Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by Brent Elmer 2018-07-06

Sessions Preview Is Live!

Ever want to know how long players spend in your game or how many times they play per day? Today, we take the first step towards bringing official Sessions to PlayFab! Once we’re through, you won’t have to lift a finger to start seeing these light up in your Game Manager dashboard. 

What is a Session?

At a basic level, a session is a period of time during which the player was engaged with your game. Measuring sessions allows for increased resolution around what that engagement looks like. The number of sessions played and minutes per session are two of the strongest indicators of how invested your players are, and monitoring trends over time allows you to segment casual from core players more meaningfully.

There are many ways to calculate sessions, and our implementation takes a layered approach. Today’s release introduces Focus Duration, which measures the seconds your app holds uninterrupted focus on the user’s device, but this is only step one. In reality, players are often interrupted briefly by text messages, toast, etc. so we plan to also calculate Session Duration as the sum of all Focus Durations 10 minutes apart.

Getting Started

Right now, we’re inviting all Unity developers to test drive the new functionality by updating to the latest Unity SDK refresh. Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to enable focus time collection from the Settings tab in Game Manager to immediately start seeing two new events coming through PlayStream: ClientSessionStart and ClientFocusChanged. These are collected when the app boots and uploaded when the player is logged in. Learn about how to manage these events in the Sessions tutorial

A future blog post will walk through the business value of the key metrics that we’ll calculate from these events automatically, so stay tuned for more improvements in the coming weeks! 

*Note that presently these events are automatically included only in the Unity SDK. Assuming there's excitement around this feature, we plan to include this for every SDK.