Tarsier Studios Switch from SVN to Helix

Tarsier Studios was tired of being slowed down by poor connection speeds, checkout mayhem, and scattered assets... so they switched to Helix.

What Were the Benefits of Helix

Simple backup and recovery solutions

Unparalleled technical support availability


Team collaboration and improved productivity

We have invested heavily in establishing the right infrastructure so that our time can be devoted to development work.

Using Helix is an excellent example of this – we don’t need to think about it; it just works.


About Tarsier Studios

  • Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden
  • Founded in 2006
  • Best known for its LittleBigPlanet™ PS Vita and Rag Doll Kung Fu™: Fists of Plastic games
  • Perforce customer since 2010


SVN Limitations

Tarsier Studios began its game developing using the open source version control tool Subversion (SVN). As the company expanded, its version control requirements grew as well, leading to issues including:

  • Poor connection speeds meant access to large binary files was limited or extremely slow, affecting productivity.
  • Programmers lacked an overall view of their projects. They were often working on two or more development projects and required a simple view of which files were checked out and who had them.
  • Code was spread around on the developers’ PCs or only available as a single version on a server on which everyone works, creating a version management headache.
  • Files with various formats, such as textures, 3D models, sound effects, and music, were kept in different systems and the team required fast and reliable access to all assets from one place.


Bumping Up to Helix Core

Following a thorough evaluation of the tools in the marketplace, Tarsier Studios quickly realized that Helix was a natural choice because:

  • It manages all assets involved in its games production from one place. Graphic artists, sound designers, and programmers are now able to use one system.
  • The way Helix stores information enables simple backup and recovery operations.
  • Collaboration on projects is a lot easier now that all staff members are using one solution.
  • The program gives Tarsier Studios a better view of its projects.
  • It was free to use through the Helix Free for Small Teams program and included excellent tech support.

“The visual management of code changes was a blessing due to the complex nature of our team’s workload,” reports Johnsson.


Version Control in Action

There are 35 developers using Helix at Tarsier Studios.

  • Developers work mainly in Visual Studio, but the plug-in allows the powerful Helix features to be embedded into the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.
  • The team works with different versions of the games in parallel using Helix streams to visually manage the flow of changes across code lines.
  • Perforce Customer Support has been invaluable, especially when some data was corrupted due to a hard drive error. The support team was able to restore all the data within a day.


Business Impact

Although Tarsier Studios hasn’t recorded any benchmarking figures, implementing Helix has resulted in some significant benefits:

  • Team collaboration and the ability to access all assets from one system have led to productivity gains.
  • The risk of missing a production deadline has been reduced.
  • The full change history feature has made going back to a previous version of the code quick and easy.