Outfit7 is the company behind some of the most popular mobile games in the world. Its portfolio of 20+ mobile games includes the award-winning Talking Tom & Friends franchise and the newly-released multiplayer strategy RPG Mythic Legends. As DevOps Engineer Matic Miklavčič explains, building successful games is about much more than the games themselves, which complicates the task of delivering code to keep up with demand. There are many different underlying systems that gamers never interact with directly, but that are vital to the final product, such as monetization, analytics, and user experience.
The key to Outfit7’s success is coordinating these systems correctly in order for development teams to automate, speed up, and scale these critical and timely tasks. The process, Miklavčič says, previously involved a great deal of manual work for a development team that relied on Jenkins for CI/CD.
“The environment was shared among all builds, and wasn’t scalable nor containerized,” Miklavčič says. “On top of that, system updates broke builds, and the installation of new software was cumbersome and time-consuming. Our machines tended to be either idle or overloaded, and we had to maintain hardware and software manually.” The Jenkins environment also demanded constant user support.
As engineers increased the number of builds, they realized they needed more testing – especially as they planned to scale and accelerate innovation.
“More testing means finer-grained bug tracking, which in turn affects the quality of the final product – and that’s really important to us,” Miklavčič says. “We don’t want to have any build downtimes, especially around release days, and we want to automate as much as possible.”
The dev team tested multiple solutions when seeking a replacement for Jenkins. “The cloud was our obvious next step,” Miklavčič says. “If not, we’d have to add build machines because of the long wait times if multiple teams planned releases on the same day. The last straw was a day when builds took over two hours on the day of a planned release.”
That event sealed the deal for CircleCI since it checked all of the dev team’s boxes for a new CI/CD solution, including the ability to use containerized environments. Scalability, which the Jenkins solution lacked, helped engineers maximize builds and meet deadlines.
“CircleCI helped us improve build system simplicity and stability, which reduced the support requests from our teams by 90%.”
DevOps Engineer at Outfit7
How CircleCI powers Outfit7’s business
“We’re no longer limited by hardware,” Miklavčič says. “If teams need more builds, they can have them, and they no longer need to worry about hogging other teams’ CPU time. We’re also reducing maintenance since we no longer need to take care of multiple build servers, system updates, and network maintenance.”
Comparing the same project results to Jenkins, the dev team found that with CircleCI, they saw a decrease in build duration. In addition, engineers could run 60+ builds a day per game in parallel and on different branches – whereas before, they maxed out on two to three builds per day.
As build flexibility and timeliness improved, other teams started to study the benefits of CI/CD.
“Thinking outside the box is a big part of our company culture,” Miklavčič says. “We strive to adapt our workflows in such a way that we make our developers’ jobs easier. Everybody should be able to focus on what they do best, and DevOps should be the ones to provide them with the tools they need.”
Benefits since using CircleCI
- 90% decrease in internal support requests
- Increase in releases from 2020 to 2021
- Faster build duration
Outfit7 is a dynamic force in mobile gaming worldwide. Its 20+ games have now been downloaded worldwide over 18 billion times and up to 470 million fans play with them every month. Its portfolio also includes numerous chart-topping animated series, theme parks, and a licensing program.