Beamable is excited to announce the launch of our Game Content Designer (GCD) – A Google Sheets Add-On.
There are many ways to think about managing a content pipeline for your game. As we’ve created our own games over the years, we were unable to find a tool that could properly support the scale of content required from a AAA LiveOps title.
Live games often have frequent changes to their structured and unstructured data: the definition of items and merchandise, virtual goods, currencies, inventory, items, world data, and stories are just a few examples. Managing these data structures is usually a pain, requiring special forms or processes or direct-editing of source code files that contain data definitions.
Game developers know that these problems only get worse when you make your game live — because now you want the power to change any of this data on the fly, without interfering with your update, deployment, or live operations — or requiring engineering intervention. That’s why we created Game Content Designer to give you the power to manage all of your game’s live data with the simplicity of a Google Sheet.
After building GCD to run and operate large games like Star Trek Timelines, and Walking Dead March to War, we are now releasing the Beamable Game Content Designer for any team that wants to manage their content and instantly transform it for import into a game content system or scriptable objects, all from Google Sheets!
Why Google Sheets? While we support many ways to author content with Beamable, we wanted to support the key workflow of game designers. Historically, game designers like to create content in spreadsheets. Game rewards, leveling, and other systems of progression need to be modeled out and correctly scale. This requires formulas to plan out different scenarios and map those to different reward schemes.
With Game Content Designer, game designers can create where they are most comfortable and then export the results. With no extra work, they can publish directly to their game with GCD handling all the translation from content to scriptable objects.
Even though GCD is made to work with Beamable, you do not have to use the Beamable backend. GCD converts your flat spreadsheet into JSON objects with complex structures (arrays, references between objects, multidimensional objects), validation, constraints (min/max), crosstab IDs, etc that you can load directly into your game via Unity.
As an example, take this array in Google Sheets:
When exported by GCD, it creates the following JSON:
It’s never been easier to create, edit, and format your game content!