Crytek Explains How Xbox One Can Benefit From Cloud Computing
Ryan Martin / 2 years ago
The value of cloud computing for video games is an interesting thing. Given the latency of sending and receiving tasks to a cloud server it cannot be used for time sensitive tasks, especially given the varying quality of internet connections. However, with tasks that do not have to be calculated in an instant the power of cloud computing can be significant, as Microsoft have demonstrated before (see below video).
Crytek’s Technical Animation Director, Mark Jackson, explained how game developers can utilise these cloud computing functions to improve the gameplay experience. When asked about the practicality of running animation-related calculations in the cloud he stated that:
“The stuff the animators do is the very tip of the systems running to make the character, So any animation, whatever the player is currently doing, that’s probably 30 animations blended together, and subsystems on top of that, and [inverse kinematics] systems trying to calculate foot planting and hand planting and weapon attachments. All of this stuff you maybe think is animation, but which is actually lots of clever code running in the background to try and bolt things together.”
What does that mean for gaming performance? Well he claims that it enables developers to offload CPU cycles which can then be used to calculate additional things for the game: meaning higher framerates and a smoother gameplay experience.
“So that’s something we’re heavily looking at, in terms of the tech – how much of what we do we can smooth out and make easier and faster, so we’re not making more animation data out of it – we’re doing it slightly more intelligently, which gains us [CPU] cycles back that we can use to calculate extra stuff on the top. So yeah there is a lot of research going on.”
Do you think cloud-computing enabled games are a good idea?
Source: Total Xbox
Image courtesy of Crytek/Microsoft Studios