Environment Merge: The Tool to Rule Them All

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Alexander Bergendahl5 min read
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Today, we are excited to announce an upgrade to our Environment Merge tool, a core feature of the LootLocker platform. If you're new to LootLocker, this feature might not be familiar to you, so let's take a closer look at what it is and why it's important for building and running your game.

Click on Review Changes to enter the Environment Merge tool
Click on Review Changes to enter the Environment Merge tool

Merge Master

The Environment Merge tool is unique to LootLocker and is designed to make your life easier and safer when making changes to your game. Simply put, your LootLocker game exists in two different environments: Stage and Live. Data stored in LootLocker can only be edited through the Web Console in Stage, and you can also point your game to the Stage environment to test your changes in-game before making them live. When you're ready to push the changes live, you use the Merge tool to select the data you want to merge to Live (or revert to its previous state). Voila - with a click of a button, your changes are live!

Home Improvements

Our focus with this upgrade was to clean up the user interface to make it easier to work with - in fact we haven't made any major changes to the underlying technology, which still works great. If you have a game with a lot of content and game systems and are making sweeping changes across the data stored in LootLocker, we want to make sure you don't dread having to merge it from the Stage to Live environment.

The new UI makes it much easier to see the difference between the two environments
The new UI makes it much easier to see the difference between the two environments

Here are a few of the improvements you'll find in the new UI:

  • A cleaner layout that makes it easier to see what changes have been made
  • A summary of all changes currently selected to be merged
  • Direct links to assets from the change list so you can easily view them and make more changes if needed
  • A "select all" button per feature type for quicker work
  • A "viewed" button per change and feature type so you can quickly hide changes you're not ready to make yet

Merging & You

As games are becoming more service-based with support from battle passes, subscriptions, DLC, and in-game stores, the need for easily and safely managing all this content is growing. Right now, your game might be a small indie project and you're only using one or two LootLocker features. That's great, but as we've seen with games like Vampire Survivors and Among Us, it only takes a few viral videos to launch your game into the stratosphere. When that happens, you'll be thankful you have a backend like LootLocker. With a huge hit on your hands, you'll be able to roll out new features, content, and changes to the design of your game carefully, testing them in beta branches before they go live. This will result in a more stable game, a lot less stress for you, and a very happy community.

Even if you're not using our Environment Merge tool yet, eventually it will come in very handy.

Now you can see a summary of all your changes before you push them live
Now you can see a summary of all your changes before you push them live

The Future of Merging: Snapshots

We're big fans of our Merge tool and have plans to make it even more robust with your feedback. Right now, there are only two environments: Stage and Live. This can be quite limiting if you’re running different player experiences on multiple platforms and testing new releases simultaneously. In the future, we plan to address this by adding a snapshot system that lets you freeze the state of the backend at a specific time and point different versions of your game to it. This will remove the need to merge data between environments, but the addition of snapshots will allow you to create an endless number of environments, each with their specific use.

Learn More

If you'd like to learn more about the Environment Merge tool, head over to our docs to dig in. And if you have any questions or feedback, please drop us an email or, better yet, join our Discord community.

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