During a panel at GDC 2017 in San Francisco, that DualShockers attended, Xbox Azure Gaming Proncipal PM Joseph Cusimano gave more information on how cloud compute will work in the upcoming Crackdown 3.
During the panel, a video was showcased comparing physics running on an azure cluster (you can see it in the picture below, on the left. Unfortunately filming was not permitted) and physics running on a local machine. Incidentally, the local machine is not an Xbox One, but a pretty high-end PC equipped with a GTX 980 TI, a powerful processor and lots of memory.
You’ll notice that on the left side, the buildings have an overlay with different colors. Each color represents an individual physics server spun-up on demand as the game plays. As destruction increases, the single local machine can’t keep up and frame rate drops, while the Azure cluster is able to distribute computations on multiple servers to cope with the additional processing power required.
Interestingly, the physics simulation is also done several frames in advance, and can cope with multiple possibilities. All the data gets returned to the game server, with with streams configured for each game client, enabling ” lot more physics capability of what we’ve seen in the past,” creating a “truly massive destructible world.”
Cusimano also added that with multiple players in the same world, the destruction goes beyond what a single machine can handle, which is why the setup with multiple servers that you can see above has been developed on the backside in order to support the game.
Crackdown 3 is coming this year for Xbox One and Windows 10, after having been delayed from its original 2016 launch window. it’s supposed to come before the Holiday season, but there is no specific release date yet.
[On-location reporting: Leif Conti-Groome]