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Scopely - Delivering Games with Spinnaker

Posted by Jenny Medeiros on Oct 5, 2018 6:00:00 PM
Jenny Medeiros
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Scopely with Spinnaker

Scopely is a mobile games publisher and developer that aims to provide diverse, immersive experiences for both casual and hardcore gamers. Founded in 2011, they boast multiple studios in six countries and their top-grossing mobile games have reached millions of users worldwide.

Since the beginning, Scopely has relied on AWS to manage and scale all their back-end infrastructure. Eventually, in order to support their growing cloud operation within AWS, the company decided to invest in modernizing their CI/CD deployment tooling.

The problem was that back in 2014 the standard tools didn't support blue/green deployments (one of their top priorities, aside from Canary). Consequently, Scopely was forced to scrape together tools of their own.

Except Scopely didn't want to build deployment tools, they just wanted to build games. So they began looking for a better framework that would simplify their deployments and allow their teams to focus on developing games – not tools.

Their solution? Spinnaker.

Why Spinnaker?

At the 2017 Spinnaker Summit, Avram Lyon, Head of Engineering at Scopely, delivered a presentation where he gave a peek into what life was like pre-Spinnaker.

Tasked with building their own deployment tools from scratch, Scopely teams used a combination of CloudFormation, Python scripts and Jenkins jobs to roll out immutable deployments to their game studios.

But as their cloud operations grew, this system began to fall short. According to Lyon's presentation, what Scopely really needed was a flexible platform capable of delivering on the following promises:

  • Increase the speed and ease of rollout / rollback.
  • Simplify the deployment strategy for application devs.
  • Unify abstraction for EC2 / Kubernetes.
  • Standarize deployment to multiple cloud platforms.
  • Radically reduce human error and complexity.

Adopting Spinnaker

In 2017, after much searching, Scopely called in the support of Armory's Software Delivery Platform which enables enterprises to adopt Spinnaker without distracting their engineering teams with setup or maintenance. (Note: Armory will be leading multiple sessions at the upcoming Spinnaker Summit on how you can ship better software. Reserve your seat here.)

According to the Scopely user story on Armory, in just 1.5 months Spinnaker had been rolled out across six teams, replaced four tools (Ansible, CloudFormation, and two custom in-house tools), deployed over 40 applications, and was running over 60 deployment pipelines.

In the same post, Avram Lyon mentions how Spinnaker also enabled an easy move from VMs to Kubernetes on EC2. He's quoted saying, 

"You don’t even have to think about it. The entire migration time to Kubernetes took just a few days because Spinnaker made it easy."  

Soon enough, Scopely's engineers had embraced the Spinnaker UI. Aside from solving their teams' issue of "too many moving parts", Spinnaker also provided the following advantages:

  • New team members were saved from learning all the legacy systems.
  • They could leave the complexities of deployment up to Spinnaker and focus instead on "enriching how their game studios deployed".
  • They were able to join an open source community and leverage their work.

Granted, adopting Spinnaker wasn't all smooth sailing. Scopely is very open about the challenges they faced at their various game studios. You'll have the chance to hear all about it – in person.

Discover Scopley's pitfalls and benefits using Spinnaker

Avram Lyon himself will return to the Spinnaker Summit this year with another insightful session on how Spinnaker enables high velocity software delivery "while preserving the integrity of the player experience."

In just 45 minutes, Lyon will take you through Scopely's journey of adopting Spinnaker with detailed recounts of the specific challenges they faced and how they handled them. If you're into delivering games and you're looking at Spinnaker to streamline software delivery, then you'll want to hear what Lyon has to say.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from the best in the software industry and secure your ticket here.

Topics: Continuous Deployment, Spinnaker, tools, Cloud