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

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

  1. gurgi

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    cost is exactly the reason very few developers will utilize 'the cloud' outside of multiplayer...even if you did find a good use for compute resources that are hundreds of ms away for most customers, you have to pay for those compute resources, and for as long as you want to maintain those resources for the people that bought your game


    and what do you honestly gain?...somewhat dynamic, prebaked lightmaps is the only example? we've been playing multiplayer games on dedicated servers for decades, with and without AI, so drivatars isn't really new either...what are devs doing with 'the cloud'?
     
  2. Airon

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    I mean, if the host client cpu will be loaded, let say, with 5% more compute task due to multiplayer managment, I suppose that, in order to work, there must be a 5% "reservation" on the cpu for that game no matter if you are the host or not in that peculiar match.
    Because the only alternative to this situation, is that the host will run a downgraded version of the game (with 5% less CPU power let's say). But this latter possibility seems quite odd to me.


    I am not considering the extras (like AI, physics, or other things ... if they will be real). I am not interested in this aspect now.

    I just would like to understand which is the impact on the CPU of a Titanfall-like client server based game.
    In other word, which is the gain in CPU power of a game that use dedicated servers (even without considering the better performance in terms of gameplay)?
    Which would be the impact in % on the CPU?
     
  3. taisui

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    Well, not all things are equal, meaning that the computation load of a p2p setup and the client-host setup are very likely to be distributed quite differently because of the different setup, even the total load will be different, because now the devs have a dedicated environment where they would most likely offload more computation onto the server (versus a p2p setup)

    The other thing to look at is the bandwidth consumption, you just can't realistically host 64 players on your home connection and hope for good gameplay experience.
     
  4. Rangers

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    A small update tidbit via a tweet by Phil Spencer

    [​IMG]

    Not sure what to make of it, I dont necessarily assume "things" means games, personally.
     
  5. XpiderMX

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    Games, services, etc. There is a developer group making games with cloud in mind (Lift London).
     
  6. taisui

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    Rio? Cloud streaming?
     
  7. Rangers

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    New Gamesindustry article on X1 cloud:

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-10-15-the-difference-engine

    Evidently will be free to developers.

    Also they are now strictly talking about CPU boosting seems like.

    Also, Mr Penello says on GAF:

    Pretty darn big deal imo.
     
  8. Rangers

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    And another one. i guess it's cloud day at Microsoft...

    http://news.xbox.com/2013/10/xbox-one-cloud


    A Youtube video too

     
  9. warb

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    No charge seems like a big deal.
     
  10. taisui

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    I think the cloud compute message still need some improvement. I can see how the dedicated servers would be super nice, background content push is also nice, not sure what this "cloud compute" does, sounds just like on-demand dedicated servers.
     
  11. Rangers

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    I think it's obviously an on the fly work in progress, actual processing of game stuff in the cloud.

    But it has interesting potential at the least. Seems it will be limited to CPU stuff for now, but that's OK.
     
  12. Cranky

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    it can also offload compute tasks which could result is significant graphical improvements by removing bottlenecks.
     
  13. taisui

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    I have a hard time imaging how this would work, either it's gonna have high latency and/or high bandwidth. Maybe you can bake some environment maps in the cloud? But what would be the benefit when this is something that you can do offline in the asset pipeline.
     
  14. Cranky

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    Is it really that hard to imagine. Let's say a game is significantly compute bound, ooo like say the BF series. Of the compute tasks required for the game 15% can tolerate some latency. That 15% can happen in the cloud. The 15% decrease in compute may lead to 5 to 30% improvement a graphical performance depending on how bound the game was.
     
  15. taisui

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    Sure...but how is this different than say, any kind of dedicated server in the past...?
     
  16. DrJay24

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    Sounds like science fiction.
     
  17. dlm

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    Because it's offered as part of the platform. Developers can use it without having to worry about maintaining a dedicated server forever.
     
  18. hesido

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    It's different because he is not talking about holding a multiplayer match but the server doing compute for tasks that are not latency sensitive.

    But I'm not a believer of that tech in that regard (for realtime graphics applications, I should emphasize), because of reasons mentioned earlier in this thread but to sum up, they need a backup method for cases when you can't reach the server at all or on time, they need two paths for everything handled in the cloud, so the game doesn't break. This creates a lot of extra work, and someone having to pay for what could otherwise be so conveniently computed on client side, for single player affair, doesn't make sense to me, and some others on this forum.

    Also, since you need backup methods, things you offload to cloud could not have gameplay implications, so when you don't have the cloud at your disposal on time, the game should not play differently. This reduced the value for me but other may say any extra detail can help with the immersion and not everything that is beneficial needs to effect gameplay and that's a good enough reason (while a valid point, still doesn't explain why someone would need to pay for that compute)
     
    #998 hesido, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  19. Cranky

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    What are you talking about. All of those statements are completely reasonable and underselling the proposition if anything. Given the relative weakness of the CPUs do you not believe that many games could be CPU bound?
     
  20. Betanumerical

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    Its perfectly reasonable that games could be be CPU bound, im just not 100% convinced that having 3x the power in the cloud, with the relative latency and bandwidth restraints (high and low respectively) that its a good model for a large number of problems.
     
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