Tag Archives: game development

More Unity: Dive deeper into 3D worlds, game design and programming

Post Syndicated from Marc Scott original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/more-unity-3d-game-design/

Our ‘Intro to Unity’ educational project path is a big success, sparking lots of young people’s passion for 3D game design and programming. Today we introduce the ‘More Unity‘ project path — the perfect next step for young people who have completed our ‘Intro to Unity‘ path. This new free path is designed to bridge the gap for young people before they start on the tutorials on the Unity learning platform.

Our work to create this path builds on our partnership with Unity, through which we aim to offer any young person, anywhere, the opportunity to take their first steps in creating virtual worlds using real-time 3D.

More Unity builds on foundations

After young people have tried out the Unity Engine and C# programming through the ‘Intro to Unity’ path, they’re ready for a deeper exploration of 3D game design. ‘More Unity’ helps them build on the foundational skills they learned in the ‘Intro to Unity’ path. After completing this new path, they’ll be able to add complexity, new challenges, and heaps of fun to all their 3D creations.

We’ve prepared a comprehensive Unity Guide to assist with getting ready to start either the ‘Intro to Unity’ or ‘More Unity’ path. To create with Unity, learners need access to a computer with a graphics card, the latest version of the free Unity Games Engine, and a code editor. For the extra Blender-based projects (see below), they need the latest version of the free Blender software.

Dive into the projects in the ‘More Unity’ path

The project path consists of six projects. Like in ‘Intro to Unity’, each project introduces new skills bit by bit, enabling young people to independently code their own, next-level Unity creation in the final project.

Rainbow run

This first project shows how to build an exciting 3D simulation. With ‘Rainbow run’, learners create colourful tracks and guide a marble to race along them. We also offer them an extra project guide where they can customise the look of their marble using Blender.

Disco dance floor

Next, with ‘Disco dance floor’, learners code an interactive, tilting dance floor that responds to a rolling ball with sound and colour. They can add their own style to the dance floor by following our extra Blender project.

Don’t fall through

‘Don’t fall through’ is the third project in the path. Here, learners code a two-player game that requires strategy and timing as marbles traverse a vanishing tiled floor.

Pixel art reveal

‘Pixel art reveal’ comes next in the path. It helps learners design unique pixel art on a tiled floor and reveal their awesome artwork by rolling a ball across the surface.

Track designer

In ‘Track designer’, we invite learners to truly think like game designers. This project empowers learners to design unique tilting tracks filled with obstacles, personalised effects, sounds, and more.

Marble mayhem

Finally ‘Marble mayhem’ lets young people bring to life all the principles of physics and materials in the Unity Game Engine they’ve learned about while following the ‘More Unity’ path. This is their place to create a one-of-a-kind game or digital toy that truly reflects their creativity.

Growing skills through Unity

‘More Unity’ promotes young people’s creativity, problem-solving, and independence. Each project presents them with the chance to create a virtual world of physics, materials, and mechanics. With each project they’ll learn lots of new skills in 3D modeling, gameplay design, and programming.

The path includes a community gallery where young people can share their new 3D creations and see what their peers all over the world have made.

The skills young people gain through the ‘Intro to Unity’ and ‘More Unity’ path provide them with a solid foundation to continue to learn and create with Unity. To follow their passion for 3D worlds, game design, and programming further, they can move on to the hundreds of tutorials available on Unity’s learning platform.

Get ready for ‘More Unity’: Our support for educators, volunteers and parents

Our detailed Unity guide will help you get everything set up for your young people to start with Unity, and the ‘Intro to Unity‘ path is the place for them to begin before they move on to ‘More Unity‘.

If you or your young people want to get a taste of the fun ‘More Unity’ has in store, there’s the Collision and colours Discover project to try out. This short learning experience showcases the new components the ‘More Unity’ path introduces.

To help our community of CoderDojo and Code Club volunteers bring Unity to their learners, we will host a free Unity-focused webinar on 13 July. Sign up to get a walkthrough of the path from our Learning Manager Mac Bowley, and to ask him any questions you might have.

The post More Unity: Dive deeper into 3D worlds, game design and programming appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Streaming Android games from cloud to mobile with AWS Graviton-based Amazon EC2 G5g instances

Post Syndicated from Sheila Busser original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/streaming-android-games-from-cloud-to-mobile-with-aws-graviton-based-amazon-ec2-g5g-instances/

This blog post is written by Vincent Wang, GCR EC2 Specialist SA, Compute.

Streaming games from the cloud to mobile devices is an emerging technology that allows less powerful and less expensive devices to play high-quality games with lower battery consumption and less storage capacity. This technology enables a wider audience to enjoy high-end gaming experiences from their existing devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.

To load games for streaming on AWS, it’s necessary to use Android environments that can utilize GPU acceleration for graphics rendering and optimize for network latency. Cloud-native products, such as the Anbox Cloud Appliance or Genymotion available on the AWS Marketplace, can provide a cost-effective containerized solution for game streaming workloads on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

For example, Anbox Cloud’s virtual device infrastructure can run games with low latency and high frame rates. When combined with the AWS Graviton-based Amazon EC2 G5g instances, which offer a cost reduction of up to 30% per-game stream per-hour compared to x86-based GPU instances, it enables companies to serve millions of customers in a cost-efficient manner.

In this post, we chose the Anbox Cloud Appliance to demonstrate how you can use it to stream a resource-demanding game called Genshin Impact. We use a G5g instance along with a mobile phone to run the streamed game inside of a Firefox browser application.


Graviton-based instances utilize fewer compute resources than x86-based instances due to the 64-bit architecture of Arm processors used in AWS Graviton servers. As shown in the following diagram, Graviton instances eliminate the need for cross-compilation or Android emulation. This simplifies development efforts and reduces time-to-market, thereby lowering the cost-per-stream. With G5g instances, customers can now run their Android games natively, encode CPU or GPU-rendered graphics, and stream the game over the network to multiple mobile devices.

Architecture difference when running Android on X86-based instance and Graviton-based instance.

Figure 1: Architecture difference when running Android on X86-based instance and Graviton-based instance.

Real-time ray-traced rendering is required for most modern games to deliver photorealistic objects and environments with physically accurate shadows, reflections, and refractions. The G5g instance, which is powered by AWS Graviton2 processors and NVIDIA T4G Tensor Core GPUs, provides a cost-effective solution for running these resource-intensive games.


Architecture of Android Streaming Game.

Figure 2: Architecture of Android Streaming Game.

When streaming games from a mobile device, only input data (touchscreen, audio, etc.) is sent over the network to the game streaming server hosted on a G5g instance. Then, the input is directed to the appropriate Android container designated for that particular client. The game application running in the container processes the input and updates the game state accordingly. Then, the resulting rendered image frames are sent back to the mobile device for display on the screen. In certain games, such as multiplayer games, the streaming server must communicate with external game servers to reflect the full game state. In these cases, additional data is transferred to and from game servers and back to the mobile client. The communication between clients and the streaming server is performed using the WebRTC network protocol to minimize latency and make sure that users’ gaming experience isn’t affected.

The Graviton processor handles compute-intensive tasks, such as the Android runtime and I/O transactions on the streaming server. However, for resource-demanding games, the Nvidia GPU is utilized for graphics rendering. To scale effortlessly, the Anbox Cloud software can be utilized to manage and execute several game sessions on the same instance.


First, you need an Ubuntu single sign-on (SSO) account. If you don’t have one yet, you may create one from Ubuntu One website. Then you need an Android mobile phone with Firefox or Chrome browser installed to play the streaming games.


We can install Anbox Cloud Appliance in the AWS Marketplace. Select the Arm variant so that it works on Graviton-based instances. If the subscription doesn’t work on the first try, then you receive an email which guides you to a page where you can try again.

Figure 3: Subscribe Anbox Cloud Appliance in AWS Marketplace.

Figure 3: Subscribe Anbox Cloud Appliance in AWS Marketplace.

In this demonstration, we select G5g.xlarge in the Instance type section and leave all settings with default values, except the storage as per the following:

  1. A root disk with minimum 50 GB (required)
  2. An additional Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume with at least 100 GB (recommended)

For the Genshin Impact demo, we recommend a specific amount of storage. However, when deploying your Android applications, you must select an appropriate storage size based on the package size. Additionally, you should choose an instance size based on the resources that you plan to utilize for your gaming sessions, such as CPU, memory, and networking. In our demo, we launched only one session from a single mobile device.

Launch the instance and wait until it reaches running status. Then you can secure shell (SSH) to the instance to configure the Android environment.

Install Anbox cloud

To make sure of the security and reliability of some of the package repositories used, we update the CUDA Linux GPG Repository Key. View this Nvidia blog post for more details on this procedure.

$ sudo apt-key del 7fa2af80

$ wget

https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu2004/sbsa/cuda keyring_1.0-1_all.deb

$ sudo dpkg -i cuda-keyring_1.0-1_all.deb

As the Android in Anbox Cloud Appliance is running in an LXD container environment, upgrade LXD to the latest version.

  $ sudo snap refresh –channel=5.0/stable lxd

Install the Anbox Cloud Appliance software using the following command and selecting the default answers:

  $ sudo anbox-cloud-appliance init

Watch the status page at https://$(ec2_public_DNS_name) for progress information.

Figure 4: The status of deploying Anbox Cloud.

Figure 4: The status of deploying Anbox Cloud.

The initialization process takes approximately 20 minutes. After it’s complete, register the Ubuntu SSO account previously created, then follow the instructions provided to finalize the process.

  $ anbox-cloud-appliance dashboard register <your Ubuntu SSO email address>

Stream an Android game application

Use the sample from the following repo to setup the service on the streaming server:

  $ git clone https://github.com/anbox-cloud/cloud-gaming-demo.git

Build the Flutter web UI:

$ sudo snap install flutter –classic

$ cd cloud-gaming-demo/ui && flutter build web && cd ..

$ mkdir -p backend/service/static

$ cp -av ui/build/web/* backend/service/static

Then build the backend service which processes requests and interacts with the Anbox Stream Gateway to create instances of game applications. Start by preparing the environment:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-pip

$ sudo pip3 install virtualenv

$ cd backend && virtualenv venv

Create the configuration file for the backend service so that it can access the Anbox Stream Gateway. There are two parameters to set: gateway-URL and gateway-token. The gateway token can be obtained from the following command:

$ anbox-cloud-appliance gateway account create <account-name>

Create a file called config.yaml that contains the two values:

gateway-url: https:// <EC2 public DNS name>

gateway-token: <gateway_token>

Add the following line to the activate hook in the backend/venv/bin/ directory so that the backend service can read config.yaml on its startup:

$ export CONFIG_PATH=<path_to_config_yaml>

Now we can launch the backend service which will be served by default on TCP port 8002.


In the next steps, we download a game and build it via Anbox Cloud. We need an Android APK and a configuration file. Create a folder under the HOME directory and create a manifest.yaml file in the folder. In this example, we must add the following details in the file. You can refer to the Anbox Cloud documentation for more information on the format.

name: genshin

instance-type: g10.3


cpus: 10

memory: 25GB

disk-size: 50GB

gpu-slots: 15

features: [“enable_virtual_keyboard”]

Select an APK for the arm64-v8a architecture which is natively supported on Graviton. In this example, we download Genshin Impact, an action role-playing game developed and published by miHoYo. You must supply your own Android APK if you want to try these steps. Download the APK into the folder and rename it to app.apk. Overall, the final layout of the game folder should look as follows:


├── app.apk

└── manifest.yaml

Run the following command from the folder to create the application:

$ amc application create  .

Wait until the application status changes to ready. You can monitor the status with the following command:

$ amc application ls

Edit the following:

  1. Update the gameids variable defined in the ui/lib/homepage.dart file to include the name of the game (as declared in the manifest file).
  2. Insert a new key/value pair to the static appNameMap and appDesMap variables defined in the lib/api/application.dart file.
  3. Provide a screenshot of the game (in jpeg format), rename it to <game-name>.jpeg, and put it into the ui/lib/assets directory.

Then, re-build the web UI, copy the contents from the ui/build/web folder to the backend/service/static directory, and refresh the webpage.

Test the game

Using your mobile phone, open the Firefox browser or another browser that supports WebRTC. Type the public DNS name of the G5g instance with the 8002 TCP port, and you should see something similar to the following:

Figure 5: The webpage of the Android streaming game portal.

Figure 5: The webpage of the Android streaming game portal.

Select the Play now button, wait a moment for the application to be setup on the server side, and then enjoy the game.

Figure 6: The screen capture of playing Android streaming game.

Figure 6: The screen capture of playing Android streaming game.


Please cancel the subscription of the Anbox Cloud Appliance in the AWS Marketplace, you can follow the AWS Marketplace Buyer Guide for more details, then terminate the G5g.xlarge instance to avoid incurring future costs.


In this post, we demonstrated how a resource-intensive Android game runs natively on a Graviton-based G5g instance and is streamed to an Arm-based mobile device. The benefits include better price-performance, reduced development effort, and faster time-to-market. One way to run your games efficiently on the cloud is through software available on the AWS Marketplace, such as the Anbox Cloud Appliance, which was showcased as an example method.

To learn more about AWS Graviton, visit the official product page and the technical guide.

Introducing Amazon GameLift Anywhere – Run Your Game Servers on Your Own Infrastructure

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/introducing-amazon-gamelift-anywhere-run-your-game-servers-on-your-own-infrastructure/

In 2016, we launched Amazon GameLift, a dedicated hosting solution that securely deploys and automatically scales fleets of session-based multiplayer game servers to meet worldwide player demand.

With Amazon GameLift, you can create and upload a game server build once, replicate, and then deploy across multiple AWS Regions and AWS Local Zones to reach your players with low-latency experiences across the world. GameLift also includes standalone features for low-cost game fleets with GameLift FleetIQ and player matchmaking with GameLift FlexMatch.

Game developers asked us to reduce the wait time to deploy a candidate server build to the cloud each time they needed to test and iterate their game during the development phase. In addition, our customers told us that they often have ongoing bare-metal contracts or on-premises game servers and want the flexibility to use their existing infrastructure with cloud servers.

Today we are announcing the general availability of Amazon GameLift Anywhere, which decouples game session management from the underlying compute resources. With this new release, you can now register and deploy any hardware, including your own local workstations, under a logical construct called an Anywhere Fleet.

Because your local hardware can now be a GameLift-managed server, you can iterate on the server build in your familiar local desktop environment, and any server error can materialize in seconds. You can also set breakpoints in your environment’s debugger, thereby eliminating trial and error and further speeding up the iteration process.

Here are the major benefits for game developers to use GameLift Anywhere.

  • Faster game development – Instantly test and iterate on your local workstation while still leveraging GameLift FlexMatch and Queue services.
  • Hybrid server management – Deploy, operate, and scale dedicated game servers hosted in the cloud or on-premises, all from a single location.
  • Streamline server operations – Reduce cost and operational complexity by unifying server infrastructure under a single game server orchestration layer.

During the beta period of GameLift Anywhere, lots of customers gave feedback. For example, Nitro Games has been an Amazon GameLift customer since 2020 and have used the service for player matchmaking and managing dedicated game servers in the cloud. Daniel Liljeqvist, Senior DevOps Engineer at Nitro Games said “With GameLift Anywhere we can easily debug a game server on our local machine, saving us time and making the feedback loop much shorter when we are developing new games and features.”

GameLift Anywhere resources such as locations, fleets, and compute are managed through the same highly secure AWS API endpoints as all AWS services. This also applies to generating the authentication tokens for game server processes that are only valid for a limited amount of time for additional security. You can leverage AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM) roles and policies to fully manage access to all the GameLift Anywhere endpoints.

Getting Started with GameLift Anywhere
Before creating your GameLift fleet in your local hardware, you can create custom locations to run your game builds or scripts. Choose Locations in the left navigation pane of the GameLift console and select Create location.

You can create a custom location of your hardware that you can use with your GameLift Anywhere fleet to test your games.

Choose Fleets from the left navigation pane, then choose Create fleet to add your GameLift Anywhere fleet in the desired location.

Choose Anywhere on the Choose compute type step.

Define your fleet details, such as a fleet name and optional items. For more information on settings, see Create a new GameLift fleet in the AWS documentation.

On the Select locations step, select the custom location that you created. The home AWS Region is automatically selected as the Region you are creating the fleet in. You can use the home Region to access and use your resources.

After completing the fleet creation steps to create your Anywhere fleet, you can see active fleets in both the managed EC2 instances and the Anywhere location. You also can integrate remote on-premises hardware by adding more GameLift Anywhere locations, so you can manage your game sessions from one place. To learn more, see Create a new GameLift fleet in the AWS documentation.

You can register your laptop as a compute resource in the fleet that you created. Use the fleet-id created in the previous step and add a compute-name and your laptop’s ip-address.

$ aws gamelift register-compute \
    --compute-name ChannyDevLaptop \
    --fleet-id fleet-12345678-abcdefghi \

Now, you can start a debug session of your game server by retrieving the authorization token for your laptop in the fleet that you created.

$ aws gamelift get-compute-auth-token \
    --fleet-id fleet-12345678-abcdefghi \
    --compute-name ChannyDevLaptop

To run a debug instance of your game server executable, your game server must call InitSDK(). After the process is ready to host a game session, the game server calls ProcessReady(). To learn more, see Integrating games with custom game servers and Testing your integration in the AWS documentation.

Now Available
Amazon GameLift Anywhere is available in all Regions where Amazon GameLift is available.  GameLift offers a step-by-step developer guide, API reference guide, and GameLift SDKs. You can also see for yourself how easy it is to test Amazon GameLift using our sample game to get started.

Give it a try, and please send feedback to AWS re:Post for Amazon GameLift or through your usual AWS support contacts.


AWS Week in Review – September 5, 2022

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-september-5-2022/

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

As a new week begins, let’s quickly look back at the most significant AWS news from the previous seven days.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are the launches that got my attention last week:

AWS announces open-sourced credentials-fetcher to simplify Microsoft AD access from Linux containers. You can find more in the What’s New post.

AWS Step Functions now has 14 new intrinsic functions that help you process data more efficiently and make it easier to perform data processing tasks such as array manipulation, JSON object manipulation, and math functions within your workflows without having to invoke downstream services or add Task states.

AWS SAM CLI esbuild support is now generally available. You can now use esbuild in the SAM CLI build workflow for your JavaScript applications.

Amazon QuickSight launches a new user interface for dataset management that replaces the existing popup dialog modal with a full-page experience, providing a clearer breakdown of dataset management categories.

AWS GameKit adds Unity support. With this release for Unity, you can integrate cloud-based game features into Win64, MacOS, Android, or iOS games from both the Unreal and Unity engines with just a few clicks.

AWS and VMware announce VMware Cloud on AWS integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. Read more in Veliswa‘s blog post.

The AWS Region in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now open. More info in Marcia‘s blog post.

View of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
A few more blog posts you might have missed:

Easy analytics and cost-optimization with Amazon Redshift Serverless – Four different use cases of Redshift Serverless are discussed in this post.

Building cost-effective AWS Step Functions workflows – In this blog post, Ben explains the difference between Standard and Express Workflows, including costs, migrating from Standard to Express, and some interesting ways of using both together.

How to subscribe to the new Security Hub Announcements topic for Amazon SNS – You can now receive updates about new Security Hub services and features, newly supported standards and controls, and other Security Hub changes.

Deploying AWS Lambda functions using AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK) – With the ACK service controller for AWS Lambda, you can provision and manage Lambda functions with kubectl and custom resources.

For AWS open-source news and updates, here’s the latest newsletter curated by Ricardo to bring you the most recent updates on open-source projects, posts, events, and more.

Upcoming AWS Events
Depending on where you are on this planet, there are many opportunities to meet and learn:

AWS Summits – Come together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Registration is open for the following in-person AWS Summits: Ottawa (September 8), New Delhi (September 9), Mexico City (September 21–22), Bogotá (October 4), and Singapore (October 6).

AWS Community DaysAWS Community Day events are community-led conferences to share and learn with one another. In September, the AWS community in the US will run events in the Bay Area, California (September 9) and Arlington, Virginia (September 30). In Europe, Community Day events will be held in October. Join us in Amersfoort, Netherlands (October 3), Warsaw, Poland (October 14), and Dresden, Germany (October 19).

That’s all from me for this week. Come back next Monday for another Week in Review!


AWS Week in Review – August 8, 2022

Post Syndicated from Steve Roberts original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-august-8-2022/

As an ex-.NET developer, and now Developer Advocate for .NET at AWS, I’m excited to bring you this week’s Week in Review post, for reasons that will quickly become apparent! There are several updates, customer stories, and events I want to bring to your attention, so let’s dive straight in!

Last Week’s launches
.NET developers, here are two new updates to be aware of—and be sure to check out the events section below for another big announcement:

Tiered pricing for AWS Lambda will interest customers running large workloads on Lambda. The tiers, based on compute duration (measured in GB-seconds), help you save on monthly costs—automatically. Find out more about the new tiers, and see some worked examples showing just how they can help reduce costs, in this AWS Compute Blog post by Heeki Park, a Principal Solutions Architect for Serverless.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) released updates for several popular database engines:

  • RDS for Oracle now supports the April 2022 patch.
  • RDS for PostgreSQL now supports new minor versions. Besides the version upgrades, there are also updates for the PostgreSQL extensions pglogical, pg_hint_plan, and hll.
  • RDS for MySQL can now enforce SSL/TLS for client connections to your databases to help enhance transport layer security. You can enforce SSL/TLS by simply enabling the require_secure_transport parameter (disabled by default) via the Amazon RDS Management console, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), AWS Tools for PowerShell, or using the API. When you enable this parameter, clients will only be able to connect if an encrypted connection can be established.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) expanded availability of the latest generation storage-optimized Is4gen and Im4gn instances to the Asia Pacific (Sydney), Canada (Central), Europe (Frankfurt), and Europe (London) Regions. Built on the AWS Nitro System and powered by AWS Graviton2 processors, these instance types feature up to 30 TB of storage using the new custom-designed AWS Nitro System SSDs. They’re ideal for maximizing the storage performance of I/O intensive workloads that continuously read and write from the SSDs in a sustained manner, for example SQL/NoSQL databases, search engines, distributed file systems, and data analytics.

Lastly, there’s a new URL from AWS Support API to use when you need to access the AWS Support Center console. I recommend bookmarking the new URL, https://support.console.aws.amazon.com/, which the team built using the latest architectural standards for high availability and Region redundancy to ensure you’re always able to contact AWS Support via the console.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Here’s some other news items and customer stories that you may find interesting:

AWS Open Source News and Updates – Catch up on all the latest open-source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS community in installment #123 of the weekly open source newsletter.

In one recent AWS on Air livestream segment from AWS re:MARS, discussing the increasing scale of machine learning (ML) models, our guests mentioned billion-parameter ML models which quite intrigued me. As an ex-developer, my mental model of parameters is a handful of values, if that, supplied to methods or functions—not billions. Of course, I’ve since learned they’re not the same thing! As I continue my own ML learning journey I was particularly interested in reading this Amazon Science blog on 20B-parameter Alexa Teacher Models (AlexaTM). These large-scale multilingual language models can learn new concepts and transfer knowledge from one language or task to another with minimal human input, given only a few examples of a task in a new language.

When developing games intended to run fully in the cloud, what benefits might there be in going fully cloud-native and moving the entire process into the cloud? Find out in this customer story from Return Entertainment, who did just that to build a cloud-native gaming infrastructure in a few months, reducing time and cost with AWS services.

Upcoming events
Check your calendar and sign up for these online and in-person AWS events:

AWS Storage Day: On August 10, tune into this virtual event on twitch.tv/aws, 9:00 AM–4.30 PM PT, where we’ll be diving into building data resiliency into your organization, and how to put data to work to gain insights and realize its potential, while also optimizing your storage costs. Register for the event here.

AWS SummitAWS Global Summits: These free events bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Registration is open for the following AWS Summits in August:

AWS .NET Enterprise Developer Days 2022 – North America: Registration for this free, 2-day, in-person event and follow-up 2-day virtual event opened this past week. The in-person event runs September 7–8, at the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas. The virtual event runs September 13–14. AWS .NET Enterprise Developer Days (.NET EDD) runs as a mini-conference within the DeveloperWeek Cloud conference (also in-person and virtual). Anyone registering for .NET EDD is eligible for a free pass to DeveloperWeek Cloud, and vice versa! I’m super excited to be helping organize this third .NET event from AWS, our first that has an in-person version. If you’re a .NET developer working with AWS, I encourage you to check it out!

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back next Monday for another Week in Review roundup!

— Steve
This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

AWS Week in Review – May 9, 2022

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-may-9-2022/

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Another week starts, and here’s a collection of the most significant AWS news from the previous seven days. This week is also the one-year anniversary of CloudFront Functions. It’s exciting to see what customers have built during this first year.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that caught my attention last week:

Amazon RDS supports PostgreSQL 14 with three levels of cascaded read replicas – That’s 5 replicas per instance, supporting a maximum of 155 read replicas per source instance with up to 30X more read capacity. You can now build a more robust disaster recovery architecture with the capability to create Single-AZ or Multi-AZ cascaded read replica DB instances in same or cross Region.

Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts storage auto scalingAWS Outposts extends AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacenter. With Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts, you can deploy managed DB instances in your on-premises environments. Now, you can turn on storage auto scaling when you create or modify DB instances by selecting a checkbox and specifying the maximum database storage size.

Amazon CodeGuru Reviewer suppression of files and folders in code reviews – With CodeGuru Reviewer, you can use automated reasoning and machine learning to detect potential code defects that are difficult to find and get suggestions for improvements. Now, you can prevent CodeGuru Reviewer from generating unwanted findings on certain files like test files, autogenerated files, or files that have not been recently updated.

Amazon EKS console now supports all standard Kubernetes resources to simplify cluster management – To make it easy to visualize and troubleshoot your applications, you can now use the console to see all standard Kubernetes API resource types (such as service resources, configuration and storage resources, authorization resources, policy resources, and more) running on your Amazon EKS cluster. More info in the blog post Introducing Kubernetes Resource View in Amazon EKS console.

AWS AppConfig feature flag Lambda Extension support for Arm/Graviton2 processors – Using AWS AppConfig, you can create feature flags or other dynamic configuration and safely deploy updates. The AWS AppConfig Lambda Extension allows you to access this feature flag and dynamic configuration data in your Lambda functions. You can now use the AWS AppConfig Lambda Extension from Lambda functions using the Arm/Graviton2 architecture.

AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) CLI now supports enabling AWS X-Ray tracing – With the AWS SAM CLI you can initialize, build, package, test on local and cloud, and deploy serverless applications. With AWS X-Ray, you have an end-to-end view of requests as they travel through your application, making them easier to monitor and troubleshoot. Now, you can enable tracing by simply adding a flag to the sam init command.

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams image extraction – With Amazon Kinesis Video Streams you can capture, process, and store media streams. Now, you can also request images via API calls or configure automatic image generation based on metadata tags in ingested video. For example, you can use this to generate thumbnails for playback applications or to have more data for your machine learning pipelines.

AWS GameKit supports Android, iOS, and MacOS games developed with Unreal Engine – With AWS GameKit, you can build AWS-powered game features directly from the Unreal Editor with just a few clicks. Now, the AWS GameKit plugin for Unreal Engine supports building games for the Win64, MacOS, Android, and iOS platforms.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Some other updates you might have missed:

🎂 One-year anniversary of CloudFront Functions – I can’t believe it’s been one year since we launched CloudFront Functions. Now, we have tens of thousands of developers actively using CloudFront Functions, with trillions of invocations per month. You can use CloudFront Functions for HTTP header manipulation, URL rewrites and redirects, cache key manipulations/normalization, access authorization, and more. See some examples in this repo. Let’s see what customers built with CloudFront Functions:

  • CloudFront Functions enables Formula 1 to authenticate users with more than 500K requests per second. The solution is using CloudFront Functions to evaluate if users have access to view the race livestream by validating a token in the request.
  • Cloudinary is a media management company that helps its customers deliver content such as videos and images to users worldwide. For them, Lambda@Edge remains an excellent solution for applications that require heavy compute operations, but lightweight operations that require high scalability can now be run using CloudFront Functions. With CloudFront Functions, Cloudinary and its customers are seeing significantly increased performance. For example, one of Cloudinary’s customers began using CloudFront Functions, and in about two weeks it was seeing 20–30 percent better response times. The customer also estimates that they will see 75 percent cost savings.
  • Based in Japan, DigitalCube is a web hosting provider for WordPress websites. Previously, DigitalCube spent several hours completing each of its update deployments. Now, they can deploy updates across thousands of distributions quickly. Using CloudFront Functions, they’ve reduced update deployment times from 4 hours to 2 minutes. In addition, faster updates and less maintenance work result in better quality throughout DigitalCube’s offerings. It’s now easier for them to test on AWS because they can run tests that affect thousands of distributions without having to scale internally or introduce downtime.
  • Amazon.com is using CloudFront Functions to change the way it delivers static assets to customers globally. CloudFront Functions allows them to experiment with hyper-personalization at scale and optimal latency performance. They have been working closely with the CloudFront team during product development, and they like how it is easy to create, test, and deploy custom code and implement business logic at the edge.

AWS open-source news and updates – A newsletter curated by my colleague Ricardo to bring you the latest open-source projects, posts, events, and more. Read the latest edition here.

Reduce log-storage costs by automating retention settings in Amazon CloudWatch – By default, CloudWatch Logs stores your log data indefinitely. This blog post shows how you can reduce log-storage costs by establishing a log-retention policy and applying it across all of your log groups.

Observability for AWS App Runner VPC networking – With X-Ray support in App runner, you can quickly deploy web applications and APIs at any scale and take advantage of adding tracing without having to manage sidecars or agents. Here’s an example of how you can instrument your applications with the AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry (ADOT).

Upcoming AWS Events
It’s AWS Summits season and here are some virtual and in-person events that might be close to you:

You can now register for re:MARS to get fresh ideas on topics such as machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. The conference will be in person in Las Vegas, June 21–24.

That’s all from me for this week. Come back next Monday for another Week in Review!


Create 3D worlds with code on our first-ever Unity livestream

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/unity-introduction-livestream/

We are super excited to host a livestream to introduce young coders to creating 3D worlds with Unity. Tune in at 18:30 GMT on Thursday 24 March 2022 on YouTube to find out all about our free online learning path for getting started with Unity.

If you know young coders who love gaming, digital art, or storytelling and need a new programming challenge, this is the event for them. So mark your calendars!

Our free Unity project path, in partnership with Unity Technologies

In January, we launched an all-new online learning path of Unity projects, in partnership with Unity. With this path, youth who enjoy writing code will learn how to start using the free Unity Real-Time Development Platform to build their own digital 3D games and worlds.

A teenage girl presenting a digital making project on a tablet

Professional developers are using Unity to create well-known games such as Mario Kart Tour and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. We’ve partnered with Unity to offer any young person, anywhere, the opportunity to take their first steps in creating virtual worlds using real-time 3D. The five-part Unity path we offer is educational and shows young people that if they can imagine something, then they can create it digitally with Unity. 

Who is the Unity livestream for? Why should young people join?

For young people, coding in Unity can be a fun experience of creating their own 3D worlds. And it also helps them learn skills that can be useful and desirable in the tech sector.

Unity is a step up for young people who have coded in a text-based language before and are interested in creating interactive 3D games and stories. In Unity, they’ll write code in the programming language C# — pronounced ‘cee sharp’. It’s a great opportunity to build on their existing coding and problem-solving skills.

Four young coders show off their tech project for Coolest Projects.

Introducing young people to Unity means that they will begin to use the same tools as professional 3D developers. Maybe attending the Unity livestream is going to be your coders’ first step towards creating the next videogame sensation.

What will happen on the livestream? 

The livestream will run for around 45 minutes. It will be the perfect introduction to Unity and our project path for you and your experienced coders.  

The livestream will include: 

  1. A ‘question and answer’ section with Unity expert Thomas Winkley. Thomas is a Unity Certified Programmer and product evangelist. He’s passionate about helping others learn new skills and follow their interests. Thomas will be answering your questions about Unity and what you can do with it, as well as talking about some of the cool creations he’s made. 
  2. An introduction to the Unity project path with Liz from our team: You’ll get to ask your questions about our Unity project path, and you’ll learn what you can make with each project and see an example of a final project — like what you’ll create by completing the project path. 
  3. A live coding section with Rebecca and Mr C: Your young people get to join in coding their first characters and objects in the 3D environment of Unity.  

By joining the livestream, your young people will: 

  • Learn more about Unity and get inspired to start creating
  • See what our free online Unity learning path is all about and understand what they’ll get from completing it
  • Have the chance to see what it’s like to make their own creations with Unity, and code along if they want to      

Do you need to do anything before the livestream? 

The livestream takes place on Thursday 24 March at 18:30 GMT on our YouTube channel. Everyone can tune in without signing up, wherever you are in the world. If you have a Google account, you can click the ‘Set a reminder’ button to make sure you and your keen coders don’t miss a thing.

Unity is free for anyone to use. If your young people want to code along during the livestream, they need to prepare by downloading and installing all the free software beforehand. Young people will need to:

We cannot wait for you to join us and our special guests on our Unity livestream!

Share Unity creations at Coolest Projects Global

Whatever your young people create with Unity — or other digital tech —, they can register to share it for the world to see in the online gallery of Coolest Projects Global. This is our free and completely online tech showcase, for young people up to age 18 all over the world.

Coolest Projects logo.

Registering to showcase their tech creation means young people will get cool swag, feedback on what they’ve made, and a chance to win recognition from our special judges. And above all, they’ll become part of a worldwide community of young tech creators who celebrate and inspire each other.

Find out more at coolestprojects.org.

The post Create 3D worlds with code on our first-ever Unity livestream appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

New free resources for young people to create 3D worlds with code in Unity

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/free-resources-unity-game-development-3d-worlds/

Today we’re releasing an exciting new path of projects for young people who want to create 3D worlds, stories, and games. We’ve partnered with Unity to offer any young person, anywhere, the opportunity to take their first steps in creating virtual worlds using real-time 3D.

A teenage girl participating in Coolest Projects shows off her tech project.

The Unity Charitable Fund, a fund of the Tides Foundation, has awarded us a generous grant for $50,000 to help underrepresented youth learn to use Unity, upleveling their skills for future career success.

Create a world, don’t just explore it

Our new path of six projects for Unity is a learning journey for young people who have some experience of text-based programming and now want to try out building digital 3D creations.

Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D and is hugely popular for creating 3D video games and virtual, interactive worlds and stories. The best thing about it for young people? While professional developers use Unity to create well-known games such as Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Among Us, it is also free for anyone to use.

A boy participating in Coolest Projects shows off his tech project together with an adult.

Young people who learn to use Unity can do more and more complex things with it as they gain experience. Many successful indie games have been made in Unity — maybe a young person you know will create the next indie game sensation!

For young people, our new project path is the ideal introduction to Unity. The new project path:

  • Is for learners who have already coded some projects in Python or another text-based language.
  • Introduces the Unity software and how to write code for it in the programming language C# (pronounced ‘cee sharp’).
  • Guides learners to create a 3D role playing game or interactive story that they can tailor to suit their imaginations. Learners gain more and more independence with each project in the path.
  • Covers common elements such as non-playable characters, mini games, and bonuses.
A young person at a laptop

After young people have completed the path, they’ll have:

  • Created their very own 3D video game or interactive story they can share with their friends and family.
  • Gained familiarity with key functions of Unity.
  • Built the independence and confidence to explore Unity further and create more advanced games and 3D worlds.

Young people gain real-world skills while creating worlds in Unity

Since Unity is a platform used by professional digital creators, young people who follow our new Unity path gain real-world skills that are sought after in the tech sector. While they learn to express their creativity with Unity, young people improve their coding and problem-solving skills and feel empowered because they get to use their imagination to bring their ideas to life.

Two teenage girls participating in Coolest Projects shows off their tech project.

“Providing opportunities for underrepresented youth to learn critical tech skills is essential to Unity Social Impact’s mission,” said Jessica Lindl, Vice President, Social Impact at Unity. “We’re thrilled that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Unity path will allow thousands of student learners to take part in game design in an accessible way, setting them up for future career success.”

What you need to support young people with Unity Real-Time 3D

The project path includes instructions for how to download and install all the necessary software to start creating with Unity.

Before they can start, young people will need to:

  • Have access to a computer with enough processing power (find out more from Unity directly)
  • Have downloaded and installed Unity Hub, from where they need to install Unity Editor and Visual Studio Community Edition

For club volunteers who support young people attending Code Clubs and CoderDojos with the new path, we are going to run two free online workshops in February. During the workshops, volunteers will be introduced to the path and the software setup, and we’ll try out Unity together. Keep your eyes on the CoderDojo and Code Club blogs for details!

Three young people learn coding at laptops supported by a volunteer at a CoderDojo session.

Club volunteers, if your participants are creating Blender projects, they can import these into Unity too.

Young people can share their Unity creations with the world through Coolest Projects

It’s really exciting for us that we can bring this new project path to young people who dream about creating interactive 3D worlds. We hope to see many of their creations in this year’s Coolest Projects Global, our free online tech showcase for young creators all over the world!

The post New free resources for young people to create 3D worlds with code in Unity appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

How The Mill Adventure Implemented Event Sourcing at Scale Using DynamoDB

Post Syndicated from Uri Segev original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-the-mill-adventure-implemented-event-sourcing-at-scale-using-dynamodb/

This post was co-written by Joao Dias, Chief Architect at The Mill Adventure and Uri Segev, Principal Serverless Solutions Architect at AWS

The Mill Adventure provides a complete gaming platform, including licenses and operations, for rapid deployment and success in online gaming. It underpins every aspect of the process so that you can focus on telling your story to your audience while the team makes everything else work perfectly.

In this blog post, we demonstrate how The Mill Adventure implemented event sourcing at scale using Amazon DynamoDB and Serverless on AWS technologies. By partnering with AWS, The Mill Adventure reduced their costs, and they are able to maintain operations and scale their solution to suit their needs without their intervention.

What is event sourcing?

Event sourcing captures an entity’s state (such as a transaction or a user) as a sequence of state-changing events. Whenever the state changes, a new event is appended to the sequence of events using an atomic operation.

The system persists these events in an event store, which is a database of events. The store supports adding and retrieving the state events. The system reconstructs the entity’s state by reading the events from the event store and replaying them. Because the store is immutable (meaning these events are saved in the event store forever) the entity’s state can be recreated up to a particular version or date and have accurate historical values.

Why use event sourcing?

Event sourcing provides many advantages, that include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Audit trail: Events are immutable and provide a history of what has taken place in the system. This means it’s not only providing the current state, but how it got there.
  • Time travel: By persisting a sequence of events, it is relatively easy to determine the state of the system at any point in time by aggregating the events within that time period. This provides you the ability to answer historical questions about the state of the system.
  • Performance: Events are simple and immutable and only require an append operation. The event store should be optimized to handle high-performance writes.
  • Scalability: Storing events avoids the complications associated with saving complex domain aggregates to relational databases, which allows more flexibility for scaling.

Event-driven architectures

Event sourcing is also related to event-driven architectures. Every event that changes an entity’s state can also be used to notify other components about the change. In event-driven architectures, we use event routers to distribute the events to interested components.

The event router has three main functions:

  1. Decouple the event producers from the event consumers: The producers don’t know who the consumers are, and they do not need to change when new consumers are added or removed.
  2. Fan out: Event routers are capable of distributing events to multiple subscribers.
  3. Filtering: Event routers send each subscriber only the events they are interested in. This saves on the number of events that consumers need to process; therefore, it reduces the cost of the consumers.

How did The Mill Adventure implement event sourcing?

The Mill Adventure uses DynamoDB tables as their object store. Each event is a new item in the table. The DynamoDB table model for an event sourced system is quite simple, as follows:

Field Type Description
id PK The object identifier
version SK The event sequence number
eventdata The event data itself, in other words, the change to the object’s state

All events for the same object have the same id. Thus, you can retrieve them using a single read request.

When a component modifies the state of an object, it first determines the sequence number for the new event by reading the current state from the table (in other words, the sequence of events for that object). It then attempts to write a new item to the table that represents the change to the object’s state. The item is written using DynamoDB’s conditional write. This ensures that there are no other changes to the same object happening at the same time. If the write failed due to a condition not met error, it will start over.

An additional benefit of using DynamoDB as the event store is DynamoDB Streams, which is used to deliver events about changes in tables. These events can be used by event-driven applications so they will know about the different objects’ change of state.

How does it work?

Let’s use an example of a business entity, such as a user. When a user is created, the system creates a UserCreated event with the initial user data (like user name, address, etc.). The system then persists this event to the DynamoDB event store using a conditional write. This makes sure that the event is only written once and that the version numbers are sequential.

Then the user address gets updated, so again, the system creates a UserUpdated event with the new address and persists it.

When the system needs the user’s current state, for example, to show it in back-office application, the system loads all the events for the given user identifier from the store. For each one of them, it invokes a mutation function that recreates the latest state. Given the following items in the database:

  • Event 1: UserCreated(name: The Mill, address: Malta)
  • Event 2: UserUpdated(address: World)

You can imagine how each mutator function for those events would look like, which then produce the latest state:

"name": "The Mill", 
"address": "World" 

A business state like a bank statement can have a large number of events. To optimize loading, the system periodically saves a snapshot of the current state. To reconstruct the current state, the application finds the most recent snapshot and the events that have occurred since that snapshot. As a result, there are fewer events to replay.


The Mill Adventure architecture for an event source system using AWS components is straightforward. The architecture is fully serverless, as such, it only uses AWS Lambda functions for compute. Lambda functions produce the state-changing events that are written to the database.

Other Lambda functions, when they retrieve an object’s state, will read the events from the database and calculate the current state by replaying the events.

Finally, interested functions will be notified about the changes by subscribing to the event bus. Then they perform their business logic, like updating state projections or publishing to WebSocket APIs. These functions use DynamoDB streams as the event bus to handle messages as shows in Figure 1.

Event sourcing architecture

Figure 1. Event sourcing architecture

Figure 1 is not completely accurate due to a limitation of DynamoDB Streams, which can only support up to two subscribers.

Because The Mill Adventure has many microservices that are interested in these events, they have a single function that gets invoked from the stream and sends the events to other event routers. These fan out to a large number of subscribers such as Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), or maybe even Amazon Kinesis Data Streams for some use cases.

Any service in the system could be listening to these events being created via the DynamoDB stream and distributed via the event router and act on them. For example, publishing a WebSocket API notification or prompting a contact update in a third-party service.


In this blog post, we showed how The Mill Adventure uses serverless technologies like DynamoDB and Lambda functions to implement an event-driven event sourcing system.

An event sourced system can be difficult to scale, but using DynamoDB as the event store resolved this issue. It can also be difficult to produce consistent snapshots and Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) views, but using DynamoDB streams for distributing the events made it relatively easy.

By partnering with AWS, The Mill Adventure created a sports/casino platform to be proud of. It provides high quality data and performance without having servers, they only pay for what they use, and their workload can scale up and down as needed.

Building a serverless multi-player game that scales

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-serverless-multiplayer-game-that-scales/

This post is written by Tim Bruce, Sr. Solutions Architect, Developer Acceleration.

Game development is a highly iterative process with rapidly changing requirements. Many game developers want to maximize the time spent building features and less time configuring servers, managing infrastructure, and mastering scale.

AWS Serverless provides four key benefits for customers. First, it can help move from idea to market faster, by reducing operational overhead. Second, customers may realize lower costs with serverless by not over-provisioning hardware and software to operate. Third, serverless scales with user activity. Finally, serverless services provide built-in integration, allowing you to focus on your game instead of connecting pieces together.

For AWS Gaming customers, these benefits allow your teams to spend more time focusing on gameplay and content, instead of undifferentiated tasks such as setting up and maintaining servers and software. This can result in better gameplay and content, and a faster time-to-market.

This blog post introduces a game with a serverless-first architecture. Simple Trivia Service is a web-based game showing architectural patterns that you can apply in your own games.

Introducing the Simple Trivia Service

The Simple Trivia Service offers single- and multi-player trivia games with content created by players. There are many features in Simple Trivia Service found in games, such as user registration, chat, content creation, leaderboards, game play, and a marketplace.

Simple Trivia Service UI

Authenticated players can chat with other players, create and manage quizzes, and update their profile. They can play single- and multi-player quizzes, host quizzes, and buy and sell quizzes on the marketplace. The single- and multi-player game modes show how games with different connectivity and technical requirements can be delivered with serverless first architectures. The game modes and architecture solutions are covered in the Simple Trivia Service backend architecture section.

Simple Trivia Service front end

The Simple Trivia Service front end is a Vue.js single page application (SPA) that accesses backend services. The SPA app, accessed via a web browser, allows users to make requests to the game endpoints using HTTPS, secure WebSockets, and WebSockets over MQTT. These requests use integrations to access the serverless backend services.

Vue.js helps make this reference architecture more accessible. The front end uses AWS Amplify to build, deploy, and host the SPA without the need to provision and manage any resources.

Simple Trivia Service backend architecture

The backend architecture for Simple Trivia Service is defined in a set of AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) templates for portions of the game. A deployment guide is included in the README.md file in the GitHub repository. Here is a visual depiction of the backend architecture.

Reference architecture

Services used

Simple Trivia Service is built using AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, AWS IoT, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Step Functions, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Athena, and Amazon Cognito:

  • Lambda enables serverless microservice features in Simple Trivia Service.
  • API Gateway provides serverless endpoints for HTTP/RESTful and WebSocket communication while IoT delivers a serverless endpoint for WebSockets over MQTT communication.
  • DynamoDB enables data storage and retrieval for internet-scale applications.
  • SNS provides microservice communications via publish/subscribe functionality.
  • Step Functions coordinates complex tasks to ensure appropriate outcomes.
  • Analytics for Simple Trivia Service are delivered via Kinesis and S3 with Athena providing a query/visualization capability.
  • Amazon Cognito provides secure, standards-based login and a user directory.

Two managed services that are not serverless, Amazon VPC NAT Gateway and Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, are also used. VPC NAT Gateway is required by VPC-enabled Lambda functions to reach services outside of the VPC, such as DynamoDB. ElastiCache provides an in-memory database suited for applications with submillisecond latency requirements.

User security and enabling communications to backend services

Players are required to register and log in before playing. Registration and login credentials are sent to Amazon Cognito using the Secure Remote Password protocol. Upon successfully logging in, Amazon Cognito returns a JSON Web Token (JWT) and an Amazon Cognito user session.

The JWT is included within requests to API Gateway, which validates the token before allowing the request to be forwarded to Lambda.

IoT requires additional security for users by using an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy. A policy attached to the Amazon Cognito user allows the player to connect, subscribe, and send messages to the IoT endpoint.

Game types and supporting architectures

Simple Trivia Service’s three game modes define how players interact with the backend services. These modes align to different architectures used within the game.

“Single Player” quiz architecture

“Single Player” quiz architecture

Single player quizzes have simple rules, short play sessions, and appeal to wide audiences. Single player game communication is player-to-endpoint only. This is accomplished with API Gateway via an HTTP API.

Four Lambda functions (ActiveGamesList, GamePlay, GameAnswer, and LeaderboardGet) enable single player games. These functions are integrated with API Gateway and respond to specific requests from the client. API Gateway forwards the request, including URI, body, and query string, to the appropriate Lambda function.

When a player chooses “Play”, a request is sent to API Gateway, which invokes the ActiveGamesList function. This function queries the ActiveGames DynamoDB table and returns the list of active games to the user.

The player selects a game, resulting in another request triggering the GamePlay function. GamePlay retrieves the game’s questions from the GamesDetail DynamoDB table. The front end maintains the state for the user during the game.

When all questions are answered, the SPA sends the player’s responses to API Gateway, invoking the GameAnswer function. This function scores the player’s responses against the GameDetails table. The score and answers are sent to the user.

Additionally, this function sends the player score for the leaderboard and player experience to two SNS topics (LeaderboardTopic and PlayerProgressTopic). The ScorePut and PlayerProgressPut functions subscribe to these topics. These two functions write the details to the Leaderboard and Player Progress DynamoDB tables.

This architecture processes these two actions asynchronously, resulting in the player receiving their score and answers without having to wait. This also allows for increased security for player progress, as only the PlayerProgressPut function is allowed to write to this table.

Finally, the player can view the game’s leaderboard, which is returned to the player as the response to the GetLeaderboard function. The function retrieves the top 10 scores and the current player’s score from the Leaderboard table.

“Multi-player – Casual and Competitive” architecture

“Multiplayer – Casual and Competitive” architecture

These game types require player-to-player and service-to-player communication. This is typically performed using TCP/UDP sockets or the WebSocket protocol. API Gateway WebSockets provides WebSocket communication and enables Lambda functions to send messages to and receive messages from game hosts and players.

Game hosts start games via the “Host” button, messaging the LiveAdmin function via API Gateway. The function adds the game to the LiveGames table, which allows players to find and join the game. A list of questions for the game is sent to the game host from the LiveAdmin function at this time. Additionally, the game host is added to the GameConnections table, which keeps track of which connections are related to a game. Players, via the LivePlayer function, are also added to this table when they join a game.

The game host client manages the state of the game for all players and controls the flow of the game, sending questions, correct answers, and leaderboards to players via API Gateway and the LiveAdmin function. The function only sends game messages to the players in the GameConnections table. Player answers are sent to the host via the LivePlayer function.

To end the game, the game host sends a message with the final leaderboard to all players via the LiveAdmin function. This function also stores the leaderboard in the Leaderboard table, removes the game from the ActiveGames table, and sends player progression messages to the Player Progress topic.

“Multi-player – Live Scoreboard” architecture

“Multiplayer – Live Scoreboard” architecture

This is an extension of other multi-player game types requiring similar communications. This uses IoT with WebSockets over MQTT as the transport. It enables the client to subscribe to a topic and act on messages it receives. IoT manages routing messages to clients based on their subscriptions.

This architecture moves the state management from the game host client to a data store on the backend. This change requires a database that can respond quickly to user actions. Simple Trivia Service uses ElastiCache for Redis for this database. Game questions, player responses, and the leaderboard are all stored and updated in Redis during the quiz. The ElastiCache instance is blocked from internet traffic by placing it in a VPC. A security group configures access for the Lambda functions in the same VPC.

Game hosts for this type of game start the game by hosting it, which sends a message to IoT, triggering the CacheGame function. This function adds the game to the ActiveGames table and caches the quiz details from DynamoDB into Redis. Players join the game by sending a message, which is delivered to the JoinGame function. This adds the user record to Redis and alerts the game host that a player has joined.

Game hosts can send questions to the players via a message that invokes the AskQuestion function. This function updates the current question number in Redis and sends the question to subscribed players via the AskQuestion function. The ReceiveAnswer function processes player responses. It validates the response, stores it in Redis, updates the scoreboard, and replies to all players with the updated scoreboard after the first correct answer. The game scoreboard is updated for players in real time.

When the game is over, the game host sends a message to the EndGame function via IoT. This function writes the game leaderboard to the Leaderboard table, sends player progress to the Player Progress SNS topic, deletes the game from cache, and removes the game from the ActiveGames table.


This post introduces the Simple Trivia Service, a single- and multi-player game built using a serverless-first architecture on AWS. I cover different solutions that you can use to enable connectivity from your game client to a serverless-first backend for both single- and multi-player games. I also include a walkthrough of the architecture for each of these solutions.

You can deploy the code for this solution to your own AWS account via instructions in the Simple Trivia Service GitHub repository.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.