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Tools Summit: File System Tricks for Safe Incremental Builds

John Austin  (Founder, Pontoco)

Location: Room 3005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 2:10 pm - 2:40 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Most game engines provide an incremental build system, however, they are notoriously tricky to implement. Subtle bugs can cause out-of-date or corrupt data to 'leak' from one build to the next, causing subsequent builds to become unreliable over time.

Unfortunately, developers often do not have the bandwidth (or proper licenses) to fix these bugs, so they revert back to using hours-long clean builds, abandoning the benefits of incremental.

This talk presents an engine-agnostic system that uses file-system snapshots and virtual volumes to turn leaky incremental builds into perfectly reliable ones. We will discuss the unique benefits of virtual file systems, and how we have integrated them into our build process with Unity.


Attendees will take away an understanding of virtual file-systems, snapshots, and how to utilize them to make their incremental build pipelines more reliable.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for all technical audiences. Some familiarity with the build pipeline for Unity or Unreal is useful, but not required.