In Company news, Platform Releases

Welcome to the deltaDNA development newsfeed – your first port of call for all product news. This page will be regularly updated with the latest platform release information and provide reference for previous releases too. Pre-2019 release notes are still available individually on the main blog.

Here’s what’s been going on…

R50 – March 31st 2020

It’s deltaDNA’s Golden Anniversary Release! We decided to celebrate with a whole raft of improvements to platform UX. Doing complex things has never been simpler.

Campaign segments

You can now include and exclude multiple segments during in-game campaign creation.

Campaign scheduling 

In order to make clearer scheduling, we have made some changes to the text around out-game campaigns.

Onboarding pointers

We’ve got a number of handy product tours available to our users via the in-platform chatbot. Our new welcome screen makes them even more obvious to new users.

That’s the stuff above deck, and there’s plenty happening in the engine room too.


R49 – March 17th 2020

Reason to be excited: we released on consecutive days!
Reason to temper the excitement: it was all stuff behind the scenes that you shouldn’t notice.


R48 – March 16th 2020

R48 comes as a statement of continued intent in these difficult circumstances for everyone worldwide. Nothing stops deltaDNA development.

Exporting campaign list to CSV

Campaigns can now be selected on the list screen and exported to a CSV file, containing the status, name, priority and tags.

Fewer restrictions on game parameter values

Game parameter values used to be restricted to 512 characters, making it a pain to hand down complex configuration in your Engage campaigns.

It’s now 4096 characters. That’s, like, 8 times better.

Improved connection handling in data mining

We were seeing some situations where Data Mining queries – particularly the longer, more complex variety – were timing out without giving any reason why.

We’ve made some fabulous changes which limit the number of times this should happen – great stuff!


R47 – February 19th 2020

R47 arrived with all the efficiency of the egg-headed hitman himself. It neutralized some targets bugs and actioned all the following:

More granularity in decision-point time offsets

It used to be that you could only set the ‘wait time’ between decision-point campaign steps in minutes. Now, you can do it by the second for ultimate precision.

New default segments

We’ve added some new pre-made segments for all new games added to the platform. Target away! 

More information in same-name campaign warnings

There is no longer a cryptic message that appears when you try to create a campaign with a name that is currently in use. There’s still a message – it’s just useful now.

Scheduling QA test campaigns to start in the future

QA test campaigns can now be set to start in the future, meaning you can set up and test all of your campaigns ahead of time and be confident everything works when that big event rolls around.


R46 – February 6th 2020

On top of tweaks behind the scenes to improve performance, R46 brings one BIG change that you’ll notice:

Our segmentation functionality now lives within Engage, where once it was found under Analyze.


R45 – January 27th 2020

Super secret internal stuff.


R44 – January 22nd 2020

Reasons why 44 is one of the all-time great numbers:

  1. R44 is one of our tastiest releases yet
  2. Kate Winslet, DJ Khaled, and David Beckham are all 44 years old
  3. 4/4 is the time signature of Dancing Queen, music’s crowning achievement

R44 starts the decade as we mean to go on – making things better, easier, and altogether more brilliant. Happy New Year!

Safe campaign testing in your production environment

We’ve noticed that many of you like to test things in your production environments. Last year’s deltaDNA would be trying desperately to stamp that out, but that ain’t the way in 2020.

By marking certain segments as ‘test’ segments, it’s now possible to conduct SAFE testing in your production environment:

Test campaigns exclusively on small audiences – with all the relevant user permissions – before pushing out to the wider player base. You led, we followed.

Data Mining queries + browser tabs

The last release gave you more Data Mining tabs. This release helps to distinguish them.

If you’re working on a saved query, you’ll now be able to see the query name in your browser tab.

Data Mining queries + formatting

Having found your query in record time, you can now format it with ease. One click allows you to separate all the constituent parts of your query. Check, edit, and reorganize – stress-free!

Performance improvements on all pages

Our platform was feeling a bit sluggish so we’ve made a few tweaks under the hood to improve loading performance throughout. You should notice all your pages loading a little bit quicker as a result.

Updated device lists on our Unity SDK

When our Unity SDK sends events, they get sent along with a device name field. That now contains the latest iOS versions for all those cutting-edge Apple players out there.

Query performance tips in Data Mining

Our Vertica warehouse likes a particular flavour of SQL query and you can make big performance improvements if you include the proper ingredients.

You can now see performance improvement tips from right inside Data Mining – borrowed straight from our SQL Cookbook.

Optimized image processing on the Unity SDK.

Optimized the image re-orientation and caching processes on the Unity SDK to improve efficiency, particularly when using large or many image messages.


R43 – December 11th 2019

🎵On the eleventh day of advent, my true love gave to me: Plaaaaaaatfooooooooorm treeeeeeeeeeats 🎵

It’s the last platform release before Christmas, so we’re making it a big one. Your sackful of updates goes as follows:

A/B test reporting with statistical significance and fancy new design 

The ability to accurately report on the impact of an A/B test is a vital part of any campaign strategy. Without it, you’re either flying blind or making decisions based on gut feeling. 

We’ve made a number of improvements to our event-triggered campaign reporting to help you do the following:

  • View the statistical significance of your results based on the Mann-Whitney U test
  • Understand how your test impacts the occurrence of any analytics event (eg. Did your test actually impact the number of times an IAP was made?)
  • Check the total number of users messaged in your test 
  • Find your winning variant and push it out to all your users

These are ambitious changes, out in the wild for the first time, so we really want your feedback on what you like and what you don’t. 

Happy testing! 

Even more real-time metrics and faster queries 

We now use Google’s BigTable to store all of the metrics for your players. This allows us to improve on the real-time-ness of our segments and ensure that we can scale and deal with larger peak loads.

We’ll also be adding 50% more oomph/resource to our data warehouse over the next few weeks – this means that you can look forward to better query performance! 

Intercom integration 

We’re really excited to be able to unveil our new Intercom functionality. This software will unlock new sophistication for our in-platform communications:

  • Better signposting of key features
  • Self-serve product tours to showcase important functionality
  • Easy access to help and support

Improved accessibility of icons on the campaign list page 

The icons on our campaign list pages were causing problems for color-blind users (colleagues and clients alike) so we’ve adapted them to be more universally readable.

All for one and one for all!


R42 – November 13th 2019

R42 was a sneaky little release that (hopefully) nobody noticed. A little something to grease the hinges.


R41 – November 6th 2019

We’ve just had bonfire night – it’s only fair that we put out a suitably explosive release to mark the occasion. Beyond the little bug fixes, here’s what we’ve done for you:

UIX Improvements

– The filters panel has been moved to give your campaign lists more space.

– Managing multiple campaigns is now easier thanks to some design & layout wizardry.

Segment Uploads

– You can now upload 30x as many users per CSV segment (50 -> 1500)!

Dashboard Cloning

– This is a biggy. Custom dashboards can now be cloned directly from one game or environment to another, saving you heaps of time and effort.


R40 – October 16th 2019

They say that life begins at 40 and they might very well be right. R40 is live and here’s what that means:

Performance Improvements

– Dashboards load faster and data mining queries run faster than before. There’s no gift greater than time.

Dashboard display tweaks

– We’ve made changes to how we display visualization names on dashboards. Extra detail looks prettier.

API Capabilities

You can now view the SQL for event segments via API.


R39 – October 2nd 2019

R38 is barely a week old but we’re right back at it with another release! This time we’ve made a number of improvements to both Portal and our SDKs, on top of dealing with a couple of little bugs flagged in support tickets.

Portal Improvements

– Our crafty UX guys have made a few tweaks to the actions page in Engage. Go and see for yourself, it’s great.

SDK Improvements

– You can now view events and parameters in the Unity Editor using the Events API.

– Caching has been much-improved for large numbers of image messages. Now, images are all fetched concurrently and you can configure the cache size yourselves.

– Unity push notifications have been updated to make them compatible with iOS 13 and Xcode 11.


R38 – September 24th 2019

On top of the usual tweaks and bug fixes, Platform Release 38 comes with a hattrick of SWEET portal additions:

Multiple Visualizations

We’ve added the ability to create multiple visualizations from single data mining queries. This saves you time, loads dashboards faster, and makes your wonderful queries easier to maintain.

Data Mining Queries

For the genius analysts out there who want to get really complex, you can now write _even longer_ queries. Get creative!

Campaign Warnings

Nobody likes doing lots of work with no reward, so that’s why we’ve now got the platform to warn users before publishing campaigns that are exceptionally short. This will save you from accidentally launching campaigns that don’t work.


R37 – September 3rd 2019

Portal

Query Cancellation

We’ve made it possible to cancel Data Mining queries while they’re still running. This means that you can put your bright idea/change of heart straight into action – without waiting for the original to finish running.

Campaign Progress Reset

In deltaDNA, you can dictate the time elapsed before players become eligible to reenter a campaign. You can now set those campaign reset intervals in minutes rather than days, making engagement more precise and campaigns easier to execute than ever.

Platform Logouts

A few people mentioned that they were accidentally logging out of the platform mid-session, so we’ve changed things around to stop this happening in future.

Asset Management

There is now a page dedicated to image message assets so that they can all be managed in one central location rather than from within each action.

Active Campaign Actions

On the actions page, you can now see which campaigns are making use of each individual action. 

Platform UI/UX

We’re hard at work making lots of little tweaks to the platform to improve your user experience, most recently to: dashboards, segmentation and Engage.

API

Our latest batch of API improvements allows for:

  • Full management of events and parameters
  • Full management of game parameter actions for in-game campaigns
  • Viewing target segments and conversion events for campaigns

 

 


SDK Improvements – August 13th 2019

Coming in HOT with a non-numbered mini-release:

Players can now opt out of being tracked using the new mechanism that we put in place. This means that no historic data will be lost should a player decide that they no longer want to send data.

We’ve also got a new exponential backoff retry mechanism.* It ensures that players always receive an up-to-date game configuration even in the event of poor connection.

Finally, the Unity SDK now has improved compatibility with the Unity editor for all those running the latest version.

*Say that ten times in a row, quickly.


R36 – July 24th 2019

Release 36 launched this afternoon, during the day, with absolutely no downtime or negative impact! This is a big moment as it marks the start of our much-touted new release system. As previously said we will be making many, smaller releases rather than making changes every quarter. This will allow us to make bug fixes and changes more frequently – ensuring that we can test and iterate based on user feedback.

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s a short summary of everything we’ve changed in our last few platform releases:

API Campaign Control

You can now play, pause, archive and restore campaigns programmatically via our shiny new platform API. Get in touch with [email protected] if you’d like to find out more about using this.

JSON Editor for Creating Campaign Actions

We’re all about making things nice, pretty, and easy to use. That’s why, if you go to the campaign action creation screen, you’ll find a handy little button next to the familiar text field which allows you to enjoy playing around with your JSON in a pop-up window.


R35 – July 9th 2019

Alongside the usual minor optimizations and structural tweaks, R35 featured an overhaul of campaign navigation and some groundwork for our imminent API release*:

Campaign/Component Navigation

You can now access campaign components (actions/segments etc.) directly from the campaign overview page, without having to search them out within their respective pages. This has already proved very popular with you, the people. You always did have great taste.

Support for API Access Key Generation

Any deltaDNA account owner can create API keys that allow API access to specific environments within the account. Access permissions can be given/omitted for any environment within the account and credentials added/updated as necessary.

*Initially, the API will facilitate:

  1. The listing and searching of campaigns/games
  2. Playing, pausing, archiving, and restoring campaigns

R34 – June 25th 2019

Platform Release 34 was a big one, so we can’t let marketing steal all the shine.

We, the frontend team (AKA Alpha Squad), have been hard at work over the last few weeks making a number of improvements to the platform and its underpinnings. Here are the R34 headlines that everyone should be shouting about:

  • Expanded event-triggered campaign functionality

  • Campaign simulation

  • Data-mining improvements

  • Mobile-friendly view

  • Background refresh & caching changes

  • End-to-end development progress

We’ll be doing a Feature Focus soon to really get in amongst what’s new with event-triggered campaigns so watch out for that but, for now, here’s the high-level stuff.

Expanded Event-triggered Campaign Functionality

You can now target players with much greater sophistication, when they are most likely to engage with an offer. To illustrate how that’s useful, let’s look at a handful of relevant real-life scenarios. With the updates included in this release, you can now execute campaigns such as:

  • Showing an offer to a player after they have failed a mission 3 times
  • Giving a player a free mega-spin every 50th time they execute a standard spin
  • Providing a special store configuration for a player once every 5th session, up to and including their 30th session but not afterward

Best of all, these situations can be A/B tested. Want to know which session is optimal for showing an offer? Set up your variants, insert a few session numbers and off you go. Our Engage system and SDKs will handle the rest.

Campaign Simulation

Our brand spanking new out-game campaign simulation provides easy visualized explanations for why your players will and won’t flow into any given campaign. Ever wondered why no players are entering your new push notification campaign? Now you can find out before you run it.

Flow of players into campaign categories – Demo Game 

In the example above, players are split into groups based on when they were last involved in an out-game campaign. These groups then flow into different categories based on your set campaign criteria. Players are entered into: this campaign, a higher-priority campaign, or – if precluded by the rules of engagement/messaging limits in place – no campaign at all. 

We’ve all set up a campaign with high hopes, only to realize after the fact that we made a grand total of 13 people eligible for inclusion. Use campaign simulation to test ahead of time and save yourself the heartbreak!

Mobile-friendly Dashboards

We’ve done some tinkering to our analytics dashboards to make them much more mobile-friendly. Charts now stack one on top of the other regardless of dashboard width and chart elements have also been rearranged to scale better for devices with both small and large screens.

TL;DR

🎉 Your charts now look great on mobile too 🎉

Background Refresh & Caching Changes

On login, you can now see the most recently cached version of your dashboards while they load the latest data in the background. This is a great time-saver, especially if you’re logging in frequently. Imagine, for example, that you create a chart one morning and want to view it that afternoon. With this update, it’s right there as you left it!

You log onto the platform because you want to get in amongst the data ASAP, so we made it possible. With cached dashboard displays, you can have your cake and load it too.

This all comes as part of the deltaDNA data-caching revolution. We’ve reworked our entire caching system into a speedy and dynamic in-memory data store using Redis. Using Redis means that the data we cache for dashboards now lives elsewhere. As a result, your cached data is no longer wiped with each release. Instead, it will live on in glorious defiance – ready to be interrogated, analyzed and exported to your heart’s content.

Data Mining

Our Data Mining tool has also received some love this release. We added auto-suggested tables and columns to the editor that are based on the data you have available to query in your game. Our internal analysts have been making great use of this recently and we think that it’ll make a big difference to the daily lives of our data miners out in the wild – no more copying and pasting long column names from the browser sidebar!

 


R33 – May 8th 2019

Prioritized using feedback from our clients, the primary focus of R33 was improving our campaign management functionality:

  • Bulk actions – you can now apply actions to multiple campaigns simultaneously, making systemic changes less labor intensive.
  • Archiving campaigns – by archiving historic campaigns, you can separate them from your active set without having to delete them permanently. Archived campaigns are easily restored.
  • Improved filtering – we have revamped our search, tag, and filtering functionality to speed up the location and actioning of specific campaigns or groups of campaigns.
  • Page improvements – reorganization of the UI, reduced loading times, pagination and de-cluttering on campaign pages has greatly improved usability.
  • Flow consolidation – the flow for all 3 campaign types (decision-point, event-triggered and out-game) has been simplified and consolidated to make campaign creation a quicker and simpler process.

Beyond campaign management, R33 also brings in a number of improvements and fixes related to Data Mining, image messaging and campaign overviews.

Big Picture Projects

The features above are what our devs have put live in R33, but there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. We are dedicating a lot of thought, time, and effort to our overarching development as a technology partner. For the next few months, that means consolidation work first and foremost:

  • Seamless releasing – we recently changed our release schedule to reduce disruption due to deployment downtime, and we are working on a new system that will involve zero downtime for all clients.
  • Optimized integration process – we are actively reducing the size of, and time between, platform updates. Eventually, we will deploy new features and fixes individually – with no disruption or delay.
  • Improved development environment – we are enhancing our stack and end-to-end development process in order to facilitate faster release of fixes and UI improvements.

R32 – March 27th 2019

R32 was primarily focused on streamlining the user experience and improving how we communicate with our platform clients. Here’s what that looks like:

Cloning

As stated in our 2019 Product Road Map, one of our initiatives for the year is giving you the ability to publish more of what you’ve been working on in the dev environment directly to the live environment.

First and foremost, we’re using R32 to roll out cloning on your most-used campaign type – decision point campaigns. Once we have assessed performance and gathered your feedback, we will proceed to add cloning functionality for:

  • Event-triggered campaigns
  • Out-of-Game (OOG) campaigns
  • Dashboards

If the platform detects conflict/duplicates between the names of existing live campaigns and those being published, a conflict resolution screen will be triggered. Users will then have to confirm their intent to override the existing campaign, preventing accidental loss of work.

In-platform messaging

Rather than simply emailing account owners, we will now surface important platform news and updates within the UI itself. This will keep you, our users, better informed of upcoming releases, plans, articles and maintenance work.

These messages will be available in a notification bar at the top of your window, including a counter showing how many messages you have missed since your previous engagement. Dismiss each message as you read and the next most recent will appear until you are completely up to date.

SQL syntax highlighting

For better, quicker, and easier editing of your SQL queries, we’ve added syntax highlighting and code suggestions to our Data Mining, Out-of-Game and Event-triggered campaign result screens. This new feature colour-codes function words and variables to make complex queries much easier to write, read, understand, debug, and execute correctly.


R31 – January 29th 2019

R31 included a combination of new features and upgrades including these below:

  • Enhanced visualization of query data (Sankey Charts)

    Sankey charts demonstrate the flow of data and user journeys in a digestible format and highlight trends in user behaviors. They join the scatter plot and atlas visualizations that were introduced last year.
  • Out-of-Game (OOG) improvements

    We have improved our advanced targeting tools for OOG campaigns adding conversion windows, cooldown periods and groups in the conversion criteria.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)/caching improvements

    We have streamlined our page designs and added localized caching to increase the speed of platform loading times.
  • Improved Javascript handling

    We have updated the way in which we include third-party javascript features. This will enable us to implement new features and bug patches more rapidly. Additional features leveraging this will be added in the next release.

 

 

If you have any questions, about the contents of this piece or anything else, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll connect you to the relevant person.

 

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