business news Scalar, Ubisoft’s cloud technology that wants to revolutionize video games
If Ubisoft has made headlines lately, it’s more because of its critical positions in favor of NFT than because of real creative proposals. As the French publisher is one of the historical video game giants, gamers and developers expect the company to take risks and become a driving force in the industry. Ahead of GDC 2022, Ubisoft is introducing Scalar, a cloud-based technology that could change the way we create virtual universes, as well as the way we play our video games.
From local to microservice
This is through a short video in motion design that the issue identified by Ubisoft has been presented to us. This video shows that games have gotten bigger and more interactive over time, but they are still limited by the hardware in one way or another. Indeed, both players and developers have always had hardware limitations, whether it’s gaming or creativity. “What if this restriction is gone?the voiceover then said. Here Ubisoft Scalar comes to the rescue – a technology that uses the power of cloud computing.thought to givemore freedom, scalability and flexibility» to the developers.
We started from the point of view of the game creators, and did not think, as usual, “here is what we have, maybe we can improve it a little or a little that.” Christian Holmqvist, CTO of Ubisoft Scalar
To understand what Ubisoft is trying to do with Scalar, you must first immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of developers. They have been shaping virtual universes with game engines for years, be it “House” or from third parties (Unreal Engine, Unity, etc.). The problem is that these engines eventually turned into gas plants. despite numerous organized efforts to improve the user experience. The fact that they manage everything that is needed to create the software (physics, gameplay, animation, sound, etc.) makes teamwork difficult, especially when the latter consists of hundreds of artists, sometimes scattered across several continents. “We wanted to break free of that and build something more ambitious.says Patrick Bach, general manager of Ubisoft Stockholm.
With Scalar, Ubisoft wants to turn the locally managed features of existing game engines into services.. Thus, by separating each of the game engine roles into several microservices in the cloud, artists can work on a given aspect without affecting the other cogs of the machine. In addition, computing power is moving from local machines to the cloud. “We find everything we already know, but everything is no longer in one blockChristian Holmqvist, CTO of Ubisoft Scalar, confirms. This is about “technological foundation“, which can be considered as “production tool” said Per-Olof Rommel, director of product at Ubisoft Scalar. This allows Ubisoft games to use “cloud power” for “completely remove the restrictionsgame engines andtraditional material barriers‘ faced by users. He adds: “this raises a number of new issues because you can’t rely on what you know. We must relearn and rethink how we make games“.
We tried to imagine what games will be in ten years, what they can become, as well as what to expect from them and how to develop them. Per-Olof Rommel, Product Director, Ubisoft Scalar
Larger and more accurate games with an unlimited number of players
Scalar has been in development since late 2017 at Ubisoft Stockholm. This is not a game engine, but a tool that is compatible with all platforms that modern engines can use to use the cloud.. And we’re talking cloud computing, not streaming. “One of the main specializations of Ubisoft is the creation of worlds. We’ll have the ability to shape even bigger worldssays Patrick Bach, director of Ubisoft Stockholm. The stated goal is to build “giant universes“inhabited”unlimited number of players” with “unprecedented accuracyin physics and artificial intelligence. Of course, it’s hard to check what Scalar is really worth right now. But according to the publishing giant, its services will evolve with updates that add functionality and games can be updated requiring no special maintenance and therefore no need for players to unplug or download a patch.
Exactly, since we’re talking about games, where are they in all this? The French publisher has preferred to get in touch for now. Yes, Ubisoft is currently developing games with Scalar, but no names have been released at the moment. It is only known that in addition to Ubisoft Stockholm, studios in Kyiv, Malmö, Helsinki and Bucharest are working on the project. As of this writing, Scalar has no intention of leaving the Ubisoft studio just yet.. But then why all this talk about this technology? It’s easy enough to recruit developers who would like to join the company to create games using Scalar. “This technology will allow us to create massively multiplayer social games and unleash the full potential of our development process, facilitating global collaboration.the company repeats.
“Ubisoft Scalar is a technology developed by the newly created Production Technology Division. This department brings together more than 500 experts whose mission is to develop the best tools and technologies to help Ubisoft studios bring their projects to life.– clarifies the official press release published by the publisher. At the very least, we can say that the video game giant is a firm believer in its new technology, which it qualifies as “a big step forward for the video game community“.
TO Carnbyjeuxvideo.com journalist