Obsidian Case Study

Legendary gaming studio Obsidian saves over 2,500 monthly developer and QA hours by using IncrediBuild for both Windows and Linux environments.

About Obsidian entertainment:

Since its founding in 2003, Obsidian entertainment has grown to be one the world’s top celebrated game studios. The studio’s cross-platform treatment of major entertainment brands like Star Wars, South Park and Fallout has garnered nothing but praise by critics and audiences alike.

The challenge:

Just because Obsidian’s new massive online game, Armored Warfare, is all about tanks, doesn’t mean they wanted their development process to be as slow as one.

Like most MMO’s, Armored Warfare has a large code base with several million lines of code, which made slashing build/compile times crucial.

”Previously to using IncrediBuild, there was little we could do to improve compile times,” says Javier Olivares, lead programmer at Obsidian, “some tweaks to compile settings helped, but overall we just had to live with the times.”

Add a mixed development environment to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a real speed challenge.”Our Server side code is developed and runs on Windows, but the production target is Linux.  While a majority of the team does not use Linux, there are a few programmers who use it regularly.”

Additionally, as a game that must take hundreds of thousands daily online users into account (multiplied by the number of bugs they can potentially create or encounter), Obsidian’s QA processes had to be faster, leaner and meaner than ever in order to reach the earliest time to market.

How IncrediBuild crunched it:

Basically, Obsidian created history’s first jet-powered tank with IncrediBuild.

“IncrediBuild significantly speeds up our iteration times and daily build times.” Olivares admits, “On our Client, the compile time goes from 40 minutes to 5-10. Since many programmers recompile the client several times over the day, this is very critical to saving time.”

Naturally, that saved time translated to a lot more than sheer comfort, by saving money on man-hours and reaching the market earlier than expected.

QA times saw a vast improvement as well. According to Olivares, “Improved daily build times saves us QA time by having the build ready on time, perhaps on the order of 20-30 man hours a day.”

Lastly, Obsidian was able to utilize IncrediBuild to boost both Windows and Linux development environments. “We use IncrediBuild on our Windows daily build, which saves 1.5hr+ on the build time.  On our Linux Server, compile time goes from 1h 45m to approximately 30m.”

The Bottom line:

Before IncrediBuild After IncrediBuild
Window Compilation Time 40 minutes 5 minutes
Linux Compilation Time 105 minutes 30 minutes