Games infrastructure a business perspective
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 27

Games Infrastructure: A Business Perspective PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 96 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Games Infrastructure: A Business Perspective. Greg Melloy Business Area Executive, Games IBM Asia Pacific. The Games Industry growth patterns have common characteristics, well described by management theory. Mature Phase Retaining profitable customers Managing costs. Size. Growth Phase

Download Presentation

Games Infrastructure: A Business Perspective

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Games infrastructure a business perspective

Games Infrastructure: A Business Perspective

Greg Melloy

Business Area Executive, Games

IBM Asia Pacific


The games industry growth patterns have common characteristics well described by management theory

The Games Industry growth patterns have common characteristics, well described by management theory

  • Mature Phase

  • Retaining profitable customers

  • Managing costs

Size

  • Growth Phase

  • Getting customers

  • Meeting demand

  • Start-up Phase

  • Business development

Time


Games infrastructure a business perspective

The growth curve however is not smooth. Over time, one or more industry transition points may be encountered. Many games companies are facing this transition phase.

  • New Technology

  • New Markets

  • New Entrants

  • New Revenue / Cost Structures

  • Government Regulation

Size

Time


New technology is causing this change

New Technology is causing this change?


Games developers and operators in growth led transitions are requesting

Games Developers and Operators in growth led transitions are requesting

  • Scaleable, flexible systems to accommodate change

    • Open systems versus “rip and replace” technology transitions

    • Predictable cost structures

  • Interoperable systems to easily enable new offerings

    • Linkage for new and old delivery systems and to CRM and Billing systems

  • Established supported systems

    • For complex high performance or connectivity issues, who can support difficult technical requirements? Who has done it before?


The heart of the matter increases in game development

The heart of the matter Increases in Game Development

  • Complexity of games continues to increase

  • Target complexity has increased via step function

  • Cost of title development increasing

  • Development timelines increasing

  • Development team dynamics changing


Development new techniques and new tools

Development: new techniques and new tools

New challenges

  • New consoles CPUs vastly different from traditional CPUs

  • Radically different handhelds

  • Umpteen phones

  • Online everything

  • New input: video, touch, sound, voice, text

  • AI, Automated GM, Guides, Physics v.s. Animation

Continuing challenges

  • 3 major game consoles

  • PCs

  • Handhelds

  • Need to support them all

  • Development needs to be on single platform, multi target

  • Iterative development cycle slowed down by … everything …

  • Faster, more polygons, better sound


Team collaboration throughout the cycle

Team Collaboration Throughout The Cycle

Develop Iteratively

Manage Requirements

Manage Change

Player Monitoring and playtesting

Simulation and

Modeling

Asset Analysis &

Reuse Preparation

Game instrumentationand Management

Test

Data Modeling

Automated Functional and Stress Testing

Visual Construction

Discover

Daily builds

Code & Script

Development

Develop

Visual, music and SFX Integration

Community Web Site

Development

Continuously Ensure Quality

ModelVisually

Use 3rd party Components


Distributed development

Distributed development

  • Distributed development now a fact of life

  • It’s not as bad as they say

  • Ease of communication and collaboration is key

    • Wikki

    • Centralized

    • “Share This” functionality increases ease

    • Internal Blogs

    • Instant Messengers (with audio, video, file transfer etc)

  • Reduces risk of games being created in cultural isolation


Measure progress and quality of each iteration code is automatable is art

TextFile

Project

Measure Progress and Quality of Each IterationCode is automatable, is Art?

Display in production dashboard

Automatically collect results across your development tools

Requirements

Models

TestAssets

Code

Integrate with

Human feedback

Project Plans

There are few tools that do this today


Games infrastructure a business perspective

Game Platform

Convergence being driven from without and within


Continuous development game builds take a long time

Continuous developmentGame builds take a long time

  • Artists need to see their work in the engine in real time

  • Art and code

  • Dynamic asset insertion

  • Transition from nightly build, to Continuous incremental builds based on checked in change

  • Builds done in the room, not under the desk

  • Tools, Art, and code all maintained in repository

  • Regression and automated testing done as part of build process


Games infrastructure a business perspective

Increase the use of automatMonitor system performance and availability while driving builds with automated test harness

  • Automated Test tools allow for the scripted simulation and execution of a game client

  • Measure response time of a typical (Robotic) end user

  • Identify and isolate scalability and performance problems

Live player PC

Robot Driven PC

Robot Script

TMTP

GameServer

Reuse test scripts, set performance thresholds

start ...

T

1

Recorded game

process

ResponseTime

stop ...

T

2

Continuously test and retest


Ibm case study with bigworld

IBM Case Study with BigWorld

  • 2000 Servers at the IBM Deep Computing Capacity on Demand Centre

  • Large scale testing facility for MMOG Alpha & Beta Test phases

  • IBM Rational Tool Integration under review


Address risks earlier in the project lifecycle

Risk Reduction

Risk

Time

Address Risks Earlier in the Project Lifecycle

Risk Management Period

Risk Resolution

Period

Waterfall

Iterative

Develop Iteratively


Games infrastructure a business perspective

Eclipse: Open source, multi language, multi OS development environment

Designer

Artist

Developer

Tester

Develop Iteratively

Continuously Ensure Quality

Focus on Architecture

ECLIPSE

  • Role-based user interfaces

  • Common models for integration across lifecycle

  • Artifact sharing via Rational Team Unifying Platform

CustomerExtensions

3rd PartyISV Tools

Manage Change and Assets

Project

Manager

TEAM UNIFYING PLATFORM


Online games add a new dimension

Online Games add a new Dimension

  • Millions of Concurrent Users

  • Truly Global Deployments bring global issues

    • 24x7x365

    • Customer care in local language at local times

    • Global billing

    • Multiple concurrent cultural norms, histories, mythologies, acceptable behavior


Developing a solution overview

Developing a Solution Overview

  • Bringing it down to the function level


Identifying integration points

Identifying Integration Points

  • How will you integrate between these functions?

  • Staying cost effective


The world as it seems to be today

The World as it seems to be today

  • Games developed using internet service model we all learned in computer science school

  • Community, billing and support designed and implemented only after online engine and client complete

  • Change is occurring as this cost model is not sustainable


This is what a real game infrastructure might look like

This is what a real game infrastructure might look like

  • Several engagements that IBM has had in the online games space can fit into this model

  • NHN

    • CRM

  • Warner Bros

    • Registration


Infrastructure new methods for online scalability

Infrastructure: New methods for Online scalability

  • Difficult to maintain world state across servers AND performance

  • Cluster programming techniques fraught with risk

  • Current cluster technologies, MPI, not ready for game time

  • Fibre based Centralized storage too expensive

  • NAS centralized storage too slow

  • Bandwidth to player still small for foreseeable future

Just some of today’s issues

Technologies addressing these issues

  • New Grid technologies, enhance existing game engines

  • Automated provisioning

  • Grid and Peer to Peer file systems

  • Parallel content distribution


Responsive load management systems

Responsive Load Management Systems

  • Your game servers could load balance the game DYNAMICALLY

  • Game servers allocate resources AUTOMATICALLY

  • Servers partition the game for OPTIMALPERFORMANCE

Game map zone : Blue

Game map zone : Red

Game map zone : Yellow

Huge User Movement

From Map Zone BLUE

To Map Zone RED

Grid Resource Dynamically

Re-allocated with

Optimal configuration


New grid technologies

New Grid Technologies

Path toward boundless virtual worlds

  • Allows players to SEE objects managed by other servers

  • Allow Players to INTERACT with the entities on other servers

  • Remove the performance impact of smart NPCs/monsters

  • Eliminate limitations of “shard” architecture

  • Allow dynamic real time load management

  • Easy to code to

  • Enhance performance

Server 1

“Interacting” with

Entities in other servers

Server 4

Server 2

Range of sight

For player #1

Range of sight

For player #2

Server 7

Server 3

Server 8

Server 6


Technologies exist to create truly global games

Players

Asia server

cluster

Service

Provider #1

Europe

Service

Service

server cluster

Provider #2

Storage cluster

Provider #3

USA server

cluster

Technologies exist to create truly global games

  • Taking your game global adds an additional layer of complexity

    • Network requirements to ensure synchronization

    • Distributed server resources


Games developers and operators in growth led transitions are requesting1

Games Developers and Operators in growth led transitions are requesting

  • Scaleable, flexible systems to accommodate change

    • Open systems versus “rip and replace” technology transitions

    • Predictable cost structures

  • Interoperable systems to easily enable new offerings

    • Linkage for new and old delivery systems and to CRM and Billing systems

  • Established supported systems

    • For complex high performance or connectivity issues, who can support difficult technical requirements? Who has done it before?


Thank you for listening

Thank you for listening

Web Seminar: ibm.com/vrm/event/mmog2ibm.com/solutions/games


  • Login