Embrace has launched Unity support, bringing our mobile-first observability and debugging platform into the hands of Unity mobile developers. Now they can build better games when mobile gaming is experiencing record growth and there’s never been more competition for users.

In order to succeed, you have to deliver a truly compelling game, from both a design and technical execution perspective.
In our launch post we covered what Embrace offers and how it will improve Unity mobile game development based on our three key benefits:

  • Proactive alerting
  • Comprehensive session data
  • Enabling a predictable workflow

In this post, we’re going to showcase how Embrace provides these benefits to our customers and why they’re applicable to the mobile games industry.

Ready? Start!

Proactive Alerting

With Embrace’s proactive alerting, you’ll get notified when things go wrong that are outside your control, like first-seen errors and third-party network errors. In addition, you can set broad thresholds so you’re covered when failures on any first-party calls exceed a predefined limit.

With targeted alerting, you can set alerts for any metric (not just crashes and logs) and any threshold (such as user counts or percentages). This allows you to decide exactly when issues demand your attention. By configuring recovery levels, you eliminate duplicate alerts so you’re only notified once for the same spike.

Example:

Who: Large home improvement e-commerce app

The Problem: During Black Friday weekend, the app was crashing on users trying to place orders for curbside pickup. A server outage was leading to failures on network calls attempting to place orders.

The Difficulty: During Black Friday weekend, time is revenue! Without Embrace, they would have had to wait for user complaints and then manually reproduce the issue to discover the underlying cause.

What Mobile Teams Accomplish Using Embrace: With Embrace, they were notified of the issue within minutes. Embrace proactively alerted their mobile team, enabling them to prioritize and resolve the issue in three hours. The company estimated that without Embrace the resolution time would have been three times as long, would have affected 17,600 additional users, and would have cost $150,000 in lost revenue.

Why Is This Important In Gaming?

Mobile game developers need a good proactive alerting system because their users are less forgiving. Even Pokemon Go, a mobile gaming powerhouse, has lost a whopping 80% of its paying players. It did not help that Niantic refused to fix bugs until user-submitted bug reports skyrocketed.

If you’re not in Pokemon Go’s position to accept an 80% churn, you’ll need a better plan than relying upon user-submitted bug reports.  Embrace’s proactive alerting system can give you targeted coverage in addition to notifications of first-seen errors to ensure that you’re not suffering unexpected churn while doing damage control in gaming forums.

Comprehensive Session Data

With Embrace, you can debug with complete information because we collect 100% of user sessions. Our session replay is a time-based visualization of the entire user experience. For any moment within the session, you know exactly what happened and under what conditions.

By providing this complete information, mobile teams can go from an alert or bug report to immediately reproducing the exact session it occurred in. It’s like going from playing Battleship blind to having a complete map!

Example:

Who: Wish, an e-commerce app

The Problem: The app had a long-running crash that the mobile team could not solve. It was the team’s second-biggest crash and had existed since the app first launched.

The Difficulty: Traditional monitoring solutions either don’t collect every category of data, or if they do, they store them separately. In other words, the onus is on the developer to manually stitch together visibility by hopscotching between different data sources.

What Mobile Teams Accomplish Using Embrace: Embrace collects every technical event and user action within a session and presents a single, traversable timeline of their order and duration. This results in developers having a session-level view of every user journey. That way, they can debug issues that stem from previous events in a session (or previous sessions entirely).

Why Is This Important In Gaming?

In general, game apps are more complicated than non-gaming apps. This means that tools built for non-gaming apps are frequently inadequate for the needs of mobile games.

The difficulty with troubleshooting mobile games has always been in the amount of information and state machines that developers need to track. The more information logged, the more time developers burn trying to convert data into usable debugging information. This results in developers actually choosing to log less data so they don’t have to trawl through all of it!

Through Embrace’s session replay, developers are empowered to track everything. Our dashboard then displays it for the developers to have full visibility into user sessions, which gives them unprecedented insight into the root causes of bugs and crashes. Ultimately, Embrace is built to reduce the manual work necessary to understand what caused an issue.

Enabling a Predictable Workflow

Because Embrace is the single source of truth for your mobile game, we enable a predictable workflow for issue identification, prioritization, and resolution. You don’t need to stitch together data from multiple tools. Your debugging doesn’t need to span multiple release cycles just so you can add enough logs to understand what happened.

With proactive alerting, developers are the first to know when something is wrong. They can then check the session-level data from every user experience to find key information such as number of users affected, on which devices, etc. This allows the team to efficiently prioritize the issues worth tackling before spending engineering resources.

Our all-in-one tooling saves time. Instead of manually building up visibility across data sources, you get all the data you need in one place.

Example:

Who: Large home improvement e-commerce app

The Problem: An ANR issue caused the median duration for home page load to increase from 1.9 seconds to 3.2 seconds. (For reference, the ideal loading time for a mobile app is about two seconds.)

The Difficulty: No other tool shows ANR data that doesn’t end in the user force quitting the app, so pinpointing the problem is hard!

What Mobile Teams Accomplish Using Embrace: The mobile team noticed the increase in ANRs when comparing app health across releases using Embrace’s metric comparisons feature. By inspecting the affected user sessions, the mobile team narrowed the cause down to ANRs during startup.

The power of having Embrace’s all-in-one tool meant that the team could immediately identify a regression in a new release and inspect individual affected sessions to isolate the problem to a slowdown in startup time, all without the need to stitch together data from multiple tools. With this context, they were able to pinpoint the code changes that caused the problem.

Why is this important in gaming?

Empowering game developers with an efficient issue remediation workflow is quite possibly the best answer to the gaming industry’s prevalent crunch problem of overworking the developers, which often results in sweatshop working conditions and developer churn. While crunch-time exists because of a myriad of factors, the developers stringing together multiple tools not designed to solve gaming’s needs is no doubt an underlying contributor to overworked developers.

Embrace will set aside the need for crunch by enabling developers to spend less time troubleshooting bugs and more time doing what they love: making games!

How Embrace Helps Mobile Game Teams

It’s no secret that Embrace loves games. In fact, we love them so much that we’re excited for all the upcoming games that are using Embrace, because… cough cough we were also really tired of the bugs!

With Embrace, your team can spend more time building games and less time fixing them.Want to learn how Embrace can help improve the performance and stability of your Unity mobile games? Try us out and see for yourself!

Want to see how Embrace can help your team grow your non-gaming app with best-in-class tooling and world-class support? Request a customized demo and see how we help teams set and exceed the KPIs that matter for their business!