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New theoretical game design

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Not_Sure, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Why is it with streaming services for games coming out the only thing they offer is to stream old games?

    Here’s what I want to know: why not do multiple games that are only possible with this technology?

    Why not host a truly open and massive on going rpg?

    With actual wars and battles.

    battles with hundreds of thousands of units.

    All with their own stats.

    All of which you can interact with.

    All of which have a home, a family, a history.

    And every house is populated with items.

    All of which can be stolen, broken, or sold.

    Or how about simply being able to play with 1,000 other players on screen at any moment.

    This particular game is just an example, but I don’t know why these companies don’t throw out conventions and make a game from the ground up on this technology.

    Technology where a super computer could handle a massive progressive game world and there are no limits on the players side because it’s all streamed to them.

    But no, BUY STADIA! You can play Farcry 2 on it!!!

    Here’s what I would do: a fantasy mmo where it takes about 3 months to play out a scenario and the world ends.

    The game has a $20 buy in.

    At the end of the session you allowed are carry over some benefits to the new session.

    Every session has a new map and new quests.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  2. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Well that was their intent originally. See Amazon's disastrous attempts at creating games.

    Edit: or Microsoft a few years back. Remember Crackdown 3?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  3. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    What makes that list of stuff only possible with a streaming service? Rendering and sending video for hundreds or thousands of players is surely much more difficult than just sending them enough local game state to render it on their own end?

    I don't think that those things are generally limited by the technology, in any case. I think it's the game designs side of things which stop it from being desirable. For instance, imagine the map of The Witcher 3 if it was made to a real scale rather than shrunk down for a game. Each town would sprawl over multiple kilometres, at least, and be filled with mostly samey streets. Outside the city there would be miles and miles and miles of farmland as required to feed those people. It'd drastically increase the amount of required content, and almost all of it would be boring, and it'd stretch out the game's pacing like crazy. That aside, city sims already commonly do stuff like give every citizen (whom you choose to interact with) their own stats and so on, so that's achievable already, even on older PCs.

    I suggest checking out the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It deliberately tries to be a medieval simulator, and even then they opted for a scaled down and simplified world. Or, Eve seems to be similar to what you describe, but in space and with all the boring bits hidden.

    This is a darn good question. I suspect it comes down to a few things.

    First, it's a fast way to build up a catalogue. Second, it's association with well known and successful franchises. Third, it's far cheaper and less risky than developing new games. The catch is that it does nothing to convince people of the superiority of the new service.

    Exclusives are what drive people to buy into one system over another. If I was picking between a new Xbox and a new Playstation, a very real consideration might be "Uncharted or Halo?" or "Gran Turismo or Forza?" That's been known for years, so my honest thought is that the various streaming services are just doing open testing moreso than trying to actually crack into the market. Or maybe they're getting early feet in the door in anticipation of it taking off later?
     
  4. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    I believe the answer is that the userbase of current streaming services is not large enough for what would be a platform exclusive title. I'm imagining a pretty massive game, requiring a lot of development time and resources (aka lots of money).

    What "should" happen, is Google creates or funds such a game themselves, even if the game itself is a financial loss, just to get people onto Stadia. But with Google recently announcing they are ending all in house and sponsored game development for the Stadia platform, that tells me Google has already given up on Stadia.
     
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  5. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    What a streaming service solves is that last step. You don't need to design your client/server networking to tolerate relatively slow end user internet speeds, nor high latency. You could theoretically sync the position of hundreds of thousands of players individually from the server to the client every frame, since you're doing it all through 100GB or whatever speed networking a Google datacenter uses internally.

    I'm very surprised Google didn't see this competitive advantage, and release a title to coincide with Stadia's launch, which would be at best impractical to replicate through traditional multiplayer network architectures. Some must see title, you can't get or even find a clone of anywhere else. But no, they decided "we also have Destiny 2" to be their big draw. :rolleyes:
     
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  6. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Is that a problem that needs solving, though?

    I'm not aware of any games where "the bandwidth doesn't exist" is an issue, because once you cull it down to what a player should be aware of in a given moment it's typically pretty small anyway. My PC does not need to be aware of every entity in WoW at once, or even every entity in Battlefield or a (large) game of Quake. Even looking at large cases, RTS games commonly handle hundreds or thousands of units already without needing a fancy internal data centre network connection.

    And latency is the number one issue with these services. If a player has a slow enough connection that the traditional approach is problematic then I don't see how sending a full AV stream (millions of pixels per frame, plus thousands of audio samples) is going to improve that over traditional game data (I would guess hundreds of thousands of floats per second?). Is it possible for a connection to be good enough for Stadia and also bad enough that the traditional approach wouldn't work?

    And if your game has that many players can they all connect to the same data centre? The DC itself may be fine, but if your players are in different regions then, again, you're increasing latency where it hurts (players have to connect to a more distant server) in order to save bandwidth where it doesn't.
     
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  7. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    You aren't aware of the games, because no one puts out games which obviously don't work with current networking systems.

    RTS games include large numbers of units, but it is still common to use lockstep, where the actual position/rotation isn't even synced, instead the game is deterministic and really just player inputs are synced.

    Imagine a game though which was an FPS American Civil War reenactment. Rows of 500 players each side by side, ordered to fire and reload in unison, before being ordered to charge the enemy lines. Why can't we have that game? Because it can't be done today. A streaming service could do it though, where the bandwidth needs for the end user are no more than streaming any other game in their library, and the syncing of all 1000 players that everyone else can see at the same time is all done inside the datacenter.

    Eve Online pulls off 1000's of players all together in the same fight, but they use a feature they call time dilatation. In order to handle that many clients they significantly slow down time on the server, to allow for everything to process and sync to the clients without becoming unreasonably unresponsive. But an FPS type game really can't use that trick.

    As far as region based latency, I'm sure a service like Stadia already connects players to their closest datacenter, and I'm sure a game developer can segregate multiplayer games by region or datacenter (if you can't that sounds like a pretty important feature they need to add).
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    No, I'm saying that in my experience playing, making and designing games and discussing them with other developers this has never even come up as a potential problem in recent years.

    The general reason for that is that as entity counts increase the required data per entity decreases. Which is a part of why RTS lockstep works.

    Can't it? If so I'm not seeing "lack of bandwidth" being the issue. Because no player needs full detail of all 999 other players. The nearby ones, yes, but for the vast majority you can have less detail and reduced update rates.

    What might be an issue is the server having to deal with an O(n^2) workload doing all of the culling to go with that, to decide what to send to each player. So the server would be quite computationally expensive to run. (Though maybe not compared to a Stadia gaming box? Unsure.) With that in mind, the security of the vendor having physical control of the player hardware would be helpful, since half of the reason for culling is to prevent certain types of cheating.

    No doubt, but that's not where I see the issue. It's that you need a huge number of players per data enter to get a game going. In your example, the game would need 1,000 players near the same data centre all wanting to play at once.

    Meanwhile, highly successful franchises such as Battlefield can't reliably get players into a second game type which only needs 32 players for a full game.

    I'm no network programmer, so I could be way off in how much bandwidth would be needed, and my thoughts that it'd be less than a big video stream. Even if I am, though, I see many other issues with the type of game being proposed. I suspect that we "can't have it" because it's unlikely to be commercially viable for anyone to build.
     
  9. SparrowGS

    SparrowGS

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    I was under the impression we are way past the required hardware speed for a while now for doing all* mentioned here, I think the real problem here is the ping, and waiting for the server to tell you what your input did just increases it, I would rather have a bounce back if an input turns out to be "illegal" (as long as it's only once in a while and not every third frame)

    I wonder if there is a way to get around that kind of stuff that by letting "classic" clients be a workhorses for the server data instead of just a rendering engine, opens up a lot of room for cheating so it might be only viable for closed private servers and organized tournament where you can control all the hardware.


    *probably except rendering hundreds/thousands of HD cameras on the same machine, but I also suspect you can heavily optimize for that style of rendering
     
  10. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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  11. polemical

    polemical

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    Ready Player One - despite that being some kind of VR/AR hybrid it pretty much fits the OP list.. if u haven't seen it, I recommend u do :p
     
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