Dec 30, 2009

What do you think about OnLive?

Do you know OnLive? It's a company that is going to provide a technology that will (?) allow people to play games on a computer or a tv (Hmm ok). The tricky part is the fact that you would not need a high-end PC (GPU, CPU, etc) to play, for instance, Crysis. Basically, their software will send your actions on input devices to their servers which will compute the image frames for you. Then, all these frames would be sent back to your computer as a video stream.

The concept is very interesting : you just need to rent a server and you don't need to upgrade your computer. Also, I am sure that they will provide a game catalog like Steam does.

However, to my opinion, this system will not work because:
  1. According to OnLive, you will have to be less than 1000 miles away from a server to play. As a result, they will need a lot of servers to provide *good* pings to costumers. It seems that they consider a ping of 80ms as the limit. So, quality of service will depend a lot on your distance to a server.
  2. I am sure they have new efficient technologies to compress frames into a video stream but is their method lossless? What final resolution can you get? Full HD? (again, this will surely depends on your distance to a server)
  3. As an avid player of FPS, I think that a target ping of 80ms is not enough. Even for a RTS with a lot of micro-actions, fighting game or a car race game you will feel it. And I am not speaking about lags. If you don't play those kind of CPU/GPU time consuming games, may be you don't need a high-end hardware...
I really hope that I am wrong about this technology... Anyway, I wish the OnLive team "Good Luck"!!! :)

Dec 22, 2009

Efficient OOP + Publications repositories

A very interesting presentation has been en-lighted by Atom: Pitfalls of Object Oriented Programming by Tony Albrecht from SCEE. I was aware of the problems exposed in this presentation, however, to my opinion, this is the best presentation so far that explains and details the cach miss optimization problem on a simple example. I will not extend more on the presentation: it is clear enough. If you wonder what is a Structure-Of-Array (in contrary to Array-Of-Structure) and why some people says OOP can be considered as evil (the presentation expose one reason) you should read it now! :)

This presentation can be found on SCEE presentation repository. Here are two more repositories I found very interesting: Valve and Bungie. If you know other interesting publication repositories, please post them.

Bonus: Siggraph 2009 course Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games repository.

Dec 16, 2009

News from France


Since my last post, I am back in France! I was in Japan for a Japanese-French research collaboration during one month (November). Maybe I will speak about this work once it is published in a conference or journal. Anyway, I have to say that Japan is a really impressive country! So many place to visit! (temples, tokyo tower, etc). Also food is really good and not expensive! I really recommend traveling in Japan: people are really respectful and will help you even if they can't speak English. To my opinion, each gamer, game developer which travel to Japan should visit Akihabara (called "The electric town"). A lot of games, arcade games, electric shop with very low price, etc. You can even buy an old megadrive for 0.8 euro! :)

Finally, I decided that it was a good time to change my computer. Indeed, my old graphics card caused me too much troubles: random colored pixels, triangles stretched to infinity (only with DirectX, not OpenGL) and even black death screens! I decided to buy hardware pieces that have a good performance/price ratio: Intel i5, geForceGTX275 as the main components.
Now I plan to learn DirectX with this computer. I am using OpenGL for 7 years and it is time for me to learn something else.

See you next news!