How Incredibuild is enabling game developers to harness the cloud for efficiency gains
While most are only aware of forefront industry players such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s Playstation, the larger video gaming industry, brimming with competing platforms, studios and hardware providers, is expected to hit $242 billion by year-end 2023 and $584 billion by 2030.
Like every other booming tech niche, game development is a fast-paced playing field. The ability to reduce build times and increase developer productivity can make the difference between a successful, on-time release and a delayed project.
“Now, we’ve grown much different and we’ve got a platform of products that help with distribution, caching and speeding up builds on the cloud, on Linux, on Windows; you name it, we’ve got the build times covered,” said Duncan Huffman (pictured), director of product marketing at Incredibuild Software Ltd. “We’re the leading platform for speeding up development.”
Huffman spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier at the AWS “Enabling Global Collaboration in Game Development” event, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Incredibuild’s innovative approach to accelerating build times, optimizing costs and supporting remote teams is revolutionizing the game development industry. (* Disclosure below.)
The challenge of build times in game development
Game development has evolved significantly in recent years, with the cloud playing a pivotal role in democratizing access to code and accelerating the velocity of code development. As technology progresses, game developers face increasingly complex challenges, from handling massive codebases to dealing with frequent updates and new features.
“We’ve focused on one problem, which is the long build times,” Huffman explained. “Long build times are a pain and have been a pain since there’ve been build times. We crush those long build times down sometimes as much as 10x or more. And obviously for large projects like games, that can be the difference between getting out on time and having a delayed project.”
In this context, traditional build processes have become a bottleneck. Developers are constantly looking for ways to reduce build times and increase productivity. To that end, the platform significantly reduces the time it takes to build a game, ultimately allowing developers to be more creative and efficient, according to Huffman.
How it all works
Incredibuild uses a combination of distribution and caching strategies to dramatically reduce build times. The distribution strategy leverages spare processing power from various sources, such as laptops, servers and cloud instances, to expand a developer’s machine’s capabilities during the build process.
Additionally, it employs caching to store data, allowing developers to avoid redundant builds by only compiling what has changed since the last build, according to Huffman.
“We take a couple of strategies there, and you don’t have to pick the strategy which is good, you can use both,” he noted. “This combination of distribution and caching at the same time is really the advantage of using something like Incredibuild. You can use any part of the platform, you can use just the distribution if you need it, or both.”
One key platform benefit is that it can adapt to an existing project’s architecture, whether it’s designed for distribution or caching, This flexibility means developers don’t have to change their code, toolchains, or processes. Incredibuild works seamlessly with the developer’s existing setup, making it a highly efficient solution, Huffman said.
Empowering remote teams with cloud computing
As remote work becomes the new normal, game development teams are now spread across the globe. Incredibuild plays a crucial role in enabling teams to work remotely effectively. Developers can now tap into the power of the cloud, utilizing as many computing resources as they need without the need to maintain on-premises hardware, according to Huffman.
“Think about the infinite power in the cloud that’s available at your fingertips, and we can scale that appropriately so you’re not under-provisioned or over-provisioned for what you need at any given time,” he said. “So when I hit ‘build’ and I’m in a team in Brazil helping you build your game, for example, as long as I have just 100 megabits of bandwidth, I can build.”
In essence, distributed teams can access vast cloud resources to build and test their games with minimal latency, even with limited bandwidth. This, in turn, will open up new possibilities for game development teams, allowing them to tap into global talent and work more efficiently.
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS “Enabling Global Collaboration in Game Development” event:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AWS “Enabling Global Collaboration in Game Development” event. Neither Amazon Web Services Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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