Gamestar+ is revolutionizing game night using AWS-powered solutions from IMT
For the leaders at Gamestar+, game night is more than a leisure activity—it’s an avenue to improved social collaboration. “Games have the power to magically transform even the most awkward dinner parties into really fun events,” says Todd Young, cofounder and chief operating officer of Gamestar+. “They really have an intrinsic value to facilitate meaningful connections in a day and age where we as humans are not conditioned to be as social as we were in the past.”
Gamestar+ saw an opportunity to deliver live social game experiences on demand to any device that uses a streaming service. With few high-quality social game solutions in the marketplace, the startup sought to create its own offering on Amazon Web Services (AWS). To gain the technical expertise necessary to make its dream a reality, Gamestar+ engaged Integrated Media Technologies, Inc. (IMT), an AWS Partner, to build the streaming service.
Fostering social collaboration through games
Gamestar+ began to develop a social game service that could stream to millions of users simultaneously and support dozens of game titles. To support these goals, the startup realized that cloud-native architecture was the key to promoting truly social, collaborative engagement on its streaming service. “I never had any expectation that we would have anything other than a solution on the cloud,” says Young. “Because of the remote distribution of our team and our plans for rapidly scaling content production, having something that was on-premises never seemed to make sense.”
Composed of professionals with years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, Gamestar+ faced no difficulties obtaining celebrity endorsements or licenses for globally recognized game titles. However, the startup needed a collaborator with the technical experience necessary to build the games and core architecture for its service.
Gamestar+ began to assess potential vendors with experience building media solutions on the cloud. After engaging the IMT team, the startup realized that the AWS Partner met its requirements. “IMT clearly understood our vision and was confident in its ability to bring our streaming service to life for us on AWS,” says Young. “We’re obviously paying them for their time and service, but they’re also invested in our company. And it’s been a good collaboration.”
Developing high-quality streaming solutions on AWS
Gamestar+ and IMT finalized their collaboration and got to work on development. The streaming solution relies on several AWS services for its core architecture, including Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience. The solution also uses AWS Elemental MediaConvert, a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features, to generate adaptive bitrate streaming packages of all Gamestar+ media. Using this cloud-native solution, Gamestar+ can scale to potentially millions of global users, supporting a truly interactive and highly social gaming experience.
Because the solution is 100 percent cloud native, Gamestar+ can scale on demand to support new users, game titles, and features. “Having the flexibility of the cloud and being able to scale as needed is really beneficial to Gamestar+,” says Roy Burns, vice president of media solutions at IMT. “And because IMT has so much experience on AWS, we were able to advise Gamestar+ on where they can get the most flexibility and elasticity.”
This scalable architecture has also supported faster iteration and game development. On AWS, Gamestar+ has room to expand, grow, and enhance its services, improving the customer experience along the way. “We chose to build the systems so that they are modular,” says Burns. “As Gamestar+ increases users and increases game titles, we can add more AWS resources as needed. Gamestar+ doesn’t need to prepay for all this upfront and is able to grow into it.”
Media asset management (MAM) is a key infrastructure component for media streaming providers because it facilitates getting digital files that travel through the media supply chain to the right locations. IMT engaged Dalet, an AWS Partner, for its Dalet Flex software, which is used to power the solution’s MAM service. Using Dalet Flex alongside SoDA, a data management software by CloudSoDA.io, the companies standardized the way that media files travel through the Gamestar+ system and interact with various services.
Another crucial component of the Gamestar+ service is identity access management. Using Amazon Cognito, which lets developers add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to web and mobile apps, Gamestar+ can quickly authenticate users and maintain a high level of security. Additionally, Gamestar+ uses Amazon Cognito to provide each customer with a truly personalized experience by supporting individual profiles. “When people use Gamestar+, they need to be able to log in, see their games, and see what games their friends have played,” says Burns. “Amazon Cognito provided a simple means to build this essential component.”
Continuing to Innovate game night with IMT
As of April 2022, Gamestar+ has launched its solution with its first game title. The startup plans to expand to include potentially dozens of other globally recognized offerings. After the initial release, Gamestar+ will work closely with IMT to add new advanced features, like smartphone tethering, voice capabilities, and virtual blockchain-based tokens that users can purchase to make transactions.
The release of Gamestar+’s AWS-powered streaming service will likely revolutionize game night, setting a trend in the media and entertainment industry. “As more customers deploy services in the cloud, that’s where the future of gaming and entertainment is going to be,” says Jason Kranitz, president of IMT. “That’s what IMT and Gamestar+ are doing on AWS, and it’s really powerful.”
“IMT clearly understood our vision and was confident in its ability to bring our streaming service to life for us on AWS,” said Todd Young, Gamestar+ cofounder and chief operating officer.
About Integrated Media Technologies, Inc.
Integrated Media Technologies, Inc. (IMT) is a managed services provider for over 900 media and entertainment clients. IMT is an AWS Partner and an AWS Authorized Commercial Reseller. Learn more about IMT and SoDA.