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  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickygor View Post
    This won't work, for the same reason parallel processing rarely works - parity. Anything to handle a loss of connection, lag, or packet loss, will have to be handled clientside, and to keep it in check without the game going all to hell the moment there's any noise in the signal, the client will have to have the same capabilities as the server.
    And cost. There is a reason this is a 8 core Console with "cloud" (ahahahahahha, excuse me while I have a fit, can we take them serious?) computing and not a 1 core video streamer with a "cloud" that streams 24 cores worth of calculations.

    PS Gunantano, that's the best logical dissonance I've seen from you. :D
    The service went bankrupt for some reason. However you don't see a problem in their service because it was adequate? I'm guessing if it was at least somewhat better, they would not be bankrupt?

  2. #222
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Parallel processing actually works quite well, so long as you either have a system with a low number of faults/errors or use some form of error checking/correction.

    And what I described was essentially how MMOs work and very similar to how multiplayer shooters work (those have a lot more going on client-side, but it is still up to the server to sync everything, which often involves just doing the important stuff itself).

    In the context of a multiplayer game and your fear of errors: You know how when you have a lot of lag, enemies will jump around? Well, for some games, that is because you were locally assuming they would continue along one path when instead they turned. Which means that the server is updating you with info on what they did and your client is (effectively) doing a brief rollback and correction.
    Well sure, but there's a reason barely anyone makes use of multiple cores in games. The errors are unacceptable and no one's reliably sussed out how to sync up discrete cores. I understand the concept of netcode. The reason it happens in MMOs is because they need to stop cheating, not because it's the ideal solution. As a result, MMOs are all laggy as hell and their physics are nothing more than checking clipping (which is done locally, as you can tell by it still happening when you drop connection before it boots you from the game). People that play MMOs accept this because the reward of playing with thousands of other people on the same server is worth it for the piss poor mechanics they all execute.
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  3. #223
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    New Xbox will be region locked as for the previous generations. Retarded.

    http://asia.gamespot.com/news/xbox-o...report-6408917

    Pretext: Local governments require it so. Non-sense. So how Sony is conducting the business of Playstation 3 for all those years? (I mean, except for the title mentioned in the above Gamespot's article)

  4. #224
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    It really depends on your entities. If they're not very internally complex (which they're not really in current games) then multiple cores don't make much sense. But if they do a lot of processing internally (and independently), then multiple cores are a game-changer.

    For instance, we use an agent architecture that perceives a stimulus, appraises the stimulus to generate an emotional reaction, runs a reactive process to see if it should react to that stimulus, runs a deliberative process to see if it should perform any goal-oriented actions, does some reappraisal and then executes the action. This is relatively complex, but it can all be done independently (since, apart from perception and execution, which is as simple as sending a message to a blackboard, it's cognitive modelling of a single mind), so when multiple cores came along we saw a massive increase in performance for very little work, because it's very natural to distribute multiple agents across multiple cores.
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  5. #225
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickygor View Post
    Well sure, but there's a reason barely anyone makes use of multiple cores in games. The errors are unacceptable and no one's reliably sussed out how to sync up discrete cores. I understand the concept of netcode. The reason it happens in MMOs is because they need to stop cheating, not because it's the ideal solution. As a result, MMOs are all laggy as hell and their physics are nothing more than checking clipping (which is done locally, as you can tell by it still happening when you drop connection before it boots you from the game). People that play MMOs accept this because the reward of playing with thousands of other people on the same server is worth it for the piss poor mechanics they all execute.
    Actually, it is more because of laziness and a desire to re-use existing code. It was the same with high performance computing until there was no choice BUT to go parallel.

    If memory serves, the ArmA games have already been set up to utilize multiple cores and I know Wardell wrote a few blogs on making his AI multithreaded.

    Also: You DO realize that pretty much all the PS3 games (I also assume 360, but I can't remember what the architecture of that was off the top of my head) that pushed the system to any notable degree were parallel programs, right? :p


    By the way: Unless Sony and MS use REALLY crappy hardware, there should be few, if any, errors. That just leaves synchronization. And, as goose points out, this would likely be task parallelism rather than data parallelism, even a naive barrier every so often would allow for a fair bit of utilization.
    Last edited by gundato; 27-05-2013 at 04:08 PM.
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  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    It really depends on your entities. If they're not very internally complex (which they're not really in current games) then multiple cores don't make much sense. But if they do a lot of processing internally (and independently), then multiple cores are a game-changer.
    SimCity (prior to the current one).

    Okay, I don't know they're coded this way, and I think at least before the current one they don't use multiple cores, but...

    ...it's essentially a grid of data, where each cell holds a bunch of info (population, wealth, zoning type, electricity/water consumed, what building type is sitting on the plot etc.) and every tick of the clock the game has to calculate a new state for each cell based on it's old state and that of the ones around it, using all the various rules about how the buildings grow and are replaced, and electricity and water and people move around.

    If you keep one grid of cells for the last tick, have another grid for the next one, and slice up that grid into chunks and parcel the calculations for each chunk to seperate threads/cores, swapping the two grids whenever all the cells have been done, then the more cores you've got to run it on the faster the simulation should go. Well, at least until you hit the limit at one processor core per cell :)

  7. #227
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    Actually due to the law of diminishing returns and overheads you hit it LONG before that. Unless you assume the extra cost in covering the distribution calculations is done on separate hardware/chips (which ups the cost of the system anyhow).

  8. #228
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    If memory serves, the ArmA games have already been set up to utilize multiple cores...
    ...but it's never been a particularly good implementation, not that it's necessarily their fault. The AI and the game scripts are a significant problem for the ARMA games, but (based on what the devs are saying) it's difficult to get proper multithreading working. Hence the ARMA games have never been particularly good at performance, particularly in single player, along with a few other endemic issues that BIS apparently never want to fix.
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  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    And cost. There is a reason this is a 8 core Console with "cloud" (ahahahahahha, excuse me while I have a fit, can we take them serious?) computing and not a 1 core video streamer with a "cloud" that streams 24 cores worth of calculations.
    They'll probably stream stuff like physics, lighting and particle effects then - not something that you would notice too much if the connection to the cloud falters.

    And i'm thinking if the cloud server machines are built to specialize in the particular areas that they focus on, there would be much in the way of efficiency gains. So the servers are definitely not just another Xbox.

    But it would be really really cool if, in addition to the limited use above, they could get it work so that, for example, the local xbox renders half the stuff, and the cloud renders the other half. Or more realistically, four fifths and a fifth, with the screen being chopped up into alternating bands, with the cloud responsible for some and the local machine for others. Indeed, this is sort of how crossfire works from what i recall. Of course this may be untenable due to server costs.

  10. #230
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    But it would be really really cool if, in addition to the limited use above, they could get it work so that, for example, the local xbox renders half the stuff, and the cloud renders the other half. Or more realistically, four fifths and a fifth, with the screen being chopped up into alternating bands, with the cloud responsible for some and the local machine for others. Indeed, this is sort of how crossfire works from what i recall. Of course this may be untenable due to server costs.
    SLI can work that way by rendering different parts of a single frame (which is also how 3dfx did it back in the Voodoo days, except the 3dfx version did alternating scan lines while modern methods are more sophisticated), or it can work by each card rendering a different frame (the preferred method). The latter can introduce some input lag though. Either way having that working with the cloud would be a mess. If the connection falters you'd be dropping frames or get rendering errors, which you will notice and which will look terrible. Feeding physics data from external calculations or something like that is fine, since it can just describe the movement of an object in the game world, but trying to split actual rendering between the box and the cloud is going to lead to some pretty big problems.
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  11. #231
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Concurrent programming is HARD, and not all problems can be paralellized. Some problems are inherently linear. People have tried processes, threads, and now Go tries coroutines and greenlets. They don't even agree which ways are good, nevermind the best.

    Let's go to Budapest. You will use a car, rent a buss, or use a plane. But wait !! Now you have SEVEN extra people to help you !!! What do you do ?

    Using cloud to speed up computation will be as useful as using a flash drive to increase your RAM in Windows Vista, or as useful as nipples on a breastplate.
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  12. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    They'll probably stream stuff like physics, lighting and particle effects then - not something that you would notice too much if the connection to the cloud falters.

    And i'm thinking if the cloud server machines are built to specialize in the particular areas that they focus on, there would be much in the way of efficiency gains. So the servers are definitely not just another Xbox.

    But it would be really really cool if, in addition to the limited use above, they could get it work so that, for example, the local xbox renders half the stuff, and the cloud renders the other half. Or more realistically, four fifths and a fifth, with the screen being chopped up into alternating bands, with the cloud responsible for some and the local machine for others. Indeed, this is sort of how crossfire works from what i recall. Of course this may be untenable due to server costs.
    Lol. Love your imaginations there. They don't fit reality though (as an example, try to guess a dice roll ;) ). Honestly, it's probably a CPU on a server. Amazing right? They now have GPU racks you can get cheap. Guess what, it's not cheaper than 1) delivering a console to every customer or 2) streaming the entire gameplay to a sky box. Notice customers have 1 and 2, thus 1+2+3 (3 being a dedicated gaming system on the could for "physics") would be MORE expesive and resource intensive than the current failed attempts.

  13. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Lol. Love your imaginations there. They don't fit reality though (as an example, try to guess a dice roll ;) ). Honestly, it's probably a CPU on a server. Amazing right? They now have GPU racks you can get cheap. Guess what, it's not cheaper than 1) delivering a console to every customer or 2) streaming the entire gameplay to a sky box. Notice customers have 1 and 2, thus 1+2+3 (3 being a dedicated gaming system on the could for "physics") would be MORE expesive and resource intensive than the current failed attempts.
    Why would it be MORE expensive? At most it's the same as chopping up the cloud server and soldering it onto the existing Xbone. But presumably there are efficiency gains by offloading to cloud servers (disregarding latency related problems) which are hosted by specialty machines that aren't constrained by the complexity of the xbone architecture (which must have the capacity to run a whole load of things together).

    Not really expecting any dramatic increase in visual fidelity i guess between the no-cloud state and the cloud state. But I think the concept is worth exploring particularly in light of rapidly improving telecomm infrastructure.

    The ugly thing that i can forsee are cloud servers for old games being shut down. Imagine if game critical systems like A.I are run by cloud servers. The game would effectively stop functioning without the cloud.

    As for the whole DRM thing, has MS talked about the implications now that they have announced the cloud?

  14. #234
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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  15. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Why would it be MORE expensive? At most it's the same as chopping up the cloud server and soldering it onto the existing Xbone. But presumably there are efficiency gains by offloading to cloud servers (disregarding latency related problems) which are hosted by specialty machines that aren't constrained by the complexity of the xbone architecture (which must have the capacity to run a whole load of things together).

    Not really expecting any dramatic increase in visual fidelity i guess between the no-cloud state and the cloud state. But I think the concept is worth exploring particularly in light of rapidly improving telecomm infrastructure.

    The ugly thing that i can forsee are cloud servers for old games being shut down. Imagine if game critical systems like A.I are run by cloud servers. The game would effectively stop functioning without the cloud.

    As for the whole DRM thing, has MS talked about the implications now that they have announced the cloud?
    You have the CPU/GPU (and memory and storage, but will skip that for now) costs + the bandwidth costs (and electric and maintenance). If you put it in the Xbox you only have the hardware costs, the customer pays for the bandwidth in their ISP service. Now, you can charge for the bandwidth and the hardware, that's a streaming service. But it's rather expensive for the developer if your not selling a dedicated server to the customer (like they do with little iMac mini servers).

    Really, look at what it would include. I'm guessing they could do a google maps style streaming of content. But that's not CPU/GPU "offloading", it's content delivery on demand. I've seen little to no existing services offer CPU/GPU task offloading except game streaming services, like Gaikai, and I'm not sure if they are doing well. For businesses there is Amazon cloud. I've no idea if they could offer somethnig to consumers. Would gaming start, or would you expect to see Amazon services start first? Without any Amazon cpu/gpu services being sold, I doubt there is a market in the gaming community that will cover the costs (less customers and higher costs than Amazon hosting a word app in the "cloud" etc).

    When it comes to existing game streaming services, what are their costs? And are their games "higher fidelity" than a Xbone alone? They are usually lower fidelity but portable or usable on low end systems. Their selling point, economy of scale and strong points don't seem to be computational power. Nor can their service be offered cheaper than buying the console it's self (but can be offered at a pay per play fee, so in the short term "cheaper" just as "renting" is cheaper than buying in the short term).
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 28-05-2013 at 12:51 PM.

  16. #236
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Concurrent programming is HARD, and not all problems can be paralellized. Some problems are inherently linear. People have tried processes, threads, and now Go tries coroutines and greenlets. They don't even agree which ways are good, nevermind the best.

    Let's go to Budapest. You will use a car, rent a buss, or use a plane. But wait !! Now you have SEVEN extra people to help you !!! What do you do ?

    Using cloud to speed up computation will be as useful as using a flash drive to increase your RAM in Windows Vista, or as useful as nipples on a breastplate.
    To use your Budapest example: You are only considering one aspect of the problem.

    Let's take a look at just a part of what I would have to do if I wanted to go to Budapest

    1. Confirm that I know where Budapest is (I suck at geography :p)
    2. Book a flight to Budapest
    3. Find a hotel in Budapest
    4. Book transportation from home->airport
    5. Book transportation from airport->hotel

    Traditionally, I would have to do all of that sequentially. I can't do 2 until I do 1, and I can't do 3 until I do 2 and so forth. But I can take advantage of the inherent parallelism in there and use an algorithm that can do 2 and 3 simultaneously while not having to worry so much about 1: Use the Priceline Algorithm.

    Same thing with game programming. You are correct, not all problems can be parallelized. And most coders do think parallel/concurrent programming is hard (but that is more due to how they are taught). But there are still PLENTY of opportunities for parallelism. Even if it is just as simple as having one core thread dedicated to AI, one thread dedicated to game logic (doors and keys and junk), one thread dedicated to physics, etc. And as you dig deeper, you find ways to parallelize each of those tasks in turn, which further increases throughput and thus performance.


    Also, the most system intensive parts of gaming (physics, rendering, AI if you give a crap) are all VERY parallelizable.
    Sort of like one of my friends who does work on computer vision (think Detective Mode from the Arkham games). He does everything sequentially because most people in his field just don't give a crap. I have a minor aneurysm every time I look at his code because he could squeeze out so much performance with something as simple as an OpenMP pragma.
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  17. #237
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    They'll probably stream stuff like physics, lighting and particle effects then - not something that you would notice too much if the connection to the cloud falters.
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  18. #238
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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  19. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    WAT

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    You won't notice that much physics changing from real ragdolling to preset animations in the heat of battle; by lighting i meant shadows and the more inconspicuous shader fx; and by particle effects i was envisioning flames coming out of flamethrowers or explosions.

  20. #240
    Obscure Node calabi's Avatar
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    I'm betting theres going to be no streaming of any complex things on their servers. Its ridiculous the cost and effort are more than it would be, to just not doing it or doing it on the console, thats not discounting all the problems. I'm not saying they wont try, some stupid CEO will probably order his devs to make a game a single player game with calculations on the server, and it will be a disaster.

    Its just a con that Microsoft is touting to say look at how brilliant our console could be. Like with the connect, look at how great our sensor is, but we havent got any good games to show with it. They dont know what to do with the Kinect so how can they know what to do with the cloud.

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