Former Riot devs open source their playtesting tool Friendshipper to help industry adopt new workflows faster

Believer, an indie studio founded by former Riot Games employees, has decided to open source its proprietary technology Friendshipper. All developers and enthusiasts are now free to use the toolset in their own projects.

Playtesting tool Friendshipper goes open source

What is Friendshipper?

  • On June 4, Friendshipper became available as an open-source project on GitHub as part of a bigger repository called Ethos.
  • It is a deployment solution that Believer created to commit code, manage build versions, and distribute them to testers. The tool allows developers to synchronize code changes and conduct playtests even for remote teams.
  • “If we can share our own tools and techniques with our brothers and sisters in the global community, and make their jobs easier as a result — that’s a very, very good day,” Believer CEO Michael Chow said in a statement.
  • Some of Friendshipper’s main features include Git repository management, tracking build progress and logs using its own UI, as well as game server provisioning to run playtests for groups of different sizes.
  • It also supports integration with Unreal Engine and Amazon Web Services.

Why did Believer open source Friendshipper?

  • The studio noted that the games industry slowly adopts new workflows, instead keep reinventing the wheel. This forces developers to create their own playtesting tools for their games.
  • By making the source code of Friendshipper free-to-use, Believer hopes that fellow devs and enthusiasts will improve the project and help the team create a better tool for everyone involved in making video games.
  • “We believe that players benefit from developers having a great experience developing games,” Believer CTO Landon McDowell told “So we want to share these tools and practices, and build a community around them, because we feel like players as a whole will benefit from the industry adopting development methodologies and practices.”
  • Believer is now inviting studios of every size to try Friendshipper, iterate upon the platform, and share feedback. More information about the project can be found on the official website.

What is known about Believer?

  • Based in Los Angeles, Believer was formed in 2022. Last year, it raised $55 million from Lightspeed, Andreessen Horowitz, Riot Games, Bitkraft, and other investors.
  • The company’s leadership consists of several industry veterans: CEO Michael Chow (former VP at Riot Games, League of Legends: Wild Rift), CPO Steven Snow (former executive producer at Riot, LoL), COO Tim Hsu (former director and strategic advisor for Wild Rift), CTO Landon McDowell (former head of technical operations at Riot), and CMO Shankar Gupta-Harrison (former senior publishing advisor at Riot).
  • Right now, Believer is working on an unannounced open world multiplayer game based on an original IP.
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