Telltale Games Case Study

About Telltale Games

Telltale Games’ name has become synonymous with unforgettable gaming storytelling. The studio’s gripping video game adaptations of a number of beloved franchises have won over the hearts of millions of devoted fans on all major consoles, computers and mobile devices. The studio is also known for revolutionizing current gaming business models by taking an episodic approach to its releases, with each game divided into periodically released episodes which are later bundled into seasons. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series alone has sold more than 30 million episodes.

The challenge:

When you’re releasing a new gaming episode on a regular basis for every major platform out there, you need to be as fast as you can. In order to keep supplying the high-quality games fans know and love, the studio developed the Telltale Tool, an internal game engine used in the development, release and updates of every one of Telltale’s 30+ games. As the internal backbone for all the studio’s games, the Telltale Tool is in constant development mode to add better graphic capabilities and compatibility to new platforms.

James Chan, studio manager of core technology at Telltale Games tells us his team is responsible for “engineering, building, and releasing the Telltale Tool as in-house software and on over a dozen platforms worldwide.” Before IncrediBuild, the team would often run over 200 daily builds, with a single build taking up as much as two hours. Although the team was already practicing continuous integration on paper with tools such as Bamboo and BuildBot, the staggering number of daily builds and their runtime meant the Telltale tool team had to find a solution that would be compatible with its release times and dynamic.

How IncrediBuild crunched it:

IncrediBuild enabled the Telltale Tool team to use its current hardware, 40 machines, and 16 build servers, to speed up their compilation times by nearly 90%, from 2 hours into 15 minutes per build. Using IncrediBuild meant the team could reap the full benefits of continuous integration by adding an extra layer of speed, which led to building the best product possible. In the end, Telltale’s developers discovered how a significant change in speed allowed them to try out new changes they wanted to test without fear of losing precious time. “With IncrediBuild we got faster iteration to test changes and reduced time to get new builds”, says chan.

The Bottom line:

Before IncrediBuild After IncrediBuild
Accumulated Daily Build Time 400 Hours+ 50 Hours
Single Build Time 2 Hours 15 Minutes