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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the Azure-waves-of-pain dept.

skullz writes:

"From engadget: A closer look at Titanfall's not-so-secret weapon: Microsoft's cloud

While you were busy running along walls and throwing missiles back at your opponents during the Titanfall beta, countless data centers across the world were making sure that each AI-controlled Titan bodyguard had your back. Much of the frenetic action in Respawn Entertainment's debut game rests on one thing: Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure.

Up until last November, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's baby was mostly used for business applications, like virtualization and acting as an enterprise-level email host. With the Xbox One, though, the company opened up its global server farms to game developers, giving them access to more computing power than could reasonably be stuffed into a $500 game console. Since the Xbox One's debut, Microsoft has been crowing about how Azure would let designers create gaming experiences players have never seen before. Now it's time for the product to speak for itself."

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by GungnirSniper on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:28AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:28AM (#14456) Journal

    Please don't just copy/paste a link with the first two paragraphs of the linked article as a story. Articles here should summarize why this should interest us, and be OC - original content from you (the submitter).

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:34AM

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:34AM (#14459)

      So pleasing to be on a site where we get this type of response rather than "You fucking retard, are you too stupid to summerize!"

      Well done. This is the type of comment that drew me to /. so many years ago.

      --
      Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:19AM (#14490)

        You fucking retard are too stupid to comment. Go suck a nigger dick.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by RedBear on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:37AM

        by RedBear (1734) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:37AM (#14518)

        "summarize"

        Pow! Right in the kisser.

        *snark*

        --
        ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
        ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by lx on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:27AM

      by lx (1915) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:27AM (#14516)

      I don't mind as long as these stories are clearly marked as Press Release. Luckily the breathless tone of praise does a similar job.

    • (Score: 2) by skullz on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:55PM

      by skullz (2532) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:55PM (#14674)

      What, we have standards here?! Why didn't someone send me that memo?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by hybristic on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:38AM

    by hybristic (10) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:38AM (#14461) Journal

    I really like Titanfall, I just wish that there would be a Playstation version, alas I know that isn't happening.

    As for Azure, I guess it's good that Microsoft is finding it's niche. I have felt for a while they were trying to kill themselves off, but if they can capitalize on the Xbox One and Azure, they might actually be successful in that area. I just wonder how effective this market will remain. Valve moving to Linux should be a significant draw for the PC gamers. Their enterprise division doesn't have too much competition yet, but there are many that have their eyes on it. They luckily have a large customer base that is locked in on older platforms. They could possibly fix the Win8 debacle before large companies desire to upgrade their infrastructure, if they don't Azure will suffer there too. But it seems to me like they are starting to figure out their priorities, that's a good first step.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:50AM

      by tftp (806) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:50AM (#14501) Homepage

      I looked at the trailers, and the action in that game is way too frenetic for me.

      • (Score: 1) by hybristic on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:23PM

        by hybristic (10) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:23PM (#14789) Journal

        It can be a crazy game. I honestly haven't played as much as I would like to, but I think its on the level of Battlefield in terms of activity at any one time. You actually have less players per map than you do on BF4, but it feels like just as much is going on. Its a completely different game though. I could see me wasting a month of my life playing it, constantly raging, and in the end never coming back to it. Since Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, I just haven't been able to play shooters like I used to. I stick to RTS or RPG's now. In fact the only game I still play consistently is Dark Souls. It's one of the best challenges from a game on a modern console I have had in a long while.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by melikamp on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:51AM

    by melikamp (1886) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:51AM (#14470) Journal
    Gosh it's been like what, less than a month, and we already have newsvertisments for Microsoft?
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Hyper on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:10AM

      by Hyper (1525) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:10AM (#14475) Journal

      SoylentNews! The Microsoft friendly alternative to /.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Dunbal on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:06AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:06AM (#14487)

        Microsoft friendly? Wait till tomorrow when you're reading about how Microsoft totally screwed up the launch of Titanfall. Been trying to log in for over an hour without success. "Initializing...."

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:57PM (#14612)

        soyvertisements!

        alternative to slashvertisements

        • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by IRGlover on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:30PM

          by IRGlover (2860) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:30PM (#14627)

          "Soyvertisements - the Greener alternative to Meatvertisements"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:14AM (#14476)

      This REGISTER PLAYER 1 will not PLAYER TWO MUST REGISTER convince me to PLAYER REGISTRATION DATA NOT VALID buy an xbox.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:26AM

      by edIII (791) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:26AM (#14481)

      This is not so much an advertisement. The summary could have worded differently for sure but there is still interest in this.

      What caught my eye was the AI robots inside it having their AI powered by a large cloud like Azure. That's pretty damn impressive and I got bored quickly of playing other games when I figured out how their AI worked more or less.

      This is a much more difficult opponent. I like the idea of playing against something user near super computing resources, and usually the only people that get to do that are grand master chess champions.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by blackpaw on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:36AM

        by blackpaw (2554) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:36AM (#14495) Journal

        Yes, basically its about Game AI being driven by cloud computing resources - fascinating stuff, excellent way to expand console capabilities. I wonder how much bandwidth is needed for this.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:52AM (#14545)

          I wonder how much bandwidth is needed for this.

          Judging by the quality of game AI that I've experienced, probably not much.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:52PM

          by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:52PM (#14635)

          It is nice. The normal solution for difficult opponents is to have them cheat, which can get very annoying.

      • (Score: 1) by citizenr on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:42PM

        by citizenr (2737) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:42PM (#14658)

        AI bit is a lie, AI is controlled by the client.
        Its the same lie you read during Sims launch.

        Azure 'cloud' is nothing more than a bunch of CounterStrike servers, and YES, we did see it before .. playing CS.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Katastic on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:51PM

        by Katastic (3340) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:51PM (#14764)

        FYI, just because you have more CPU power doesn't mean they're using "smart" AI. It's not like they're using neural nets to know whether it should cover you or not.

        It's more likely they'd rather use that CPU/GPU power for flashier graphics and off-load the "useless things" like AI to a cloud server with variable ping.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by EvilJim on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:38AM

    by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:38AM (#14483) Journal

    I bet it'd run better on anything but win2k8 server, even a Beowulf cluster of pi's vm'ing dos :)

    • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:47PM

      by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:47PM (#14841) Journal

      I was expecting my karma to go down but somehow I gained an extra 3 points overnight :/

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:19AM (#15080)

        If I'd impregnated your mom, you'd also have an extra three inches of penis...

        • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:55AM

          by EvilJim (2501) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:55AM (#15164) Journal

          nice prison rape joke!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:14AM (#14488)

    Whatever happened to privately operated dedicated servers? Don't big corporate gaming corporations allow players to run their own servers anymore? Why do corporations hate freedom?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by AnythingGoes on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:48AM

      by AnythingGoes (3345) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:48AM (#14500)
      It used to be most games could be their own servers (e.g. Quake 3 Arena), but ever since the success of World of Warcraft and the monthly fees that came along, every single gaming company has the dollars in their eyes and started on the same path.
      Nowadays, only the free/opensource games have their own downloadable servers, everything else either requires login to a hosted authentication server (Minecraft) or makes you run everything from the server (almost every other FPS nowadays).
      On the bright side, it does then to cut the number of cheaters down, on the bad side, a good game could just disappear whenever the game servers are removed, or worse, the authentication servers - here's looking at Sony :( ...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:15AM (#14509)

        Yes, it's all about the monthly fees. I run an OpenArena server on Amazon EC2. Amazon gets my monthly fees, and the OpenArena team gets nothing.

        • (Score: 1) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:18AM

          by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:18AM (#14524) Homepage

          Quoted from GP:

          Nowadays, only the free/opensource games have their own downloadable servers

          --
          systemd is Roko's Basilisk
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:21AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:21AM (#14530)

          Incorrect: The OpenArena team get another server for people to play the game on, and an expanded community of players, at no incremental cost to themselves.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RedBear on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:46AM

      by RedBear (1734) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:46AM (#14538)

      Whatever happened to privately operated dedicated servers? Don't big corporate gaming corporations allow players to run their own servers anymore? Why do corporations hate freedom?

      Rental. Income.

      Your "freedom" does nothing to line my pockets with a continuous influx of money.

      Playing Devil's Advocate: Pretty sure you still have the freedom to jump on Kickstarter and ask for millions of dollars to create your own blockbuster game that will run on private servers.

      Not sure why the word "freedom" even comes up in these contexts. Is someone forcing you to buy this commercial product? Is one of your natural or Constitutionally protected rights being violated by the way this commercial product operates? If you don't agree with the way the product functions, uh, maybe... don't buy it? Maybe go play one of those other games that still runs on private servers? Hmm?

      [Why do I suddenly feel as if my weirdly football-shaped head is slowly turning sideways as my voice slowly increases in pitch?]

      --
      ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
      ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by geb on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:16AM

        by geb (529) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:16AM (#14563)

        Freedom is not just about having a complete set of rights, whether "complete" is defined constitutionally, naturally, or whatever.

        Freedom is a measure of how many options are available to you.

        Freedom can therefore be increased by technology, which opens up more options, and it can be denied to you by crippled technology, which limits how you use it.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dilbert on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:48PM

        by dilbert (444) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:48PM (#14633)

        Users who complain about a lack of freedom while still purchasing subscription or DRM'd games makes as much sense as someone complaining that GM makes crappy cars as they drive a brand new GM off the lot.

        I'm not saying you need to be the next RMS, but if you're actively paying someone each month for a captive user experience, what exactly is their motivation to change?

        Vote with your actions/money/feet!

    • (Score: 1) by basecase on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:15PM

      by basecase (1952) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:15PM (#15499)

      Did you ever play AlterIW. It was a real nice server emulator framework for MW2, BO but it got the old shutdown. Was quite nice though. Could run your own server with your own rules, mods, all that good stuff.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HonestFlames on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:23PM

    by HonestFlames (3704) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:23PM (#14595)

    The Xbox One has been out for... a few months. Am I supposed to believe that Titanfall is utilising huge swathes of cloud computing power in order to do some NPC AI? I am not only calling bullshit, I'm pretty sure I saw it come out of the bull and splatter on the ground.

    AI is pretty tricky, from a development viewpoint. There's not an enormous amount of middleware easily licensed that you plug in to your project that just 'does' AI for you after you feed it a parameter or five. Still, I point-blank refuse to believe that an all-singing, all-dancing uber console can't manage a few (tens of thousand) 'if this do that' decisions.

    What I'm more tempted to believe is that pushing it out to Azure was a way to solve a couple of problems. More than likely, the problems were latency and bandwidth, not "oh noes, the CPU is too weeeeak".

    Give it 12 months... 24 months... 5 years from now, then we will see some impressive stuff happening, but as of right now there isn't a publisher in the World who will spend the requisite money to provide a big chunk of Azure compute resources to every online player of game X.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:53PM (#14636)

      Still, I point-blank refuse to believe that an all-singing, all-dancing uber console can't manage a few (tens of thousand) 'if this do that' decisions.

      The console likely can, but I doubt that will help much in an online multiplayer game where everything is on the server.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HighOrbit on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:01PM

    by HighOrbit (3320) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:01PM (#14640)

    The good thing about having everything run on the console is you can still play your old games on the console 7 years from now. Once they decide the drop support and take down the servers, its over forever. Your game will only be a memory.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by everdred on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:53PM

      by everdred (110) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:53PM (#14671) Journal

      Naturally, they'll do the decent thing and send everyone a refund when that happens. ...right?

    • (Score: 1) by metamonkey on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:36PM

      by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @05:36PM (#14722)

      As Titanfall is a multiplayer-only game, I'm not too concerned about that. Seven years from now I expect very few people to still be playing it, so even if I still am, I would have no one to play with. I'm planning to buy it on my way home from work today, and to get a few months, maybe a year of enjoyment out of it. If after that they pull the plug on the servers, I will still consider my enjoyment hours per dollar to have been a wise investment.

      --
      Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
  • (Score: 2) by Boxzy on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:35PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:35PM (#14830) Journal

    Do these software writers forget that Gaming (capital G)is a cultural artifact and therefore deserving of preservation? During my lifetime there has been a vast number of arguments back and forth regarding video games and 'is it art?'

    I still play Frontier: Elite II over two decades since its release and using the same savegame.

    I have access to tens of thousands of such cultural artifacts from yesteryear, seems this generation of programmers are happy to lose their hard work the instant the servers are turned off.

    It's sad really, I always thought it would take copyrights, laws, save the children and locking down of hardware to kill off Gaming, but no, the industry itself is committing suicide one useless disc, one annoyed Gamer and one forgotten game at a time.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.