Two Point Studios

Case Study
two point logo
Two Point Hospital · ©Two Point Studios

"We're saving easily £30k/year with Assembla, compared to bringing our own licenses and paying for most of an engineer's time"

Ben Hymers
Co-Founder and Technical Director

Two Point by the numbers

  • 40 employees
  • Playerbase: 6 million+ (2022)
  • Partnered with Assembla in 2018
  • First game release (Two Point Hospital) in 2018
  • Second game release (Two Point Campus): 2022
Two Point Studios is a British indie game development studio that has developed Two Point Hospital and Two Point Campus. Two Point Hospital is a business simulation game which invites players to create and manage a hospital network in a fictional county. It was released on Xbox One, PlayStation4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Within weeks of its release, it had become the second most downloaded game in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Two Point Campus is also a business simulation experience and challenges users to run a university network.

Two Point Studios was founded by three industry veterans: Ben Hymers, Mark Webley, and Gary Carr (the last from Xbox-acquired Lionhead Studios.). In 2019, it was incorporated into Sega, as a subsidiary.

The Challenges

Offloading Perforce management

As an indie development studio, Two Point Studios wanted to keep their team lean and agile. Rolling out Perforce either as an on prem installation or managed cloud instance would have required onboarding a dedicated sysadmin resource.

The need for a scalable VCS solution

As a small gaming studio with big ambitions, Two Point Studios needed to base its development workflow around a version control system (VCS) that could scale with the company.

Rather than starting out with a basic tool that would soon need to be replaced, the team made the decision to think big from the outset – and began searching for a solution that could mature with the company.

Why Assembla

"We considered hosting ourselves, both in cloud (AWS) and locally. As a small team, we didn't want the burden of having to maintain such a critical service. Production-level reliability/redundancy, monitoring, logging etc are all difficult and time-consuming, and we didn't want to take time away from developers to look after Perforce."

The best Perforce hosting solution

Given that Two Point Studios has a small team supporting a large userbase, the founders wanted to laser-focus developers’ time on supporting development of the games and point releases. Being attentive to the user community’s needs was another key priority. Therefore, hosting a reliable VCS on a hosting platform that supported hands-off maintenance was seen as a key objective.

Uptime guarantee

An uptime guarantee that would be suitable for the Studio’s game distribution plan, which included distributing live point updates with Steam and other platforms.

Monitoring and logging

Monitoring and logging capabilities which would have required complex add-ons or standalone product additions if the team had opted for another VCS solution.

Fast and reliable server

The Two Point team was already familiar with Assembla’s products. As Hymers said: “I had been part of a team using Assembla (hosting SVN) before starting Two Point Studios, and found the server to be very fast and reliable." Most of the team’s knowledge with Assembla products, however, was concentrated on Perforce. Hymers describes Assembla as being “head and shoulders” above any competing Perforce hosting solutions.

Optimized workflow

Assembla remains enormously popular among game studios due to the large binary files that are part and parcel of normal workflows for these products. For Two Point Studios this also gave Assembla Perforce the obvious edge over Git. “We considered Git but it just wasn’t optimized for our workflow,” according to Hymers.

The Benefits

“If we hadn’t hosted Perforce on Assembla, we would have had to hire a dedicated staff member to maintain an on-premises installation or run a Perforce instance on AWS. Using Assembla has proven to be cheaper than adding a salary to our payroll.” — Ben Hymers, Co-Founder and Technical Director

“Everything we have asked for has been fixed or implemented very quickly”

With its enterprise-grade version control system, Perforce proved a perfect match for the Studio’s typical workflow. Perforce is capable of working effortlessly with the type of large binary files that are standard in game development workflows.

Two Point Studios began scaling quickly during the Covid pandemic, when remote working became the only viable workflow. Thanks to their decision to host on Assembla the team was already well-prepared to work in this manner.

Assembla’s implementation of Perforce hosting is designed to work seamlessly with only light touch system maintenance by an administrator. Two Point Studios estimates that had they designed to host Perforce on-premises – or manage their own AWS instance – that the company would have had to hire an additional systems administrator whose job would have been focused primarily on this function.
Two Point Campus · ©Two Point Studios
Ben Hymers estimates that they’re “saving easily £30k/year with Assembla, compared to bringing our own licenses and paying for most of an engineer's time".

Two Point Studios has also enjoyed “fast and knowledgeable support from the premium support team”. “Everything we have asked for has been fixed or implemented very quickly”, Ben Hymers added.

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