Microsoft Demonstrates a Very Interesting Feature of The Cloud With A Game

During the Build 2015 conference, Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich showcased a very interesting feature of the cloud by using a little game named Actoroids.

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gangsta_red1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

Uuuum...what exactly was this about?

ThinkThink1322d ago

hahah ok now I don't feel as bad. I have no idea what was going on in this demo.

freshslicepizza1322d ago

you can change the game while it's playing. think of game patches and updates, now they can occur midgame without having to sign out and reload. there are many possibilities but this demo was poorly done and these live demonstrations seem to suffer quite a bit in the past as well from technical issues and whatnot.

Septic1322d ago

I really dont see this being used. Even so, I dont see what the big deal is.

Although it might be pretty cool passively updating a game whwhilst you're playing, realistically how often does a patch come out as you play it?

Say youre playing Battlefield and they change the damage code on the fly, one moment youre popping heads with a RCP90 (you know it xD) and then its nerfed and all of a sudden you're wondering why your bullets are like tampons.

Its cool from a tech standpoint but I don't see it being a big deal.

4Sh0w1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

lol, what the hell was that? This guy needs to learn the #1 rule of a stage presentation= rehearsal.

It's also paramount that your presentation have a clear agenda or objective so nobody has to ask what you were trying to prove. Asking stuff like "why isn't this xbox controller working?" -should never happen...pffft because clearly you didn't double check everything prior to going on stage, that's why..(also have a backup ready to go). lol, This guy is 10x smarter than me but I could show him a trick or two when it comes to presenting info to an audience.

Simply put that was a terrible * for the tech well depends on the impact we will see in future games, I want to see a different game type where the AI dramatically changes in realtime.

k3rn3ll1322d ago

Well this also has a huge advantage for all applications in general. Not just games.

Kal0psia1322d ago


This is specifically for developers with development worktime. Developers can have a more personal development process with playing the game and coding it at the same time. Fine tuning the game significantly. This should be a huge benefit to indie developers.

denawayne1322d ago

I'm thinking it could be used for huge, persistent worlds that change on the fly whether you're playing the game or not. Imagine GTAV where there is a huge earthquake and some of the skyscrapers collapse. If you were playing when it happens, you'll see it realtime but if you were not playing, then the event already happened and you would see the destruction's aftermath.

I also see dynamic realtime events happening during matches of online games like Battlefield.

Septic1322d ago

Actually denawayne...thats an amazing point. You could have massive mmos with global events happening on servers simultaneously.

r1sh121322d ago

@4show you talk like you have experience?
Stop the trolling, this can be good for windows updates, office updates and other software written in the same language.

@Septic - So what if the patch is applied midgame, since battlefield wont apply it to your game until its over.
A lot of people complain about the rcp90, if something is too OP why would they not want to nerf it?
Its common sense.

bouzebbal1322d ago

what an amazing "demo"
Power af da clawwd in the making,

subtenko1322d ago

There really isnt anything special about this or 'the cloud' that can't already be done by anyone else. M$ acting like Apple thinking they invented sht that already exists :/ giving them fancy words

"Asteroids popping in the game while its going on" Replace Asteroids with player models and that's what I've been doing on games on PC and Playstation as well

Dir_en_grey1321d ago

Microsoft's cloud = endless smokes & mirrors marketing campaign.

It's sad people still buy into their marketing crap over and over again.

donthate1321d ago (Edited 1321d ago )

If you aren't a dev, you are not going to get excited about the behind the scenes activity, but for a dev this is very exciting.

Instantly remote publishing code and have it continue without reboot or taking you out of the current execution opens up a lot of doors and is one step closer to a continuous devices.

Cueil1321d ago

At least the first two posters acknowledge their ignorance the rest of you just act like idiots pretending you have any idea wtf you're talking about degrading this as if you had a clue. Yes something like this can already be done on a simple level, but they are editing source code and updating the game on the fly... As an earlier poster said this is more for developers, but has real world impact for games especially MMOs and other server based games or online games.

4Sh0w1321d ago (Edited 1321d ago )

"you talk like you have experience?
Stop the trolling,"

-Uhm because I do, not on this particular subject matter but in my line of work and truth is anyone, especially a Microsoft developer(they give presentations in-house all the time) who is presenting at a Build conference where the world is watching should be much better prepared. I'm not perfect and I understand things go wrong, trust me I know but seriously in a environment like this you should make sure you're setup is ready to go days earlier and keep checking it periodically until just before you are due to give your presentation. If something unpreventable= not your responsibility goes wrong,(power goes out) well start tap dancing but stuff like controllers not working and to be honest his whole approach was sort of confusing, not because I didn't understand the tech talk but because he wasn't explaining it with a natural flow. Just my opinion. As for the point he was trying to make well I wasn't bashing the idea at all.

lol, none of that is trolling, I didn't come here name calling him, badmouthing anyone or trying to downplay the tech, I just call it like I see it.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1321d ago
hello121322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

I think the red asteroids were replicas produced by the cloud/micro server and they had their own logic. They chased the ships and responded to movement (the cloud was doing the AI)

Infected is right also the guy on stage said there was know downtime, the asteroids are updated when hes playing they are added to the game by the cloud.

I could be wrong of course maybe someone else has better opinion?

gangsta_red1322d ago

Thanks KNWS, reading yours, Indected and Abriael, this makes a lot more sense.

Watching bits and pieces here and there at work i wasn't getting what was specifically going on.

DarXyde1322d ago

I think that summarizes it pretty well. The game was updated in real-time to provide "enemy asteroids" with their own logic.

Interesting technology to be sure, but, as always, I have some questions.

First, I've noticed that Microsoft's current use of cloud applications are very small-scale. Not an issue for a stage demonstration, but I think I speak for the rest of us when I say we definitely need to see more. It will be very interesting to see how it works in Crackdown, which I think will be the real test of cloud computing on Xbox One. Speaking of Crackdown, that brings me to my next point...

Second, will this work outside of a controlled environment? I realize that if Crackdown is playable at E3, it will be in a controlled environment with ample servers. It's difficult to say if it will actually work as well out of a controlled environment as it would inside of one.

Third, and this is totally subjective (it might be my computer), is anyone else seeing these subtle choppy motions on the red asteroids? If not, it's probably just me.

We'll probably never answer these questions until it's in our living rooms, but Microsoft seems to know what they're doing with their networks. I think it'll pan out alright, but I am skeptical of the possible scale of games the cloud is capable of handling. Microsoft has been making great strides in disproving the skeptics with some of their recent technologies, so I wouldn't be surprised if my skepticism was disproved.

NatureOfLogic_1322d ago

This is cool and all, but wouldn't updating code in real time like that without proper testing be extremely risky? Also lots of security risk comes to mind.

Multiplatguy1322d ago

It would be foolish of any dev to experiment with live code of a game. It will still go through testing and whatnot before being published. It just means games won't need to go offline for maintenance when patches are being up out.

rainslacker1322d ago

Yes it would be risky, but I'd imagine it would have to be tested. Security may be a problem if hackers infiltrated the cloud and started uploading code, but the average player wouldn't be able to do that.

dillydadally1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

They wouldn't necessarily use this to update untested code, but to update code they already tested.

For example, think of Halo. If they wanted to mess with weapon balance, they could have all sorts of levers in the code, such as damage, accuracy, recoil, zoom level, stopping power, aim assist, etc. They could update these values in real time, so they could continuously tweak balance in the game without having to patch the game each time.

Alternatively, it could be used by developers to quickly test changes to their code. In this case, it would allow for quicker game development, not changes to live games.

NatureOfLogic_1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

Thanks for responding guys. It's a really cool concept and I would like for it to work. I just don't see MS allowing every developer to automatically update their code in real time, so very few games would benefit from such cloud tech. Updating in real time comes with some good but it also comes with a lot of disadvantages. I'm sure there's more uses for this that I'm not currently thinking of atm.

dcbronco1322d ago

Nature if you read a little about Azure you'll find real time updates are a major component of it. Whether it is a game or a document real-time updates for AI or collaboration on a presentation is the goal. This is another reason I believe Microsoft was pushing always on. If you look at drivatars they make AI cars more realistic. But imagine every Xbox One reporting every player action back to the cloud, the cloud then adjust the actions of the bots or CPU controlled enemies and you have a new play through every time. Infinite replayability on single player games. And with a persistent cloud AI for each game and always on that AI eventually learns every trick in the book. And like a well programmed chess game it learns human tendencies and our camping spots and the tactics to overcome them. Computers poking their heads around corners and providing suppressing fire and using the cloud to react in real-time to what we do.

Also imagine playing a single player game using a persistent cloud based world. There are limited resources and get find information about a stash of guns hidden somewhere. But so do the other 200,000 people playing the game right now. It's a made dash to get them first where there is no code updated but all 200,000 players are the actors in each others game. No computer players just real people and after everyone dies or agree to work together to get the weapons or someone just gets there first the others find and empty case, cave or box. Imagine Minecraft using this where one person builds something and it appears on all of their friends world. A group of friends could play Skyrim and though they play individually, they effect the same persistent world where you can play all day by yourself but share finds with each other. Form a clan, build a castle defend it and explore the world. All of you get a bunch of Lydias and form an army. All the while the cloud could be running a public world where various aspects of yours and other games are used to make a ever changing landscape. So much you can do with this.

MasterCornholio1322d ago

That does sound very risky. Imagine in the middle of playing a game it downloads a patch that freezes the game. I dont think anyone would like that.

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Multiplatguy1322d ago

They updated the game without any downtime or without having to even restart it.

Christopher1322d ago

Don't be fooled, they updated an AI element, but not everything can be updated live like this.

Multiplatguy1322d ago

@Christopher - Of course but how often do they dramatically change video games with a patch? Most patches are simply balancing and tweaks. Changing AI elements is one thing but being able to update code, package it and deliver it to games without any downtime opens the possibilities to a whole lot more.

Christopher1322d ago

***Of course but how often do they dramatically change video games with a patch? Most patches are simply balancing and tweaks.***

Majority of those balances and tweeks require dramatic changes to something, typically the engine itself. So... always?

dcbronco1322d ago

Christopher you are making the mistake of believing how things work now is the way it will always work. A common mistake. But it ignores hundreds of years of innovation.

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christocolus1322d ago


you should check out this hololens demo .

no_more_heroes1322d ago

Ok, that was pretty damn cool!

Christopher1322d ago

Live updates of AI in real time.

Really nothing to write home about. Current technology allows similar live AI updates. Example is Destiny can update AI w/o pushing code since AI is server-based, not client-side based.

The thing is that showing AI updates like this won't change that core API changes won't be able to be done like this.

Abriael1322d ago

@Christopher: that is not entirely true. It did not just update the AI, but also the look of the asteroid for instance.

Destiny can make server based changes, but those changes won't dynamically take effect during a match you're already playing. This is quite different.

Christopher1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

@Abriael: That's just lighting physics. It didn't "change the color" of the asteroid, but changed the glow of it. Before you couldn't see it because it was transparent or set to "0", now you could. Same thing as updating AI, essentially. Typically I wouldn't store that type of data in the cloud, though. Nor would most developers. It's not something that you tend to change live, though niether is AI.

***but those changes won't dynamically take effect during a match you're already playing.***

Why wouldn't they if they were made in real time? The fact is, they don't just make updates like that when they're not tied to client-side updates. Why? It's part of the testing process. So, the fact isn't that they wouldn't take effect, the fact is they don't update like that because it's never the only thing that gets updated.

It's not like the whole SQA process of this stuff will be thrown out the window. Unless the only changes you ever make are AI/Physics based (AI for graphics), this won't be any different than what we already have.


Again, this doesn't mean DX12 is going to bring in an age of doing live updates w/o ever having to take games down or forcing updates to the client-side. It's just a very slightly different way of doing what they already do, but just because it can be done doesn't mean it will translate into anything meaningful for the user-end. It in fact won't.

Sharky2311322d ago

I feel like this is useless! It's cool and all but needless. Before I turn my console on whatever game I'm playing has already been updated. If there is a patch. I do however see some dumbass hacker using this for the wrong reason. I hope I'm wrong.

Bladesfist1322d ago (Edited 1322d ago )

Code hot swapping is not a new thing, Game engines like Unreal and Unity have allowed this for a while now. Some languages are built around the idea of being able to replace code without interrupting execution.

This is possible with .Net Reflection and DLLs. A lot of good game design rules make this even easier as programmers struggle to decouple everything and make their stuff implementation independent.

This is even easier with native engines that implement managed embedded scripting runtime like Unity. As the code marshalling between native and managed is already there and compiling the managed side will not effect the native side.

WildArmed1321d ago (Edited 1321d ago )

Pretty much, not exactly new technology.

If people followed development more it would be pretty clear. Current games use it already.

I mean people understand things like these don't exactly require patches, it's server side. The logic has been there for years.

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KnowledgeIsPower1322d ago

Its this weird little thing called "Coding" i think

XanderZane1321d ago (Edited 1321d ago )

Well this is coming from DualShockers and they'll post anything poorly done by Microsoft to make them look bad. This really isn't news and more like Troll Click Bait again coming from DS. I understood what they were trying to do, but it was demoed very poorly and I'm sure DS knows this, which is why they posted it.

They were basically showing how the cloud would control the AI algorithms for some asteroids while the game is playing. The game can be changed by the cloud in real time. Nothing mind blowing really. The demonstration was just very poorly executed. It's like they didn't even test and practice what they wanted to do before they took the stage. Even the controller weren't configured yet. When the cloud is used properly (like with the Drivatars in Forza 5 and FH2) it's impressive.

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1322d ago Replies(2)
rainslacker1322d ago

Is there a video that doesn't clip the beginning of the presentation because it seems something fairly important was left out when he described what was going to be shown.

1322d ago Replies(2)
maybelovehate1322d ago

Destiny needs this haha. Get so mad when updates kick me in the middle of a Strike.

bleedsoe9mm1322d ago

imagine them changing a loot cave as people are exploiting it , no update needed .

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