Game Studio Moves Helix Core Development Environment to Azure Cloud and Improves Build Speeds
To cut heavy workloads for procuring and managing build machines in its on-premises environment, Game Studio recently cloudified their game development environment using Helix Core for repository management and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for single sign-on (SSO). This new platform has benefited Game Studio greatly for working from home in the “new normal.”
Why Is Game Studio So Happy With Helix Core?
Single Source of Truth
Compatibility With Unreal Engine
Helix Core proved to be highly compatible with Azure during our internal testing. This showed us that running Helix Core on Azure would make it easy to implement single sign-on for our development environment.
Heavy Workload For Maintaining On-Premises Systems
Game Studio is a developer of consumer games, arcade games, and smartphone apps for a range of devices under the slogan of “Creating Amazing.”
The company had been using on-premises build machines for game development work but, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, recognized a need to shift to the cloud for their development environment.
The on-premises environment was maintained by the company’s S Group, which does not have many staff members, creating a heavy workload for maintaining the systems. In addition, a fault or power outage means shutting down and restarting all machines, made even more burdensome with less than 10 percent of the company’s staff members working in the office.
Issues Using Multiple Version Control Tools
Nobuhiro Saito, Leader S Group, 2nd Development Department, 1st Business Division at Game Studio, researched cloud options to solve the problems associated with on-premises development. The timing of this initiative coincided with a review of the company's version control tools.
Game Studio had been using Subversion as their version control system, but in February 2018 also adopted Git per the request of their programmers. “However,” as told by Saito, “Git was new to some users in the company, so we began using both solutions concurrently two months later. This caused frequent merge failures and data inconsistencies, which meant we wasted many hours troubleshooting almost every day.”
The Solution: Helix Core
While researching version control systems to eliminate the issues caused by running Subversion and Git concurrently, the company discovered an article evaluating Helix Core by Epic Games, the provider of Unreal Engine — one of the game engines used by Game Studio. Due to their findings in this article, the company began verifying the capabilities of Helix Core by launching an on-premises environment in late 2019.
Upon testing the capabilities and confirming that everything worked well, they decided to cloudify the new Helix Core environment, adopting Microsoft Azure as the cloud platform.
According to Saito, “Helix Core proved to be highly compatible with Azure during our internal testing. This showed us that running Helix Core on Azure would make it easy to implement single sign-on for our development environment.”
Next Steps For Game Studio
The company is currently using this cloud environment in two projects, but expect to increase that number as they move forward, particularly because of the excellent compatibility between the new environment and Unreal Engine.