This development is on hold. I needed a backend for my 3d virtual learning game. This backend has to have a separate web frontend that is accessible in the form of a website. I have found Laravel to be a very expressive and fast framework to implement this idea.
The SQL database is accessed by Unity game to monitor student’s progress. Laravel uses active record (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_record_pattern) to make queries to the database, which although a slightly controversial approach, makes development faster. After spending a couple of months of Laravel, I understand why it is popular, it makes development so easy, for example Laravel templating feature Blade (https://laravel.com/docs/5.4/blade) makes creating the view so much easier. And the syntax is easily readable.
However making changes to the database structure can be quite cumbersome especially in this prototyping stage as games can be quite open to many possibilities and tweaking which equate to changes to relational database structure. I find myself going back to composer and artisan quite often. This might point to poor software planning, but indeed being a one person team it is hard to get the architecture right the first time for such a complex development.
I’m now exploring NoSQL databases as a backend and a framework on top of this, to better complement the strength of the game engines where serialization and deserialization of many object is strongly supported.