From the mastermind behind Grand Theft Auto comes Cloudgine – a cloud-based gaming engine designed to take the pressure off computers by hosting large physics-based simulations. Co-founded in 2012 by ex-DMA head David Jones, Cloudgine is set to revolutionise games development, and has already teamed up with a number of big names including Microsoft, Oculus, and Reagent.
Despite generating a lot of sector interest in recent years, cloud-based gaming has yet to fully take off. Cloudgine believe that this is due to a lack of unique and ground-breaking experiences specifically crafted for a distributed cloud environment.
“This is where we step in,” a spokesperson for the company says. “We created Cloudgine with the ambitious goal of demonstrating that Cloud Gaming has much more to offer beyond the traditional pixel streaming of existing games.”
So how does it work? Cloudgine seeks to leverage the ‘immense power’ provided by data centres to supercharge computationally intensive game components. They are developing a cloud-based gaming engine designed to take the pressure off computers by remotely hosting processor-heavy functions such as physics and artificial intelligence (AI). They can subsequently deliver game experiences that far exceed the capabilities of computers both now and in the near future.
Their technology focuses in particular on Virtual and Augmented Reality – both of which place an unprecedented strain on computers, mobiles, and other consoles. With a requirement of 90 frames per second (FPS) for a smooth and enjoyable experience, very few devices can manage them comfortably.
“At Cloudgine, we are now using our cloud compute expertise to create an AR & VR platform that will restore and dynamically amplify the compute power available to applications,” the spokesperson says. “It allows developers to have a high-frame rate, low latency view into huge worlds powered by complex AI, physics and logic.
“We want game and VR developers to do what they do best without compromise. We bring the Cloud to them.”
Cloudgine are already applying their tech to a number of big-name titles, including the much anticipated ‘Crackdown 3‘. Working alongside Microsoft , ‘Crackdown ‘ will use the company’s engine to supercharge physics and destruction to a level ‘never seen before.’ Through Cloudgine, the game’s developers are harnessing the computational power available within data centres to deliver experiences not possible on local hardware.
The company have also announced their collaboration with Oculus Studios on the Oculus Touch launch title ‘ToyBox‘. Using Cloudgine’s engine, ‘ToyBox’ allows players to interact with a number of virtual gadgets, including fireworks and zero-gravity tanks, alongside their friends.
Cloudgine have also been working on their own title, ‘They Came From Space‘, which draws upon classic B-movie alien invasion themes to allow players to virtually annihilate entire cityscapes. As an alien Overseer, players can unleash a destructive arsenal to tear down buildings, harvest livestock, fight off enemies, and eventually conquer Earth. Twitch users can also make use of an in-game ‘selfie-stick’ mechanism that gives streamers direct control of a interactive personal camera.
Currently, ‘They Came From Space,’ exists as a ‘proof-of-concept’ game, created to demonstrate the capabilities of Cloudgine’s engine. Looking ahead, they are open to the idea of a commercial release should they find the right partner. For now, Cloudgine want to continue developing their platform and garner enough interest from developers to see their technology harnessed in increasingly creative and innovative ways.
“With decades of games industry experience behind us, we want to truly revolutionise the way games are created and played, and enable richer VR experiences,” the spokesperson says.
“What if developers had a way to leverage the computational power available in the Cloud to solve complex tasks that could never have been done on a single system? What new horizons could they open up? We want to find out.”