Illustration of cloud game development.
June 28, 2021

Cloud Game Development Solutions for Your Team

Cloud
Game Development

Building interactive and dynamic player experiences all starts with empowering your team to do what they were hired to do, create. Cloud game development solutions can help you minimize developer and artist challenges and optimize your development pipeline.

Spark new innovations with cloud game development and solve the unique challenges facing indie to AAA studios.

What is Cloud Game Development?

Cloud game development uses cloud providers — like AWS, Azure, and GCP — to build, release, and maintain a game. Of course, cloud deployments are nothing new. But with the rise of game engines, cloud game development has seen a dramatic spike in usage.

The processing power in the cloud can help run network-intensive applications associated with game development. So instead of needing to upgrade hardware, teams can use the cloud to get access to the latest and greatest. Because remember, your employees don’t work 24 hours a day. So why pay for the expensive hardware all the time? Pay for what you need when you need it!

What You Need to Consider for Cloud Game Development

Deploying in the cloud can represent a journey for some teams. There is a lot to consider before leaping to cloud game development.

Benefits of Cloud Game Development

Let’s start with the pros.

Flexibility

The biggest benefit when it comes to cloud game development is the flexibility it can provide to teams. Cloud computing allows teams to spin up quickly and pause resources as they need. Instead of investing in extra resources just for one project, studios can get just what they need.

Scalability

Along with flexibility, scale is another huge benefit. Cloud game development removes traditional limitations for studios. Memory requirements and high-graphic capacity can be managed in just a few clicks. Developers can get all the benefits of high-end equipment without additional hardware and admin resources.

Latency

If you have team members waiting around for files and feedback, then you are wasting your most precious resource — human innovation. With cloud game development you can reduce high latency issues by deploying servers where your teams are located.

For many studios, they can even set up build servers to reduce traffic on their main commit server. It important when figuring out your personal cloud requirements that you have tools that can also scale to meet latency demands.

Stability

Cloud game development can help studios become more stable. Their network is easily monitored due to integrated tools. And because cloud providers work with all applications teams use, studios can continue development without missing a beat. No new tools, just an upgraded location.

Another stability benefit is customer support. Not only can teams rely on their cloud provider for information, but there are also several slack community groups and threads that can help diagnose and solve issues. As studios learn more, they can continuously optimize their environment.

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Potential Challenges with Cloud Game Development

What should you consider before deploying in the cloud?

Cost

For many teams, upfront cloud costs can be a major obstacle. But when it comes to your cloud deployment, it is important to consider long-term hardware costs. What happens when a server goes down? What admin resources do you spend monitoring, upgrading, and installing new equipment?

Also, where will you house your physical hardware? What would you be paying in rent? And who would have to go reboot the server if it went down?

The truth is on day one, cloud game development will cost you more than on-premises. On day 90, 120, and 365 it is a different story.  For many studios, a normal traffic period uses just 10% of server space and bandwidth. It is only during builds and scheduled releases that the other 90% is required. So being able to scale can reduce long-term costs.

It is also vital to consider how much time your teams are spending waiting around for files and builds. Because if your developers are sitting idle waiting for feedback, it will only cost your team more in the end.

Security

One of the biggest concerns for game dev studios when it comes to the cloud is security. On-premises solutions historically have been easier to lock down. But when the world went remote, studios needed to weigh security and accessibility when it came to their teams.

Cloud providers offer several features that can protect your infrastructure and source code. These services are audited and maintained on a regular basis, ensuring that your cloud deployment is protected. No matter your provider, use best practices to lockdown access through an Identity Provider (IdP).

How Do You Build a Game in the Cloud?

Cloud game development requires a toolset that can also be flexible and scale to match your needs.

Version control is a foundational tool. For cloud game development, it needs to support the extremely large files, lots of files, and numerous contributors — many of them contractors — associated with game development. Because if your tools can’t also deliver files and feedback fast, you’re not maximizing your cloud investment. And you could be potentially delaying how quickly your game gets to market.

Helix Core for Cloud Game Development

Helix Core — version control from Perforce — is trusted by 19 of the top 20 game dev studios. Why? It allows studios to reap all the benefits of the cloud. Flexibility. Scale. Speed. Teams use Helix Core to accelerate their builds and manage all their digital assets, not just code.

If you are embarking on cloud game development, Helix Core can give you lightning-fast performance. Plus, it scales to manage everything.

Secure Digital Asset Management

Unlike other version control systems, Helix Core can manage all the large digital assets associated with cloud game development. Storing everything in one depot gives your team a single source of truth for your entire project.

Binary files, audio files, video files, code, and more can all be stored and securely versioned inside a Helix Core depot. Then these assets can be combined and released using any game engine for a variety of platforms.

And when it comes to security, you can lock down assets inside Helix Core (down to the individual file level). It's easy to set up your projects to only give access to the people who need it. Learn more >>

Top Performance

Helix Core is the game and media standard for a reason. Perforce Federated Architecture allows you to deploy servers wherever you need them. For example, you could set up build servers in the cloud to handle large game engine files. Or deploy an edge server in a region near a group of remote team members to give them instant access to the files they need.

Key Integrations

Helix Core works with most popular game engines including:

And it integrates the leading tools digital creators are already using — 3ds Max, Maya, Photoshop, and more. For creatives, Helix Core also offers another option. Helix Sync — the free desktop client — allows teams to truly version everything without needing to rely on unsecure email or DropBox. Teams can create and use digital assets with the performance required to manage ever-increasing file size. 

How Does Helix Sync Work?

Helix Sync is a one stop shop, no need to use any other tools. Team members can simply drag and drop assets. It’s easy to get started. Artist and designers will be versioning like a developer without ever knowing it!

 

  1. Connect to a Helix Visual Client (P4V) workspace.
  2. Create using the tools you love.
  3. Drag and drop assets into a local folder to version. Learn more >>

Because all digital assets and code are stored in one depot in the cloud, you get more accurate builds, without needing to hunt down anything.

Cloud Game Development Software — Free

Ready to start optimizing cloud game development? Perforce is cloud ready. You get can get Helix Core (plus project management and code review tools) free in just a few clicks.

The Perforce Enhanced Studio Pack — now available Azure — contains all the tools you need to do world-class development in a single, pre-configured environment.

In a few clicks, you can deploy everything you need for cloud development on your cloud of choice. You get the infrastructure required to support large projects, big files, and all your team members, no cloud expertise required.

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