UPDATED 15:40 EST / DECEMBER 15 2023


TeamCity enhances game developer efficiency and speed as the industry advances toward player-driven development

The gaming software industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world. The global video game industry generated an estimated $347 billion in revenue in 2022, with mobile gaming accounting for $248 billion of that total. The market’s expansion is attributed to the ongoing trend of online gaming, the emergence of high bandwidth network connectivity and the continuous demand for 3D games.

While game developers are software developers, there are some key differences. Game development is more focused on the artistic elements of the game, such as graphics, sound and story. They work closely with designers and other professionals not commonly seen in classic software development environments to bring their vision to life and create an immersive gaming experience. These differences can impact the development and release process.

Enter TeamCity, a general-purpose continuous integration/continuous delivery software platform that allows for flexible workflows, collaboration and development practices. The solution, part of JetBrains s.r.o., which provides software developer tools, facilitates continuous integration, delivery and deployment within the DevOps process for teams.

“Our platform [is designed to] improve team productivity and increase the velocity of release cycles…helping teams deliver quicker value,” said Yegor Naumov (pictured), senior product marketing manager for TeamCity at JetBrains.

Naumov spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier at the AWS “Enabling Collaboration in Game Development” event, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the importance of developer productivity and the future of DevOps and game development. (* Disclosure below.)

Developer productivity equates to developer happiness

Software development expenses constitute a significant portion of a project’s total budget, often exceeding 60%, depending on the project’s scale and specific requirements, according to Naumov.

“Improving developer productivity helps either cut down costs or improve efficiency and the amount of value delivered within the budget,” he said.

It is not just about business. What’s just as important is ensuring that developer productivity increases developer happiness, Naumov added.

“It’s hard to put a specific number on developer happiness, but some researchers state that on a good day, a developer could be up to 49% more productive and produce more value,” he said. “Our mission is to increase the number of those good days for the developer and for teams.”

The intention behind the CI/CD process is to provide feedback to developers resulting from the code changes they have made. Feedback that is not provided in a timely manner breaks the developer workflow. It makes them switch context, and context switching leads to a lot of overhead, which can be extremely damaging to developer flow, Naumov added. 

TeamCity fixes the problem of delayed feedback cycles through parallelization to deliver value as quickly as possible to the developer. With unlimited parallelization, developers can build as many pipelines as they’d like, which increases the velocity of software development almost instantaneously. 

“The cloud is one of the enablers of how we can improve the speed of feedback cyles and provide the results of code changes back to the developers in the most efficient manner,” Naumov explained.

The cloud allows for a more democratized approach, giving equal access to additional resources, such as artwork and other large files needed for game development.

“The cloud enables us to build more resilient solutions to transfer data … this is especially relevant and very much appreciated by remote game development teams with software development teams in different locations geographically,” Naumov said.

The future of DevOps and game development: Live Ops

Naumov is excited to talk about the future of DevOps within the game development environment, saying that the process is more fluid today and that developers can make and deliver changes to production in near real time. He thinks the idea of Live Operations is something that will play an increasingly critical role within the game development scope. 

“This has to do with post-launch updates, improvements and expansions based on player feedback, analytics and some other metrics in essentially real time,” Naumov said. “Something that is becoming more and more crucial and just mind-blowing to me is player-driven development. With platforms like Roblox, it’s already happening. And the boundary between a developer and a player can sometimes become blurry. I think we’ll see more of that, and I would love to explore how DevOps practices can actually facilitate this co-creation process.”

With massive amounts of data increasing by the day, machine learning algorithms will present opportunities to achieve insights and extract value out of data, Naumov pointed out. 

“It ties into the development lifecycle quite nicely and goes back to Live Ops and how we can we take live game data, player data or player behavior data and transform it into a product and build that into the test release in the CI/CD pipeline to deliver value almost instantaneously, or at least in a continuous manner. I think data will play an increasingly important role from the standpoint of the development lifecycle … this will also empower developers by giving them a lot of insight into how their code [and resulting value] is affecting the play.”

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.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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