Your backend is everything that’s invisible to the player. It’s all the tools and services behind the scenes. That includes any data analysis, leaderboards, the engine, or your matchmaker.
You can get a bunch of tools at once
Some companies may call themselves a ‘backend-as-a-service’. These offer you a bunch of different tools, and they tend to cover most of the things you’ll need. But every company will offer something different.
You can build your own features
Rather than using a BaaS company, you can build your own features and systems for your backend from scratch. This gives you more freedom about what you include, but this usually takes more time and resources. You may hear ‘backend’ used as a loose term in the industry. And depending on how it’s used, can change its meaning. You’ll see it used in two ways:
1. They’ll chat about it as if it’s a ‘thing’
Sometimes you’ll see people talk about ‘your backend’, as though it’s a singular thing. But what they’re essentially talking about is a group of tools and features you use to make your game work. It’s the collection of everything that isn’t in the frontend of your game, which you players can see.
2. Or they’ll use it to describe a tool
Other times, people will use ‘backend’ to describe a specific tool: a backend service. Here, we’re describing a tool that sits in your backend. For example, a ‘backend feature’ could be your leaderboard system which sits behind the scenes – so all of the code to make this feature works.