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What the 'data explosion' means for game production in the next decade

Sponsored: Brad Hart, CTO of version control software at Perforce, explains what he sees are game production's biggest challenges in recent years, and what challenges lie ahead.

Presented by Perforce Software

Perforce Software is a familiar name in game development, helping companies ship better games since 1995.

Among Perforce's suite of offerings is Helix Core, Perforce's flagship version control product. Brad Hart, chief technology officer of version control software at Perforce, has been in the version control space for more than two decades.

"I think the most important thing to do [when providing version control] is understand your audience--whose problems you're trying to solve," he said in a recent interview with Gamasutra (full video above). Perforce provides solutions for major game publishers including Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, as well as small game studios. "Then it becomes very straightforward building features and capabilities to meet those needs."

Hart said one of the biggest challenges game production faces today is "the explosion of data." Game developers have gone from dealing with megabytes to gigabytes and now petabytes of data that is moved through their networks.

"Even the smaller studios, the indie studios, they're still dealing with the big game engines, big assets, large binary files," said Hart. "The challenge is how do you version control? How do you manage that data? How do you maintain a single source of truth? And so there's a scalability challenge that a lot of these studios face."

In the decade ahead, Hart said that scalability challenge is going to remain and will in fact increase "exponentially." 

"People are expecting high quality content, they're expecting it at a much, much faster interval. It has to be done cost effectively for these studios," he said. "And you have to deal with not only your own company being spread around the globe, but...[also] outsourced teams, subdivisions, other studios, who specialize in different areas, and then tying all that back together.

"It's one thing to distribute the load, but it's tying it all back together into a single traceable source of truth without any kind of IP leakage," he said.

As studios large and small take on these challenges, Hart said they need to adapt as an organization. "I always say it's three things: people, tools and process. And we the people need to be aligned on the right process, and use the right tools and infrastructure to support that."

For more information, visit perforce.com

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