COBRA DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY & TOOLS

Our development pipeline includes both industry standard packages and our own state-of-the-art in-house Cobra tools and technology.

Cobra has been carefully planned, developed and evolved since 1988.  

We implement our own cutting-edge techniques and tools, and supplement this with licensed middleware for commodity uses as appropriate.

This offers a stimulating development environment that allows us to maximise the performance we extract from hardware platforms and fully leverage the efforts and talents of our people. Cobra allows us to deliver industry-leading gameplay innovations and efficient multi-platform development.

All Frontier’s games are developed using our proprietary Cobra cross-platform technology, allowing code and resources developed on PC to be compiled and run on other platforms such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS and Android devices, while offering the flexibility to take advantage of the different platforms’ capabilities (e.g: different artwork resolutions, shaders etc.).

This modern Cobra platform represents the current state of an ongoing investment that Frontier has made in its proprietary engine technology and development tools since 1988.

The current engine is the fourth generation of our cross-platform technology. The engine provides a common platform-neutral core API and resource pipeline that isolates both the game code and resources from the underlying hardware, while maximising use of the multi-processor, multi-threaded environment.

This engine allows the game teams to develop and debug their titles primarily on PC, without the need to concern themselves with the technical details of the individual target platforms unless necessary. It also makes for clean, structured code where the game logic only needs one set of verification at the beta stage of the project, greatly reducing the amount of testing time required for additional platform versions of a game.

We also have a sophisticated framework enabling rapid development of powerful tools. These tools offer the ability to view, tweak and review changes to resources of all types in-game on the target platform(s), all in a live session running on the chosen platform without the intervention of a programmer.

Our philosophy is to design tools to maximise the impact of skilled people on games development and remove barriers to getting the results of their work in-game and iterated, so that work can be as polished as possible.

More recently, we have added Cloud-based analytic capability to Cobra, whereby Frontier’s code running on commodity servers interacts with the game to provide data-driven game rules and information gathering. This facilitates features such as full play-through tracking and analytics, sophisticated A-B tests, player segmentation and friends’ lists.
 

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