Ubisoft has unveiled cloud computing technology that it says will allow it to create entirely new types of games.
Ubisoft Stockholm chief executive Patrick Bach, technical director Christian Holmqvist, and CTO/technical director Per-Olof Romell discussed the technology, which is called Ubisoft Scaler, during a GDC presentation on Thursday.
They said this will allow Ubisoft to create larger and more complex game worlds than ever before that can be updated in real time and populated by giant numbers of players, creating new social experiences.
After a reveal video, seen below, Scaler Product Manager Romell kicked off a Q&A section of the presentation explaining what the technology is.
“Ubisoft Scaler is a foundational technology that allows Ubisoft titles to use the power of the cloud. Essentially what it is also is a really huge shift in mindset. Try looking 10 years into the future and imagine what what games should be, could be, and what you might expect from games and how you make them.
Bach, who was general manager of the Battlefield DICE studio before joining Ubisoft, said that when the Stockholm studio was established in 2017, he was given “the mandate to sort of break out of the molds that we know of how to create games and also to push the technology further.
He said, “How do you reimagine what games should be and could be in the future? And then start building in that direction to create new experiences, because in general games are usually an iteration of what’s come before. We want to free ourselves from 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 since we’ve made games. Really what we’ve been really good at is hiding those limitations and working around those limitations, that’s sort of our expertise actually Now what Scaler really allows us to do is remove these limitations altogether rather than push them back.
“It prepares us for a new set of challenges, which is, now that what we know is no longer relevant, we have to rethink and relearn how we make games to create experiences that we actually want, so that changes everything. “
Romell said Scaler’s cloud technology shouldn’t be confused with game streaming.
“Game streaming is a distribution model, it improves the accessibility of games, but it doesn’t essentially change what games are and how good they are. Now what Ubisoft Scaler is is the quality and the possibilities it opens up for us as game developers and gamers.
He also said that Scaler is not a new game engine. “I don’t think it would make much sense to go back to making game engines the way we think of game engines today. Scaler is an alternative and also an option for existing game engines to be used to be accelerable in the cloud both in terms of production but also real-time experiences.
So what can players expect from games created with Scaler?
“A very important aspect brought by Scaler is that the services are always available,” said Holmqvist. “The game is still running and it’s always possible to update elements of this game, so that the developers can create very rich worlds that can grow, evolve and change as the game progresses. players play it. [will create] a much closer connection between players and creators.
Bach said: “I think in general what we should expect from this breakthrough in cloud computing is that first of all it will be possible to have more players in a shared world, which which I believe will create new social experiences that we have never seen before.
“You can also create global simulations of a scale and complexity that we’ve never seen so well. And you can top that off with one of the pillars of what Ubisoft is really good at, world building. We can now create even bigger worlds for players. »
Scaler is a decentralized technology available in Ubisoft and its studios in Stockholm, kyiv, Malmo, Helsinki and Bucharest are currently working with it.
“Ubisoft Stockholm is working on IP which is being 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 now,” Bach said.