Let's figure out something that only streaming games could do

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by FAST6191, Nov 22, 2019.


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    Presently we are all watching Stadia, which is the latest attempt at streaming computer games to people and in this case it is Google's turn, be a complete disaster. This is to the surprise of nobody that even vaguely knows how computers and games work, seemingly save perhaps those people that funded the thing. Maybe it is a long play to be the one leading the dance if it all manages to actually kick off but right now... yeah.

    However a comment on another thread got me curious
    What might this be? What could be done that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for conventional game hardware in consumer friendly packages to pull off that gamers either want, or don't necessarily right now realise they want?

    The immediate thought for most is they can have the absolute screamingly fastest setup available and push the kind of pixels in real time that consoles and most PCs can only dream of, but make it available for the masses. We have seen stuff like this before, indeed anybody that ever heard the phrase "arcade perfect home port" experienced a version of that -- arcade machines by virtue of their continuous income could push the hardware boat out massively in a way that home consoles (PCs of the time were not quite games machines) could never compete with, or if they could then it was only after a few years and then it starts all over again as the state of the art has moved on further.
    However that is boring so I want specifics if we are doing that, limited to what the real world or near future likely provides -- a 8 CPU and thus 64 core and 16 card SLI setup might be possible in theory but it still limits what can be done practically in the modern world.

    I saw in another discussion about upcoming flight sims possibly storing terabytes remotely such that full recreations of real world locations to continent level is an option. Doing that locally is tricky for the time being if 90 gigs is pushing the envelope for a single game install... however storage costs are dropping all the time so might that catch up before long?
    Similarly would that be all that interesting? As it stands procedural generation can give me an awful lot if I so desire, and do it in an absolutely tiny package (the original Elite from 1984 could give me a massive universe to explore, though they were told to limit it more than they could theoretically have done, and more directed stuff can do better still).
    Some devs regard procedural generation, and the AI that follows from it, as a dirty word or a false promise* (I would probably consider them incompetent or uninspired but we can skip that one for now), there are however still practical limitations to the concept and a bit of human touch still appreciated for the time being. I don't know what the level size limit for the human mind actually is (number of friends has things like Dunbar's number, it is also generally assumed most humans don't think much beyond the horizon but we can probably recall more games maps than that, and characters from works too). This also says nothing about what benefits from more complexity there might be; "I don't have to visit it, but the option being there is enough". Similarly we can achieve that on a normal system now without needing some kind of remote processing or storage.

    Maybe instead of graphics we could have AI worth noting. I don't have my own supercomputer but I can talk to one to play chess that will beat even the best humans going if I so desired. Chess is not really the end goal but such things could happily be expanded. Related at this point would be discussions of game complexity, recent efforts with machine learning to produce computers that can compete at Go and things like the old XBLA Magic the Gathering AI being reasonable jumping off points.

    *Such things will eventually do far more than today. As it stands AI procedurally generated music, voice overs, news stories, behaviours, levels and more are all things doing very well. Now while story scripts still leave something to be desired it is generally a sooner rather than later anticipation here (most news stories being written by AI are usually simple here is a change in the market, here are some other changes, here are some things that happened leading up to this, which is all some news sites really need for a lot of stories) then song lyrics will probably be the first.
    Instead of AI maybe we see some human actors be more viable than they are right now? Though again is that not already something of an option? Surely the likes of World of Warcraft or Eve Online could host a human controlled something but have them paid to run a shop or something slightly tedious.

    Multiplayer is a thing here. As it stands for games like Civilisation we have seen some fairly creative ways to essentially do a play by email and not allow people the option to cheese the system taking the best turn they can (start of turn, send scout in every direction loading each time, pick best course of action as a result of info gleaned and send that save back to the server). Being remote then you could consider it essentially immune to this outside of someone hacking in which already is a rare problem, not to mention limiting options for sniffing data they are theoretically not supposed to have.
    Somewhat amusingly then for lag (more on that later) if everybody is effectively in the same bit of system memory then it somewhat turns the ping negation and other aspects of "the internet sucks" on their head, obviously still got some problems with lag to work around (maybe some kind of AI takeover if ping drops too much) but it is a different take on the matter and solves several problems all at once. Might it be how we reasonably get 1000 vs 1000 player servers? One idea that has consistently floated around is the option for 1000 people to all join at a given time and recreate a large battle, even if one player ends up being little more than a gunner responsible for a small section of a ship in that particular instance.
    It might also allow for some measure of control enough that gambling and other real money going in and out to users becomes a proper option. People have been saying if people can earn a living from games then that will change everything for many years now (far from the first but a good source might be those things for 2012's Diablo 3 with its "real money auction house") but it still remains true that if many people can then that will change things.

    We have seen data from fighting game tournaments be fed back into games to improve AI there. Mega CPU plus it all being local to it could make for some serious tweaks here, and possibly some kind of push back/balancing/openings for an interesting story twist if it thinks things are going wrong (we already see stuff like the left4dead director). Theoretically such things could already be done (input + time of input is not lots of data) but I am sure the folks that spend time contemplating metrics are giddy with anticipation of what such services could allow them to do. If nothing else stats + human "invisible" moderation + instantaneous patching means exploits might not propagate far; if player times/damage/funds have achieved these results outside of expected variables then oh no look your glitch gun broke.

    Combining with the memory above then maybe we see some more persistent world stuff rather than endless replayed instances. Though frankly that could be done now in some ways (see minecraft)... that said combined with the large level stuff from earlier then maybe not. I would not mind seeing a true survival game like this, especially if pinging out saw my character go AI and attempt to return home/finish the task within my capabilities as it were.

    So starting with the assumption that streaming allows those doing streaming games a complete control of essentially a supercomputer, one somewhat immune to hackers, one with only the lag to remote players (which could be made low if certain expensive things are done) being the main issue then what could be achieved that presently is difficult, if not impossible, that would make for a far more compelling experience?
    As part of this theorising I can allow some kind of lag negation; if they did it local to the town/city, or even better, then it would be more than acceptable, but that is actual investment and seemingly more than they care to do right here. We can also skip the "I don't own my games", "muh bandwidth caps" and "I want mods" type discussions as they are issues for some but not so very great when all is said and done (people already give their money to Steam for scarcely any better, such caps are a non issue in a lot of the world and *points at consoles*).
     
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    Discussion (91 replies)
  1. PineappleGod

    PineappleGod Banished God (My name's Piney)

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    Now in GhostLatte's van!
    Something that only streaming can do is no matter what, you need internet. What if I want to play with the Kalahari Bushmen? I ain't getting no internet out there!
     
  2. LDAsh

    LDAsh Advanced Member

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    Well you basically nailed it. Stadia needed a "killer app" or a few, something that can do rendering far beyond what other 8th or even 9th gen consoles could do, and do some really great things with AI and navigation/pathfinding. Something like an RTS comes to mind, definitely something where immediate twitch-response controls don't matter quite so much. In an RTS, several commands could be queued-up so even if the response is not so tight because of lag, the game would still work. They could have really had something if they thought that far ahead and didn't rush it out so quickly.
     
  3. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

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    THE BEST things which STREAMING games can do is IF we all can afford a good quality internet service, we wouldn't need to upgrade our expensive HW to play games anymore, THIS will probably kill graphic cards/CPU etc... HW market, hence tyhe demand will decrease.
    We need 5G to stream games properly
     
  4. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Narcissism in its existensiality

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    Chrome Dino game in glorious 4K60fps, it appears every time there is a lag spike or error in a Stadia game.
     
  5. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Maniac

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    There is nothing streaming games can do that online games don't do better due to being faster and having at least some of the code in the machine you are using to play.
     
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  6. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

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    5G ARRIVES IN ITALY ON 2020 BABY! :P

    MADE BY HUAWEI(TM)
     
    Last edited by leon315, Nov 22, 2019
  7. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Narcissism in its existensiality

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    Let's hope you're in the direct line of sight of where the transmitter is. :P
     
  8. CORE

    CORE 3:16

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    Lower Hardware Requirements setup box cheap to make.

    Requires High Speed Internet and Authentication Account etc.

    Possibly stripped down offline single player versions of games but very unlikely.

    Monopoly and Authoritarian Gaming No Modding, U dont own Games ur renting kind of the way things are going.

    Can be beneficial for the non hardcore gamer who plays games now and then the kind of person who has a very demanding career and just wants yo wind down on demand same as like Netflix and just does not care or does not want to know in and out of things Hardware/Software.

    I myself however have to be in control of my devices and Hardware or Software.

    I am quite happy with the last PPC Generation of Consoles last being WiiU but I do have a PS4 maybe PS5 will see but over the years I also still have decades of PC Games to look into on that note as long as you can still buy and build your own PC I am happy.

    I own my own Library and not dependent on such services and it will stay that way.

    But large online Gaming is possible with Computational Power to say the very least but again Control is a Big issue for me.

    Root/Jailbreak/VPN/Proxy/Spoof/VirtuaIise. I own my Tech the Tech neither Company owns me.
     
    Last edited by CORE, Nov 22, 2019
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  9. tiamat999

    tiamat999 GBAtemp Fan

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    Mmo and online only games like Diablo 3 and 4
     
    CORE likes this.
  10. Obveron

    Obveron GBAtemp Fan

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    Yea I believe it's true that streaming consoles like the Stadia need something takes exclusive advantage of the fact it is streaming. It will never be better than local hardware for traditional games.

    Something around the mentioned Flight Sims with petabytes of realistic textures and geometry. Basically a flight sim in Google Earth. Also space games that use petabytes of real astronomical images to fill a reasonably accurate 3d model of the galaxy that we can romp around in "warp" capable starships.

    I could also envision a MMORPG on a true earth-scale map, with social networking and augmented reality on your Stadia GPS enabled smartphone.
     
    Last edited by Obveron, Nov 22, 2019
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  11. KnightOfRoses

    KnightOfRoses Member

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    I believe the genre that could mostly benefit from this is MMORPG, or any online multiplayer game for the matter. The integration caused of server and client being basically the same would completely change the lag mechanics. The gameplay would be MUCH more precise, akin to a singlepalyer game, with a physics that are not possible with current set up of clients and servers. Just imagine Blizzard and SE running just one big game instance in a super computer and relaying the video output to the players, with everyone on the same map. Hell, if you have 5g you could finally get the graphics and gameplay that Mobile RPG advertise. As someone said before, an RTS could be a genre that also could benefit, just imagine a never ending game that has thousands of players.
     
  12. Viri

    Viri GBAtemp Addict

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    Streaming games would be nice for MMOs. You need an internet for it anyway.
     
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  13. MiiJack

    MiiJack GBAtemp Regular

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    Maybe something akin to Sword art online might do the trick, (VR)MMORPG with the interaction of VR Chat and of course a dynamic world creation, something like Minecraft's, but with enough difference to make everything unique, something that only a super computer can generate quickly enough to make them seamless.
     
  14. diggeloid

    diggeloid Advanced Member

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    Massive multiplayer experiences are the obvious thing, but I don't think that's enough to make it successful. A supercomputer isn't going to make up for bad game design, and people aren't going to play a poorly designed game for long. Google doesn't know anything about game design, and the first thing the CEO said during the reveal event was "I'll admit I'm not much of a gamer". Like why the fuck would you say that when you're trying to build confidence in your product? They're tone deaf and think their money is all they need to be successful.

    Star Citizen might be more practical on something like Stadia though. I guess that would be kind of cool (not that I'd be able to play it on my internet).

    I think that the only good Stadia could bring to the world is if Google focuses their money and lobbying efforts away from violating consumer privacy and towards improving the state of internet service in the US. Probably not going to happen though because they're going to kill Stadia in 4 years, which isn't long enough to justify that kind of investment.
     
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  15. Burorī

    Burorī GBAtemp Regular

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    No Piracy.
     
  16. 1MiinMofo

    1MiinMofo GBAtemp Regular

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    My PC (a Pentium 4 from 2005) is not capable in any way of playing Read Dead Redemption 2. But it does have a PCI Express 2.1 video card that can run 1080p videos at 60 frames per second. I'm guessing that I could indeed play RDR2 on Stadia. And I'd much rather do that then spend a fortune on a PC that still wouldn't be able to play it on the highest settings and would simply waste power when I was using it for anything else. Yes, there's a market for Stadia and yes, Stadia will be a dominant force in gaming in the future. And yes, ALL the other platforms/consoles will embrace game streaming.
    All of them.
     
    Last edited by 1MiinMofo, Nov 22, 2019
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  17. CeeDee

    CeeDee Oh, fishsticks. I'm nauseous...

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    I feel like a Stadia-style streaming service, with you having no access to the executable, could be a good vehicle for an exclusive game with lots of hidden stuff and mysteries that the devs don't just want their secrets datamined.
     
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  18. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Maniac

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    The fortune would go on paying for all the bandwidth wasted on Stadia games.
     
  19. eyeliner

    eyeliner Has an itch needing to be scratched.

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    People laud 5G like if it's the holy grail. It won't be. It will be expensive, and far behind what a wired connection can do. Most gear today has support for 5G but don't have the means to take full advantage of it.

    It's impossible to stream demanding games, unless you have a server across the street from you.

    they should have gone for a more modest setup, Full HD stream, and more paused games. Adventure, point-and-click, puzzle games, etc. They would have no problems serving those games by stream.
     
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