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What kind of infrastructure is found in game or software studio's

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So not exactly sure if this is where I should be posting this so If it is the wrong place I apologize in advance.

 

So I was curious to know what kind of infrastructure do software and game development studios run to help them to be effective and efficient.

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It would help if you clarified the question with more detail. Are you talking about electronic networks, org charts, or production methodologies?

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It would help if you clarified the question with more detail. Are you talking about electronic networks, org charts, or production methodologies?

Sorry I should have been more specific. I would like to know about the electronic/IT end of things.

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Offhand... This is just the dev team, not operations.

Lots of back end servers. Source control requires big drive arrays and network bandwidth to handle all the requests. Build servers, the exact use of which depends on the studios. Code build, asset builds of all sorts, etc. Misc servers to run email (usually Exchange), do internal file sharing, provide other internally hosted services, etc. Often times there are internal tools that are built to use the internal server network. Tons of network infrastructure to keep these things humming along.

Lots of desktop computers, usually clones of two or three hardware specs. If you're working on a different platform, lots of dev kits. Typically some spare parts bins for misc needs.

Edited by Promit

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You can more-or-less think of a game studio as a small-to-medium size office, with all the usual needs but driven by the greater demand for storage and bandwidth that collaborating on multimedia requires. I'd imagine that a typical film production company or a busy architecture firm or ad agency has similar needs, setting aside the need to integrate, build, test, and deploy code (though some might).

 

Essentially you need to be able to share and track work, collaborating on both text (source code) and large binary files (sounds, textures, etc). Some games now on the retail disc install upwards of 50 or 70 GBs, and that's just the final, baked, low-res resources -- One can easily imagine all the revisions of all the game resources both utilized and cut, plus all the reference materials, early design sketches, and more consuming terabytes.

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Offhand... This is just the dev team, not operations.

Lots of back end servers. Source control requires big drive arrays and network bandwidth to handle all the requests. Build servers, the exact use of which depends on the studios. Code build, asset builds of all sorts, etc. Misc servers to run email (usually Exchange), do internal file sharing, provide other internally hosted services, etc. Often times there are internal tools that are built to use the internal server network. Tons of network infrastructure to keep these things humming along.

Lots of desktop computers, usually clones of two or three hardware specs. If you're working on a different platform, lots of dev kits. Typically some spare parts bins for misc needs.

 

 

You can more-or-less think of a game studio as a small-to-medium size office, with all the usual needs but driven by the greater demand for storage and bandwidth that collaborating on multimedia requires. I'd imagine that a typical film production company or a busy architecture firm or ad agency has similar needs, setting aside the need to integrate, build, test, and deploy code (though some might).

 

Essentially you need to be able to share and track work, collaborating on both text (source code) and large binary files (sounds, textures, etc). Some games now on the retail disc install upwards of 50 or 70 GBs, and that's just the final, baked, low-res resources -- One can easily imagine all the revisions of all the game resources both utilized and cut, plus all the reference materials, early design sketches, and more consuming terabytes.

 

Interesting it seems like a game development studio is more or less a server farm. Thank you both for your replies. 

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It really depends on the size of the studio. If its 3-5 guys in an apartment, they've probably got one or two servers that provide essential services -- email, source control, bug tracking, wiki, file-sharing, automated builds or other various scheduled jobs, maybe some databases. If they don't have that in-house, they've probably got at least some of that running through cloud services -- Github, VSO, Jiraa -- or perhaps runt a couple VMs and run it themselves.

 

Bigger studios scale this up, add some more needs, and also can't bare downtime, so you'll see them with much more serious equipment, service agreements with their vendors, and redundant systems. Also a skilled someone or someones to keep it all up and running smoothly. When you have a studio of say, 100 people who's average salary is, say 90k, and figure benfits / facilities / software/ hardware overhead at another 60k per head, a single hour's down-time costs the company $7,500 and two-and-a-half man-weeks of productivity.

 

So, yes, its more or less a server farm of some description, and depending on the size of the studio it might be a box or two under someone's desk, a rack in a closet, or a room full of servers and high-end networking equipment. But its the services that are most important and allow everyone to collaborate effectively.

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Interesting it seems like a game development studio is more or less a server farm. Thank you both for your replies. 

I should note that game development systems at AAA studios are quite high end. Current day dev machine specs would be a minimum of 8 cores using a high end i7, and often 12-16 core Intel Extreme or even dual CPU configurations. 32 GB or more. Your pick of GPUs in 1x/2x/3x/4x (but typically GeForce/Radeon, not Quadro/FireGL).  Large RAID arrays, and possibly SSDs depending on the individual studios and devs. 

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It really depends on the size of the studio. If its 3-5 guys in an apartment, they've probably got one or two servers that provide essential services -- email, source control, bug tracking, wiki, file-sharing, automated builds or other various scheduled jobs, maybe some databases. If they don't have that in-house, they've probably got at least some of that running through cloud services -- Github, VSO, Jiraa -- or perhaps runt a couple VMs and run it themselves.

 

Bigger studios scale this up, add some more needs, and also can't bare downtime, so you'll see them with much more serious equipment, service agreements with their vendors, and redundant systems. Also a skilled someone or someones to keep it all up and running smoothly. When you have a studio of say, 100 people who's average salary is, say 90k, and figure benfits / facilities / software/ hardware overhead at another 60k per head, a single hour's down-time costs the company $7,500 and two-and-a-half man-weeks of productivity.

 

So, yes, its more or less a server farm of some description, and depending on the size of the studio it might be a box or two under someone's desk, a rack in a closet, or a room full of servers and high-end networking equipment. But its the services that are most important and allow everyone to collaborate effectively.

Makes sense. 

 

 


Interesting it seems like a game development studio is more or less a server farm. Thank you both for your replies. 

I should note that game development systems at AAA studios are quite high end. Current day dev machine specs would be a minimum of 8 cores using a high end i7, and often 12-16 core Intel Extreme or even dual CPU configurations. 32 GB or more. Your pick of GPUs in 1x/2x/3x/4x (but typically GeForce/Radeon, not Quadro/FireGL).  Large RAID arrays, and possibly SSDs depending on the individual studios and devs. 

 

I didn't think the actual machines would be that high of spec since I was assuming that any intensive workloads would be left to the server. I was assuming that the dev machines would be running Intel enthusiast series and such not running high core count Xeon's. And also any reason why the won't use Quadro's or FireGL. (I know for actual game testing this would make sense but for external tools it seems a bit odd.)

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I didn't think the actual machines would be that high of spec since I was assuming that any intensive workloads would be left to the server. I was assuming that the dev machines would be running Intel enthusiast series and such not running high core count Xeon's. And also any reason why the won't use Quadro's or FireGL. (I know for actual game testing this would make sense but for external tools it seems a bit odd.)

Lots of things run locally. The game (with no optimizations), the game tools, modeling tools, custom build pipeline stuff, etc. The Quadro and FireGL don't do anything relevant to game development. Don't care about double performance, precise rendering, ECC, etc.

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