Saturday, April 20, 2013

What does your game dev back-up strategy look like?

It's an important question to ask.  Sorry for asking it, as I am totally sure you're all over it - but just in case some of you aren't - ahem: backups?  Offsite?  Versioned?  Tested?  :-)

So this post is just a helpful reminder - no need to teach anyone how to suck eggs as we all know the sorts of things that work:

  • source control with remote repositories
  • cloud storage (especially if its versioned)
  • offsite backups
  • multi-site replication
Mine is drop-dead simple.  Basically I use DropBox (with the pro/paid for account you get versioning) for all my directories that are full of binary stuff, like artwork, animations and so on.  And for my code I put it all under source control and push every commit to GitHub.

Obviously GitHub or DropBox could die horribly, get compromised or whatever - just as long as that does not happen on the same day that my house burns down then I'm golden.

Whatever you do choose it has to be simple, and it has to work.  If its a pain to use, and not automatic enough, then you'll forget or overlook using it.

Here's my rule: every time I do a commit to GitHub, I option drag the root folder of my artwork into a folder in my DropBox.

I also have my lap top backed up by TimeMachine to a big hard drive on my home network.  If the house does burn down then obviously both of those things are lost, but the TimeMachine is more about catching my own screw-ups where I delete a file or a folder full of stuff by mistake.

The safety net for catastrophic events is the DropBox and GitHub combo.

It's far from perfect, but I find I can work with it.

I have used both systems to restore files as well - not because I was being thorough and testing my backups like  you're supposed to - but because I'd screwed up and needed to recover stuff.

It was a good feeling knowing it works!  If by some crazy chance you're flying without backups, try making some - its a good feeling, and I'd love to hear your stories.

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