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Refract Technologies transitions to cloud to optimise gaming capabilities

The setup for this transition is flexible and cost-efficient, whilst also setting the stage for a growing playerbase.

The traditional setup of live competitive game sessions has seen significant pain points in terms of hosting a game server and providing a spectator view. Such a setup usually necessitates an expensive GPU-equipped computer, operating both as the game server and the client for the spectator's perspective. It also limited players to being physically present in the same location to face off against one another.

Furthermore, gameplay data is confined to local storage on computers, which hampers data aggregation and analysis, as there are no centralised data repository to collate data and facilitate these processes. 

Overcoming obstacles through cloud innovation

As such, homegrown gaming and technology company, Refract Technologies, has tackled these obstacles by transitioning to a cloud-based desktop service which eliminates the need for physical hardware.

This innovative setup is not only flexible, but also cost-efficient due to its pay-as-you-go model. This stands in stark contrast to more restrictive and traditional subscriptions or full purchase models that are more commonplace in the industry.

Sustaining the latency-sensitive gameplay operations demand robust infrastructure and high-speed connectivity. To address this, Refract Technologies relied on Anycast IP technology, powered by Alibaba Cloud's high-quality Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Link Bandwidth. Refract Technologies also tapped on Alibaba Cloud's Anti-DDoS service, which helped defend against sophisticated attacks, and guaranteeing an uninterrupted and safe connection for players.

Through this cloud-based approach, it now enables players across the globe to compete with one another, overcoming the confines of being present physically. It thus unlocks the future of global gameplay spectatorship – to be livestreamed across multiple platforms. As with every competitive activity, an engaged playerbase will always lead to a compelling spectator sport. 

Solving the constraints of local hardware storage

Refract Technologies also took advantage of cloud servers to reap the added bonus of retaining game video records in the cloud. Such a transition includes the integration of a function compute mechanism to establish an API gateway, which would then effectively collect data from the various game servers. Subsequently, this gameplay data would be consolidated within centralised cloud databases.

With this approach, data collection becomes streamlined and location-independent, simplifying the process regardless of where the game sessions occur. Centralisation of the data warehouse not only augments the ease of data analysis but also paves the way for machine learning.

Such advancements facilitate substantial improvements in athlete performance and the sophisticated development of opponents controlled by artificial intelligence. This potential, together with the success of Refract Technologies’ innovative use of cloud capabilities, was recognised by the SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2024 as the company brought home the Cloud - Sports category win. 

Keeping sustainability in mind

Refract Technologies is already looking ahead to ensure its operations are energy efficient and low-carbon. It is taking part in the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s Green Software Trials with the aim of minimising their digital carbon footprint. By piloting carbon reduction techniques, Refract Technologies seeks to balance energy efficiency with a seamless gaming experience whilst generating insights for future green software development.

Despite already being well known for as its foray into the intersect between physical activity and gaming with AXIS motion trackers, Refract Technologies continues to push the boundaries to advance the gaming space with the integration of cloud computing.

The SBR Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2025 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding contributions in pursuit of technological innovation, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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