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Ask yourself this: what would you do with 600% more brainpower, funnelled to your skull from vast corporate servers? I suspect I'd devote my share to writing better article introductions. Speaking to OXM during our first look at Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10's studio manager Alan Hartman and creative director Dan Greenawalt have revealed a little of the stress and excitement that accompanies the development of a shiny-shiny launch racer.
 
"I've been in the business for quite a while I've been leading game teams for 20 years," Hartman told us. "I've been here at Turn 10 for eight. In that time I've figured out the simple secret to running successful teams is creating an environment, a culture, that is safe that is challenging that is a place that attracts the best talent in the world and lets them do their best work.
 
"That's not terribly unique," he admitted. "It is something I could do anywhere. So why do I do it here? Because it's first party. And first party is so challenging."
As we reported yesterday, Hartman and Greenawalt say Microsoft has never ordered them to make use of this or that platform feature - the developers were "asked" rather than "told" to show players what the console can do. Turn 10, however, feels that it has a responsibility to test Xbox One's mettle, and Forza 5 is thus a fearsomely comprehensive illustration of the new hardware's capabilities.
 
Hartman went onto highlight "the kind of tools and technology and processes, and business practices we have to put in place to enable all that. That continuous flow of content that is not only a massive amount of content but quality content.
 
"We've kept the quality up, we've improved the quality year over year of that quantity, and we've kept the cadence. Because if you can't deliver when the platform needs you then it doesn't matter. We have to be there when they need us to showcase the platform."
 
Forza 5, in conclusion, is "a massive game, a quality game, an innovative game. At launch of the console. It's crazy hard. It's the hardest thing we've ever done. But it's exciting, we're having fun, but it's a huge challenge."
Turn 10 is particularly chuffed at being able to make use of Xbox One's cloud computing support for its much-sung Drivatar AI system, which trades out pre-scripted computer drivers for cloud-stored entities that learn from player behaviour. Greenawalt described the ability to offload such tasks to servers as a "tremendous opportunity".
 
"When you've got a learning neural network, more computing power is nothing but helpful. Because what you're able to do is process a lot more information, and you don't have to do it in realtime on the box. And that frees up more of the box to be doing graphics or audio or other computational areas.
 
"So we can now make our AI instead of just being 20%, 10% of the box's capability, we can make it 600% of the box's capability," he went on. "Put it in the cloud and free up that 10% or 20% to make the graphics better - on a box that's already more powerful than we worked on before."
 
I'll give you a few seconds to wash all the hyperbole out of your eyes. Done? Right. Here's another riddle: what kind of Drivatar do you think you'll unleash upon the world? The below video may be of some help.

 

 

 

Source: http://www.oxm.co.uk/59493/forza-5-is-the-hardest-thing-turn-10-has-ever-done-xbox-one-cloud-offers-600-more-ai-capability/

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This is a fantastic piece, proof that the off-loading of the AI on the cloud creates a better AI with more on the box to dedicate to other things. Makes more sense to see why Forza is running at 60fps with the fidelity it has.

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So basically if your having trouble with a race, unplug the network cable and you will have 600% more chance of winning?

 

Interesting read all the same.

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What happens if I want to play Forza 5 in 10 years when no one will have kept the AI servers running? Will I simply get much dumber AI or will there be actual functionality issues?

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What happens if I want to play Forza 5 in 10 years when no one will have kept the AI servers running? Will I simply get much dumber AI or will there be actual functionality issues?

You can technically do that on launch day as soon as you plug in the console; as long as you don't connect it to the internet. But then you get a useless disc since the game requires a day-1 patch.

 

My big question is, does using this drivatar-feature require a gold subscription? If it does, then that means the full (non-gimped), solo game requires an internet connection and a paid subscription which is pretty lame. Hopefully that's not the case, but I don't have high hopes.

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So basically if your having trouble with a race, unplug the network cable and you will have 600% more chance of winning?

 

Interesting read all the same.

 

driv43c38.gif

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I somewhat suspect that my drivatar will be the one that crashes into every car and wall, and spends more time in reverse than going forwards....  :/

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This sounds pretty cool, looking forward to this game. Good article AB, also interesting that others are looking for something negative from this

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So those who had trouble following the X,Y,Z math - here is the official word

 

"So we can now make our AI instead of just being 20%, 10% of the box's capability, we can make it 600% of the box's capability," he went on. "Put it in the cloud and free up that 10% or 20% to make the graphics better - on a box that's already more powerful than we worked on before."

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i think its like the cloud processes the AI algorithms for it and learns how the players drive so it makes it harder to win, then modifies the AI so maybe next race the opponents drive differently to try block you or something or maybe its done on the fly so all the AI is calculated there so doesnt bog down the processor. Even if the AI is working on a console that isnt plugged to the internet i cant imagine it wouldnt be any more "dumb" than any other racing game out there tbh!

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If anyone wants to loose faith in society, look at the comments on Engadget about this subject.

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If anyone wants to loose faith in society, look at the comments on Engadget about this subject.

 

Yeah lot of confused people on their claiming it'd be 600% dumber if there was no internet connection. Some people just don't have a clue.

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Racing AI is not a great example of "using the cloud". Yes, allowing for more calculations can create an AI that stays competitive with you throughout the race, instead of rubber banding, but it's hard to say that's "better" AI.

 

So, I'm curious what comes of this, but considering racing sims are quite popular on PCs, and no one has every thought it necessary to resort to off shoring AI calculations to deliver better graphics, I'm guessing not much.

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Have they announced any kind of Racing Wheel for Forza?  It is almost useless without one.

 

Microsoft hit on for a winner with their 360 wheel, it is a shame they ditched it for that awful wireless speed wheel thing.

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Racing AI is not a great example of "using the cloud". Yes, allowing for more calculations can create an AI that stays competitive with you throughout the race, instead of rubber banding, but it's hard to say that's "better" AI.

 

So, I'm curious what comes of this, but considering racing sims are quite popular on PCs, and no one has every thought it necessary to resort to off shoring AI calculations to deliver better graphics, I'm guessing not much.

 

No one on the PC wanted to spend the money to run the datacenters to process the AI maybe?   It's kind of expensive, MS doing it as part of XBL and offering the option to developers at a cheap price is exactly why more developers are talking about doing it now and why no one has bothered to do it on the PC, regardless of the game type.  Could you imagine if someone like EA had this option for games on Origin but they charged some crazy price to the developers for it?  They'd opt not to use it I bet, not that it doesn't add value to the game in some way but that it'd hurt them financially.   This is exactly what the guys at Respawn said, MS made it very low cost and flexible that it's now doable for them when it wasn't before.

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Racing AI is not a great example of "using the cloud". Yes, allowing for more calculations can create an AI that stays competitive with you throughout the race, instead of rubber banding, but it's hard to say that's "better" AI.

 

So, I'm curious what comes of this, but considering racing sims are quite popular on PCs, and no one has every thought it necessary to resort to off shoring AI calculations to deliver better graphics, I'm guessing not much.

The X1 has hardware to support calls to the cloud. This includes dedicated hardware chips to compress/decompress the data and memory gates to inject the results straight into RAM. Without that, you hold CPU time and RAM blocks to make a call to off-load local process. Pointless without the hardware. Same goes for PS4.

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The X1 has hardware to support calls to the cloud. This includes dedicated hardware chips to compress/decompress the data and memory gates to inject the results straight into RAM. Without that, you hold CPU time and RAM blocks to make a call to off-load local process. Pointless without the hardware. Same goes for PS4.

 

Unless I'm missing something from the article, it doesn't sound like any of this will be done real time. More to the point, I suppose, is that few people play Forza because they want to race AI, no matter how "good" it is, that's always just been a slog to unlock cars to race online against real humans.

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What happens if I want to play Forza 5 in 10 years when no one will have kept the AI servers running? Will I simply get much dumber AI or will there be actual functionality issues?

 

I don't think you will have to worry about Azure servers getting shut down... however, this is not what the article states. The AI is not dumbed down, you get the AI you would get on any normal racing game I suppose (just to make an example), but if you connect to the cloud you get a more advanced AI, which would only be possible by offloading to the cloud.

 

So basically if your having trouble with a race, unplug the network cable and you will have 600% more chance of winning?

 

Interesting read all the same.

 

How can you even come to this conclussion? Where did you even read something remotely related to that?

 

Your logic is like this: If I workout harder, I'll get 300% stronger but if I don't I'll get 300% weaker.

 

 

Unless I'm missing something from the article, it doesn't sound like any of this will be done real time. More to the point, I suppose, is that few people play Forza because they want to race AI, no matter how "good" it is, that's always just been a slog to unlock cars to race online against real humans.

 

It says so in the article:

 

"When you've got a learning neural network, more computing power is nothing but helpful. Because what you're able to do is process a lot more information, and you don't have to do it in realtime on the box. And that frees up more of the box to be doing graphics or audio or other computational areas.
 
But to what you are saying... this is a feature, why are you complaining about this?

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It says so in the article:

 

 

 
But to what you are saying... this is a feature, why are you complaining about this?

 

 

It doesn't say so. It says you can offload it to the cloud, but it doesn't say it's in realtime, just that you don't have to do it in realtime.

 

Based on how the driveatar worked in Forza 4, my guess is they take race results, upload them to the cloud, run computations, then send them back before your next race, or whenever enough data has been compiled. This frees up the Xbox because otherwise you could only do this while the game was running. Perhaps you could offload the work to when the user is in a menu screen, but all the same, you're tying up some part of the Xbox.

 

That said, I don't think it's doing any realtime calculations to the AI during a race. It might, however, take someone like M.Rossi, who is a jerk AI opponent, and runs on general jerk AI paths, and say, "hey, user x always goes into corner 4 of track y too slow, you should pass/hit him on that corner." It will make M. Rossi appear a well informed jerk, instead of just a general one.

 

I'm not complaining about the feature, I just don't see it as being all that exciting. It also glosses over the fact that good AI requires good AI routines, not necessarily tons of processing power.

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What happens if I want to play Forza 5 in 10 years when no one will have kept the AI servers running? Will I simply get much dumber AI or will there be actual functionality issues?

 

That's my biggest worry too. If developers put less effort into the "local" AI and rely on using "Cloud AI", does that mean your game experience is going to be ###### when you play offline/once they turn off the servers :/

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Racing AI is not a great example of "using the cloud". Yes, allowing for more calculations can create an AI that stays competitive with you throughout the race, instead of rubber banding, but it's hard to say that's "better" AI.

 

So, I'm curious what comes of this, but considering racing sims are quite popular on PCs, and no one has every thought it necessary to resort to off shoring AI calculations to deliver better graphics, I'm guessing not much.

 

 

How is Racing AI not a great example ?

 

so far EVERY racign game in the world has the worst AI possible, basically on rails, with simple avoidance routines, and catch up boosts to keep up with a faster player.

 

the only game that had a more complex AI in the past was... you guess it, Forza. Forza introduced drivers that learned from you in the past. granted it only worked for one car at a time, yours. Forza also introduced AI drivers that could actually do mistakes, though the simulation was fairly simplistic and it was basically a random check, especially in corners where the drivers could screw up.

 

AI drivers in racing games have been simplistics because they require more power than any other AI. they need a driving profile, how they drive and all that, then they need to adjust their behavior nearly or over hundreds of times a second. and on top of that, there's 7 AI's in total driving in the same limited space, using the same CPU to do all these calculations. basically complex realistic driving AI's have been totally out of scope for racing games up to now. 

 

Compare that to the AI of a "complex" FPS or stealth game. walk along this path, stop, look around, walk this path, stop, detect enemy, shoot, find cover, shoot.

 

So in fact Racing games are possibly the best example to show off the power of AI's in the cloud. They seem like they should be really simple, but they are some if not the most complex AI in games. 

Based on how the driveatar worked in Forza 4,

 

 

What would how something worked on Forza 4 have anything to do with a brand new feature on Forza 5 that's programmed from the ground up to make use of the loud power ? 

 

"Based on how lighting worked in Unreal Tournament, I don't think UT3 supports real time shadows and dynamic lights" that would be the same logic. 

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How is Racing AI not a great example ?

 

so far EVERY racign game in the world has the worst AI possible, basically on rails, with simple avoidance routines, and catch up boosts to keep up with a faster player.

 

the only game that had a more complex AI in the past was... you guess it, Forza.

 

It's easy to make every AI car on the track run a perfect lap. You're just inducing stupidity to make the player feel like they're competing. That's why racing AI is, and probably always will be, some amount of terrible. All they can do is figure out when the best time to rubber band is, or when the best time to "accidentally" slip up is. Not to mention most people don't even buy Forza because of the AI, they just want to race online against real people.

 

Take a game like Farcry, and give every unit on the map their own daily routine, and actually have them respond to things happening in the world at large because you've offloaded that AI processing to the cloud, and that would be much more interesting.

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Sounds like a very interesting use of cloud resources.

 

I don't think it sounds so crazy to leverage cloud resources for data that is not real time. Why not take the resources and create an AI that can adapt to its players. The idea of leveraging the driving talent of all Forza players in order to improve the game's AI sounds pretty cool. The fact that this AI can potentially improve or react to changes in Forza driving habits over the life of the game also sounds cool.

 

I'm not a big fan of driving Sims, but Forza seems to be shaping up to be a quality title. The cloud stuff seems to be there to improve the experience where it makes sense.

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It's easy to make every AI car on the track run a perfect lap. 

 

Yes, it's called on rails and is what I described, it has NOTHING to do with AI or simulation.

what they're doing now is ACTUALLY simulating real drivers, they're not inducing stupidity, they're introducing realism. drivers that drive like they're really driving not on rails. 

 

And you don't need the cloud for your Farcry example. again, those are dead simple AI routines. Did I hear a sound, check it out, did someone call me on the radio about a sound, better head and check it out. there's nothign really demanding about it.

 

Several thousand zombies on screen reacting to you and each other however, that's something different. 

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