The rise of JAMstack, BaaS and streaming
2020 has been a roller-coaster year for me and I guess most people. This time last year no one could predict what was coming up, which resulted to most of our plans being postponed, altered or cancelled. The one thing the whole situation and quarantine period allowed us to do more, was spending time at home.
Being a full-time product designer doesn’t allow me to be in sync with the latest dev trends all the time. My framework of choice for prototyping and small projects, Vue.js -usually dressed up with NuxtJS- was fully capable of serving my needs. I could quickly spin up a Node server on DigitalOcean and produce most of the things I needed overnight.
In April, when the quarantine period started, I needed a side project to keep myself occupied. I chose to build a simple trivia multiplayer game. I am not going to go in many details, but the combination of NuxtJS and Firebase allowed me to have a fully working MVP in less than 2 weeks. From registration to playing with anyone around the world in real-time. Without Firebase to take care of the backend services and the amazing architecture of Vue and Nuxt not only it would take more time, but it wouldn’t be feasible by a single person. Period.
Later in the year, I came across Stadia. It’s the stream-based gaming platform from Google that allows you to play next-gen games like Cyberpunk 2077 utilising your fast internet connection and server-side rendering instead of an in-house console. While you can play Stadia on your TV with a Chromecast, you can also play in any modern browser — even on your mobile phone. The same goes for Microsoft’s xCloud project or Amazon’s Luna.
This becomes particularly handy when one of the biggest mobile phone manufacturers (Apple) closes the doors on their AppStore. Firstly Amazon, but soon Microsoft and Google will enable their platforms to be fully playable over a browser on iOS. Playing a next-gen game over satellite internet on an iPad is an experience that has the ability to totally change the way we are thinking about gaming. Netflix for games is almost ready for prime time.
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