Postmortems

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AdVenture Capitalist Post-Mortem talk

Apr 11, 2016 by James Gwertzman

The video of the talk we gave at GDC together with Hyper Hippo about their hit game “AdVenture Capitalist” is now live on the GDC Vault. It’s a fun talk — among other things you’ll learn how many fraudulent transactions they see each day, how much their revenue spikes when they run an event, and just why PlayStream is so cool.

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Video: Behind the scenes with Hyper Hippo

Oct 19, 2015 by Lori Smith

Hyper Hippo is the studio behind the popular idle game¬†AdVenture Capitalist. In this video series they share their iterative approach to game design, the importance of live services, and why they’re using PlayFab’s backend service to fuel their game. Part of what sets Hyper Hippo apart is a zeal to tinker, explore and learn. CEO Lance Priebe says he’s a strong believer in the lean startup method, and applying it to game design by quickly iterating based on audience feedback.

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How PlayFab migrated from EC2-Classic to VPC with zero downtime

Mar 10, 2015

At PlayFab, one of our core tenets is no downtime. This makes challenges like the recent overhaul of our AWS topology particularly interesting. When you’re a backend-as-a-service, you can’t just turn everything off for six hours. (Or six minutes.) This, then, is a postmortem of how we migrated from AWS EC2-Classic to AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) without losing our data, our customers, or our minds. Most postmortem blog posts are teary affairs explaining how something went wildly wrong and how this will not happen again, but we think postmortems are useful for any major change, whether a success or failure.

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A look back at PlayFab’s first year

Jan 5, 2015 by James Gwertzman

Building our team Productizing the service Signing up customers Building our network of partners Whats coming next Happy New Year! Coming back from the holidays, I thought it would be fun to write a quick recap of our first year at PlayFab. Starting a new company is always an exciting and humbling experience, and PlayFabs been no different.

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PlayFab comes to PS4

Dec 18, 2014

The launch of “Loadout” on PS4 this week has been a big success. Congrats to the team at Edge of Reality for such an awesome game. “Loadout” is the first title using our platform to launch on PS4, and I’m proud to say everything’s gone smoothly. (So smoothly that our team spent much of the launch day actually just playing “Loadout.”) We’ve been supporting “Loadout” on PC since it launched almost a year ago, but of course taking it to a console required a bunch of new work.

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste: How an AWS power failure inspired change

Jul 13, 2014

We here at PlayFab are very proud of our uptime record, which had been 99.995% for more than 2 years… until a power outage at an Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center brought us down for two hours on Memorial Day (May 26), 2014.

While we couldn’t have anticipated this outage, we could have done more to prevent such an outage from taking down our whole service. A calculated risk that was acceptable back when we were the internal service for Uber Entertainment is no longer acceptable in our new incarnation as PlayFab. Now that reliability is a big part of what we’re selling, we need to reduce our exposure to downtime risk.

This blog post describes what we’ve done to increase redundancy and reduce the chances that a repeat AWS outage would take us down again.

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