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Choosing the Right Tech Stack

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Getting real-world feedback can make or break your success in gaming, and the sooner you can connect with your target audience the better. 

By Gil Tov-Ly, VP Growth at Overwolf

A serious amount of technology goes into developing stable, functioning, and scalable gaming products. That holds true regardless if you’re creating gaming websites, apps, training programs, streamer tools, or something else entirely. Picking the right tech stack, however, can definitely be a daunting challenge for any founder in the gaming space who’s tasked with finding the perfect set of tools and frameworks.

The key question here is: what are the benefits of using pre-built tools and services for your tech stacks?

As a gaming startup, you want to develop your project from concept to meeting the market as quickly as possible. Your product will include many different elements, some built from scratch by your internal team, and others based on available services. The choices you make will form up your tech stack. You can think of a tech stack as a foundation on which you build your product. The better the foundation, the higher the odds of finding success.

Whether you’re building a gaming service, website, or an in-game app, it’s often easier and more efficient to use technology stacks that are already available. That way you’ll have a much more cohesive and streamlined development process, and you’ll be able to put your product in the hands of gamers as quickly as possible.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Tech Stack

When building an in-game app or any other gaming-related service, moving fast should be a top priority. Therefore, looking into existing solutions and systems can be hugely beneficial — we’re talking about a lot of power that you can harness with ease.

When it comes to selecting the right services for your tech stack, what you end up choosing is often less important than the speed at which you make the decision. There’s also little use in saying “X service is best” because you should always opt for what you’re already comfortable with.

Tech stacks can also bridge the skill gap between novice developers and more seasoned ones as they can be used as a sort of crutch — a way for gaming startups and developers to quickly solve challenges by using pre-existing systems instead of building their own from the ground-up.

Accelerating Your Development Process With Services and Frameworks

If you need any kind of hosting service, you can always opt for, say, Amazon’s AWS. If you want your users to have a communications platform (and they really should) then implementing Discord is a no-brainer. Maybe a community board or a dedicated subreddit? Both can do wonders for engaging your target audience. You can also use an existing service to gather feedback from your users and even share your development roadmap through Trello. For payments, there’s Stripe or PayPal, and in the case you want to integrate ads with ease, then Google Ads is the way to go.

There are also several services that could streamline your website development process.  If you’re building a feature-rich web app, that website will be the core of your product. So in that case you’re better off building a full product from scratch in-house and not use external tools — just grab a bootstrap framework and get to work! If, on the other hand, you need a simple content-based website, then going for something like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace would do the trick. These content management systems will allow you to deliver content to your users as quickly as possible without much hassle.

Lastly, if you’re planning to build desktop apps for Windows, starting from scratch could be a real hassle. In that case, you can always go for Electron (if the app you’re building is as simple as a web app), and Overwolf if the app is more complex and rich with features.

Why Gaming Startups are Turning to Overwolf

Overwolf is a framework for building gaming apps. It’s basically an engine that lets you create native Windows apps by only using HTML and Javascript. So if you can build a website, you can build a desktop app on Overwolf.

But Overwolf is so much more than “just” a tech framework — it’s also a service provider. It provides creators with many key resources to get started and stay focused, along with mentoring, potential investments (from the Overwolf & Intel fund), and even ways to monetize their creations. These things are invaluable for gaming startups, especially early on.

Overwolf apps are used by over five million gamers on a daily basis, and that’s a sizable ecosystem that you easily can tap into. Your app can get thousands of installs by just being a part of the Overwolf appstore. Over 20 startups are already harnessing this potential, and they range from pre-seed teams that are just starting out to massive gaming companies that have already raised over $100 million.

If your teams need assistance, Overwolf will help out with design, marketing, testing, funding, hosting, and a ton of other incredibly important stuff. This will allow you to move fast and release your product as quickly as possible. It’s really easy to start off with sample apps that will allow you to get a first version out in just a couple of days. All of this means you’ll be able to dedicate all of your time and resources into the most important thing: the core value of your product.

There’s also serious cash to be made here. The top 25% of creators on Overwolf are already making more than $30,000 a month, with the most successful ones earning over $1 million a year. These earnings are incredibly important for startups and can help them increase their runways and reach product-market fit a lot faster.

Efficiency is key in any development process which is why choosing a tech stack as quickly as possible is so important. Using ready-made services and tools will allow you to move fast, make decisive calls, and focus on what matters most. And it’s not so much about which services you go for but rather the speed at which you make these crucial decisions. There’s a tech stack for every kind of project, and if you happen to need one for a feature-rich desktop app, Overwolf is definitely a great way to start.