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MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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gumi Asia Pte Ltd clinches Media and Entertainment Award at 6th SBR International Business Awards

The company created Project Hephaestus to ease the software development processes and reduce the number of hours taken for the company’s developers to generate content.

Shifting the focus from mundane manual development work to empower efficiency for the company’s engineers, gumi Asia Pte Ltd’s Project Hephaestus was able to customise scripts according to the requirements of the game, thanks to an automated server.

Prior to Project Hephaestus, the company endured a tedious process encompassing a series of steps—compilation of data, pulling of data, server scripting, data uploading, data checking and clearing off old data—which all required manual work.

With this prized innovation, gumi Asia bagged the Media and Entertainment Award during the recently concluded International Business Awards.

gumi Asia, a subsidiary of gumi Inc., specialises in publishing and operating mobile games on iOS, Android and Amazon platforms. Targeting the top spot in the entertainment industry, gumi Asia is focused on delivering fun and fulfilling experiences through the free-to-play (F2P) model.

Code merges is an essential bane for every developer. Managing and processing merges is a full-time job in and of itself that requires long manual hours of preparing necessary server scripts and data validation, even with version controls.

With game development, the challenge is exacerbated with the constant influx of new content as well as structure changes that come with each new released update.

At gumi Asia, multiple content is generated for the company’s F2P mobile games, hence the tedious manual development work keeping their software engineers occupied.

Putting efficiency in mind, gumi Asia worked to free their software engineers so that they can explore new development and produce better content for the company’s players.

The company’s team identified two issues that hindered their efficiency.

First, there was the absence of an automated process in place for data generation, a single process which occupied two days of work. This process needed necessary improvement, especially for a company that specialises in publishing and operating F2P mobile games and operates in a fast-moving digital space where expectations are higher in terms of responses and time is a major concern.

Besides this, gumi Asia was faced with human errors. Due to the manual process it implemented prior to Project Hephaestus, the company faced a huge amount of data, and the number of steps required to accomplish a process did not make it any easier.

Once cleared and identified, gumi Asia addressed them by implementing Project Hephaestus, an initiative that customises scripts based on a game’s requirements through an automated server, thereby alleviating the software development processes with continuous integration and facilitating technical aspects of continuous delivery.

Implemented mid-2018, Project Hephaestus was mainly created to ease the software development processes and reduce the number of hours taken for the company’s developers to generate content.

Although the company has looked at an automation process to improve the situation, gumi Asia acknowledged that some processes still required manual input.

“We knew that there were some processes which still require manual input, and this is when Project Hephaestus was born,” said Ronnie Tan, managing director of gumi Asia.

Before the project’s implementation, the original process to manage and process code merges encompassed more than four steps, all of which required manual work.

With the improved process, the time necessary to complete a single process was significantly reduced to less than six hours. Besides boosting efficiency, Project Hephaestus also relieved staff tension from the relevant departments that now rely on the project to acquire information and create necessary changes when updates or new content data are needed to be uploaded.

Since then, gumi Asia has replicated Project Hephaestus for other games, as it has shown success with the easy management of processes across functions as well as the significant time reduced for each upload, yielding lower costs, better time management and better manpower allocation.

The International Business Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held last 11 July 2019 at Conrad Centennial Singapore.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Henry Tan, Managing Director, NEXIA TS; Choo Eng Chuan, EY Asean Markets Leader and Partner, International and Corporate Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP; Ng Jiak See, Executive Director, Head of Corporate Finance Advisory, Deloitte Singapore & Southeast Asia; and Toh Kim Teck, Assurance Partner, Foo Kon Tan LLP.

Check out the event photos during the awards night here.

If you would like to join the 2020 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technology innovations, please email Eleonor Angeles at eleonor@charltonmediamail.com

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