a single cloud based solution that would be able to offer all the tools for betting products to make them available on all major distribution channels – from retail, terminal to web and mobile and offer betting operators all the tools to manage every segment of their operation; from locations, terminals, users, payments, settings, reports, etc.
To develop a platform, you definitely need more then few things available to you. The first major one is domain knowledge and experience. You absolutely need this as it will provide the development team the necessary knowledge to grasp the specific jargon, the key betting concepts and provide them insight into a betting operators mind. Luckily for us, we had plenty of domain knowledge, as the Seven platform is not the first product we, at NSoft are developing, but the product which we started to develop after 6 years of experience providing various software for betting operators from the region of Balkans and in Africa.
Another major component into the mix is a good and technically able team with the willpower and knowledge to tackle some of the hardest technical challenges you can encounter in the industry. We’ve set ourselves ambitious goals of scaling to millions of transactions a day, millions of users operating under different operators. I would say that we hit big here as well since we have a lot of people in their late 20s and early 30s viewing this project as the biggest challenge in their careers so far. People with 5 to 15 years of experience wanting to prove themselves big time.
Motivation for the team and management satisfaction is also one of the biggest issue you’re facing as the team is developing abstract goods without major visibility of the things they develop. Imagine 500k of lines of code and nothing to really show to your bosses except these lines of code so management has to be patient and have trust in the technical leadership for a project of this scale to succeed. Clear understanding of goals for the team and team’s goods delivery at a steady pace with agile development processes is a way to tackle this.
When you get to the bottom of the things which matter most in a platform software is fundamental understanding of the “things” you’re building the platform for and to identify what are the key components to have and offer them through a set of well documented and tested APIs. Defining those API contracts is not easy as they have to be as generic as possible but concrete enough to be useful. You would need a way to abstract the needs of a Slots like game, Sportsbook, Virtual Games, Lotteries, Casino and such and provide all that is needed for them to seamlessly function inside the eyes of the player and operator alike.
For a betting platform, among other important things, I would say that user accounts and their transactions are the most important. Having a well defined Wallet API which offers seamless interaction with multiple product providers which consequently allow a user to have a single balance from which he places bets without transferring money around is the key for both integration of these products into the platform and for the user’s UX. Having this single source of all transactions offers great benefits for operators as well as we’re able to offer real-time reporting and insight into the operations through our well structured pre-aggregated reports for easy and fast access any time.
Considering all that was written and said up until now you could say that these are the key facts on how we’ve created our Seven Platform. We’re committed to the product and we’re embracing these challenges and we’re pushing forward every day as you can never say that the platform is done. As we move through time, It’s only getting more features, getting better APIs and providing more tools for both end-users, to the betting operators and our various product/content providers.
Mario is the Managing Director, Platform at NSoft who started as a junior developer 7 years ago and worked his way up. He is experienced in architecting and developing software, leading teams of people and communicating complex technical topics in plain language.