One of the engineers working with the cloud technology that will be utilized in Respawn Entertainment’s upcoming first-person shooter, Titanfall, has divulged how the title will take advantage of Microsoft’s new cloud computing and dedicated servers.
“Amazon has a cloud that powers websites. Sony has a cloud that streams game video so you can play a game that you don’t have on your machine. Now Xbox Live has a cloud that somehow powers games,” began Respawn’s Jon Shirling, explaining that “the cloud” is basically a huge server farm.
Microsoft have a cloud service up and running already called Azure. At some point the firm realized that they could put to use that technology to take over all sorts of tasks related to a game, tasks that would normally need to be undertaken by the console’s hardware.
“So they built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go. We can upload new programs for them to run and they handle the deployment for us. And they’ll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360,” continued Shirling.
“But it’s not just for dedicated servers – Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers aren’t going to just want dedicated servers – they’ll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better. Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. That’s totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and it’s really cool! So it’s not accurate to say that the Xbox Live Cloud is simply a system for running dedicated servers – it can do a lot more than that.”
“With the Xbox Live Cloud, we don’t have to worry about estimating how many servers we’ll need on launch day. We don’t have to find ISPs all over the globe and rent servers from each one. We don’t have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server. That lets us focus on things that make our game more fun. And best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter.”
Utilizing Microsoft’s cloud computing and dedicated servers should mean that those playing Titanfall on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC can expect to have a seamless experience when it comes to performance and lag… hopefully!
Titanfall is set to launch Spring 2014.