There’s a method behind the madness of NPCs in Titanfall.
Though Respawn Entertainment continues to court both admiration and dissent over the decision to cap Titanfall’s multiplayer at 12 players, it revealed that there would be as many as 50 characters on a map at a given time. This included AIs, players and Titans, with one Titan per player.
In an interview with OXM, programmer Jon Shiring explained that such implementation was possible using Cloud technology.
“All these things are what actually let us have all the AI and all the players and huge Titans running around with all these physics. The extra bandwidth is what lets us fill the world with moving things, and the available CPU is what lets us do things like AI, you know? And it’s not just a bullet flying through the air, that’s moving and causing network data, it’s an actual AI that’s making decisions and trying to shoot at things and looking around.”
According to Shiring, there was some input from Respawn’s side to Microsoft. “That’s something I went to Microsoft on pretty early into Respawn and said: ‘We want to make a game, and we’re going to need dedicated servers, how can you guys help us out?’”
“And we had an interesting dialogue there, and that’s really when we came back with all this Xbox Live Compute idea – so we’ve been working on it with them for a long time, and all of the versions of our game will be using it. But on all platforms it’s letting us make a game that obviously nobody’s been able to make in the past, so it’s really exciting, the capability that we now have.”
Titanfall’s integration of the Cloud also extends to the Xbox 360 and PC though, so don’t worry about this being a next gen exclusive feature. The game is scheduled to release on March 11th in North America and March 14th in the UK.