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Software: the essential element to maximum gaming hardware performance

By - 13 May 2021

Andres Garcia, Head of Software DevOps at gaming specialist technology provider Quixant, explains why embedded software is such a critical, but often overlooked aspect of gaming hardware platform performance.

Game development, and content development in particular, is a complex ‘art’ and has always been challenged by the limits of the gaming hardware solutions. As regulatory bodies have evolved, this has allowed for flexibility in technology adoption and scalability.

These changes have transformed game development from complex gaming hardware embedded systems being developed in-house, to using standardised options, an evolution which comes with many advantages.

Firstly, this gives game developers a range of powerful, compliant and readily available software tools that are already integrated on their gaming hardware platforms, allowing them to explore the boundaries of the embedded platforms.

This enables both the content development and game platform development teams to execute, starting from the operative system to the toolchain used to design and build their games and applications.

The integration of the embedded software tools has drastically reduced the time and effort for both new platform development and migration to newer technologies and architecture.

Gaming platforms have lagged in technology adoption due to the long technology development cycles and having embedded software has accelerated the adoption for the wider organisation as it significantly reduces the time, effort, and cost to create exceptional content.

Driven by the desire to provide the gaming and sports betting industries with robust and reliable standardised gaming hardware platforms, Quixant exclusively develops platforms that are enhanced with the necessary software features these industries require.

Quixant’s new ultimate range of gaming hardware platforms all come with integrated software tools for embedded platform development and provide maximum performance based on the market and product needs and budgets game developers are operating in.

Embedded software refers to the software modules that control specialised computing systems, also known as embedded systems, which differ from standard PCs as they have been designed to repeatedly perform a particular function. This type of software needs to be expertly designed to run on a specific hardware device with a precise configuration.

To deliver the ultimate land-based games, it is essential to support devices and peripherals that enable players to interact with the game on a physical cabinet, to attract players and to enhance their gaming experience with immersive multimedia elements.

It’s also necessary to implement regulatory functionalities, such as server communication with standardised protocols like G2S and SAS, and methods for logging data and recovering it from unexpected states. And fundamentally, there is the need to protect the intellectual property from copy and fraudulent use.

Regulations across the land-based gaming industry differ throughout jurisdictions. In the highly regulated markets, mandatory regulations are often complex and require considerable time, effort and cost to implement, certify a system and make it available to players, and eventually generate profits.

Whether the highly regulated markets or the route and other markets, it is especially important to implement methods to protect intellectual property. This part of the game development process requires very specific knowledge of the gaming industry, local regulations, cabinet hardware devices, peripherals, and the servers used in the location.

Whilst essential functions, these elements do not contribute towards the game’s success and it is making the games interactive and engaging which is the key to attracting and retaining customers. That’s why Quixant developed its Software Hub, a portfolio of software solutions which are integrated on all Quixant hardware embedded platforms at no additional cost.

Tailored to the needs of the global gaming market, these solutions are developed with a combined 50+ years of gaming leadership experience and are designed to address key development, compliance and security aspects of game production and save customers money on third-party software licences like Bink, or G2S and SAS solutions.

Quixant’s software solutions enable customers to focus efforts on content development and ultimately get their games to the market faster. Supporting customers throughout the development, certification, and deployment process, Quixant continues to evolve its field-proven software solutions to ensure they serve the evolving needs of the global gaming industry.

CLOSER TO THE GAME DEVELOPER

Software solutions cannot be successful without reliable hardware, and it is of upmost importance for game developers that their content can run without performance issues.

For game developers, it goes without saying that more processing power will enable them to create even better content, minimising the challenge of optimising software for specific hardware. And software optimisation takes time and for many is not as entertaining as developing content, so outsourcing is often desirable.

Slot machines contain random number generators that can produce thousands of numbers per second, each of which is associated with a different combination of symbols. The game platform needs to manage these various operations within micro-seconds and display high resolution graphics at high frame rates to bring the magic on the monitors to provide the ultimate player experience.

High quality animations, with particle effects and multiple videos rendering at the same time are demanding on hardware resource, especially when using software frameworks that are not optimised for the specific hardware.

As part of the Quixant Software Hub, there are software development and multimedia solutions that allow developers to maximise the performance of the CPU and GPU resources.

There are a variety of user-friendly software libraries that are part of the Software Hub which provide access to complex embedded system elements and consist of electronic components, firmware, and operative system drivers that accelerate processing for fundamental elements of the game and free up CPU and GPU resources so the game developers can run their content with the desired games mechanics, without a lag and with maximum impact.

TRUE GAMING EXPERTISE

Quixant’s technical support is provided by the same people who develop its solutions, who have years of experience supporting global gaming clients and enables them to take full advantage of its market-leading hardware platforms and embedded software.

Whether a new customer, or existing customer migrating from one hardware platform to another, or outsourcing parts of their internal software processes, Quixant’s technical team partner to maximise the benefit of its customers’ embedded platforms throughout the development and launch process.

This consists of:

– Dedicated training sessions,
– Support throughout the integration process,
– Customisation of software solutions to suit individual business needs,
– Design and development of new features based on requirements,
– Monitoring the certification process up until the product launch,
– Continued support once the product is in mass production.

FINAL WORDS

Quixant’s partners depend on their Gaming Hardware platforms with integrated software solutions to enable them to deliver exceptional gaming experiences.

The combination of powerful and stable hardware and effective embedded software solutions enable them to enhance game performance, ensure compliance and game security, save money on the cost of third-party licences that Quixant’s software solutions can replace, and push their creativity to the maximum to develop exceptional game content and deliver the ultimate gaming experiences.

Find out how Quixant’s new range of gaming hardware platforms and embedded software will enable you to focus your development efforts on enhancing the player experience and launching world-class leading products in record time.

Andres Garcia is an Engineering Leader with almost 10 years of experience in the gaming industry and 15+ years of international experience designing, developing, and integrating software solutions for various industries.

Andres Joined Quixant in 2012, and as Head of Software DevOps guides the development of software solutions to meet the needs of the gaming industry and collaborates with customers to seamlessly integrate Quixant products into their technology stack, enabling them bring their products to market faster.

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