Titanfall developer tackles Xbox One cloud "confusion"

Respawn Entertainment engineer explains how Microsoft will make use of its cloud technology for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.

After seeing "a lot of confusion online," a Respawn Entertainment engineer has explained how multiplayer shooter Titanfall will make use of Microsoft's cloud technology across the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC versions of the game.

Many current multiplayer games use peer-to-peer matchmaking, explains Jon Shiring on Respawn Entertainment's website. The downsides to this method are lag, host advantage, host disconnections, bandwidth, and potential opportunities for cheating.

Shiring said many developers use player-hosted servers to save money. "Running hundreds of thousands of servers can be extremely expensive," he said. "EXTREMELY expensive. Like 'oh my god we can't afford that' expensive. So your player experience gets compromised to save (large amounts of) money."

The alternative is dedicated servers, which cost a lot more money for developers as it requires a separate computer to host the multiplayer game. "I personally talked to both Microsoft and Sony and explained that we need to find a way to have potentially hundreds-of-thousands of dedicated servers at a price point that you can't get right now," said Shiring. "Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers are actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea."

Shiring also said how Microsoft's cloud service Azure--which it's using to power its Xbox Live cloud--will power more than just dedicated servers. "The Xbox group came back to us with a way for us to run all of these Titanfall dedicated servers and that lets us push games with more server CPU and higher bandwidth, which lets us have a bigger world, more physics, lots of AI, and potentially a lot more than that!"

The term "cloud" can be confusing in itself, Shiring added. "Cloud doesn't seem to actually mean anything anymore, or it has so many meanings that it's useless as a marketing word."

"Let me explain this simply: when companies talk about their cloud, all they are saying is that they have a huge amount of servers ready to run whatever you need them to run. That's all."

The costs associated with accessing Microsoft's cloud technology is reasonable, too, according to Shiring. "Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it's far more affordable than other hosting options--their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers."

"So because of this, dedicated servers are much more of a realistic option for developers who don't want to make compromises on their player experience, and it opens up a lot more things that we can do in an online game."

"Over time, I expect that we'll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that's going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come," concluded Shiring.

Titanfall will launch for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in 2014.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
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974 comments
Wattsburg0
Wattsburg0

Microsoft is pioneering the cloud for system gaming but they have to watch out because pioneers pave the way but settlers get the land.

Dudeman315
Dudeman315

Your last paragraph has been repeated proven untrue.  Publishers are chasing CoD numbers as the base line of where they think video game sales should be(anything that is not #1 in sales is considered a failure by the AAA studios).  Unless DRM started making niche titles hit record(CoD) sales number they would still be against making them.

DKant
DKant

So in this generation at least Microsoft is offering some real value for that Gold subscription. But 50$ a year seems a bit cheap to fund enough of these servers AND all the other things they'd already be spending those 50 on - free games, support, etc.

Will be interesting to see how far this infrastructure actually gets used and how will the costs scale (will Microsoft allow a 20$ game that extensively uses cloud infrastructure? At this point, somehow I doubt it)

indiansepoy
indiansepoy

100% cloud computing = gaikai(owned by sony)


indiansepoy
indiansepoy

And titanfall is also available on pc.....plus its a limited time console exclusive as far as i know

BudMcB
BudMcB

Can anyone clarify to me the differences, if any, there will be between the 360 and One versions of this game?  Supposedly the game is all next-gen.  As in the things Respawn wanted to do would not have been possible on 360 and that an unknown side company was working on a 360 version.  How does that work?  Is this right or did I misunderstand something?  I'm confused.

vatorus
vatorus

"Over time, I expect that we'll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that's going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come,"

Not even possible on teh PoS4

capeaterer69
capeaterer69

Microsoft wouldn't base there entire next gen console on the cloud servers if they think they haven't perfected it, im sure by release everyone will be eating there words when the xbone ends up being an amazing machine (I hope)!

gkoolaid
gkoolaid

I don't know why there is so much confusion. Anyone heard of a Free to play game thats another word for cloud in this instance (and if you don't get it I mean the model you get a game actually running on the server ppl tap into it and the dev has control of the world) and I call bullshit I will be shocked to see them do anything more then dedicated servers and dlc. I just doubt the passion really exist with the Pay to play model of gaming the only time devs do something different is via DLC especially when consoles are involved

B00MR
B00MR

i'll tell you whats funny.....people thinking that this kind of power is coming at the time of the release of the xb1.  I have much faith that the system will one day be able to offload a serious portion of the back-end tasks and processing to the cloud servers, but it will take some serious time.  As the article states;

"Over time, I expect that we'll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that's going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come,"  

This tech just isn't that far along yet.  At a programming stand point, it will take far to long to send a query to a server for computations, and receive data back to be relevant for use within any layer 3 programming(that is direct use of hardware, no language barriers)  I do agree that they are making good strides to reach a goal like this but it is still a few years off. Until then the overall majority will ride on the system's internals to handle almost everything outside of dedicated services for MP, except for maybe some lighting and AI handling.

Nikolajj
Nikolajj

Its sad to see how many people think that it is anything other than processing power that determines the level of physics and AI.

Rajiv_psn
Rajiv_psn

Buuuwwaaaaaaahhahaaahahahaaaaa

ESB
ESB

lol cmon guys you really believe all this shit about the cloud doing physics and AI processing? This is all drivel an buzzwords or have you already forgotten about Sim City and the "power of cloud"? 

victorcom
victorcom

Many people are confusing cloud's usage here. It improves the online usage, only by increasing the speed of download and upload data. It will not make any changes to AI or Physics. You should have noticed the seamless transmission from mech to ground and again ground to inside Mech, there is no lag In Titanfall trailer. reducing lag is the only usage of dedicated servers. Better visuals is only possible by better GPU specs. Better AI is only possible by the games engine and developers. PS3 and PS4 will also be using cloud. Ps4 have better GPU specs.

funktacious
funktacious

It can be so much more than just dedicated servers to. Microsoft claims devs can harness 3 times the power of the X1 using the cloud. Due to bandwidth issues I doubt devs will be able to do much in term of time sensitive game elements, but background factors such as world AI, physics processing can can benefit from this boost leaving more room on the console to handle the more time sensitive things. This background cloud support is the basis for Microsoft's "living, evolving, persistent worlds" pitch. Not sure if it'll meet expectations, but it's certainly a topic to pay attention to as the months go on.

hp2110
hp2110

sounds cool. advantage XB1

Sorrow_Echo
Sorrow_Echo

Destiny Or Titanfall? I am scared...

kerc_chaos
kerc_chaos

Hey if it makes online games better and they're not charging more for xbox live gold... it's all good with me.

kenlars
kenlars

mechwarrior game that for some reason people are in love hmm

kenlars
kenlars

DUDEBRO GAMING WEEEEEEEEE

ejpaine
ejpaine

I'm genuinely curious, how is this different in-terms of player experience from what BF3 is already doing? There is hardly any lag on Dice's servers. BUT, the problem with BF3 is the netcode is actually terrible. Hence why there is no lag yet you still sometimes get shot around corners. Much of Dice's time has gone into refining the engine, because of this.

As for stomping out "potential opportunities for cheating" that is an absolute joke. People will ALWAYS find a way. I promise you that.

realshooter305
realshooter305

oh oh they trying to DRM us from the ass i see it now. lmao they are trying so hard tu justify a step into that direction to make ppl understand but i know was really happening they are trying to trick ppl into being ok with it. in my ross voice no sir...huuuuuh not me!!!!!!

kenlars
kenlars

ONE WORD M$ BOTS GAIKAI PS4 LOL 1 billion paid by sony

Glasscut32
Glasscut32

Just to help a few people out here.. This happens often to people with broadband service and ISP techs hate knowledge people like me when i call to help out my friends.. 

Check out this scenario.. Lets say Peter and Paul have Time Warner Cable or Verizon Fios.. They are both paying for 50/50 Mbps.. Which is way more than enough for a game like Titan Fall.. 

Peter runs a speed test and his ping is 11 ms.. ( which is awesome ) and his speed shows something like 50.63 download and 45.56 Upload 

Paul runs a speed test and his ping is 86 ms ( very bad ).. and his speed shows something like 50.63 download and 45.56 Upload.. 

In a shooter like CoD.. I will be pawning paul guess why ?? because of his ping.. from my research about these ping issues i come to find out that the issue is caused by bad coaxial connections or cables, bad installations. at one of my friends house they found 4 splitters behind the wall plate some bent at 45 degree angles.. it took one of my friends 6 months for Time warner to finally send a level 3 tech out who pretty much spent 3 hrs there replacing all his coax lines removing splitters to fix it. lucky enough for him it was a new house.. 

Whats funny about this is that a lot of people pay a huge price for broad band and don't care about their ping of they just even understand why they have the issues they have while playing games like CoD, why some people with 6 mbps connection own them online. Some just give up as the technicians that these isp's send out themselves cannot do anything about it due to the way the coax lines where installed.. 

Bottomline is america needs to improve the broadband internet service before we can even start to entertain the thought of cloud computing when it comes to gaming.. 

I had one of my friends once disable internet connection on all his computers and mobile devices run a speed test via ethernet to his Mac he was paying for 30 Mbps / 5 Upload from time warner his ping was 77 ms.. we called time warner the first level tech reset this modem 5 times and the ping was still the same.. another victim of terrible installation and bad coaxial lines.. Do these ISP's care nope as their first  level agents don't even know what ping is and fail to acknowledge it.. 

bigmikeOK
bigmikeOK

Well, it looks like this will truly enhance multi player experience for the Xbox Live services down the road. A massive 300,000 dedicated server network is probably just what the doctor ordered to deal with the laggy peer to peer experience that so many PC and console gamers deal with now. I'm truly looking forward to the enhanced online play along with most Xbox Live gamers when they get this massive network expansion up and running.

ravenkiller
ravenkiller

the fact of the matter is M$ is pushing this cloud pr bs because they know they goofed on the x1 specs when compared to Sony (sony's system is %50 more powerful) so they what to redirect attention away from there systems lack of hardware power to this cloud bs which sony also has but they don't need to push there's as there system is more than capable to handle most games in the future.

Glasscut32
Glasscut32

America is ranked 12th or 15th in broadband internet access.. Factor in reliability and all this talk about how cloud computing will make their game better goes out the window.. Nobody likes latency.. 

Unless ISP's are planning on rolling out Fiber in a major way if not then forget about the whole cloud thing. ( which is  another reason why Microsoft finally shook off the hubris, came back down to reality and made a u turn ).. 

Check this out.. several other websites have the same data 

http://gigaom.com/2012/11/23/the-state-of-broadband-in-the-u-s-infographic/

farhadd
farhadd

I know the Xbox One "cloud" tech is supposed to be able to enhance physics etc if you're playing online. But I'm yet to see anyone with a head to head comparison of what a "cloud enhanced" game looks like with cloud services feeding it vs without. Right now all "cloud" means is "centrally hosted multiplayer servers". Which nobody except for ultra competitive players will really care about.

300jozecca
300jozecca

all i want to know is WTF has M$ bin doing with my xboxlive money all these years

gww101
gww101

Titanfall looks pretty great though haha >.<

nephili232
nephili232

All I know is that peer-to-peer stinks and it ruins games.

davahsa
davahsa

Its funny how all the kids know everything.  This PS4 lunacy $hiz is gonna take a few years 'aint it?  This game uses the source engine because of how hard it is to develop for the cell on PS3.  Thats why it looks like it does.                               http://www.polygon.com/e3-2013/2013/6/12/4419110/titanfall-respawn

It is not going on Sony's systems because they don't have the "cloud" tech-like it or not 

 Sony's "cloud" (the next iteration of their service-Gaikai) won't even make PS4 launch - http://gamingbolt.com/gaikai-for-ps4-launching-in-2014

Looking forward to Destiny?  Great-It's been delayed because Sony wasn't ready and when it ships-you can have fun playing the library levels from the original Halo...... again

This game will be awesome-and it's because of Respawn.  It's fresh and it's the fastest FPS a console has ever seen.  This is exciting.  You kids who missed the unreal/quake days will see too.....some day    

Gojomez
Gojomez

No one fights like Gaston, douses lights like Gaston, 

In a wrestling match nobody bites like Gaston!!!!!

Madgnad
Madgnad

Or let the PC gamers run the games on their own dedicated servers and give us a server browser that we can filter for better ping, specific game modes, player counts, etc. This is by far the best way. No cost to the publisher and they don't have to pay Microsoft for their cloud service.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

If MS really wants to spark an online revolution, this cloud they're creating needs to have dynamic server hosting.  No more of this, "Oh, only two thousand people play this game daily,  time to shut down the servers."

Make it so that match making and server hosted worlds can dynamically grow in the cloud. Assign X computing resources to server hosting, and if 6 people want to play game Y, dedicate resources out of the cloud and setup a server on the fly.

cirugo
cirugo

yeah, it's spread out over a bunch of servers...so when you have connection problems (on your end or the providers) you can't play...this is not news to anyone who's ever played an MMO or lots of multiplayer.  Why is this being touted as "teh future"?

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

"teh Cloud", "4D", "Blast Processing" = All PR BS!  8-\

hystavito
hystavito

I like that he just said things plainly and simply without adding the usual BS about the "cloud". 

draken2533
draken2533

cloud rendering skybox for your skies and everything in them

Aurey
Aurey

Cloud this, cloud that... It's all going back to the Blast Processing days again =D

leandrro
leandrro

the good thing is that M$ will use the 300 dollar profit margin on x1 to bribe developers to restrict their games to be x1 exclusives, thats good for everyone right?

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

No, MS will just nickel and dime developers on patches instead.

leandrro
leandrro

sony´s cloud so far ahead that they are already releasing ps3 games on cloud streaming while M$ cloud is just "cloud processing" BS

leandrro
leandrro

im a pc gamer now but what i can see on consoles is that sony already has a functional cloud gaming service with gaikai and a 50% more powerfull console, M$ has a worse console and his cloud gaming is to be build, with all the money thay have the only explanation for being so behind is that they are super cheap