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Ubisoft reveals new cloud computing tech ‘built to power the game worlds of tomorrow’

kingfey

Banned

Ubisoft has revealed a cloud computing technology that it claims will enable it to create brand new types of games.

Ubisoft Stockholm’s managing director Patrick Bach, technical director Christian Holmqvist and CTO / technical director Per-Olof Romell discussed the tech, which is called Ubisoft Scaler, during a GDC presentation on Thursday.

They said it will allow Ubisoft to make bigger and more complex game worlds than ever before, that can be updated in real time and be populated by a giant number of players, creating new social experiences.

Following a reveal video, Scaler product director Romell kicked off a Q&A section of the presentation by explaining what the technology is.

“Ubisoft Scaler is a piece of foundational technology that enables Ubisoft titles to utilise the power of the cloud. In essence what it also is, is really a huge shift of mindset. Try to look 10 years into the future and imagine what games should be, could be, and what you could expect out of games and how you make them.”

Bach, who was general manager of Battlefield studio DICE prior to joining Ubisoft, said that when the Stockholm studio was established in 2017 it got “the mandate to kind of break out of the moulds that we know about how to make games and also to push technology further”.

He said: “How do you reimagine what games should be and could be in the future? And then start to build towards that to create new experiences, because in general, games are usually an iteration of what has been done before. We want to break free of that and build something big.”

Romell said Scaler means game creation will no longer be held back by the limitations that hardware platforms place on development.

“That limitation has always been there for as long as we’ve made games. In actuality, what we’ve been really good at is hiding those limitations and working around limitations, that’s sort of our expertise actually. Now, what Scaler actually enables us to do is to totally remove those limitations rather than pushing the boundaries of them.

“That sets us up for a new set of challenges, which is, now that what we know is quite irrelevant, we need to rethink and relearn how we make games to create experiences that we actually want, so it changes everything.”

Romell said Scaler’s cloud technology shouldn’t be confused with game streaming.

“Game streaming is a distribution model, it betters accessibility of games, but it doesn’t change in essence what games are and the quality of them. Now, what Ubisoft Scaler is all about is the quality and the possibilities that it opens up for us as game developers and gamers.”

He also said Scaler is not a new game engine. “I don’t think it would make a lot of sense to kind of restart making game engines the way that we perceive game engines being today. Scaler is an alternative and also an option for existing game engines to use to be cloud accelerable both in terms of production but also in real time experiences.”

So, what can players expect from games created using Scaler?

“One very important aspect that Scaler brings is that you have the services always being available,” said Holmqvist. “The game is always running and it’s always possible to update pieces of that game, so developers can create very rich worlds which can develop and evolve and change as players are actually playing them, so it [will create] a much closer connection between players and the creators.”

Bach said: “I think in general what we should expect from this breakthrough in cloud computing is that first of all there will be able to be more players in one shared world, which I think will create new social experiences that we’ve never seen before.

“You can also create world simulations on a scale and complexity we’ve never seen as well. And you can top that up with one of the pillars of what Ubisoft is really good at, building worlds. We can now build even bigger worlds for players to play in.”

Scaler is a decentralised technology available across Ubisoft and its Stockholm, Kiev, Malmo, Helsinki and Bucharest studios are currently working with it.

“Ubisoft Stockholm is working on IP that is developed in tandem with Scaler and the goal is of course to take full advantage of all the possibilities of this new technology, but it’s a bit too early to talk about that right now,” Bach said.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member

Ubisoft has revealed a cloud computing technology that it claims will enable it to create brand new types of games.

Ubisoft Stockholm’s managing director Patrick Bach, technical director Christian Holmqvist and CTO / technical director Per-Olof Romell discussed the tech, which is called Ubisoft Scaler, during a GDC presentation on Thursday.

They said it will allow Ubisoft to make bigger and more complex game worlds than ever before, that can be updated in real time and be populated by a giant number of players, creating new social experiences.

Following a reveal video, Scaler product director Romell kicked off a Q&A section of the presentation by explaining what the technology is.

“Ubisoft Scaler is a piece of foundational technology that enables Ubisoft titles to utilise the power of the cloud. In essence what it also is, is really a huge shift of mindset. Try to look 10 years into the future and imagine what games should be, could be, and what you could expect out of games and how you make them.”

Bach, who was general manager of Battlefield studio DICE prior to joining Ubisoft, said that when the Stockholm studio was established in 2017 it got “the mandate to kind of break out of the moulds that we know about how to make games and also to push technology further”.

He said: “How do you reimagine what games should be and could be in the future? And then start to build towards that to create new experiences, because in general, games are usually an iteration of what has been done before. We want to break free of that and build something big.”

Romell said Scaler means game creation will no longer be held back by the limitations that hardware platforms place on development.

“That limitation has always been there for as long as we’ve made games. In actuality, what we’ve been really good at is hiding those limitations and working around limitations, that’s sort of our expertise actually. Now, what Scaler actually enables us to do is to totally remove those limitations rather than pushing the boundaries of them.

“That sets us up for a new set of challenges, which is, now that what we know is quite irrelevant, we need to rethink and relearn how we make games to create experiences that we actually want, so it changes everything.”

Romell said Scaler’s cloud technology shouldn’t be confused with game streaming.

“Game streaming is a distribution model, it betters accessibility of games, but it doesn’t change in essence what games are and the quality of them. Now, what Ubisoft Scaler is all about is the quality and the possibilities that it opens up for us as game developers and gamers.”

He also said Scaler is not a new game engine. “I don’t think it would make a lot of sense to kind of restart making game engines the way that we perceive game engines being today. Scaler is an alternative and also an option for existing game engines to use to be cloud accelerable both in terms of production but also in real time experiences.”

So, what can players expect from games created using Scaler?

“One very important aspect that Scaler brings is that you have the services always being available,” said Holmqvist. “The game is always running and it’s always possible to update pieces of that game, so developers can create very rich worlds which can develop and evolve and change as players are actually playing them, so it [will create] a much closer connection between players and the creators.”

Bach said: “I think in general what we should expect from this breakthrough in cloud computing is that first of all there will be able to be more players in one shared world, which I think will create new social experiences that we’ve never seen before.

“You can also create world simulations on a scale and complexity we’ve never seen as well. And you can top that up with one of the pillars of what Ubisoft is really good at, building worlds. We can now build even bigger worlds for players to play in.”

Scaler is a decentralised technology available across Ubisoft and its Stockholm, Kiev, Malmo, Helsinki and Bucharest studios are currently working with it.

“Ubisoft Stockholm is working on IP that is developed in tandem with Scaler and the goal is of course to take full advantage of all the possibilities of this new technology, but it’s a bit too early to talk about that right now,” Bach said.

Oh good lord, incoming AC game with a map the actual size of Earth.
 

Fbh

Member
Sure....but technical limitations aren't why Ubisoft games suck


Oh good lord, incoming AC game with a map the actual size of Earth.

Oh yes, what I've always wanted from Ubisoft.
Even more bloat..... but now with an always online requirement.
 

vpance

Member
Finally, the power of the cloud is here
 

ShadowLag

Member
“One very important aspect that Scaler brings is that you have the services always being available,” said Holmqvist. “The game is always running and it’s always possible to update pieces of that game, so developers can create very rich worlds which can develop and evolve and change as players are actually playing them, so it [will create] a much closer connection between players and the creators.”

Funny GIF


 

Notabueno

Banned
They just won't stop being uninspired dumb fuck.

Of course when your company gets destroyed by (for once a well deserved) metoo, you either find the legitimate, skilled and talented replacement or...this all goes down to the drain, especially in France where there is literally no pragmatism, no vision, huge glass ceilings, consanguinity and racism in the hiring, that will be artificially maintained by people's taxes through varied corrupt government funding even if they fail in the results from a competitive standpoint.
 
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There was an interview wayy back before this gen that one of the ways ubisoft could evolve the open world was to essentially stack one open world on top of another. Like having 18th century Paris and able to switch to modern day Paris at anytime. Hope they will eventually get there.
 
Larger and more complex worlds are the natural progression of this medium.

The people getting upset at Ubisofts goals here aren't being mature.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
Denser and more interactive worlds should be the future. They can still be large, just not too much bigger than the recent ACs unless the gameplay is extremely macro, like say Just Cause 2-4, where you can just fly away somewhere on a moments notice, then obviously you can scale up and its not rote or overwhelming. Will still be a ton of emptiness in that case to add scale though.
 
Denser and more interactive worlds should be the future. They can still be large, just not too much bigger than the recent ACs unless the gameplay is extremely macro, like say Just Cause 2-4, where you can just fly away somewhere on a moments notice, then obviously you can scale up and its not rote or overwhelming. Will still be a ton of emptiness in that case to add scale though.

The emptiness issue will be addressed in part by player creations.

Villages, Towns, and Cities will be constructed by players. Less work for developers, more fun for players.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
The emptiness issue will be addressed in part by player creations.

Villages, Towns, and Cities will be constructed by players. Less work for developers, more fun for players.

Sorry I don't want that, I want art created by the top artists, not Billy Bob down the street.

Sure there are exceptions of true greatness in user created content, but once something becomes as complex as 3D models, its like 1 in 1000 actually great things imo. Thats why people practice for years to do it at a professional level.

I'm not sure how you'd vote for the best content and would the devs constrained the art style of the user created content? Or would it be just the whole world is filled with different styles from different users? That would be a bit mental.
 
Sorry I don't want that, I want art created by the top artists, not Billy Bob down the street.

Sure there are exceptions of true greatness in user created content, but once something becomes as complex as 3D models, its like 1 in 1000 actually great things imo. Thats why people practice for years to do it at a professional level.

I'm not sure how you'd vote for the best content and would the devs constrained the art style of the user created content? Or would it be just the whole world is filled with different styles from different users? That would be a bit mental.

We live in a world where "Billy Bobs down the street" have constructed everything. There are advantages to having more than simply the most talented build everything.

Games won't force players to build. They'll support players that want to build. Think further along the evolutionary chain than Dreams, Satisfactory, Minecraft etc...

Take a look at the last few decades of games.

We had driving games.
We had 3rd person shooters.
Then we got Grand Theft Auto which combined the two.

The industry has been taking genres and blending them forever as the technology advances. That isn't going to stop. It's going to continue maturing.
 
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All it ever needs is handcraft experiences refined with procedural systems. Think Destiny RAIDs that are handcrafted while strikes are tuned and created on the fly by procedural rulesets from those parent handcrafted experiences. A bit like the Pixar story writing theory of write your ending first and work backwards.

These huge endless worlds get dull very quickly. A pipeline that is cloud based with dynamism for key elements not requiring DLC, updates, seasons etc is a good idea. The implementation is more a hybrid approach IMO. There's a solution there and at least UBI are trying to work towards it. Hard to tell what is good and what is bad without more specifics being let out of the bag.

Personally I think crossplay and cross-genres is underused and not thought about enough when designing the game development systems, the server systems and in game mechanics/experiences. Think RTS on PC being a battle commander to FPS/TPS players or Eve strategy/organisation creating content and story beats on the fly for a single universe experience. The presentation layer of Destiny has ton of this sort of stuff fleshing this out really well e.g. planets for specific server regions or areas for loot/factions etc. WOW/Destiny raids and the like can create developer lead content. Minecraft and other community driven mods could create dynamic shared content but the "cannon fodder" players get to experience it all as one system.

I think there's more merit in the emergent gameplay experience from these sorts of overarching systems than just going after the tech itself.
 
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intbal

Member
They can devote all the world's supercomputing power to their cloud system.
It doesn't matter if the end user doesn't have great internet. Not just good. Great.
 
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JonSnowball

Member
Apparently it's time for Ubisoft to try their hand at always-on DRM once more after everyone collectively told them to go fuck themselves several years ago. I see they're taking the Microsoft route this time which was met with a similar reaction. Any claim of cloud computing tech being a huge innovation for videogames ignores reality for a fantastical concept that appeals to shitforbrains investors and executives that see a way to backdoor always-online DRM into a product. Hire more creative staff who are capable of developing systems to make the impossible possible on the ever advancing platforms that see new revisions more frequently than any other generation of consoles. This is unnecessary and only serves as an excuse to further screw over consumers one way or another.

Connectivity issues exist, servers have down time, circumstances exist where a reliable connection simply isn't possible, and for those who will counter with "but MMOs and multiplayer-only titles do well!" I'd like to reward your wilful ignorance to the real concern with a big "fuck you" ahead of time.
 
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RyRy93

Member
Can't we just wait and see what they have planned instead of immediately shitting on them?
For a bunch of gaming enthusiasts it always surprises me how much you guys enjoy bandwagoning against new tech such as VR, cloud gaming, etc. the day of an announcement.
 
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Ozriel

Member
They just won't stop being uninspired dumb fuck.

Of course when your company gets destroyed by (for once a well deserved) metoo, you either find the legitimate, skilled and talented replacement or...this all goes down to the drain, especially in France where there is literally no pragmatism, no vision, huge glass ceilings, consanguinity and racism in the hiring, that will be artificially maintained by people's taxes through varied corrupt government funding even if they fail in the results from a competitive standpoint.


You people will gripe about anything. What’s ‘uninspiring’ about tech advancement ?
 

kyussman

Member
Even bigger games worlds......ah,how wonderful......because your big game worlds of today are filled with such compelling gameplay aren't they Ubisoft.Can't wait to do the same ten activities over and over again in an even bigger landscape......fuck off!
 
Even bigger games worlds......ah,how wonderful......because your big game worlds of today are filled with such compelling gameplay aren't they Ubisoft.Can't wait to do the same ten activities over and over again in an even bigger landscape......fuck off!

The 5 best selling single player games of the last 10 years are all giant open world games. They're all way bigger and more complex than what was possible in the 90s and 00s. Same goes for multiplayer as we transitioned out of arena shooters and sports games towards BR and survival games.

Criticizing Ubisoft for observing a very obvious and longstanding trend makes no sense.
 
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IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Ubisoft Scalar is a new foundational technology, led by the team at Ubisoft Stockholm, that leverages the possibilities of cloud computing to enable unprecedented freedom and scale for the games of tomorrow.

Ubisoft Scalar takes the components and systems of traditional game engines and tranforms them into microservices in the cloud – moving from the closed, single-processor systems of today to a distributed model across a potentially unlimited number of machines.
 
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