Skip to main content

Titanfall Developer Explains Use of Xbox Live Cloud

Probably one of the best games revealed at E3 2013 was Titanfall from Electronic Arts. The game will reportedly use Microsoft's cloud compute initiative which will run all the dedicated servers for Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and perform all the AI hosting, physics calculations, matchmaking and more. Microsoft's cloud will also spin up and spin down dedicated servers on a moment's notice to handle multiplayer matches.

Respawn engineer Jon Shiring went into detail about why the studio is using Xbox Live Cloud for the upcoming Source-powered shooter, an attempt to clear up any confusion since the game's debut. The first portion of the blog explained the difference between player-hosted servers and dedicated, stand-alone servers, the latter of which costs a lot of money in return for a better multiplayer experience.

In the second portion, he said that Respawn wanted a way to have potentially hundreds of thousands of dedicated servers for Titanfall at a price point that's simply not available at this time. He talked to both Microsoft and Sony about this idea, but it was Microsoft who ran with it, realizing that player-hosted servers are holding back online gaming.

"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!" he said.

Microsoft has its own cloud computing platform and infrastructure called Windows Azure, launched in February 2010 and created for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-owned data centers. It provides both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services, and Microsoft realized it could also power its gaming network as well.

"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," he said. "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."

"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," he continued. "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."

It's an interesting read, and certainly builds up anticipation for Titanfall, the potential of Xbox One, and what Xbox Live Cloud could do for PC gamers as well.

  • codo
    This all sounds very over ambitious and I think it will end badly. I like the idea however of the AI adjusting to you. Ultimately, games are based on rules which you can learn and expose, and that ruins the fun. I would like to see games get better, harder.
    Reply
  • codo
    This all sounds very over ambitious and I think it will end badly. I like the idea however of the AI adjusting to you. Ultimately, games are based on rules which you can learn and expose, and that ruins the fun. I would like to see games get better, harder.
    Reply
  • MasterMace
    Doesn't matter, it's EA.
    Reply
  • redeemer
    11113215 said:
    This all sounds very over ambitious and I think it will end badly. I like the idea however of the AI adjusting to you. Ultimately, games are based on rules which you can learn and expose, and that ruins the fun. I would like to see games get better, harder.

    Lol I always find comments like your hilarious, do you build servers do you have an education in cloud computing?? Of course games are built on rules, but this does not have to apply to AI and physics. You honestly think MS would spend mega millions on 300,000 servers for nothing because a poster from Tom's Hardware thinks its overly ambitious?? Developers are already speaking out about MS cloud strategy and they are blown away. The future is cloud, Xbox One and PS4 will probably be the last physical consoles you will be able to buy, after that games will be streamed
    Reply
  • wolley74
    Soo, how much bandwidth is this going to eat again?
    Reply
  • atavax
    we're talking about a multiplayer only game here. You're already doing everything on servers in multiplayer games... It seems like the only new things about it are the dedicated servers being affordable enough for console iterations of games and maybe being able to take multiplayer bots to levels it hasn't reached in games yet because of the affordable cloud computing.
    Reply
  • nevilence
    11113292 said:
    11113215 said:
    This all sounds very over ambitious and I think it will end badly. I like the idea however of the AI adjusting to you. Ultimately, games are based on rules which you can learn and expose, and that ruins the fun. I would like to see games get better, harder.

    Lol I always find comments like your hilarious, do you build servers do you have an education in cloud computing?? Of course games are built on rules, but this does not have to apply to AI and physics. You honestly think MS would spend mega millions on 300,000 servers for nothing because a poster from Tom's Hardware thinks its overly ambitious?? Developers are already speaking out about MS cloud strategy and they are blown away. The future is cloud, Xbox One and PS4 will probably be the last physical consoles you will be able to buy, after that games will be streamed

    Your comment is also funny, you fail, just as microsoft, to realise the world is not nearly as connected as this kind of service requires. That and the concept of requiring the internet just to play a game is of so little interest to many many people its not funny. Not everyone has the capability to remain online constantly, not everyone wants to be online constantly and unfortuneatly some people cant even get online.

    It may be an inevitable future, doesnt mean people wont hate and fight it the whole way though
    Reply
  • segio526
    11113473 said:
    we're talking about a multiplayer only game here. You're already doing everything on servers in multiplayer games

    Actually, from what I've been reading, the only things the servers do on Xbox Live currently is getting the players connected to each other, the consoles themselves play the part of server once the game gets going. This is why people with modded consoles are able to cheat for a while before their banned, the game developers had to script bots to randomly sample matches. Now that they have the server infrastructure in place to host matches a modded console is irelevant since game rules are running on the server. The console has to obey those rules or be disconnected.
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    This is pure marketing BS. All they're really doing is expanding consumer awareness of what a dedicated server already is and does - they're not doing anything evolutionary.
    Reply
  • atavax
    we're talking about a multiplayer only game here. You're already doing everything on servers in multiplayer games... It seems like the only new things about it are the dedicated servers being affordable enough for console iterations of games and maybe being able to take multiplayer bots to levels it hasn't reached in games yet because of the affordable cloud computing.
    Reply