CUSTOMER STORY

Improving Game Development with Gitential

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pocket Piñata Interactive

Chris Khoo
Chris Khoo

Founder and CEO/CTO

HQ: Vancouver, Canada
Founded: 2011
Size: 5-7 Developers
Market: Mobile, PC, Console, and Web Software Games

With 24 years of software engineering experience, Chris Khoo has forged a distinguished development studio responsible for producing numerous prestigious gaming titles like FIFA and The Sims.

Pocket Piñata Interactive is a distinguished mobile game development studio. They offer end-to-end game production including client and server programming, technical design, art production, game design, telemetry design, and analysis.
Their portfolio includes award-winning AAA franchises such as FIFA, Need for Speed, The Sims, Dragonvale, Club Penguin, and Lego, to name a few.

THE CHALLENGE:
Deployment Deadlines Compromised

Chris recently needed to face some challenges when a project fell behind his roadmap and timeline estimations. It happened despite the fact that one of their best performer architects were leading the project. Chris was not able to foresee the situation which made it impossible the prevent missing the deadlines.
That was the time, he felt he needed to look up some data to deep dive into the situation.

THE SOLUTION:

Chris noted that since they started using Gitential, he pays very close attention to coding hours, churn, and code volume.

Thanks to the tool, he was able to rapidly identify major efficiency problems with a lot of code being rewritten causing high churn rates.

Chris noted that since they started using Gitential, he pays very close attention to coding hours, churn, and code volume. Thanks to the tool, he was able to rapidly identify major efficiency problems with a lot of code being rewritten causing high churn rates. Upon deeper examination, most of the code churn was concentrated in Android files written by a specific developer.

What caused the problem?

In a case like this, Chris needed to talk with the developer to find out what was going on. As it turned out, though the architect was one of the team’s best Unity developers, this was the first time he wrote anything in Android Studio. He didn’t think it would be a problem to learn a new tool while working on the project. Nevertheless, his lack of experience led to trying out different solutions with frequent rewrites, ultimately impacting product delivery.
Using Gitential insights he managed to find where he needed to look for the root cause and found a solution.

LESSON LEARNT:

There’s the old adage of “Trust, but Verify.” This scenario underscored that even very experienced, high-performers can have skill gaps. Sometimes they are reluctant or hesitant to admit they lack experience or skills outside their areas of specialization. They might also be overly optimistic about being able to learn a new language on the fly.
Knowing there’s a skill gap enables managers to arrange supplemental training, assign smaller or easier tasks, assign an appropriate mentor, or a code review partner.

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