There’s a fair bit of trepidation around Stadia and what Google is planning to do with it, thanks to questions of whether or not they have the sort of infrastructure in place they will need to successfully run it. But there’s no question that if they do manage to get it off the ground, they’ll have something special on their hands. Accessibility is, of course, going to be a huge boon for the service, but cloud streaming can also have a major and tangible impact on actual game design and the way we play games.
One area where such an effect can be felt is multiplayer gameplay, and speaking in an interview with Kinda Funny Games (which you can view below), Jack Buser, Director of Games at Google Stadia talked about how Google is planning on achieving that. Buser posited the example of battle royale titles, saying that the reason they took so long to come about was the fact that a game had to be coordinating multiple dozens of players and their devices in a single match at the same time.
“Another example we give is, if you take a Battle Royale game, you got like a hundred people playing,” said Buser (via Wccftech). “And basically your PC or your console is busy trying to coordinate with my PC and my console. And there’s 98 other PCs and consoles, and they’re trying to network them all together to make it look like there’s a hundred people running around the same battlefield, right? It’s a very tough engineering problem, which is why Battle Royale games are relatively new, it took a while for us to figure out. How do you synchronize a hundred different consoles and people’s living rooms with varying degrees of Internet connectivity all over the world? It’s tough.”
With Stadia, which will see all players running on centralized processing data centres, which can offer “ultra high bandwidth and super, super stable connections between every person playing” multiplayer games can, as per Buser, be “way better than what you could get out of a console”. According to Buser, Stadia can enable multiplayer games where it’s not just a hundred players in a single game, but thousands.
“But with Stadia, it’s the world’s largest LAN party,” Buser continued. “Ultra high bandwidth and super, super stable connections between every person playing. ‘Is multiplayer going to be good on Stadia?’ Oh yeah, way better than what you could get out of a console. Because all of these cloud instances are all talking to each other with these very, very robust, high bandwidth pipes. You can imagine multiplayer worlds with like, forget hundreds, thousands of people all running around a play field together all at the same time, all being rendered up on the screen.”
Considering the fact that multiplayer gaming on Stadia requires no additional payments, if Google can make good on their lofty promises, they really could have something special on their hands.
Stadia is going live in various countries in November, so we’ll find out soon enough how successfully it manages to do what it wants to. A few months after its launch, Google will also be offering free trials to those who want to test the waters before diving in. Meanwhile, Google also recently announced a Premier Edition for Stadia- check it out through here.