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Currently we are testing various configurations between Feature Branching and CI with Feature toggling.

I can see there are several viable options out there for the code, but I also know that CI totally relies on the possibility to merge the code.

So I wonder, how do you manage CI with binary data, like art assets?

I can also see another problem: all the code can be tested before to commit, I can even validate the data before to commit, but how can I test the art?!

Should I use another methodology for art content?

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Using CI, just like any merge situation with binary data, the old data is simply replaced as a whole. You have the same end result, the data is up-to-date. The only downside is the transfer time. Since you have to transmit the entire file, instead of just the delta.

As for testing the art/other binary data. You have to think about: how can the art/binary assets fail?

  • Data corruption - If it's corruption you're worried about, that will be revealed at run time when the assets are being loaded, just like any run time code problems. In you data validation tests, you'll need to ensure you load the art assets too.

  • Numerical errors - Accidentally give some creature 1000 health instead of 100? It can be caught creating normal ranges, or statistical analysis to find outlayers. Otherwise you'll need a human checking.

  • Aesthetics - If you're worried about the art not looking right, sounds not sounding right or music that's too fast paced, well that's not something you can automatically test for. Just like logical errors in the code, aesthetic issues with your art assets need a human checking them.

You should use continuous integration for the art assets too. You won't find any more problems with art assets than you would with regular code.

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thanks for the answer, I guess I have to reason more about it to identify the real problems and good solutions. I will be back with my results, once I make up my mind about it. However I agree about the Validation Data, which we are actually doing already. – sebas Jul 4 '12 at 14:45

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