Small studio Unreal Engine 4&5 build times

Hi all, I came to ask for some advice, first some introduction.
I work in a small game studio (10-15 people) with both Unreal Engine 4 and 5, both developing and porting to consoles (the typical ones, Switch, XboxOne/SeriesX/S, PS4/5).
One of the main bottlenecks is the build/packaging times to be done on each console.
Currently we use Incredibuild to distribute the compilation between about 10 PCs, shortening significantly the time, but of course, it is an annual fee service, and I don’t know if it would be more profitable in the long term to have a dedicated machine to make builds (with a tool like Jenkins, and implement CI/CD).

Greetings and thanks!

No experience working for a game Developer but I would say that you need to answer the following questions:

1.) How much do you think you would save in annual cost?
2.) How much of that cost savings will be transferred to FTE hours to maintain the in-house system.
3.) What is the convenience of outsourcing the support for the third-party system.
4.) Will there be a noticeable difference in build time and binary distribution?

It may very well be that you will save money by hiring someone to build and maintain said system. It may be that you would spend more money doing the same thing. Sometimes support and convenience outweigh any cost savings.

Ultimately it comes down to Risk Management, Business Continuity Plans, and Operational Costs.

Hi Mac,

I’m only a 1year old in the games industry, but I’ve been doing some digging into Epic related topics with Unreal Engine, and here’s what I can tell you:

Have you looked into the BuildConfiguration.xml XML variables for UnrealBuildTool? You can automate a large portion of the build system within those files, as long as the other entities are apart of the same distributed build system/network. UnityBuild is apparently faster than Incredibuild with UE5, too. (This was directly from Epic so test for yourself first and your environment.)

Here’s some more information, but you can cook via cmd. These commands are the same with UE5.0 and UE5.1. The idea being here, once you have your DBS/DBN setup, you can start it on any machine you want, and even on a schedule within Windows or Linux itself via a scheduler on ADUC/GPO or locally if you’re not apart of a domain.

You can find these in the BuildOperations tab of the unreal docs. I can’t post links here???

Also, have you looked into any of the posts? There might be some diamonds in the rough. I book marked this domain when I was first reading into it on a hardware level.

Feel free to send me a DM and we can get a chat scheduled, I’m interested in knowing about anything you ran into since January regarding this.


1 Like