One of the more interesting topics around Google’s Stadia has been how it handles latency. Latency, as you might imagine, is a massive deal for games. Though Google touched on framerate and resolution targets in its Stadia presentation, the company didn’t specifically address latency. By having a far-reaching network of data centres over the world, Google is certainly capable of being closer than anyone to potential customers, but that also doesn’t tell us anything about how big or small the delay is going to be. As part of Digital Foundry‘s report on Stadia, the site got a chance to measure latency and compare it against existing figures for consoles and PCs. During the Project Stream beta, the site tested Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to find a 179ms lag. This takes into account screen latency, input, and ping to Google’s servers. In other words, it takes 179ms for a button press to register an action in-game. With the updated Stadia version demoed at … [Read more...] about Early Google Stadia latency tests show promise – report
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In 1987, Fatal Attraction was test screened for audiences, and things did not go well. In this original version, bunny-boiler Alex (Glenn Close) slits her own throat with a kitchen knife belonging to her former lover Dan (Michael Douglas), thus framing him for her murder. Test audiences baulked, however, and so production rolled into reshoots for a further three weeks. The result? A theatrical cut in which Dan’s wife dispatches Alex and the family emerges triumphant. “The original ending was a gorgeous piece of film noir,” Close later said, “but audiences wanted some kind of cathartic ending.”Test screenings are nothing new. Silent comedy star Harold Lloyd reportedly used them as early as 1928. And they certainly do have their place: Spielberg added the infamous floating-head jump scare to Jaws following tests. But issues arise when directors start to pander to audiences or – worse still – have their films compromised by risk-averse … [Read more...] about Is it just me, or do movie test screenings kill originality?
Apex Legends, Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment's new free-to-play battle royale game, does a lot of things right, but its ping-based communication system may well be its crowning achievement. In order to perfect this system, Respawn had to enforce some strange playtesting restrictions, as the studio recently revealed on Twitter. So basically, Respawn built their own rando mode. This sounds kind of weird at first blush, but thinking about it, it does sound like a really good idea. Apex Legends' ping system is useful even when you're actively chatting on Discord with friends, but for a controlled test environment, I imagine you can't beat total disconnection. I mean, you don't benchmark CPUs under minor load, so it follows that you wouldn't test an integral communication system without throwing in as many theoretical monkey wrenches as possible. All that wonky testing has clearly paid off. As we said in an earlier piece, the ping system is so accurate and easy-to-use … [Read more...] about Respawn used fake names and disabled voice chat to test Apex Legends’ amazing ping system
report this adThere’s no doubt that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most highly anticipated video games in recent memory, especially after CD Projekt Red decided several months ago that it would finally share the forthcoming title’s nearly hour-long gameplay demo with the general public. Now, details regarding the project continue to be eked out, with the developer having recently confirmed that the first-person action-RPG’s open world will not contain any “procedural” design elements. This much was declared during a recent interview, in which CD Projekt Red’s lead cinematic animator, Maciej Pietras, was asked how large players should expect Cyberpunk 2077‘s open world of Night City to be, leading the developer to explain that measuring such metrics is “difficult” due to the vertical nature of the map. During Pietras’ explanation, though, he revealed that nothing in the world has been generated procedurally, stating that … [Read more...] about Cyberpunk 2077’s Open World Won’t Have ‘Procedural’ Elements
Like so much in game dev, the decision to use procedural generation in your game is a double-edged sword. While it provides a theoretically unlimited amount of content, you sacrifice the advantages of your game being bespoke and hand-crafted. The goal, then, is to craft tools that can turn out procedural content in near infinite quantities and configurations while making that content feel as close to homemade as possible. To explore some different approaches to that problem, Gamasutra reached out to a number of devs with experience working with procedural tools and asked about how they thought about different methods of content generation, and how they avoid making procedural content that feels banal and recycled. Why procedural content? First and most obvious is the question of why choose procedural content in the first place. For Kitfox Games' Tanya X. Short, co-editor of the book Procedural Generation in Video Games, the answer is simple — … [Read more...] about Devs weigh in on the best ways to use (but not abuse) procedural generation