Ambitious Games

Case Study
REVN · ©Ambitous Games

"We’d been hosting our Perforce instance on GCP and then we migrated over to Assembla. They handle everything, which is a huge time saver for me. Also, I think their servers are just faster than what we were paying for with Google."

Silas Talley
Creative Director

Ambitious Games by the numbers

  • 12 employees
  • Partnered with Assembla in 2022
  • First game release in 2021
Ambitious Games is an indie game development studio with a globally distributed team of 12 developers. The company develops the game REVN — a free to play third person MOBA — and releases it on Steam. Its revenue is derived from sale of merchandise.

Like any distributed development team, Ambitious Games needed a code management repository solution with tight versioning control in order to streamline their development and approval process.

The Challenges

Small team on a tight budget

To keep the focus on radical community interaction and passionate development, the team wanted to find a technical solution — rather than a new team member — which could help run a robust pipeline from first commits through to fixed release rollout. Of course, this tool also had to fit within their budget: which was typical of a small development shop rather than a large enterprise.

Fast-paced release cycle

The Perforce hosting solution needed to be agile enough to support their fast-paced two week fixed release cycle (the game is free to play and released through Steam, a gaming platform). An unusual additional requirement was the fact that the team livestream their development process on Twitch as a way of building rapport and engagement with their user community. As such, and with their stack on public view, they were eager to choose a solution that was professional and high end in its capabilities.

Large size files

A very specific requirement relative to Ambitious Games was their requirement that the code management repository would be capable of handling large files with ease. An integral part of their development process involves developing and reviewing high resolution background image files that are frequently multiple gigabytes in size. These SPP files contained fundamental graphical elements of the gameplay - like textures.

Ambitious Games reviewed several open source and competing commercial solutions but failed to find a code repository manager that was built, out of the box, to handle file sizes of this size natively. Most tools the team reviewed required, at a minimum, the addition of third party extensions or only offered pricing options designed for much larger teams. The team was eager to find a solution that was natively designed to handle their typical game development workflows. This led them to Perforce Helix Core hosted by Assembla.

Why Assembla

"We migrated over to Assembla because 1) their pricing is super competitive and 2) they take care of everything: they handle all the backups, the updates, and the maintenance of our server."

Helix Core and Helix Swarm

The team was pleased to discover that Assembla supports the quick rollout of cloud compute instances with pre-installed Perforce software. This feature proved to be highly valuable as it saved them the time and effort that would have otherwise been required for a self-hosted installation.

Fast and reliable server

Assembla granted them access to cutting-edge cloud-hosted infrastructure, which enabled them to work with lightning-fast speed and prevented any hardware-related issues from slowing down the development workflow. This allowed them to focus on their core tasks and complete them efficiently without any interruptions.

The Benefits

"Two key advantages made adopting and deploying the Perforce suite a no-brainer for us. Firstly, the fact that both the version control and code review modules handle our requirements for large file sizes with consummate ease.
Secondly, the fact that the tool is widely used in the industry and integrated by some excellent cloud instance management tools such as Assembla.”

“Assembla made spinning up the hardware required to make this all run in the cloud a cinch.”

After a swift migration process, the team successfully transitioned their entire development workflow onto Perforce Helix Core — for robust version control — and Helix Swarm for code review and quality control.
As Silas Talley, Creative Director, explained, competing solutions which the team attempted to use required manual configuration. An on-premises installation on basic hardware was eventually deployed but proved inadequate to meet the needs of a modern development pipeline whose intended output was regular releases of a popular computer game
REVN · ©Ambitous Games
Assembla's mastery of Perforce in the cloud facilitated a seamless and trouble-free migration and implementation process for the small indie game studio. The success extended to the studio's livestreams, where Assembla emerged as a speedy and dependable partner, solidifying its value in the studio's workflow.

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