As data centres began populating the globe during our expansion of web2 infrastructure, for those interested in gaming, an obvious question began to stir:
What if we used the limitless power available in the cloud to build virtual worlds beyond anything we’ve ever seen before?
While traditionally we’ve been stuck to the limitations of the size of machines and static databases when building things like gameworlds, it was thought that the sheer volume of processing power available today through the cloud could revolutionise our approach.
Multiplayer games were already accelerating in popularity, where they were beginning to morph into much more than traditional games. This growth, combined with the onset promise of creative freedom with cloud-native worlds, led to a storm of excitement towards the games industry.
Games were to become the new social media, place of work or concert venue. Investors and industry leaders began preparing their strategy to make way for this ‘cloud first’ metaverse.
Or so we thought.
As the money began pouring into cloud-native projects, the results unfortunately, did not deliver ‘the power of the cloud’. While attempts were made to harness the power available to increase world size, detail and player count, projects failed to meet some of the basic requirements we expect.
- Low performance was a common occurrence, where worlds and their inhabitants stuttered and crashed.
- Latency also emerged as a key issue, as while cloud servers held a great amount of potential processing power, their remote locations caused difficulties in transporting the huge amount of data involved.
- And perhaps most crucially, the headache for developers in orchestrating distributed machines was simply too much, with the DevOps involved in provisioning being insurmountable.
In short, web 2.0 is not ready to deliver the metaverse. While it helped to overcome short-term problems, it lacks the networking and distribution capabilities required for building metaverse and true MMO game worlds.
Fortunately, web 3.0 solutions in distributed cloud and edge networking are providing a much needed light at the end of the tunnel.
In order to access the power available effectively, computation needs to be able to be pushed through any kind of environment, be it multi-cloud, on premise or edge seamlessly. We need platforms to automate our provisioning for us, to remove the intense labour associated. And we need smart solutions to latency issues, like interest management where we determine the most important data to prioritise.
Sounds good, but so did the initial promises of cloud first worlds. But Hadean is proving this model with real results.
In our initial work with Minecraft, they were interested in seeing if a cloud-native backend could truly remove limitations on player counts in their lobbies, so they could experiment with new game modes. With our tech, they achieved a 10x increase in player capacity using just one full-time Minecraft developer. And perhaps most importantly, this was achieved within just 3 days.
Imagine what you could do with a team size typically associated with building a modern gameworld.
Likewise in our work with CCP Games, we achieved a record breaking 14K connected clients at GDC ‘19, at a high performance of 30hz. Again this was achieved through rapid prototyping in 8 weeks by a 7 person team (3 developers).
How we will link the various worlds of the metaverse together will require us moving past the limitations of web 2.0. For blockchain games and ‘play 2 own’ hubs, where assets can be transferred across platforms, it will be essential that these different worlds are experienced seamlessly. This is what Hadean is doing with our latest partners, GamesCoin.
Cloud native infrastructure does offer a step change in technical capabilities when it comes to the metaverse, but it requires a web 3.0 approach. Read more about how Hadean can help you scale your virtual worlds here.