Titanfall dev explains Xbox Live Compute system, addresses scepticism that it’s not real

Monday, 17 March 2014 11:43 GMT By Dave Cook

Titanfall engineer Jon Shiring has discussed the shooter’s use of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Compute server technology, addressing claims from gamers that the cloud functionality isn’t real.

It follows Shiring’s reveal that Titanfall anti-cheat measures are in the works and will be implemented soon.

Shiring spoke about Microsoft’s Azure server-based cloud features in a podcast session with the company’s community man Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb.

“There’s a lot of things we’re doing in [Titanfall] that’s really different from how any other game has done it before,” he claimed, before adding, “In sort of the traditional model of dedicated servers is you go to your server and that is your home base and you love it.

“One of the key things that is interesting about the Xbox Live Compute that runs on Azure is that they’ve commodotised servers so much, that we just don’t care. I can ask for a server, use it for 10 seconds, and then go like, ‘ah we don’t need it anymore’ and throw it out.

“We bounce people around server to server, and so you’re hitting a lot of different servers and that let’s us do cool things. But it completely upends the old model of like, ‘I’m going to find my server and stay there forever’. And so there’s been a lot of interesting changes because of that idea that’s gone through everything from matchmaking and skill and how we do the training in the beginning of the game and all these things that are – no one’s really tried before and kind of left everyone scratching their heads for a while when we were figuring out how we were going to do it. But it was really interesting to me.”

Addressing fars that Microsoft’s chest-beating over Titanfall’s cloud features was a marketing ploy with no real impact on the shooter, Shiring made clear “And I know that the internet is very sceptical that this is real. Hopefully less so now that Titanfall is out and they realize that they really are playing on these servers out there.”

He then explained what he tech actually does, explaining that it allowed Respawn to, “go crazy and do things like throw AI in multiplayer and have these ships flying around the world and all these things that in a peer-to-peer hosted game – I know this is a little technical, but in a peer-to-peer hosted game, the bandwidth isn’t there.

“You’re not going to find all these home consoles that have the amount of CPU and bandwidth you need to be broadcasting that there’s 400 things moving this frame. It just melts down everything that is there. So once we can just tell the designers, ‘yeah don’t worry about it, just spawn that thing and make it move. It’s fine.’”

He added that this power didn’t stop Respawn from trying new ideas and bolstering the game with features, as it wasn’t “fighting limitation,” giving them free reign to run amok where other games would have power and capacity considerations across the board.

Have you been playing Titanfall? If so; what do you think?

Via MP1st.

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