FromSoftware

Slashing the Dark Souls series build time from hours to minutes for more efficient game development lifecycles for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC Games.

Accelerating PS4, XBox One & PC Code Builds

December 2017- FromSoftware

Abstract

At FromSoftware, we develop games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Switch and other platforms. In this article, we would like to present how IncrediBuild helped us to shorten the build times of our development cycle for the Dark Souls series.

Overview

Since launching ‘KING'S FIELD’ in 1994, FromSoftware has released various games to the market. Our philosophy is not to follow the trend but to make something that is valuable and really fun for users. In order to realize this philosophy, our engineers have been working on improving development environments and within this process, IncrediBuild was especially effective. We focused on the potential of IncrediBuild since 2016, and have been using it to improve our development efficiency.

 

‘DARK SOULS III’, released in 2016 was being well received in the market, and awarded “Golden Joystick Awards 2016 Game of the Year” and Gold Prize of the “PlayStation Awards 2016”. We’d like to introduce examples of this ‘DARK SOULS’ series here.

 

The Challenge

While the scale of the source code is huge, the cycle of modification is extremely short. Therefore, the impact of compile time on overall development efficiency is very important. Especially with AAA titles, it is not possible to achieve fast development iteration simply by using high spec equipment.

Compile time is affected by various factors such as target hardware and optimization settings. Therefore, although there are a variety of other factors, it sometimes took 1 to 2 hours to build the entire game. It's no exaggeration to say that compilation time directly affects the quality of the game.

The Solution

  IncrediBuild And Dark Souls

In FromSoftware, it is a prerequisite to use IncrediBuild to create a development environment, and almost all developers now benefit from using IncrediBuild. For example, in the case of ’DARK SOULS III’, when building the entire game, it took us almost an hour to build only the source code. However, IncrediBuild shortened this process to less than 15 minutes. Moreover, since IncrediBuild is integrated with MS Visual Studio, the build process is the same as general builds.

 

Summary

In the development of the ‘DARK SOULS’ series, IncrediBuild has brought about a tremendous improvement in compressing build time from one-third to a quarter with minimal effort. This has a positive influence on the quality of the game, and we think that IncrediBuild is vital for achieving our ideal game development environment.

 

About FromSoftware

FromSoftware is a game development company located in Tokyo, Japan. They have more than 20 years of experience in game development and publishing for different consoles and PC.
They developed the King's Field series, the Armored Core series, Chromehounds, Demon's Souls, Otogi, Bloodborne, and others.