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06-04-2013 10:18 PM
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  1. smoledman's Avatar
    Sound gimmicky, this cloud-based stuff. Given the latency requirements for these types of games and the fact that nobody has 1GBps internet, this will fail. Ok, they use it to make digital fog.
    06-03-2013 07:36 PM
  2. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    I understand that the cloud is viable when speed isn't a necessity, like in turn-based RPGs, or in MMORPGs, but Forza?

    No money for you if it's not done properly. Which I highly doubt.
    06-03-2013 07:50 PM
  3. Reflexx's Avatar
    Too many people thinking small and in a box.
    06-03-2013 08:30 PM
  4. a5cent's Avatar
    Too many people thinking small and in a box.
    You can't change technical limitations by wishing them away Winning Guy

    Ultimately, what the MS rep was trying to do is make a sales pitch for the XBOX One. As such, I completely understand his desire to mention cloud based features that consumers could get excited about. Obviously, graphics are a great way to do that, since graphics have always sold games. However, it wasn't a great way of explaining the role the XBOX cloud is destined to play. Despite being graphics related, the things he mentioned are typically problems the CPU is tasked to solve. That might actually be a helpful way to think about the XBOX cloud... as an extension of your consoles CPU.

    What the XBOX cloud doesn't apply to is anything that would typically occur on the consoles GPU, a.k.a. rendering (because rendering must occur in real-time at 60 FPS and instantaneously react to user input). While that still leaves many exciting possibilities (particularly in the area of AI), none of it will be the 'in your face' obvious types of things some people envisioned. I don't think that is small or in-the-box thinking. It's just being realistic.
    06-03-2013 09:55 PM
  5. berty6294's Avatar
    Guys is this really worth fighting over? As if a couple of hobby geeks know any better than the number one racing game franchise and the number one video game console manufacturer?

    I'm fairly positive they've got something good going here, and if I were to trust anyone with my clouds it will be Microsoft (or Bob Turk)!
    06-03-2013 10:17 PM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    Guys is this really worth fighting over? As if a couple of hobby geeks know any better than the number one racing game franchise and the number one video game console manufacturer?

    I'm fairly positive they've got something good going here, and if I were to trust anyone with my clouds it will be Microsoft (or Bob Turk)!
    Who's fighting? It's a discussion, no?
    06-03-2013 10:45 PM
  7. berty6294's Avatar
    Who's fighting? It's a discussion, no?
    I mean, name calling has taken place. lol
    06-03-2013 10:50 PM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    I mean, name calling has taken place. lol
    Ah yes, well, there's been worse.

    I trust MS and Turn 10 Studios to release a great Forza game.

    I don't trust marketing departments. I don't trust consumers' intuition that Forza 5 will be using any of the technologies or techniques mentioned by Microsoft. I'll believe that only when the developers of Forza 5 actually say they are doing so.
    Last edited by a5cent; 06-03-2013 at 11:57 PM.
    06-03-2013 11:38 PM
  9. Reflexx's Avatar
    You can't change technical limitations by wishing them away Winning Guy

    Ultimately, what the MS rep was trying to do is make a sales pitch for the XBOX One. As such, I completely understand his desire to mention cloud based features that consumers could get excited about. Obviously, graphics are a great way to do that, since graphics have always sold games. However, it wasn't a great way of explaining the role the XBOX cloud is destined to play. Despite being graphics related, the things he mentioned are typically problems the CPU is tasked to solve. That might actually be a helpful way to think about the XBOX cloud... as an extension of your consoles CPU.

    What the XBOX cloud doesn't apply to is anything that would typically occur on the consoles GPU, a.k.a. rendering (because rendering must occur in real-time at 60 FPS and instantaneously react to user input). While that still leaves many exciting possibilities (particularly in the area of AI), none of it will be the 'in your face' obvious types of things some people envisioned. I don't think that is small or in-the-box thinking. It's just being realistic.
    For one, limitations are only limitations until they are overcome. The life cycle of the ONE is long enough where we may see barriers knocked down and overcome.

    Also, in the short term we could still use the cloud for graphical improvements. Just not foreground "in your face" type stuff.

    However, weather patterns can be calculated in the cloud. Or volumetric lighting effects.

    There are things that are traditionally precalculated/prerendered in games. Because of this, there may be parts of the environment that players cannot interact with. It might mess up the next sequence where there are light maps already applied.

    But if things like light maps, volumetric lighting, etc can be adjusted in the cloud, then we gain greater immersion.

    For Forza, I imagine that they may be doing a lot of weather simulation calculations in the cloud, to give more awesome real time effects.
    06-04-2013 01:21 AM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    ^ I would agree with all of that, possibly excluding the last paragraph about weather simulations. What manner of *non real time* weather simulation calculations would a car racing game solve on the CPU, that are so taxing that offloading them to the cloud would be worthwhile. I can't think of anything.

    I don't want to rain on anybody's party. IMHO even without cloud based compute support, the Xone is already a rediculously powerful gaming device which will outclass anything on current gen consoles by miles. It will be great, no matter what. I'm just warning against unrealistic expectations...
    06-04-2013 02:54 AM
  11. Robert Carpenter's Avatar
    ^ I would agree with all of that, possibly excluding the last paragraph about weather simulations. What manner of *non real time* weather simulation calculations would a car racing game solve on the CPU, that are so taxing that offloading them to the cloud would be worthwhile. I can't think of anything.

    I don't want to rain on anybody's party. IMHO even without cloud based compute support, the Xone is already a rediculously powerful gaming device which will outclass anything on current gen consoles by miles. It will be great, no matter what. I'm just warning against unrealistic expectations...
    Sorry, I just thought of a very logical/plausible example and had to share.

    Wind patterns can be decided ahead of time: Instead of random gusts in random directions in real time, the game randomizes it and plans it ahead of time. Example: The wind is going to blow 5 mph in the northeast direction 30 seconds in. The wind is going to blow 8 mph in the east direction 45 seconds in. The wind is going to blow 4 mph in the northeast direction 50 seconds in. etc.

    Along with the wind, you also want it to be raining, cloud compute: Offload the computation to the cloud to compute how each wind gust will affect the millions of raindrops falling. Without the gusts, the drops will always falls straight down at no angle. Oh wait, don't objects on the map affect how the wind travels (through trees, etc.)? Offload that to the cloud too. Cloud sends data back, and the game knows exactly how to render the visuals for the rain during each gust of wind.

    Wind gusts affect the rain, the game looks awesome with realistic wind effects, the CPU is now free to calculate how the wind gusts affect the car in real-time when each wind gust occurs:
    The car will be at different positions on the track in an unpredictable manner, but the CPU is not being used for these rain/wind calculations so it can now devote more computing power to calculating how the wind affects the car's traction and whatnot.

    If this was not offloaded to the cloud, the CPU would have to calculate this during loading, but even this calculation is so advanced that it would take a inconvenient amount of time for the game to calculate it and load.

    That's just one example, and you MIGHT (very small chance) be able pull it off using the CPU instead, but then what happens when you want to add more to the game? What happens when you want to expand? Without the cloud, every design decision the developers make has to be planned in detail because it takes up space in the CPU theoretically. There is a very strict finite limit to what they can do. Using the cloud, they are able to break free of that limit.
    06-04-2013 08:22 AM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    Thanks for your example Rob! It's a good one, but I had already thought of that and I don't think it applies. Note that I asked specifically for an example for Forza 5 (since that is the thread topic), where 99% of the time you're hurdling by at 180mph. Will anyone ever notice the gentle sway of the falling autumn leaf zigging instead of zagging? Even if it was noticeable, is that effect worth the very high development costs (rather complicated algorithms), particularly if you could just add some randomness to scripted weather instead, without almost anyone noticing a difference? The idea is nice, and I can imagine it being used in a game, just not in Forza 5.
    06-04-2013 10:51 AM
  13. Robert Carpenter's Avatar
    Thanks for your example Rob! It's a good one, but I had already thought of that and I don't think it applies. Note that I asked specifically for an example for Forza 5 (since that is the thread topic), where 99% of the time you're hurdling by at 180mph. Will anyone ever notice the gentle sway of the falling autumn leaf zigging instead of zagging? Even if it was noticeable, is that effect worth the very high development costs (rather complicated algorithms), particularly if you could just add some randomness to scripted weather instead, without almost anyone noticing a difference? The idea is nice, and I can imagine it being used in a game, just not in Forza 5.
    Ok, definitely understand it might not be ideal for Forza, but the development costs are not as much as you are making them out to be, and something like this could be used for so many games. It would be easy to sell or license the code to other game makers to make up for any costs and even turn a profit.

    As for an idea more relevant, how about the dynamic damage? There are a lot of areas for dynamic damage, and one area I could see being offloaded to the cloud is the change in aerodynamics.

    The actual damage is too real-time for the cloud, but the split second after the damage is done and applied, the cloud could be used to compute the changes in aerodynamics. And the Forza engine relies heavily on aerodynamics so it would be a very compelling instance.

    ;)
    06-04-2013 11:12 AM
  14. sinime's Avatar
    I wonder if some of the "cloud based gaming" is for aging cars... You'll now want to see the Car Fax before buying a new ride in Forza.
    06-04-2013 11:51 AM
  15. Robert Carpenter's Avatar
    I wonder if some of the "cloud based gaming" is for aging cars... You'll now want to see the Car Fax before buying a new ride in Forza.
    It's funny you say that, because Forza 4 actually has a system identical to it.

    You can see how many owners a car has had, how many miles, the date it was purchased, and about a hundred other specific details. It's insanely fascinating haha
    06-04-2013 12:11 PM
  16. a5cent's Avatar
    Ok, definitely understand it might not be ideal for Forza, but the development costs are not as much as you are making them out to be, and something like this could be used for so many games. It would be easy to sell or license the code to other game makers to make up for any costs and even turn a profit.
    Keep in mind that I'm talking about "right now" and "Forza 5" only. Something like this will likely find its way into Havoc at some point. But right now, the Forza 5 team would need to do it themselves and those initial development costs certainly are high. They would get much more bang for their buck investing that money somewhere else.

    As for an idea more relevant, how about the dynamic damage? There are a lot of areas for dynamic damage, and one area I could see being offloaded to the cloud is the change in aerodynamics.
    Absolutely! It is in areas like this where I see the most applicability. Notice how it is neither weather (which was the original question) nor graphics related?

    I'm not sure how much a realistic simulation of drag (air resistance) would actually improve racing gameplay, but at least it is an option.

    I can't shake this feeling however, that you and others think I'm trying to discredit this technology in general. I'm not. I'm sure the cloud will be used to host multiplayer races, so Forza 5 definitely has a good use for cloud computing. I just don't see many meaningful uses for the more experimental things we're talking about here, specifically for Forza 5 and specifically at this time.

    However, just because this experimental technology isn't universally applicable, doesn't make it a bad idea. I never said it was. To sum up. My main two points are these:
    • This technology doesn't apply to rendering (anything typically processed by the GPU)
    • Most games can make use of the cloud, but not every game is equally well suited to making use of the more experimental things being discussed here.

    On a side note: Drag calculations would be awesome for a game like "Kerbal Space Program" (if you have an engineering mind, then check it out), which doesn't yet simulate aerodynamics or drag during rocket launches. Considering that designing rockets and launching them into space is a core element of gameplay, and that aerodynamics and drag have huge effects while traveling in excess of 150 m/s through the atmosphere (and that even modern PC's can't handle all those calculations without noticeable lag), this would be a great use of cloud compute power.
    Last edited by a5cent; 06-04-2013 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Robert Carpenter likes this.
    06-04-2013 01:03 PM
  17. Robert Carpenter's Avatar
    I can't shake this feeling however, that you and others think I'm trying to discredit this technology in general. I'm not. I'm sure the cloud will be used to host multiplayer races, so Forza 5 definitely has a good use for cloud computing. I just don't see many meaningful uses for the more experimental things we're talking about here, specifically for Forza 5 and specifically at this time.
    I don't think you are discrediting the technology, but I do think you are discrediting the possibilities of it.

    Everything about the technology is experimental. I don't think it's possible for us to judge the possibilities of the technology because the possibilities are still being created and explored. Anything that involves the use of the technology is revolutionary and a first, so there's nothing to compare it to. We can't sit here and say this isn't possible and this is because all we have is a tool that has no defined uses. It's our job to engineer new ideas and new ways of thinking to explore the technology and what it can do.

    Are you a fan of TED talks? Because I have an awesome one for you (watch it anyway lol): Jay Silver: Hack a banana, make a keyboard! | Video on TED.com

    The first couple minutes of the speech is exactly what I'm talking about. We think something has to work a certain way because that's all we know about how it works. But it doesn't mean something can't work differently in new and exciting ways.

    I'm excited about the ideas that I'm coming up with myself. But I'm even more excited about the ideas that the developers throughout the industry are going to come up with.

    Last year, no one would have thought it was possible for a GPS device to run for over a year with only 2 AA batteries. Now with cloud technology, it's a reality.
    a5cent and HeyCori like this.
    06-04-2013 01:41 PM
  18. a5cent's Avatar
    I don't think you are discrediting the technology, but I do think you are discrediting the possibilities of it.

    Everything about the technology is experimental. I don't think it's possible for us to judge the possibilities of the technology because the possibilities are still being created and explored. Anything that involves the use of the technology is revolutionary and a first, so there's nothing to compare it to. We can't sit here and say this isn't possible and this is because all we have is a tool that has no defined uses. It's our job to engineer new ideas and new ways of thinking to explore the technology and what it can do.
    The fact that I'm not doing cartwheels doesn't mean I'm discrediting the possibilities in general. If everything is as uncertain as you're suggesting (and I believe it is) then it isn't a good bet to expect such experimental features in Forza 5 either (not just for technical, but also for economic reasons and matters of risk). However, at the top of this thread, that was considered a 100% certainty.

    Anyway, I felt the unrealistic expectations people were building up had huge potential to disappoint. Microsoft was setting themselves up for another classic over-promise / under-deliver situation, despite the overpromising being based solely on misunderstanding. Typical Microsoft... that is the main reason I started commenting here. I also hoped to explain a few issues related to cloud computing in general, as consumers have no concrete idea of what that actually is, but that attempt got derailed rather early.

    Anyway, I'll leave it at that. If my positions and motivations for commenting here aren't clear by now they never will be.

    Are you a fan of TED talks? Because I have an awesome one for you (watch it anyway lol): Jay Silver: Hack a banana, make a keyboard! | Video on TED.com.
    Is the sky blue? Thanks, I'll take a look at it!
    Robert Carpenter likes this.
    06-04-2013 02:39 PM
  19. Reflexx's Avatar
    ^ I would agree with all of that, possibly excluding the last paragraph about weather simulations. What manner of *non real time* weather simulation calculations would a car racing game solve on the CPU, that are so taxing that offloading them to the cloud would be worthwhile. I can't think of anything.

    I don't want to rain on anybody's party. IMHO even without cloud based compute support, the Xone is already a rediculously powerful gaming device which will outclass anything on current gen consoles by miles. It will be great, no matter what. I'm just warning against unrealistic expectations...
    Cloud based weather systems could be beneficial if the environment in the game was dynamic. Like if you wanted the weather to match the real weather outside.

    Though I agree that it's not likely they'd do that with this game.
    06-04-2013 09:28 PM
  20. smoledman's Avatar
    I'm not saying there aren't use cases for it, but we'll have to see it proven.
    06-04-2013 10:18 PM
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