Honeycomb & Odyssey Interactive
Eric Lawless [Founder|Odyssey]:
I think there are a number of unique challenges with having a 3 versus 3 online game like Omega Strikers. There’s a lot of network traffic that needs to be managed. There are a lot of distributed players interacting in interesting ways. We chose very early on to build Honeycomb into each part of our stack to make sure that we could see everything that was happening.
Christopher Shankland [Staff Software Engineer|Odyssey]:
The biggest time sink, I believe, in programming, in general, is identifying what problem you’re trying to solve. Honeycomb accelerates that in a way that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen really before. One of the major problems that we encountered going into our open beta launch manifested itself as people weren’t able to log in occasionally, and we didn’t really know why. These are somewhat sporadic problems. They didn’t happen to everyone. It wasn’t even the same thing failing, and these are typically incredibly difficult problems to track down because there’s no real pattern we could discern. Honeycomb showed us that pattern
The turnaround time from discovering this was happening to fixing the game was 5 to 10 minutes. That wouldn’t have been possible without the visibility we had through Honeycomb. So many game studios and technology companies are used to flying blind. They don’t get to see any of this, and so the moment when you turn on that dashboard and see all of the traces about what just happened, you’ll have two or three epiphanies first. That’s what this was.
It’s hard to really quantify the amount of time that Honeycomb has saved me, but if I were to quantify it in slightly a different way outside of time and just like an amount of frustration, it’s almost immeasurable. I have been through a number of game launches, and there are always hectic times. Having a significant systems failure happen and being able to respond to it in minutes instead of hours or potentially days was surprising to me because it seems like that’s something that everyone should have, and then you don’t. And so now it’s not surprising. It’s what I expect, and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back.
I think that Honeycomb has really opened up a lot of visibility into things that we wouldn’t have otherwise found with our code base, how people interact with our product, with the reliability and stability of the things that we build. Just by virtue of the additional observability that we get and the insights that we get into our product, we can grow at the correct pace, we can have the right people in the right roles, and we need to worry about fewer things in the process.
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