Custom Tooling
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Custom Tooling

Often building the most optimized game is like building a watch, every little piece has to fit together to make things tick! We build custom tools to give you fast, repeatable solutions that speed up your workflow and democratize difficult processes.

Tooling can lead to some of the greatest development acceleration. One of our guiding rules for our own projects is ‘Anything that we have to do three times gets a Tool’. A good tool speeds up iteration time, makes expert tasks accessible by other disciplines (letting more hands help out in a pinch), and can open doorways to unique Asset paradigms that would otherwise be closed.

Tools let us modularize and automate complex operations. In this case, we helped a client take a process that used to be a dozen human powered (and error prone) steps into 1 easy to repeat button click.

In the Custom Component you see here, we helped our client solve a very complex problem: How could they update their large complex game scenes but still get highly optimized results? If we’d simply optimized their scene for them, as soon as they needed to adjust their level design they’d need our help again! Instead we built this repeatable solution that let them share settings across scenes and automated lots of complicated, error prone steps into a single button click. This mean they could work on their scenes as they had, but were able to bake their assets into optimized meshes, pack textures into atlases, bake lighting, setup custom Quality Setting based LODs, and prep their scene for Runtime all by clicking that one green button.

Additionally, they no longer had to wait around and babysit long bake operations, any member of the development could start the process quickly and not worry about forgetting a step in the middle. With our Custom Tooling the client ended up with an easily repeated pathway to optimized content that was faster and easier to use than how they’d been operating prior.

ScriptableObjects are an ideal way to manage and connect Assets and Data to improve and validate workflows.

We also believe strongly in establishing pipelines that are defensive and easily validated. This helps teams avoid committing mistakes or quickly remedy them. Custom Tools, ScriptableObjects, and Custom Inspectors are a great way to streamline tedious operations and check the connections and setup of Assets and Data to avoid (and when possible automatically fix) errors.

In The Walking Dead March To War there had to be an entire cities worth of cars!

Tools also open the door to Art solutions that might not otherwise be possible. In the The Walking Dead March To War we had to build an entire cities worth of cars and trucks. In order to accomplish this we had to build a unique Asset paradigm and Custom Tools to generate a vast number of combinations of elements that were all dynamically batchable.

Tools also empowered Designers to quickly assemble Shop offers in The Walking Dead March to War from a stock of resources already present in the game. Repacking these images saved Players from spending time and data downloading more Assets and let the Design team quickly update the storefront.

Have a project in mind? Get in touch!