Server based game augmentations. The transition to cloud. Really possible?

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shifty Geezer, May 22, 2013.

  1. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    This is true. Does it make sense then, given that Sony's committed to creating their own data centers anyway, to bifurcate their server deployment between their own servers and those of third parties? Wouldn't it make more sense to create their own mixed data centers for Gaikai/PSN and benefit from being able to consolidate network resources, administration costs, etc.?
     
  2. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I think the functionality is similar, actually. They advantage is lower cost financially, developmentally and administratively to developers/publishers to implement these types of features in their games which have largely been left out of console games previously. Expect dedicated servers for console games to become the norm rather than the exception.
     
  3. dragonelite

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    Is Microsoft offering the cloud resources for free to developers or for a heavy discount?
    I don't think a developers would make a lot of the persistent world stuff if they have to cough up the dollars. I can see a developer choose to make the X1 version of a game run on dedicated servers if they were free and make the ps4 version with p2p multiplayer if the pubs/developer has to pay for the dedicated server and back end.
     
  4. zupallinere

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    Well thought of another way with Gaikai Sony has lots of experience when it comes to gaming and latency/bandwidth issues. Maybe they aren't as backward on this score as you might be imagining.

    Cloud Computing and storage are commodity items or nearly so, pushing out in select areas isn't out of the question in the near future. Not only Gaikai but whatever Cloudy tech they want to ... maybe in say Kansas City or Austin or ... https://fiber.google.com/about/ :-D.

    I'm not saying MS isn't ahead but I don't think one can say that Sony is 3 years behind let alone say that they can never catch up.
     
  5. Flux

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    How much lag would it be to stream 24fps of h.246 1080i over a cable/phone line?

    Home--->Coaxial Cable line--->Server

    AMD and Nvidia both have hardware h246 encoders. ARM and other mobile chip makers have hardware h246 decoders.
     
  6. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Define lag.
    Define the bandwidth of the cable/phone line.
     
  7. sheng long

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    Why is it so difficult to demonstrate the benefit of the cloud in a gaming environment. This truly has potential and would be a big win for Microsoft if they could just show the benefits to in game fidelity
     
  8. dumbo11

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    Probably free. (basically MS probably pay a portion of the XBL subscription to their chosen compute cloud [azure]).

    If you assume a customer plays online 3hr/day and 4 cores can handle 64 players (e.g. BF4)... then the cost is very low compared to the XBLG price.

    I suppose Sony could pay amazon/google to do the same thing if they wanted. (I'm not sure whether the latency is low enough for "core" gaming, nor how good their worldwide coverage is)
     
  9. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    Any MMO and other multiplayer games with dedicated servers already demonstrate benefit of the cloud in gaming environment just fine?
     
  10. sebbbi

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    Average customer doesn't even play 3 hours a day... that is 21 hours a week. Most non-gamers would consider you a gaming addict if you spend 21 hours every week playing games :)

    Average consumer would definitely play for less than 10 hours a week on average. You have to consider that there will also be customers who will buy the box mainly for TV, streaming and bluray purposes, and play only occasionally. These customers drive down the average a lot.
     
  11. sheng long

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    The question was directed at the game fidelity.... lighting, physics, LOD.. ect... ect... When I watched the presentation the cloud was presented as an enhancement to graphic fidelity
     
  12. patsu

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    Game consoles focus on peer to peer games because the publishers and developers don't want to bear the infrastructure cost. XBL is primarily p2p gaming despite being a paid service. PSN is the same as a free service.

    MMOs didn't come to home consoles because of the consoles' limited memory and lack of HDD space (Some SKUs don't even have one built- in). Nextgen, we will see more MMOs on consoles. You should be able to find plenty on PS4 since Sony seemed to have signed them up before E3.

    All these dedicated games today are already using some form of cloud services. They grew up with each other. MS's investment will bring even more innovation and attention to this space. But I haven't seen anything extraordinary yet. Give it some time.
     
  13. AstoundingHolmes

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    Don't some genres benefit from P2P? Genres like Fighters, racing, shmups, Co-op oriented games.
     
  14. Scott_Arm

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    Most interesting thing I saw about the cloud was having dedicated servers that can be spawned in the cloud when people request games. Rather than having the developer rent servers in data centers across the world, it seems they just create the dedicated server for the azure platform and then the server can be spawned in any of their data centers in the world, dynamically, as the demand increases. So you shouldn't have the problem where devs cautiously underestimate demand at launch, and you have a rocky start.

    That doesn't really say much for the topic of this thread though, because it isn't offloading anything the local box would be doing. Titanfall runs AI for NPCs in the cloud. Seems like there will be AIs in every match, and it won't be strictly a player vs player arena.
     
  15. patsu

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    Dynamically spawning server (i.e., scaling and load balancing) is one of the hallmark features for cloud platform.
    e.g., http://aws.amazon.com/autoscaling/

    There are other helpful schemes too. Cloud service is an inherent part of server operation today. Everyone, including small eCommerce stores, knows how to use it.

    EDIT: Deploying AI, physics, databases, knowledgebases on cloud servers are not new either.

    The most important part stays the same: Is the game fun ?
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    Bots in the cloud makes sense, as they'd need exactly the same resources as an online player in terms of lag and fitting their actions into your local game. I like the idea of running a game server and populating it with bots to fill up player slots. I don't see that as augmenting the local console power so much though, depending on the level of complexity of the AI. Single player games have had bots for yonks on the local machine, and something like U3 or Starhawk has bots in coop. I doubt massive cloud processing resources will be spent on super-sophisticated bots due to the economics.
     
  17. patsu

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    Yes, I assume MMO bosses are really just AI bots on the server so everyone sees the same boss behavior.

    The buzzword now is BigData. Someone mentioned earlier that BigData is about compute. That's true but incomplete. It's about compute _and_ data. In the 90s, we mimicked Amazon and roll out a collaborative filtering service. The compute capability were all there, but without sufficient data points and relationships, the results were not accurate. Today, with massive amount of data available, collaborative filtering is getting another relook.
     
  18. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    In MMO's practically everything happens serverside, including the actual gameplay mechanics (ie you push a button, it tells the server to make your character do whatever that button is supposed to do, calculate the results and send them back etc)
    Disables cheating quite nicely too.
     
  19. dumbo11

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    Well, yes ;). It was 'worst case' planning - I think I guesstimated around $1.30/month/user to host at those levels with a spec that appeared overkill... the true cost should be significantly lower (without even considering bulk discounts/amazon etc).

    Surprisingly cheap, but I think it would realistically need an ongoing subscription to pay for it.

    ---

    Is this new? It seems to be what they told the press after showing the asteroid thing... I'm not going to comment :).

    http://kotaku.com/the-xbox-one-believers-513819282
    "So things like local foliage, blades of grass, atmospheric effects, gunfire, those things can be offloaded to the cloud," he says, "because they're all going to be in your immediate periphery and you want them to be hyper-realistic but not something you necessarily want to burden the console with."
     
    #759 dumbo11, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2013
  20. patsu

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    Sure. As long as those things are used in a latency insensitive way (e.g., cutscene, replay, batch operations, level setup, etc.), then they should be fine.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/...s-more-processing-power-from-cloud-computing/

     
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