About this Episode

In this insightful episode of the Player: Engage Podcast, host Greg delves into the intricate world of backend game services with tech visionary Patrick Twohig. As the fractional CTO of Wheelhouse and founder of Elementals, Patrick shares his extensive experience in streamlining the delivery of high-quality streaming content and developing interactive applications for both Web 2 and Web 3 spaces. The conversation takes a deep dive into the complexities of backend services, the importance of DevOps, and the potential of Web3 in gaming, all while touching upon Patrick’s unique lifestyle of living on a sailboat and his passion for gaming.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • The role of backend services in gaming and how they impact player experience.
  • Insights into the future of Web3 gaming and digital ownership.
  • The significance of DevOps in ensuring game stability and success post-launch.

To get a comprehensive understanding of how backend services can make or break a game, and to hear Patrick’s expert take on the evolution of Web3 in the gaming industry, tune in to this episode of Player: Engage Podcast. Discover the tools and strategies that could shape the next generation of gaming by listening to the full conversation.

Don’t miss out on the valuable lessons shared by Patrick Twohig – listen to the episode now for a deeper exploration of these topics.

AI Transcript: Patrick Twohig

Greg Posner: 00:07: 00:47: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Player: Engage Podcast. Greg here. Today, we’re thrilled to have Patrick Twohig with us, a visionary in the tech world whose roles span from the fractional CTO of Wheelhouse to the founder of Elemental Computing. His work at Wheelhouse has been instrumental in delivering high quality streaming content efficiently, while his leadership at Elemental Computing is pioneering the development of interactive applications and games in the Web 2 and Web 3 space. With a rich history of collaborating with giants like Konami and several startups, Patrick’s contributions to mobile app development, game development, and server-side development have set standards in the industry. Patrick, thank you so much for joining me today. Is there anything you want to say about yourself before we get started?
Patrick Twohig: 00:47: 00:53: No, I mean, I think that covered it. Thank you for having me here and thank you for having me on the show.

Greg Posner: 00:53: 01:20: Yeah, I’m excited because this conversation is going to be a little different than our normal ones. It might be either a little too technical for some of our normal listeners or not technical enough for some of our other listeners, depending on how technical these people are. But I’m very interested in how the backend services of a game all speak to each other. And I’d love to be able to start discussing that. But before we even get to any of that, the first thing I always like to start off with is, one, are you still a gamer? And what games have you been playing?

Patrick Twohig: 01:21: 01:41: Yes, I am. And I have been stuck playing Helldivers. I’ve been on that one for a while. And I have been on PUBG, I think about 400 hours into that one. I’m not very good at PUBG, but I still keep playing for some reason. So it’s a very hard game. Yeah, those are the two that stick out for me right now.

Greg Posner: 01:41: 01:53: So another thing Patrick shared with me in our prequel is that he actually lives on a sailboat. So does that make gaming a little more challenging? Are you still close enough to get Wi-Fi and connectivity to play people?

Patrick Twohig: 01:53: 02:30: I actually, well, I’m not on the boat right now because it’s being worked on, but I use Starlink and it is interesting. It works for games and living in a somewhat, well, in a densely populated area where I don’t think I’m the only one that has the dish, it can be limiting, but I got used to it. I don’t notice it anymore, but I do get lag spikes, but It’s an amazing technology that works really well. So what they’ve accomplished at SpaceX is pretty cool. And yeah, that’s the biggest limiting factor is the connection.

Greg Posner: 02:30: 02:42: That’s interesting. I haven’t heard anyone gaming on that yet, and I’m sure it’s going to become a little more common in areas that have tough connectivity. Yeah. So it’s interesting to see how that’s going to evolve over the next couple of years.

Patrick Twohig: 02:42: 03:01: It actually performs better where there’s the more remote you are, because there’s fewer people sharing that patch of sky. So where I live in the city, that’s where I think where some of the problems are. A lot of traffic. Yeah, lots of traffic. You’re basically sharing a big Wi-Fi network.

Greg Posner: 03:01: 03:23: Cool. So let’s talk about elements, your current role. So, so I guess maybe let’s not talk about it yet. How did you get to thinking of creating elements? So let’s start this all over again. Can you give us a high level of what elements is actually doing and then back into how did you end up here creating kind of a backend system?

Patrick Twohig: 03:23: 04:14: So elements handles the common tasks that any game or most applications even will require to connect to the cloud and that that includes features like. single sign-in and connections to social networks. It has specific support for leaderboards, achievements, you can build an in-game economy with it, process payments through different payment processors, as well as it provides connectivity to Web3 games for games that are built in the Web3 ecosystem. All of the features are completely optional, so you can use as much or as little as you have or as you wish. And it also has a scripting engine built in that allows developers to extend and customize the functionality.

Greg Posner: 04:14: 04:45: So who gets targeted by a company like Elements? Are you aiming for double, triple, single A customers? And who, I guess, I’m trying to think of a good way to word this as well, right? I take myself as an example, right? I build demos for my company, right? And I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I download a Unity template and then I’m thinking, what do I do now? How do I connect this online, right? And this is where you come in, but how do you approach it? How do you help someone like me who’s naive and knowing how to do this to help me get started?

Patrick Twohig: 04:45: 05:46: So we provide solutions that function out of the box. So those features include things like connection to social networks, single sign-on, leaderboards, achievements, missions, digital economy, as well as Web 3 features. We found that a lot of studios and a lot of projects we had worked on through our Work for Hire studio suffered greatly in the ability to develop a scalable and a robust backend solution. in addition to that just simply being time-consuming. And we had seen this in one or two-person studios, all the way up to double-A studios for popular games that you’ve very likely played, where either budget was the limiting factor or simply the availability of the team members or the engineers who are able to develop an infrastructure or a platform that would support the project’s needs.

Greg Posner: 05:46: 06:17: So you’re trying, again, goes back to looking at these companies that may not have a full staff to kind of get these services up and running. You’re going to help them connect it and kind of, I look at, again, I always think about leaderboards. I don’t know why it seems like the silliest one to focus on, but I always think like. Yeah, right? Like, how do you connect all these players together and keep score? I don’t know. It seems like such a simple problem when you’re thinking about it, but then you start tinkering with it. You’re like, this is a mountain. It’s not a hill. And how do I even start climbing this?

Patrick Twohig: 06:17: 06:57: Yeah, and there’s the old saying, the devil is in the details. Leaderboards are a great example of one of those things that can be deceptively complicated. And everyone does them a little bit differently. And what we saw was that a lot of studios were effectively reinventing the wheel over and over and over again, and revisiting the same problems over and over and over again. And so by providing a simple solution where we kind of dictate, this is how it works, and we have a prepackaged API, we found that it covers a staggering majority of the use cases of the studios we work with.

Greg Posner: 06:58: 07:09: How does someone even get started with it? Is it an SDK that lives in the game? Is it something else? Does it need to be a Unity or Unreal project? Any of the above? Yes.

Patrick Twohig: 07:09: 09:01: Yes. So one of the unique features we offer, and to the best of my knowledge, only one of our competitors offers this, we actually distribute the containers that allow you to run this. So you can actually run elements locally on your workstation as a developer. Having worked in various IT projects, and this is in and out of the game industry, one of the biggest developer headaches is the time it takes to set up a local prototyping environment for an individual developer. And then the problem gets complicated if you are sharing a cloud instance. And then for every member of the team, whether that’s an artist or a designer or a coder, or a producer, every member of the team increases that complexity exponentially. And so we’ve been successful with projects where we’ve had producers running the system locally and being able to test code locally or test a feature locally. We’ve seen that with artists, we’ve seen it with engineers as well. Being able to distribute that among your team has been a huge advantage and a huge lift for productivity. So that’s one step to it. When it comes to game engines, we integrate with Unreal, we integrate with Unity. For Unity, we’ve developed some special tools that allow for things like content delivery networks, so if you have an asset bundle. You can deploy it right to Elements, and then that will be made available with a very simple, well, with Unity’s Asset Loader system. We do have a game running on Unreal, and the tool set there is a little bit more open and flexible because when it comes to Unreal, there’s a lot of different ways to solve the same problems, and the studios we’re working with have opted to just build their own client SDKs for the products they’re working on.

Greg Posner: 09:01: 09:19: How did the concept of elements kind of come together, right? With your history, right? You were in different aspects of gaming throughout the past number of years, right? Like, how did it come to you thinking, hey, the backend service or microservices, right, is lacking? What was that light bulb moment, I guess?

Patrick Twohig: 09:19: 11:57: Well, we saw that the lack of programmability was one of the big limiting factors of many of the solutions out there. And when it came to solutions that did offer that, there were a ton of bugs and security issues. And so we’ve solved that with, we’ve solved that a variety of ways using different aspects like container security and network security on our internal infrastructure, limiting the traffic that can flow from one customer’s instance to another and so on. But in reality, when we have a lot, we see a lot of cloud products you kind of get the API you get. And I see a lot of game developers spending more time working around the limitations of an API than just being able to drop in a little bit of code to solve whatever problem they had. So it was really important for us to look at it as a network solution the same way you look at a game engine, where the game engine provides its core features. And then you extend its functionality via scripting or via drop-ins, via library code or however you extend the functionality of it. We applied that same philosophy to the backend systems as well. And that really unlocks a lot of opportunity because the game and its logic can be run authoritatively where elements, features maybe aren’t exactly sufficient for your game. you can code up the features you want. But the upside to that too is that you can also include, you also get our scalability with it. So when you run our code within our infrastructure, we take care of the heavy lift of like provisioning new servers when load spikes happen. We take care of making sure that the servers are up or that when there’s like a downtime event, that things fail over to another data center, another region or another availability. And we offer this, the different levels of availability based on based on the tier of service. And these are things that. In the game industry, I saw lacking for a long time and have been the norm in some of the other industries I’ve worked in, including telecommunications, medical information systems. And I’ve seen that work with high degrees of success in other industries. And so what really I wanted to do was bring that methodology to the game industry, where I think that it was greatly underserved.

Greg Posner: 11:58: 12:54: Yeah, I like that. And one of the things you said earlier, which I think makes a lot of sense right now is, you know, there’s especially with the Web3, whatever you want to think it’s going to be in the next couple of years. Right. There’s a lot of different things out there. And I mean, just looking at your website right now. Right. You have Avalanche on there. You have Ethereum. You have Solana. Solana. Yeah. Like you’re helping connect to all these different backends that, you know, I mean, unless you’re educated on what Avalanche and how their blockchain works, which not many people probably are, and you’re trying to create a game, right? You make it simple, I’m guessing, right? For me creating new FPS saying, Hey, I want to put this on the Avalanche blockchain. I could just make a few clicks and all of a sudden. not have to worry about that. Leave it in the hands of you guys, right? Because you have the connectors going on. I’m just connecting to you guys to make it a little easier for me to understand that. So my level, my barrier to entry is hopefully going to lower a little bit because I have expertise on the backend that helps me do that.

Patrick Twohig: 12:55: 15:52: Yeah, absolutely. Web3 is all about digital ownership, right? So if I were to publish, for example, a card game, like say you like Magic the Gathering, I own that physical card, and that card is part of my strategy, it’s part of my deck, right? And so if I were to publish a similar card game, but that would be virtual, the blockchain is kind of the technology that enables that concept of that particular digital good or that particular digital item. And that is what we’ve called in the past an NFT. Now, NFT, I think, is a really cursed word among the game industry and among a lot of people these days. Its original intent seemed to be that it was to own, like, say, a concert ticket or a magic card or something along those lines. And it was simply proof of ownership of some asset outside of that, unlocking some utility. So where we see the future of Web3, you know, where we see that going is in that digital ownership. So say I buy a sword or a card in a card game or something, right? I now own that as part of, that’s mine, that single instance of that object, whatever it is, is mine. Now I could then sell that to you, Greg, and then you could then sell that to someone else. And so that would be modeling what we’ve done in the past with physical digital goods. The difference there is that that ownership exists outside of my game’s ecosystem. I can take that and sell it on the open market. I can take that and sell that to anyone. And I think that’s a really cool concept in theory and in in the future, seeing Web3 games move towards that model where the content you own, that NFT you own, is really more of a placeholder for something greater that is in a game. And that can open the doors to interoperability. So maybe I could use that sword in one game, but another developer could use it in another. And due to the nature of how smart contracts work, there could be a way to make it so that a a developer could share in royalties. So when the item transfers to another game, a developer who receives that could now receive a portion of the ownership of that or that. So there’s ways to solve these interoperability problems that have been talked about in the industry for a long time using blockchain tech. Now, the future of it’s a little uncertain, but I mean, I think that’s where there is a future, I think, in Web3. And by no means do I think we have to go in that direction. And I think that traditional Web2-based games or traditional content is perfectly fine and is perfectly viable as well.

Greg Posner: 15:53: 16:58: Yeah, let’s put a fine point on the fact that I’m asking all these questions, but elements is not just web three, right? We are doing web two stuff, normal stuff. And that’s what I want to focus on here, right? It’s kind of a two part question here, right? The first is I want to talk about the state of the industry. Clearly, it’s been a rocky 2023 and 2024. We don’t have to get too much into it. There’s been layoffs, but we’ve also seen some great games come out. And we’ve also seen some not great games come out. And a lot of times what makes or breaks a great game is, maybe not the right way to word it, but the forcing of live ops into a game. games that are created by notable, amazing developers and forcing or putting LiveOps in perhaps places that don’t make sense. But it makes sense because LiveOps is extremely profitable right now. You look at Helldivers, you look at Fortnite, you look at any of the top tier games, right? And they have LiveOps. So let’s start simple here. In your mind, Patrick, because I feel like everyone gives a slightly different answer here, what is LiveOps?

Patrick Twohig: 16:59: 19:31: So LiveOps, I think, includes the live operation, well, as the name implies, live operation of the server infrastructure itself, as well as tasks like balancing the digital economy. If it’s a game that has players trading items, it would involve customer service issues. So the old, I can’t log in, or I forgot my password, The game didn’t credit me the digital currency I earned for playing. It involves community outreach as well, and it involves engaging the community. I know a lot of studios are using Discord to communicate with their players. and roll out information on patches and updates. So I kind of see LiveOps as once the game is out there in the wild, all of the community management and customer service and everything that needs to happen. And I think that, once again, the tools required to do things on a live game need to be there, and they need to be there for people who are not necessarily the engineers. Um, and I’ve seen it in the past and too many projects where the live operations tools on simple things, like, like I said, being able to credit, uh, credit a player who lost currency or being able to reset a password or reset an email or, you know, reset, uh, reset something. Those, those I believe are. Those need to exist. And I’ve seen it where those tools are sometimes clunky and difficult to operate, or sometimes requires opening a ticket with the engineering team to push around entries in a database. And those become very limiting very quickly. And not only from a studio standpoint, from a game, from the studio standpoint, it can be expensive. And it can also inhibit the development of future features. It can distract the developers from rolling out new content, fixing bugs. And if not done well, it could kill the product. I mean, we could see the game simply flop because there’s just not enough hours in the day. And again, all of these little inefficiencies add up to a big inefficiency. And there’s countless stories in the industry about that sort of thing happening.

Greg Posner: 19:31: 20:51: Yeah, I love what you said because, you know, when I hear LiveOps, my mind doesn’t immediately go to community, which makes a huge impact on LiveOps, right? If you don’t have a living, breathing community, that’s going to help input content to create user generated content, to create new stuff, right? You’re going to start losing players like that. I always kind of imagine the engineering side and kind of measuring different KPIs. How long are people spending online? What type of seasonal content do we want to put out there, right? I feel like LiveOps contain so many different pieces that it makes sense to have it in your game. But when you want, when players don’t always want to be online, people want just a simple offline game, right? And then, you know, you have the voice of Reddit that when you create a new game and put lops in there, they’ll freak out. But then you see, again, I go back to Helldiver as a company that’s doing it fantastically, and maybe matchmaking might take long for cross console for certain things. But like, when it’s not in your face, right? And I think the problem is a lot of these companies put it in your face when it’s just, how do you hide that? And I feel like Web3 in a way is a similar thing, that people just put the word out there, Web3, and it’s like, why are you saying it’s Web3? Just create the game, put it in there and make it work. But I feel like there’s a very big stigma right now on the LiveOps thing. And it went and done well. It’s fantastic. It’s not anything negative. It’s just people associate it with

Patrick Twohig: 20:52: 22:48: And I think I would say that the Web3 in many ways has a lot of growing up to do when it comes to the game industry. And what I have seen, when you look at the old Web3 games, if we’re going to go into Web3, you look at like Axie Infinity and games that really did not have a lot of production value. And we’re now seeing Web3 games being built in Unreal. We’re seeing shooter-based Web3 games. We’re seeing strategy-based Web3 games. We’re seeing games that are starting to rival that of your traditional console products, AA titles, and whatnot. And so seeing that, I think that there’s definitely a future there. And I think that being able to have mass adoption of Web3 content is going to involve making that easier for the player to sign up, making that easier for the player to manage their digital assets. And that’s one of the features we do provide is allowing developers to build those systems that simplify it. We also see that game studios, there’s money, there’s publishing money in Web3. So a studio can say, we’re going to release our game, we’re going to put collectibles out there, and they’re going to go to someone like Polygon who’s going to invest in it through tokenomics and being able to fund it. One of the biggest difficulties of getting a game off the ground is finding the funding to build it. And so there’s opportunities there too. And again, a tool that can allow a developer to make a deal with one blockchain and then simultaneously with another to bring that initial funding in is extremely valuable and allows developers to access the funding they need to build their games.

Greg Posner: 22:48: 23:10: And with a tool like Elements, right? When you’re controlling the backend or the microservices, right? Does it make more sense since all the tools are kind of living in a single place rather than me trying to go out there and find, hey, how am I going to connect to MetaMask? Let me go find out what tools connect with MetaMask. Is it, again, I’m coming from a place where I don’t really truly understand the back end of how that works. Is it easier there?

Patrick Twohig: 23:11: 24:26: Yeah, it is. I mean, we provide a wallet system that operates in the cloud that would be a sort of a replacement for MetaMask. We are working on some MetaMask integration support where you can use MetaMask to directly sign in, which again is a complicated process that does require back-end interaction. In the Web3 world, back-end has a different role in some cases, but every Web3 company I’ve worked with has had a back-end. There was a while in the Web3 world where I think a lot of people were saying Web3 will replace the back-end. Everything will run on chain. And I have yet to see what I would say a non-trivial project run in that fashion. There are things that do run that way. There are games that have been run fully on-chain, but you’re still very limited with transaction time and how quickly you can execute code on-chain and the cost associated with it. So ultimately, I think a lot of what people want will require some sort of backend or system sitting in the middle. And like I said, I’ve worked with dozens of companies that have, in one way or another, needed some connectivity for it to work.

Greg Posner: 24:27: 24:37: So I want to kind of shift to the conversation to kind of one of your other bread and butters on DevOps. And can you just give us a high definition of what is DevOps when it comes to the gaming world?

Patrick Twohig: 24:37: 26:37: So that’s kind of a thing that in my world, in my world of, you know, in the background of coming from in telecommunications, startups, fintechs, Uh, you know, we, we, we meant DevOps to basically be a server server administration, you know, running your cloud instances. Now in the gaming world, a lot of people mean DevOps to support the development efforts. So you might be configuring and running continuous integration or running your, uh, your Git repos and supporting the development process in that way. But again, the term seems to be overloaded. When we say DevOps, we really mean like the server administration, the operation of the systems themselves. And that again goes back to keeping your Kubernetes cluster up, keeping your EC2 instances up and healthy, responding to downtime, configuring them, managing them. All of that is a great deal of effort. And once again, it’s overlooked in a sense because it’s not directly the game. But when your servers and your infrastructure goes down, you’re losing money by the minute or by the hour. And that’s a reality in this world. So having solid DevOps team that can respond to problems and that can be there and that can provide things like SLAs or service level agreements where we say that we can guarantee a certain amount of no more than a certain amount of downtime per month or unavailability per month. I mean, those things become very important as the company and the game scales. Because again, you lose money by the second when things go wrong.

Greg Posner: 26:37: 26:56: So just from my own understanding, right, so let’s just take into account new game I download, I’m excited to play online and I can’t connect online and I can’t register because the system is giving me area. This is all I know it’s live apps because I have to connect the line. But is this a problem with DevOps because this back end systems aren’t talking properly to one another?

Patrick Twohig: 26:56: 27:42: I would say that that’s an accurate statement. And again, it depends on who you ask, but I would say that’s a DevOps problem if you’re having outages. And and and if it’s just, you know, if it’s a new release, you really only get one shot at doing it right. And and. There have been products that recovered from a bad launch. They will never live up to their full potential if they have a major, major miss at the start of that. I was reading about one in particular, and the comments on Steam said that their servers had the stability of a gingerbread house in a hurricane. And that’s the kind of backlash when you get that. It’s not great for the reputation of your game.

Greg Posner: 27:43: 28:08: Not the type of publicity you want, right? Like Eminem said, you get one shot, one opportunity. Games have recovered. I feel like one of my favorite stories is No Man’s Sky, right? That botched the launch, but had an amazing comeback. But those are so rare that it’s worth an investment in the beginning just to make sure things are running. Especially if you’ve built out a community already, because you don’t want to build out a community and then launch a game and flop right on its face. Because again, coming out of that hole is tough.

Patrick Twohig: 28:09: 28:18: Yeah, and I think No Man’s Sky’s criticism was more to do with the design of the game and its underwhelming lack of content and less of a technical problem, right?

Greg Posner: 28:18: 28:26: I feel like it had every problem you could almost think of over promises under deliveries, but you’re probably right. But I mean, I just saw last week another update came out for it, and that’s…

Patrick Twohig: 28:27: 28:48: I know people who play it and absolutely love it, which is amazing. And I’m really happy for the team that was able to persevere and stick with that, and ultimately take the feedback from the community and build something great. And I should probably play it. I haven’t played it, but it looked amazing when I saw it.

Greg Posner: 28:48: 29:06: You can get it in VR now. It’s a good way to test it out. Oh, OK. Question about you now, Patrick, when you were younger, when you were in grade school, and you’re thinking, what do I want to do when I grow up? Were you dreaming of starting a microservices back end company? Or what were your dreams? What did you want to do?

Patrick Twohig: 29:06: 30:26: I mean, I wanted to write code, I wanted to design computer systems. So I ended up going to school for computer engineering. And I knew I want to do that. And I was like in sixth grade. And I remember getting in trouble with my math teacher, because I wrote a program to do my math homework, and they didn’t like that I wrote a program to do it. And I kind of, I wasn’t sure what to think about that, because I think that kind of defeated the point of you know, the bigger picture there, right? So, but I mean, I started writing visual or QBasic code in DOS. I made Quake mods. I made Duke Nukem 3D mods when I was, none of them were any good, but I, you know, the best a seventh grader could do, but it was fun to learn all of that. And then, I ended up more going into the software side of things when I got my engineering degree. And so that’s how I ended up doing it. But yeah, I wanted to learn games. My first job as a game programmer was developing code for Wii and Xbox 360. Both interesting systems to work on. And console development has changed a lot even in the more recent years. I think it’s become a lot easier and a lot better. We’re seeing better content on it as well.

Greg Posner: 30:27: 31:41: I love what you said. I have a brother-in-law who, about 10 years ago, I was trying to convince him to start building mods for Minecraft, and he just never got into it, which is fine. But the modding tools that are available for games these days can get you started so easily in creating games. I remember I didn’t get into that, but I went to a C++ course in college, and I was just like, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. But if it was modding for a game that I could start playing around with, things I can start seeing, maybe I’d be a little more excited. I don’t know. But I think the tools for kids or anyone to get started at this point are so well built. They’re out there. I mean, you have games coming out on Roblox now, which is mind boggling to me that they’re just using Roblox as a platform to build it out. So in this world where we’re building, you know, there’s layoffs. I’m a true believer, and I think you are as well, that indie companies are going to start rising from this in time once there’s money back in the market, right? And they’ll be building indies and single A and double A games, right? In your mind, I guess what, and this is a loaded question, I get it, but like what fundamental should people be thinking about when building out game seasons? Are there any musts on there that like, hey, if you’re not doing this, you’re going to be left behind?

Patrick Twohig: 31:41: 33:27: I always say focus on the gameplay, focus on the game itself. I mean, you really have to find the fun in whatever you make. I’ve seen a lot of people attempt to make games where It just wasn’t fun or they attempted to put two different genres together or something. I mean, at the end of the day, the success of your product is always going to be dictated on just how many people want to play it. There’s no amount of marketing or publishing or whatever that can that can make a game fun. So really focus on the product itself. Everything has to stem from what you’re making. You mentioned Roblox. There’s a new generation of gamers. I believe they’re saying it’s the Gen Alpha gamers, the youngest generation now, that are just getting into games and games have been what they know. And I think that there’s a huge opportunity there for game developers to engage the youngest audience. And we’ve seen some of that. I think there’s like obstacle games or obby games are very popular among among that, among the younger crowd. And not just the younger crowd, but we met some developers at GDC who are working on titles like that. I thought that was really, really cool. And so I think, too, that out of what’s going on in the industry right now, we’re going to see a lot of creativity. I think we kind of got saturated with overproduced content. And when we see smaller studios producing games and putting ideas out there, I think we’re going to see a bright future ahead.

Greg Posner: 33:28: 34:43: Patrick, I appreciate you coming out today to talk about elements, to talk about LiveOps, backends of a system. Again, in my mind, and this is for me to be rude here, it’s just like, I never understood how all these pieces connect together. And I think at the end of the day, trying it and seeing how it works is great, but understanding how there’s tools out there that can help me connect. Hey, here’s your leaderboard. Do you want to connect your leaderboard to other tools or other projects or other things that are going on? That you’re good at what you’re good at, and you should focus at what you’re good at. And I think it comes back to building your fun game. Don’t come to the mind and say, I need to build a game that’s online so I can make money. No, you build a game that’s fun. And if you build a game that’s fun, then you can start to get users in the community playing it and say, hey, how do we expand this? What do we do from here? You know, I tend to overthink things a lot, but I think my favorite thing you just said was, again, build that fun game. Because when you build that fun game, people will start to play that game. And you can see that with the games that are becoming popular again these days, these indie or single A titles that are taking the world by storm. They’re simple, they’re easy, they’re fun. And I think we kind of just need an injection of fun games again. Thank you for coming out. Is there anything else you want to talk about or share?

Patrick Twohig: 34:43: 34:51: No, I think that’s all. I appreciate you having me here and going over everything and looking forward to it.

Greg Posner: 34:56: 35:22: Yeah, well, you can find it. You can find elements at getelements.dev. We will have Patrick’s information. We’ll have elements information and anything else that you want on our PlayerEngage website. Again, Patrick, I loved today’s interview. This was enlightening for me. I appreciate it. I already said that, but thank you again. If there’s anything else, let me know. Thank you. Yeah. All right. Thanks, Craig. Have a great day.

Patrick Twohig: 35:22: 35:22: Yeah, you too.

Greg Posner

Avid gamer with a passion for storytelling. My goal is to unpack the narratives of customers, partners and others to better understand how industry-leaders tackle today's challenges.

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