How electronic document management helped game developers

Paperless office solutions may be a newer trend for some work sectors, but in the video game industry, the shift has been happening for a much longer time.

Although game developers have been creating video games to meet the demands of console and online users for many years, the market is beginning to use premium graphics and game code, which makes these files much larger than they used to be, BBC reported.

The highly anticipated launches of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One have raised the stakes higher, and Electronic Arts (EA) knew that they had to revamp their document management strategies to prevent their game "Battlefield 4" from freezing during gameplay. Nowadays, complete game files can be as large as 50 gigabytes and this figure is expected to rise.

Due to EA's international reach, technical director Steve Scivally told BBC that necessary changes have to be made.

"EA is made up of a large group of development sites and a few dedicated [quality assurance] test centers," he said. "New game builds need to be transferred to the test centers as quickly as possible to locate defects and improve quality."

Sending these attachments via email would take many hours, even days in some cases. EA's staffexperimented with multiple data transfer methods, but found the most success with a client-service cloud. Although this network enabled more file sharing, EA was aware that not just any file could be transferred, to ensure that Battlefield 4 processes would remain efficient.

Over time, EA was able to constantly update Battlefield's game code without interrupting the master file through compression and deduplication. This process would detect identical bits of data, ultimately removing that portion of the program—not the entire file.

Businesses outside of the gaming industry can benefit from a similar setup. Instead of constantly photocopying the same files into the company's data center, operating from a private, client-service cloud can expedite many tasks. OptiDoc is a document management provider that can help organizations make the most out of their file-sharing and transfer capabilities.


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