Whether it’s a menu screen, in-game currency, or the integration of attribution platforms or ad networks - there are numerous processes that are constantly repeated with the creation of every new mobile game game. Seasoned game developers will be all too familiar with the tedious process of manually integrating these, which is why they turn to SDKs.
SDKs are small yet powerful packages of code that allow developers to shave precious hours off their total production time of a game. We asked our expert Games team at Coda to help define the pros of integrating publisher SDKs and the industry SDKs that developers should have integrated in their games.
SDKs are integral to creating a beautiful & functional mobile game
SDK stands for ‘Software Development Kit’ and is essentially a collection of software tools compacted into one easy installable package of coding. The core tools that developers need can be broken down into four categories: Game engine, development aid, advertisement and mobile analytics.
These building blocks help mobile developers create a beautiful game and ensure that it is functioning properly. However, when it comes to preparing your game for publishing, the integration of individual SDKs can become considerably time consuming.
For example, before a game is launched by a publisher, developers will need to integrate a long list of different third party platforms relating to the monetization, user acquisition and attribution of their game. If you were to integrate these manually, you’d be expecting to spend at least a day or so for monetisation and another day for attribution alone. Not to mention at least a week to set up all the different remote configs for different ad networks.
This is when publishers will aim to save both your time (and theirs) by creating their own SDK to package the core platforms into a more lightweight and compact package.
Publisher SDKs save you time
We all know that if you want to be successful in publishing hyper-casual games, you have to be quick to create, prototype and launch. Therefore, SDKs become even more important to help speed up this overall process.
Certain SDKs, particularly publisher SDKs, aim to include all of the core module integrations in a lightweight package, saving you days of work without increasing the overall size of your game. For example, Coda’s SDK eliminates at least 1-2 days of constant work by providing a number of platforms and ad integrations in a few lines of code (28 lines to be exact!).
SDKs are not only a great way to help build and monetize your game, but also to collect important information about in-game data and events. Again in the case of the Coda SDK, we run machine learning models on the device in order to understand players and their gameplay behavior. We are able to better personalise the overall game experience for that user without collecting personal data. This is just one example of how publishers can help developers save time by integrating data tools & industry SDKs together into a single SDK.
The most popular Industry SDKs worth including in your game
As mentioned previously, there are typically four main categories of SDKs that appear in mobile games. SDKs can include functions across a number of areas, including:
- Testing: A/B Testing, Tracking, Remote optimisation,
- Client-side and remote notifications,
- Store and in-game economies
- Attribution, monetisation, cross-promotion
- In-game data management
- Inter-service connections
These functions are crucial as they not only help you to create a beautifully designed game, but also a game that is functional with sticky mechanics. So what are the top industry SDKs that are being used? Based on a survey by Mobile Action, the following SDKs were considered the most popular for each category:
While these SDKs are the most popular amongst the four categories to be integrated, when publishing your game it will really depend on the SDKs, ad networks and attribution that your publisher will require you to install. When working with a publisher, ask them if they have their own SDK or if you will have to account for manually integrating each SDK individually.
Whether you’re creating your first mobile game or you’re a seasoned developer, it’s important to identify the roadmap of your game, it’s capabilities and where SDKs may help you to streamline your processes and save you time overall. More importantly, do your research when choosing to launch with a publisher and understand if they have an existing SDK that will also benefit the overall functionality and performance of your game in the long run. To learn more about publishing with Coda and our SDK capabilities, reach out to us or check out our changelog for the latest up-to-date information..