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Synapse Games is a small indie studio that’s hugely successful. Their games, Tyrant Unleashed and Global Assault, are consistently amongst the highest grossing in Android stores and with two additional games on the way, they’ve got a lot to do. By using Unity Cloud Build to generate and share builds automatically, the team was able to simplify their build process, free up resources, and “focus on the fun part,” as Studio Founder Alex Reeve puts it.

“Unity Cloud Build has sped up our build process from about 45 minutes of engineering time or more per build to essentially zero minutes.” Alex Reeve, Founder, Synapse Games

“Our old build process hurt us,” Reeve says. “It took up extremely valuable engineering time: Before Cloud Build, we were a very small team with only two Unity engineers, and every time we needed to initiate testing, the build process would halt [game] development time.” Distributing builds for internal testing also slowed things down considerably, as revision and change tracking was completely ad-hoc, and almost never tracked effectively. “Builds were made infrequently, which made it harder for QA to identify when a specific bug or crash started appearing,” he continues.
Cloud Build streamlined the process for Synapse Games, making it faster, continuous, and best of all, automated. “It constantly streams builds based on SVN updates, with no additional engineering resources,” Reeve says. “Distribution of builds has also become very fluid—‘Share’ links make it easy to distribute builds to a large number of developers internally. Project and QA leads all have direct access to the project.”


All Cloud Build users have access to build management tools, which are easy and useful to the entire game development team. For QA, Cloud Build provides easy ways to view details about particular builds and compare them to one another. “QA now has a much more granular access to builds, making it much easier to see when certain bugs or crashes first started showing up,” he says. “Combined with the changelog, this helps QA communicate with project leads and engineers about specific potential causes of the problems.”

Since developing with Unity Cloud Build, Synapse Games has been able to expand from Android-only to iOS. “I spend a lot of time developing on Windows and play testing on my iOS device; this was almost impossible before, but with Cloud Build it’s a trivial step,” Reeve says. One of his team’s favorite features is that Cloud Build is inherently multiplatform, and can build to iOS, Android, and Web all in parallel: “Unity Cloud Build has sped up our build process from about 45 minutes of engineering time or more per build to essentially zero minutes.”

“Cloud Build sped up the build time in terms of labor,” Reeve says. “Builds are continuously available so we never have to pause for a big build step, and we also never have to spend the engineering resources on it.”

Synapse Studio now builds all its games through Unity Cloud Build. Reeve described the evolution from their old processes to Unity Cloud Build as “incredibly easy.” “We thought we were going to need a complicated post-build script, but… we never needed it. It only took us a couple of hours to get everything set up and get our first build up and running, and we’ve never looked back since. We had very high expectations… looking back at how it revolutionized our development process, I’d say it far exceeded even those high expectations.”


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  2. This type of article is like back 15 years time, when the companies started to get into continuous integration. :P

    I agree with some comments here. I follow this to know about some technical stuff, this type of posts get into grey zone of a spam (unsolicited commercial email).

    I don’t say that is wrong, but depending of frequency you have great chance to lose some followers.

  3. Awesome. I didn’t know what ‘cloud build’ was, but I’m relatively new to this. I’m curious as to what you need to get started.

  4. There are a couple of replies here where people are complaining about the content of this post. There’s no reason not to share customer success stories – most companies market themselves like this.

    However, as this blog tends to be read by a ‘technical’ audience, I would suggest (constructive criticism) that maybe in future this kind of post could be extended upon by including a quick run through the initial setup and configuration of a Unity Cloud Build. For example, how Synapse configured their builds to run – what steps etc…

    I find continuous integration fascinating (in my normal day job I am a build engineer and work with TeamCity and other tools like Octopus Deploy), so I know that this kind of thing would interest me as a hobbyist Unity3D developer.

    Writing your posts in this way, you could get the marketing benefit, as well as the support and admiration of Unity3D users as the technical content would better appeal to them.


    1. That’s a really good suggestion. I’m one of the engineers at Synapse Games, so maybe they’ll want me to explain that…

      1. Awesome! Well, you would definitely have a reader of that sort of content out of me. Aside from that, great job on hooking into Unity’s cloud build offering. I’ve been wondering who out there is actually using it. Continuous integration and build automation is a beautiful thing once its all hooked up and running as a well oiled machine.

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    2. Thanks for your feedback Sean, it’s appreciated, and it’s made me think about things. I’ll try and make sure we give these sort of posts a more technical angle in future.

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  5. Hello,
    Do You know if they used any kind of external assets in the game (downloading assets at first launch to have smaller build size) (using for example AssetBundles)?
    If yes – how do they manage them? Did they automatise building them as well? Is it possible on Unity Cloud Build?
    Regards, Marcin.

  6. I have to agree that this is plain advertising for both Unity Cloud build and the game company. What other information is there except that Synapse is using the feature?

    1. Do you know this is one of Unity’s webpages? Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?

  7. We’ll be talking about new platforms in Cloud Build very soon. Stay tuned!

    If there are new features you want or need, please let us know in the forum:

    Patrick Curry
    Unity Technologies

  8. Welcome to the continuous integration.

    Seriously, I’m tired of this success stories. We understand the benefits of cloud builds, please write about really new features, e.g. new platforms available.
    I’m looking forward for Windows cloud builds, but read many self-advertises in Unity blogs.
    Please change this blog post category to Community and publish only relevant news in Technology category.

    1. I have to agree. It’s okay to post success stories, but personally I don’t like to see them. They’d be better off in a separate category.

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