1Up Your Game Development With Open Source

November 18, 2015 Patricia Johnson

If you look at the dynamics of the gaming industry, you will find that it's not very unusual for a small player to come out of nowhere and make it big, and do so at a breakneck speed.

Any new game can topple the market scenario. Supercell and Playtika are two classic examples of gaming companies that went on to become smashing hits and hacked their way to becoming the top grossers. 

And since gaming development is expensive, often, small and mid-sized companies don't have the budget to create games independently. However, they take resort in open source to give the leading games a run for their money.

Tight Deadlines, Expensive Misses

As the gaming market is so volatile, game creators can't afford to just release a game and relax. To succeed and keep the momentum around their products, they're expected to ship updates rapidly. This is generally expensive. Moreover, when deadlines get missed, high chances exist that their customers might flock toward the competition. 

But open source comes to the rescue here. It offers a revolutionary way to boost the development speed and also bring down the cost of development. 

While open source can facilitate growth for anyone in the gaming niche, it's important that open source is used responsibly. Every industry has its specific challenges when adopting open source. For the gaming niche, the major concerns continue to be the lack of control once a release is shipped and license compliance.  

Easy to Lose Control Once a Release Is Shipped

As soon as a new game version is released, it's immediately downloadable by millions of avid gamers. It's almost viral. 

And once some release reaches so many people, it's difficult to get all of them to upgrade in case bugs get discovered in it. 

learn how to choose the open source solution that fits your needs

The Cloner Apps and the Copyleft Clause Challenges

Open source has lots of licenses, some of which, like copyleft licenses may not be the best choice for game developers. After all, opening the source code of their games and allowing their users to use or modify it and grant the same privilege to all the end recipients is not the most appealing idea for any gaming developer. 

Besides, cloner apps have existed forever. It’s a nightmare for any game developer to see others copy their games and rebrand them as their own. To allow this in a way, by releasing under a copyleft license doesn't make sense to developers. That being said, open source doesn't end at copyleft, there are a ton of friendly permissive licenses as well.

A Quick Open Source Management Solution Checklist for Your Gaming Business:

Is it agile? Since the gaming industry development lifecycle is pretty swift, can your open source management solution catch up?

Is it all-inclusive? No game is ever built using a single platform or language, there's a good dollop of technologies that go into a healthy game. Can your open source management solution handle all the popular programming languages and development environments? Or will you need to get addons each time you want to run an open source audit for new languages or environments?

Does it let you set automated open source policies? Remember we discussed earlier in this post about how using copyleft-licensed component might not be the best choice for a game developer. Setting up automated policies which ensures that such licensed-components will not make it to the build.

Will it alert you if vulnerabilities are uncovered in any open source components that you use? As we discussed earlier, it's difficult to control a release once it's shipped. So you will want to ensure that your open source management solution alerts you as soon as vulnerabilities are exposed in any of the open source components you use. Otherwise, you risk making the devices of your end customer vulnerable.

Are other game developers using it? Of course, you might want to check if your peers trust it with their gaming business. WhiteSource offers an agile approach to open source management and ticks all the boxes of this checklist, and offers a lot more. It is also the first choice for many gaming companies like King.com, Playtika, Playtech, Bwin and more.

So if you're ready to game up your gaming business with open source, claim your free trial of WhiteSource. 

Claim your free trial now. 


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