Scaling up: Generative AI and cloud solutions in the gaming industry
With gaming becoming part of modern society, new technologies and techniques, such as artificial intelligence and virtual production, are revolutionizing the way games are developed.
But the increasing complexity and size of gaming assets demand a consistent creation of the builds, as some games require SharePoint, simple file-sharing services or a version control system for the source code. As a result, a single source of truth comes in handy. Perforce Software Inc. is making this a reality, according to Brad Hart (pictured), vice president of production management and chief technology officer of Perforce.
“You need one single source of truth, something that controls the security, the access, the traceability,” he said. “You can iterate quickly, you don’t have leaks, you reduce the amount of regressions and defects that you have. You really need tools and environments … but the infrastructure needs to have that foundation, the plumbing has to scale. That’s where we do look to work with a lot of the cloud providers to help us scale accordingly.”
Hart 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 the gaming industry is evolving rapidly and why innovative tools and strategies are needed for maximal benefits and satisfaction by the end users. (* Disclosure below.)
How Perforce fits into the gaming picture
Given that game builders grapple with burning issues, such as adaptability, agility and innovation, Perforce fits into the picture through its Helix Core and Helix DAM products, which allow version control and asset management. As a result, streamlining of patch releases, incorporation of 3D effects and modeling of a game’s maturity progress are enabled, according to Hart.
“Helix Core is the foundational product at Perforce and that’s the version control product,” he said. “One of the things that Helix Core allows you to do is with our stream capability, you could actually visually define your development workflow.”
With efficiency emerging as the new currency in today’s distributed workforce, Perforce comes in handy by availing the necessary tools for optimal results from remote work. This is the case, especially in the gaming industry because teams are usually distributed, according to Hart.
“The remote workforce is here to stay, and it’s all about finding the best talent in the world,” he said. “Getting everybody on the same page in the process flow in a way that’s organized and enforced is critical. The tools that we’ve built allow people to collaborate [in] real-time on the same data. Efficiency is so important because deadlines never get longer.”
When it comes to making modern-day games, dealing with millions of files that entail the combination of source code and digital assets has become the norm. As a result, managing this kind of scale is complex, making Perforce a notable resource, Hart pointed out.
“The games are getting more complex; the reuse is really important,” he said. “What Perforce’s Helix Core does, is enable teams to work at this level of scale. I need a tool like what we do with our Helix DAM product, which allows you to catalog all of your assets and reuse them across teams to save you time to hit the ground faster.”
How generative AI and the cloud come into play
The massive staffing of artisan designers has triggered the urge for generative AI in the gaming industry based on the proliferation of content creation. As a result, the increase in gaming assets has triggered the urge for this cutting-edge technology for scalability and manageability purposes, according to Hart.
“Your staffing would be about one developer to one digital artist, and that has shifted to now really three designers and artists to one coder, trending very quickly to five artist designers to one coder … that’s where the generative AI comes in,” he noted. “People are using it today for storyboarding and prototyping.”
Since the gaming sector requires a dynamic tech stack based on the need to support huge assets and the collaboration of multiple people across the globe, the cloud is advantageous for scalability reasons. A hybrid cloud environment is also beneficial for optimal results, Hart pointed out.
“We see a lot of larger customers adopt a hybrid strategy where they are leveraging cloud technology and then using distributed replication to their local hubs, right at their corporations to get that performance that they need,” he said. “One of the things that we allow them to do is to sort of federate out that data model into distribution.”
A cloud-native approach is of the essence in gaming because it leads to the realization of various objectives, such as version control, code management, scalability and asset management. As a result, this strategy is ideal when managing all aspects of the underlying plumbing, as well as the introduction of more services and tooling, according to Hart.
“Instead of CI/CD, we’re talking render pipelines, but the best practices are the same,” he said. “These teams can get the rigor they need to collaborate at scale, maintain the security … putting this into a system like Helix Core that has the granular security that you need and traceability. Our goal is to abstract the coders and the designers from even thinking about any of that plumbing. That’s why leveraging the cloud-native technology is pretty critical for us.”
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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