Now a new company, Improbable, is exploring the possibilities of this technology for the gaming world with distributed, dynamic, constantly updated virtual worlds, and it could change the way we play games.
Worlds that exist when you’re gone
In most video games, when you turn off the game, the world freezes — nothing happens because you can’t simulate it — the beats are just stored in memory. Often the game will even discard any of your changes and revert back to its original state — think of an MMO with NPCs repeating the same conversation over and over again.
But some games go beyond that and use a game world that continues to evolve even when no one is around. Games of this type result in an extremely immersive environment, as there are new things to see, explore, and interact with every time you log in. EVE Online , second life , Star Citizen and The Crew do bet on a constant game in the world.
While many games are aimed just for a while, persistent world games tend to focus on bringing players into the game’s universe and making it feel like they’re actually part of that universe. Building a world with deep and complex causality would go a long way to helping them feel alive — and greatly expanding the possibilities of gameplay.
To create these worlds, hundreds or thousands of computers around the world must interact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep the universe running. That’s what Incredible is trying to turn on.
What is different from Incredible?
So if these games that have been around for years have these complex dynamic worlds, what’s so exciting about that incredible start to the game? The answer is simple: Incredible wants to make all this complexity simple. They want to use new technologies to make this depth the standard — something that can be easily integrated into any game. To achieve this, they learn from the difficulties faced by previous distributed virtual world mechanisms.
In an interview Wired Mark Ferlatte, longtime warden second life noted that the architecture underlying second life, can overload some machines, slowing down the network and not taking full advantage of distributed computing.