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A decade of game development
How technology evolved within our ever-changing environment
Andreas Katzig
@derFunk
Technical...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
About me
• Online user since 1994
• BBS, FidoNet, Compuserve
• Online programmer since ...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
About me
• Graduate Degree in Computer Science
• Co-Founded the Augsburg Rugby Football...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
About me
• Joined Chimera Entertainment in 2009
• Now overseeing the Tech Department
• ...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
• Initial team of 5-9 people (varied).
• First Ga...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
When I joined, 2009:
• The Bad:
• No in-house onl...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
When I joined, 2009:
• The Bad:
• No in-house onl...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
When I joined, 2009:
•The Good:
• Great Team & Hu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
When I joined, 2009:
•The Good:
• Great Team & Hu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
• End of 2009 was characterized by developing the...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
• After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
• After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009
• After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010)
• Silverlight
• Cu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010)
• Silverlight
• Cu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010)
• Silverlight
• Cu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010)
• Silverlight
• Cu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence . 2010-2011
• WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010)
• Silverlight
• C...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• First custom client
based balancing tools
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• First custom client
based balancing tools
• Balancing...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• Chimera Management Tool (Deployment & Monitoring)
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal, it t...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• We researched Silverlight thoroughly!
• „Silverlight ...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• „Microsoft‘s strategy with Silverlight has shifted“
2...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• Ravensburger Memory (2010)
• Unity3D
• Demolition Das...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• Custom web based localization tool
• Used until today...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
• Custom Unity3D
Javascript Logger
• Handy for Unity
we...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011
•Optimized internal corporate infrastructure and
softwa...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011
• Automate!
• “Three Strikes And You Automate...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011
• SVN: Use release branches, not feature bran...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011
• Try to avoid writing custom balancing Tools...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
•Massive automation
• CI with Jenkins
• Multi-server bui...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
•Regular Code Reviews
• Introduction phase: One dedicate...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
•Further Optimized internal corporate
infrastructure and...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Mission Genesis beta launched in 2012, Unity3D
• Ouch!...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Sara‘s Cooking Class, 2012
• Word Wonders, 2012
• Towe...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Happy Hills 2, 2013
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
•Pitched in 2012:
„100 Heroes“
which then became…
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Completely new balancing pipeline
• „Epic requirements...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Balancing Pipeline
• Balancing Data Editor requirement...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Game
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• „Balancing Data Serializer“
XLS
XML, JSON
BINARY
...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Let‘s talk about
app store releases
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Let‘s talk about
app store releases
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• „App Screening Tool“
• Shared with all rcp family
memb...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
• Unity Package Unpacker
• Available at
http://upu.derfu...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015
• Angry Birds Epic: Worldwide Release
in June 2014. Partey...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015
• 2014 and 2015 is characterized by the Cloud, backend-wis...
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015
• Jon Woo‘s Blood Stroke, 2014
• Bernd das Brot, 2014
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015
• Mystery of Neuschwanstein, 2014
• Hidden Object Game
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
Questions?
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
TY!
Andreas Katzig,
Technical Director
We‘re Hiring!
http://jobs.chimera-entertainment.de
@ChimeraEnt
@derFunk
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How technology evolved within our ever-changing environment.

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Respawn 2015: Chimera Entertainment - A decade of game development

  1. 1. A decade of game development How technology evolved within our ever-changing environment Andreas Katzig @derFunk Technical Director of Chimera Entertainment @ChimeraEnt
  2. 2. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director About me • Online user since 1994 • BBS, FidoNet, Compuserve • Online programmer since 1996 • Web: HTML, Javascript, PHP 2, MySQL 3 • Founder of Photono Design and Co-Founder of Photono Software in 1999
  3. 3. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director About me • Graduate Degree in Computer Science • Co-Founded the Augsburg Rugby Football Club in 2007  • Co-Founder of Vulcando Games in 2006 • Funded by Exist/BMWi in 2008 • Released 2 MMOG Titles • Own OpenGL-based Game Engine with dozens of custom tools
  4. 4. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director About me • Joined Chimera Entertainment in 2009 • Now overseeing the Tech Department • Chimera is the flagship studio of the remote control productions family • More than 14 other studios are part of it • Worked on more than 15 game releases on more than 7 different platforms
  5. 5. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 • Initial team of 5-9 people (varied). • First Game: Windchaser 3D. Released 2008 • C++ and Shark 3D. PC-Only. • Second Game: Train your Brain with Dr. Kawashima. Released 2009 • C# and Unity 3D. PC and Mac. • Chimera was the first Unity 3D licensee in Germany! • License Date: 30.10.2008 • ..until proven otherwise ;)
  6. 6. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 When I joined, 2009: • The Bad: • No in-house online development knowledge (yet) • (actually a good thing, otherwise Chimera hadn‘t hired me  ) • No buildservers / No automation • Only local builds • Repeated tasks everywhere • No virtual servers • Only one physical server which was called „windchaser“, for obvious reasons  • External POP3/SMTP email provider • Dell Workstations • Backups?
  7. 7. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 When I joined, 2009: • The Bad: • No in-house online development knowledge (yet) • (actually a good thing, otherwise Chimera hadn‘t hired me  ) • No buildservers / No automation • Only local builds • Repeated tasks everywhere • No virtual servers • Only one physical server which was called „windchaser“, for obvious reasons  • External POP3/SMTP email provider • Dell Workstations • Backups?
  8. 8. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 When I joined, 2009: •The Good: • Great Team & Huge motivation to start the next projects • Professional expertise on the business side • A wiki with great project and research documentation! • Mantis Bug Tracker already in place • SVN set up! •..on Windows
  9. 9. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 When I joined, 2009: •The Good: • Great Team & Huge motivation to start the next projects • Professional expertise on the business side • A wiki with great project and research documentation! • Mantis Bug Tracker already in place • SVN set up! •..on Windows
  10. 10. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 • End of 2009 was characterized by developing the „next big thing“ and researching the right technology platform for our future. • Research of Silverlight, Flash, Unreal • „No programming of custom game engines!“ • Evaluation of our new upcoming corporate tools
  11. 11. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 • After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal, it turned out that
  12. 12. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 • After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal, it turned out that 2009
  13. 13. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Humble Beginnings. 2006-2009 • After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal, it turned out that • Because: • Unity was not production ready for 2D web games • Silverlight was good for UI-heavy apps and games • RIA was THE buzzword back then
  14. 14. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010) • Silverlight • Custom self-writen network middleware • TCP-based • Clusterable („Mini-Cloud“) • Windows Servers & MySQL • TeamCity for CI
  15. 15. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010) • Silverlight • Custom self-writen network middleware • TCP-based • Clusterable („Mini-Cloud“) • Windows Servers & MySQL • TeamCity for CI
  16. 16. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010) • Silverlight • Custom self-writen network middleware • TCP-based • Clusterable („Mini-Cloud“) • Windows Servers & MySQL • TeamCity for CI
  17. 17. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010) • Silverlight • Custom self-writen network middleware • TCP-based • Clusterable („Mini-Cloud“) • Windows Servers & MySQL • TeamCity for CI
  18. 18. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence . 2010-2011 • WARSTORY – Europe in Flames (2010) • Silverlight • Custom self-writen network middleware • TCP-based • Clusterable („Mini-Cloud“) • Windows Servers & MySQL • TeamCity for CI
  19. 19. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • First custom client based balancing tools
  20. 20. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • First custom client based balancing tools • Balancing data was stored in MySQL, and sent as data objects from the server to the client at logon
  21. 21. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • Chimera Management Tool (Deployment & Monitoring)
  22. 22. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • After researching Silverlight, Flash and Unreal, it turned out that 2010
  23. 23. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • We researched Silverlight thoroughly! • „Silverlight is already deployed on 90% of all target PCs“ • „Silverlight Plugin works well in every browser“ • „Silverlight will be deployed to all Windows PCs automatically“ • This was an educated bet, and it happened
  24. 24. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • „Microsoft‘s strategy with Silverlight has shifted“ 2010
  25. 25. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • Ravensburger Memory (2010) • Unity3D • Demolition Dash, Happy Hills(2011), Mission Genesis (rel. 2012) • Unity3D
  26. 26. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • Custom web based localization tool • Used until today (2015) • Exports several different formats • Compiled C# assembly • JSON, XML, YAML … • Used for Silverlight and Unity3D • Usable for every thinkable platform • „LocaTool Reloaded“ in development
  27. 27. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 • Custom Unity3D Javascript Logger • Handy for Unity web development • Used for Mission Genesis • Available at http://github.com/derFunk
  28. 28. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence. 2010-2011 •Optimized internal corporate infrastructure and software •Tried Hansoft Project Management •Atlassian Tools (Confluence, Jira) •Microsoft Network (Exchange, AD)
  29. 29. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011 • Automate! • “Three Strikes And You Automate” & “Automate Boredom” • Define processes! • Write Documentation! • Write reusable code. Create libraries. Prepare for Unit Testing.
  30. 30. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011 • SVN: Use release branches, not feature branches • You‘ll hate merging features back with SVN. Make a branch and leave it alone/release it • Don‘t write custom deployment tools with an UI, use standards • Jenkins, Sinatra, Third party services… • Don‘t write custom monitoring and graphing tools, use standards • Icinga, Nagios, Monit, Graphite+Grafana, CloudWatch, Pingdom, NewRelic…
  31. 31. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Adolescence Learnings. 2010-2011 • Try to avoid writing custom balancing Tools! • Use something everybody knows • Use centralized server logging • ELK, Splunk… • Avoid getting stuck – be flexible from the start yet follow KISS. • Move fast!
  32. 32. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 •Massive automation • CI with Jenkins • Multi-server build farm • Parallel builds • Custom over the air distribution to mobile devices • Asset and Server Deployment • Installing new Unity versions automatically • Create Xcode projects completely new every build
  33. 33. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 •Regular Code Reviews • Introduction phase: One dedicated senior code review lead who attends and kickstarts every code review session (One per sprint per project) • Will be handed over to the project‘s code leads in 2015
  34. 34. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 •Further Optimized internal corporate infrastructure and software •External lightweight project management tools like Trello •Google Business services •Code Reviews with Atlassian Crucible
  35. 35. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Mission Genesis beta launched in 2012, Unity3D • Ouch! Partner‘s insolvency led to major and heaviest impact that Chimera ever experienced. • Skylancer beta launched in 2012, Silverlight
  36. 36. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Sara‘s Cooking Class, 2012 • Word Wonders, 2012 • Towers & Dungeons, 2012
  37. 37. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Happy Hills 2, 2013
  38. 38. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 •Pitched in 2012: „100 Heroes“ which then became…
  39. 39. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013
  40. 40. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Completely new balancing pipeline • „Epic requirements“ • Had to handle lots of balancing data • Editor requirements: • Easy to handle for non-tech-savvy colleagues • Allow for bulk editing and search+replace • Different exportable formats
  41. 41. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Balancing Pipeline • Balancing Data Editor requirements: • Easy to handle for non-tech-savvy colleagues • Allow for bulk editing and search+replace • Different exportable formats
  42. 42. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Game Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • „Balancing Data Serializer“ XLS XML, JSON BINARY … XLS XML JSON BINARY … Game Design Intermediate Format Cloud
  43. 43. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Let‘s talk about app store releases
  44. 44. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Let‘s talk about app store releases
  45. 45. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • „App Screening Tool“ • Shared with all rcp family members, developed by Chimera
  46. 46. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Growing Up. 2012-2013 • Unity Package Unpacker • Available at http://upu.derfunk.com • The CLI version is open source at http://github.com/derFunk and http://github.com/ChimeraEntertainment
  47. 47. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015 • Angry Birds Epic: Worldwide Release in June 2014. Partey! • Today: 60Million+ downloads worldwide (All Platforms) • Google Play Store: • iTunes: If you want to learn more about Angry Bird Epic‘s live phase, visit Ellen‘s „Post Mortem – Live after launch“ tomorrow here at Respawn.
  48. 48. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015 • 2014 and 2015 is characterized by the Cloud, backend-wise • AWS, Azure, Google Cloud… • Docker! DevOps! • Scaling and High Availability • Also: Internationalization! • Colleagues from USA, Egypt, Serbia, Norway, Russia, Italy and even North-Rhine-Westfalia!
  49. 49. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015 • Jon Woo‘s Blood Stroke, 2014 • Bernd das Brot, 2014
  50. 50. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Chimera. Maturity. 2014-2015 • Mystery of Neuschwanstein, 2014 • Hidden Object Game
  51. 51. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director Questions?
  52. 52. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director TY!
  53. 53. Andreas Katzig, Technical Director We‘re Hiring! http://jobs.chimera-entertainment.de @ChimeraEnt @derFunk

How technology evolved within our ever-changing environment.

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