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Unannounced Xbox One game to use Azure for physics simulation

Since its announcement, Microsoft’s Azure platform has been met with plenty of skepticism from the gaming community. Meanwhile, the console maker remains ambiguous with regards to its application in games, outside of a real-time tech demo that was showcased at the last Build conference.

A developer who is currently working on an unannounced Xbox One game recently chimed in with some interesting information regarding Azure on NeoGAF, and went on to explain how his game is built around its utilization for physics calculations.

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Cupid_Viper_31105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

Two interesting parts referenced in the article:

" He also clarified that Azure does not enhance local rendering efficiency, and things like a boost in resolution or an improvement in lighting are outside the realm of possibility. It’s primarily there to offload CPU workload and, in effect, boost its capabilities for the simulation of game worlds that conform to physics."

"You can not boost your games resolution with Azure. And no. You can not create better lighting effects with Azure. But, if you focus on it, you can still boost the overall graphical look of your game by a mile. We are currently creating a game. But in fact, we are kind of creating two-in-one. One with Azure available, and one for offline only. Everything you code, you need to code for two scenarios. This is a ton of work. if online = dynamic grass; if offline=static grass."

XBLSkull1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

Hopefully the tools improve to help with the workload, but it sounds pretty awesome, can't wait to see the benefits Azure provides over this generation. Sounds like it's going to provide some impressive gains.

And if we ever see this game come out it'll be really cool to see the differences between the game with and without Azure, that will really show a clear picture of what cloud computing brings to the table.

1105d ago
Evilsnuggle1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

I the funniest thing is that you guys are high fiving each other and rubbing each other back's because of DA CLOUD. But Azure or POWER OF DA CLOUD is just more DRM from Microsoft. physics are you serious all you get is online physics effects WOW. I have never heard any gamers or developers complain about not enough physics effects in a game. What Microsoft is doing is making games that need to be always online to play just more DRM. Microsoft is putting feature online in games that are not needed or can be done on the game console and don't need to be online. What happens when Microsoft shut down the server's for the games that need to be online to play single player campaign and multi player online . When Microsoft shut down the you are left with a useless game disc you can't play anymore.

http://smartertools.files.w...

The_Infected1105d ago

@edonus

"Sooooooooooooo........& quot;

"Basically what they are trying to say...."

"Is that the Xbox One is more powerful than the Ps4."

I'd say no more than a few Developers will take advantage of Azure Cloud Compute with them having to basically build 2 games. Honestly they'd be better off just making it online only and save a ton of time, work, and resources.

Pinkdolphinyfg1105d ago

@Evilsnuggle How the hell is this DRM? Requiring Online |=| DRM if you can still trade in the game. Nevermind the fact that he mentioned an offline mode but what would be the purpose for your video games needing an online verification if you can still trade it in or buy used? You don't even know what DRM is.

jimjam34421105d ago

id love to see this work out, it would be a real game changer for xbone fans, personally i prefer the power to work offline aswell, i live in some crazy places, and i dont always have internet. so i bought a ps4 instead. pretty jelly of the master chief collection though.

AngelicIceDiamond1105d ago

Yeah sounds very cool.

I just hope MS shows us once and for all at Gamescom.

4Sh0w1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

@Evilsnuggle
"What happens when Microsoft shut down the server's for the games that need to be online to play single player campaign and multi player online."

-Uhm what online game has been released by Microsoft and subsequently had its servers shutdown in a short timeframe?

-Sure eventually any online game will be shutdown. As long a people are playing online it will be supported as usual. lol by the time servers are shutdown those games are dead online anyway.

-Im not so sure I believe any unnamed source/dev/insider good or bad from neogaf but the point here is the dev said there will be online and offline modes in which the game whether SP or Multi will perform differently because online it's performance will be boosted by Azure. It's something way back when micro was aiming for always online that I had read and discussed interesting ideas of what potentially this could add to games. I still remain in the "I'll wait 'n see" crowd but I definitely think there is at least some tangible benefits to such game development; First I'm always connected been that way for a long time, folks who aren't can play the offline version just like we do now. I don’t care if other devs won't sign on to make new games for this tech, its bad for innovation to be controlled by the naysayers, if micro has devs that believe they can deliver something worthwhile then micro should lead the way.

Godmars2901105d ago

Sounds more like it adds a level complexity to coding with minor rewards.

You have an online connection you get moving blades of grass. You don't have an online connection you get static, unmoving grass.

I mean the closer they get to actually using Azure, the less it actually does. It allows for minor cosmetic changes, not major graphical leaps. That for the complexity it adds, that time could be spent improving the actual and direct game code. Not dividing it.

DOMination-1105d ago

By offloading stuff like physics, it frees up local cpu usage to presumably help improve things like framerate and resolution so indirectly, the cloud can help with that.

4Sh0w1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

@Godsmar
"Sounds more like it adds a level complexity to coding with minor rewards."

-NO, it sounds like you read something totally different:

"But, if you focus on it, you can still boost the overall graphical look of your game by a mile"

-Boosting the *overall graphical look by a mile doesn't sound like a minor reward to me, especially in this new overly scrutinized, pixel counting= "it's missing a few pixels, file a lawsuit" era we live in. lol and you took his example of dynamic grass and concluded that's all that's possible, ever;..didn't know you've already had experience developing games with Azure. I don't want to sound like I'm buying what he's cooking, but I'm interested, I think we should all not overreact with wild cliams but its just as foolish to act like we know for damm sure the effort is pointless.

donthate1105d ago

I think this is very promising>

'We are building our new game strongly with Azure in mind for physic calculations (currently for vegetation, grass, water being manipulated by wind and objects, which would not be easy [impossible] to do with local power only). We are so happy with it that we are currently thinking about going all-in and make the game kind of addicted to Azure.'

They are considering switching over completely as they are so impressed. Certain things are impossible to do without cloud. What this could open up is very exciting!

Kayant1105d ago

"Basically what they are trying to say....

Is that the Xbox One is more powerful than the Ps4.

I'm just playing... even though its probably true" - Loooool yh because server usage is somehow exclusive to XB1 /s

And this confirms what some people have been suggesting that the "free servers" had a catch that is that they are only free for development which is not too surprising given that only two games use it atm and this kind of pricing (although that will be discounted for XB1 as said by respawn months ago)- https://twitter.com/lee_sto...
http://www.neogaf.com/forum...

Having said all that I can't wait to see it in action in a larger scale a.k.a crackdown.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1105d ago
Eonjay1105d ago

"But in fact, we are kind of creating two-in-one. One with Azure available, and one for offline only."

Thats the most interesting part to me.

ThatOneRiggaNob1105d ago

Yeah that's kind of why I don't see any studios outside of first party or third party exclusives using this tech on the Xbox One. It's more work for a console with less sales. I hope that's not the case thought because I'd love to see games like this on my Xbox One.

iamnsuperman1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

We too me sounds like this will always be relegated to minor things because the margin for error is much bigger and this requires a lot more development time and money

Also the original source seems a bit dodgy

Software_Lover1105d ago

Basically what I already knew and had been stating.

user14394141105d ago ShowReplies(2)
gfk3421105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

Good for them for clarifying the Cloud Power. This seems more realistic. However this splashes the myth according to which the Cloud Power multiplies for several time (3 times if I remember correctly) the console power. Background processing is viable in terms of the power limits of the Cloud and also in terms of online/ offline versions. However, it is miles away from what was believed from the beginning ( no resolution boost, no complex graphical enhancements).

IrishSt0ner1105d ago

Not 3x console power, they only ever said 3x computation power (CPU).

MorePowerOfGreen1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

So you posted basically what everybody knew already? Why the panic?

Azure will do remote CPU processing freeing up the console for other things. This Azure compute will do things local hardware can not and will allow more local resources to be used in other areas of the XB1's hardware, allowing more local hardware to focus on a couple of things *vs* many, improving performance in a indirect way locally, ontop of the CPU compute.

It's just a next gen solution to keeping hardware relevant by using a remote scaling method. Haters attacked out of fear and most others can not grasp its concept.

You'll start to see XB1's evolution as the XB1 becomes more like a hub for local processing needs but the platform is XBL/Azure. This has been the plan from the start.

Hopefully EA Access is the first step in joint network work with devs in the future(BF5 on Azure etc).

Crackdown 3 and Horizon 2 etc already show the evolutionary path XB1 games are taking with even minor cloud use(Huge high quality worlds that push social features, have great AI with heavy unheard of simulation in open games)

gootimes1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

It is exciting in theory, but until a game is "released" that proves the cloud can greatly improve the x1 performance I am skeptical. I need to see an actual ->released game evaluated by digital foundry confirming the clouds impact on said game to be a believer.

But I am kinda on board with the hype, because I think the concept is cool. If MS could deliver then it could move the industry forward greatly.

truefan11105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

XB1 = TRUE NEXT GEN!!! This VERIFIED dev provides insight on how the cloud can improve gaming and create unique experiences. This is only the beginning, already have Crackdown and this unannounced game utilizing the cloud. I look forward to seeing things that have never been done for console gaming.

PS I think this debunks that lame rumor about 3rd parties leaving XB1, because this dev seems quite excited to be working with MSFT and XB1.

LordMaim1105d ago

One lame rumor to debunk another? That doesn't make much sense, TF.

Nine_Thousaaandd1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

PS4 = TRUE NEXT GEN as well! This is verified by weather features in Driveclub and certain physics in inFAMOUS Second Son.

You say this is the beginning...Sony has already started. AMD has already started as well. Sony and AMD are focusing on GPU compute for better physics. CPUs have slow'd down over the years and GPUs continue to rise...becoming more and more reliable for graphics and heavy computing to allow extreme use of physics in gaming today.

It's quite simple...what Microsoft is trying to achieve with CPU compute, which I believe they'll make it happen using Azure, Sony has already achieved with GPU computing. Both CPUs in Xbox One and PS4 are pretty lame in terms of next gen gaming...but great for multi-tasking!

Both companies have the same goal, and that's to add physics in gaming to make them seem more realistic than ever! The major difference is that PS4 can create such feats right out the box...while Xbox One will have to rely on Azure to do the samething.

My thing is this...if Xbox fans are so quick praise this feature, calling it NEXT GEN...then why hate on PS4 for achieving it already through the use of GPU computing?

If Microsoft can make this happen...then I'll expect to see some incredible gaming from their camp as well in the future. As it stands, nothing is showing the power of Xbox One...Ryse was just a graphics whore, that's it! They should have had at least one game showing off physics to prove that Azure is real...but all we got were avatars. This is why the core gamer lacks faith in Xbox One right now.

Hopefully this unannounced game is not garbage...and something worth playing showing off CPU compute on Xbox One. I look foward to seeing it in action...hopefully they can pull off some crazy physics while using next gen graphics as well.

creatchee1105d ago

"But in fact, we are kind of creating two-in-one. One with Azure available, and one for offline only. Everything you code, you need to code for two scenarios. This is a ton of work. if online = dynamic grass; if offline=static grass."

For every time somebody says "b-b-but what happens if the internet goes down" - this is what happens. Finally, a dev is saying it so that it can be referenced. This is good news.

LackaJaKane1105d ago

@creatchee

aaahhh... wish i would have read your comment before posting mine. no need for two people saying basically the same thing lol

iamnsuperman1105d ago

It cant be just me or does that mean the game is more likely to either

A crash
B have preformance drops.

christocolus1105d ago

@creatchee

Sounds very interesting,, can't wait to see this game.

Sheikh Yerbouti1105d ago (Edited 1105d ago )

I understand their need for redundancies, but doesn't that mean that the cloud is not as necessary/revolutionary as they say?

Plus if offline is crippled, doesn't this make a stronger case for the hardware needing to be able to handle it instead?

creatchee1105d ago

@Sheikh

"Plus if offline is crippled, doesn't this make a stronger case for the hardware needing to be able to handle it instead?"

You could say that the offline is crippled, or the online is enhanced. Half empty, half full.

Sheikh Yerbouti1104d ago

Half empty or half full...is still just half of what a FULL game should be...? I guess I just don't get it.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1104d ago
FanboyKilla1105d ago ShowReplies(1)
Jdoki1105d ago

"But in fact, we are kind of creating two-in-one. One with Azure available, and one for offline only. Everything you code, you need to code for two scenarios. This is a ton of work. if online = dynamic grass; if offline=static grass."

This statement answers the biggest question I've had about using Azure... How it handles offline.

If this statement is true in every case I can't see many devs really putting extra effort in to a feature that some gamers will never benefit from.

It's one of the few downsides of MS reversing their 'always online' capability.

beerzombie1105d ago

This is how it will be; big first or second party developers making games using Azure. Most multi-plat developers making games will just be cookie cuter to make money.