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Case Study – Rob0

Taking the next step in video game analytics with scalable, secure architecture

About Rob0

  • AI-powered visual analytics service for video game developers
  • Improves retention by showing when and why players leave an app
  • Originally created by video game studio Back to the Game

Highlights

  • Attrava solved rob0’s scalability issues with a fully redesigned architecture
  • Rewrote backend code, migrated to AWS, and deployed on AWS Lambda and Kubernetes
  • Entirely rebuilt the analytics tool in less than 9 months

Overview

rob0 set out to revolutionize the video game retention landscape with a unique visual analytics tool that shows precisely what is happening on the screen when a player drops an app. However, as the service gained traction, major scalability issues began to emerge. rob0 overcame these problems by engaging Attrava to rearchitect the product from the ground up. With a completely redesigned, containerized infrastructure and ingestion pipeline, rob0 is now secure, scalable, and future-proof.

This was one of the smoothest projects I’ve seen in my career.
– Richard Rispoli, CEO, Rob0

We were able to delegate almost all responsibility for the project to Attrava. Not only did they define the architecture, they took care of everything from sprint planning to assigning work, peer reviews, implementation, and testing.
– Richard Rispoli, CEO, Rob0

Challenge

Analytics is a fiercely competitive market, even within the video game niche. But while most video game analytics products generate vast quantities of useful telemetry, they don’t tell developers what they really need to know – what’s happening in the game and on the screen when a player abandons the app.

This is where rob0 comes in. Centered around visual analytics, rob0 is a SaaS tool that records gameplay sessions to show developers exactly what is going on at critical junctures. The service drives retention and profitability by making it significantly easier to debug and identify problematic gameplay moments where players get stuck, confused, or frustrated.

The software was initially created as an internal tool by video game studio Back to the Game (B2tGame), and after its potential to help other developers became clear, rob0 was spun out into a separate company. But as rob0’s popularity grew, the team quickly realized that architectural problems were holding the product back.

Ivano Mansueto, Technical Director at rob0, explains: “One of our clients reached top 30 in the App Store. There was so much traffic that our system struggled to handle the load. Architecture isn’t our core expertise, and it was obvious we had made some mistakes when building rob0. We knew that if we wanted to make our service secure and scalable moving forwards, we needed to bring in a specialist.”

Solution

rob0 began looking for a technology partner that could help it rebuild the analytics tool as a robust, future-proof solution – and the search soon led to big data, AI, and architecture experts Attrava.

Richard Rispoli, CEO of rob0, comments: “I get sent a lot of profiles, but Attrava really stood out. Their experience and architecture skills were highly impressive, and when we started talking, it was immediately obvious that they had a clear understanding of our needs.”

Many of rob0’s scalability issues stemmed from an unoptimized data ingestion pipeline that was causing the database to crash when overloaded. To address this problem, Attrava completely restructured the backend code, migrated the infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, redesigned the ingestion pipeline, and deployed the application on AWS Lambda and Kubernetes.

The new containerized architecture simplifies deployment and management, and can scale seamlessly. At the same time, a redesigned ingestion pipeline minimizes stress on the database and enables rob0 to store telemetry as big data for analytics. Last but not least, Attrava rewrote the infrastructure as code using Terraform to make it easier for rob0 to provision, modify, and maintain it.

“This was one of the smoothest projects I’ve seen in my career,” adds Richard Rispoli. “Because of Attrava’s experience, it was straightforward to agree reasonable expectations, and we had no difficulty meeting our deadlines. What’s more we were able to delegate almost all responsibility for the project to Attrava. Not only did they define the architecture, they took care of everything from sprint planning to assigning work, peer reviews, implementation, and testing.”

Results

Following the redesign, rob0 is now positioned to help video game developers around the world transform their debugging, retention, and revenue strategies. And thanks to Attrava, rob0 was able to reach this point quickly and cost-effectively.

“In a project like this, there are two key factors,” says Ivano Mansueto. “The price, and whether it’s pleasant to work together. Both of these were great with Attrava. Rebuilding rob0 would have been much more time-consuming, expensive, and stressful if we’d kept the project in-house.”

With the new version of rob0 up and running, users are already seeing significant improvements in performance and scalability. However, redesigning the architecture was only the first step. Looking ahead, Attrava will be working with rob0 to further improve the tool’s AI component, creating a truly intelligent service that can analyze player behaviour in detail and deliver actionable insight to developers.

“Finding talented partners is difficult,” concludes Richard Rispoli. “You can spend a month looking and still not find someone that fits your requirements. We consider ourselves very lucky to have found Attrava. Their level of precision and ability to cover all the angles is invaluable, and it’s reassuring to know that we’re ready for whatever happens next.”

About Attrava

Attrava was created to help businesses use the cloud and artificial intelligence to increase their efficiency and resiliency. We believe that the cloud and AI are the future of technology, both for small and large businesses, and that a trusted partner is the best way to unlock its potential. To learn more about how we can help you design, execute, and maintain your technology projects, contact Philip Paquette, President, at philip.paquette@attrava.com.

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