Success Stories

Interview with

Ralf Mauerhofer - Game Designer & Developer

Koboldgames GmbH

www.koboldgames.ch

"Plastic SCM can easily handle large files and repositories. Also, our visual artists were absolutely happy with the visualizations of the versioned data in the Branch Explorer."

KoboldGames – Indie Games

Koboldgames GmbH was founded in 2012 by an innovative young team of five game designers, focused on developing Indie Games. We had many ideas around the creation of entertaining player experiences. The more we worked on different projects, the more we saw games as a great tool for motivation design.

In almost every aspect of life, people are forced to do things for which they lack motivation, are frustrating or simply boring. This might be in business, when learning or during spare time. As Koboldgames we enhance these chores with game mechanics. Over the past years, we have been working and researching in the field of motivation design and have developed various games in the areas of education, health care, and team building. Our games are more than just entertainment.

By now, we are a team of six, and we developed over 15 game projects with the use of Plastic SCM. These are projects like “Fresh Food Runner” (free available on the PlayStore/AppStore), larger research projects as a training game for moral awareness or an exergame “Plunder Planet” which helps to engage coach potatoes in movement exercises. You can check our website for more; all the projects listed there are developed with the help of Plastic SCM.

Challenges

  • Agile Development & Maximum Output: especially in the area of contract work, we have to be very agile and achieve a maximum output with a limited budget.
  • Cost Control and Flexibility: For us it is really important that we can keep the overhead during the design and development process to an absolute minimum and that we can make big changes in a project, even in later stages.

The Setup

  • Unity 3D: we use Unity 3D for most of our projects
  • Adobe suite & Blender: for asset production
  • Pivotal Tracker: for task management
  • Plastic SCM: for Version Control

Why Plastic SCM?

  • Support for Large Binary Repositories (>28Gb repo): The main reason we decided to put Plastic SCM to the test, was the promise, that the system could handle easily large files and repositories. We used it for our 28Gb repository of “Journey of a Roach” and were truly happy about the speed, even with large textures and merge processes with over 1Gb data to merge. That was not possible to do with our git-based solution.
  • Easy to Use & Reliable Version Control for Artists: our visual artists were absolutely happy with the visualizations of the versioned data in the branch explorer. They were not afraid anymore to do a merge themselves because they could understand what was happening.
  • Version Everything: In the last two years we learned more and more about the options, and we were able to optimize many processes. By now all the company administration files are versioned. We even create our visual appealing offers with the help of the versioning system in collaboration with our artists.
  • Transparent Mode: we do not use the Unity 3D plugin for Plastic SCM because we prefer Plastic SCM to detect changes automatically in the workspace and do check-ins from the version Control directly. It is a matter of test, but it works very well.

Advice for those using or evaluating Plastic SCM

Have an open mind, check your needs first and then try out the systems you think that match your needs. This is no religion, just take what fits and switch when your needs change. Moreover, if you are not a master technician, don’t get freaked out by the sometimes confusing online documentation, the tool is great!