Cloud gaming technology is the technology of the internet and the future. Video games will become a dominant social force in the future. This cultural activity is becoming huge in terms of tech and popularity. The total worth of the gaming industry is much greater than that of the film industry. So, this industry is leading in the race for modern technology.
Video games have improved in artificial intelligence (AI), high-definition graphics, and virtual reality. But in recent years, we have seen primary developments in cloud gaming technology.
Many gamers are confused about what cloud gaming is and how the technology behind it works.
We can define Cloud gaming as ‘gaming as a service’ or games on demand. In other words, the concept of cloud computing creates what exists as cloud gaming. Using cloud computing in video games is described as cloud gaming. This modern technology has revolutionized the way video game playing happens. Now gamers only need an ordinary smartphone or low-end PC with fast internet instead of wasting money on a powerful gaming console or PC.
Many game-developing organizations are shifting their video games from PC, consoles, and smartphones to cloud servers. Cloud gaming telecoms (telecommunication paths) and massive data centers full of servers are required to meet modern technical requirements.
Still, many gamers are confused about the technology (cloud computing) behind cloud gaming. How does the data transfer back and forth during gaming? We’ll dispel some of the haze surrounding these terms and platforms, so keep reading; let’s get to the bottom of this.
What are Cloud Computing and Cloud Gaming Technology?
The word cloud computing may be strange for some gamers. Cloud computing is actually used when you are browsing through the internet. The term cloud is almost synonymous with, but not exactly similar to, the internet. It is also used to play online games through servers as a service. Cloud computing has contributed to game developers and gamers and revolutionized the gaming industry. This technology provides a lot of security improvements as well.
Cloud computing also provides some improvements in availability and compatibility. Thanks to cloud computing, we can access games easily. Cloud computing is responsible for transforming video gaming into cloud gaming. Cloud computing technology enables you to use a high-end, powerful PC streaming ability with a fast internet connection. This high-end console is streamed to your low-end PC or smartphone using cloud technology. Thus, gamers can enjoy a powerful PC or console gaming experience if they have a low-end computer or smartphone.
Introduction to Cloud Gaming Infrastructure (Complex)
Suppose you want to understand the technology behind cloud gaming deeply. It would help if you got an idea about the layout models and standard components used to host the game foundation on cloud servers. These concepts can be very complex and challenging to understand for gamers/ people who are not directly involved in the IT (Information and Technology) industry.
Video gaming is growing into a flourishing entertainment business in recent times. The main key factors in the advancement of video games are online gameplay and fast broadband internet availability.
The online gameplay of cloud gaming comes with many configurations, including massive multiplayer virtual atmospheres, interconnected single-player experiences, and session-based multiplayer gameplay. In previous years cloud games used the client and server model. This cloud server model requires the purchasing and supporting of dedicated colocated and on-premises servers to run online-based infrastructures. This cloud server model is only affordable to big publishers and studios.
Moreover, hefty expenses and space are required to meet customer demands in video gaming using the client-server model.
Using this cloud service model, you can also not use the same hardware to fulfill the user’s demands. Using modern cloud servers, game publishers and developers of any size can demand and take any on-demand resources without any wait or delay. Further, there is no danger of under or over-provisioning devices or hardware.
High-level Components Of Cloud Gaming
So, let’s discuss the front-end and back-end components used for hosting video games on a cloud server. These components are also responsible for a better cloud gaming experience. The below picture shows the online serving of gaming architecture using cloud service:
The front end is used to implement interfaces used by clients to interact directly or by load-balancing course. For example, you are playing an online fps (first-person shooter) game like Pubg or Fortnite on a cloud gaming server. In this case, the front end holds the matchmaking services. The matchmaking services are the services that give connection information to clients for dedicated cloud gaming servers. Some of them are:
- The clients/ gamers send a request to the matchmaking services of the cloud gaming server.
- The matchmaking services transfer the connection information to the gamers/ clients.
- The gamer/ client can then directly connect to the dedicated server of the video game and uses the UPD (User’s Datagram Protocol).
The cloud gaming servers’ front-end service does not have to be entirely used by the gamer. These front-end services of cloud servers usually interact with each other and the server’s back end. It is the process of how the data transfers back and forth during cloud gaming.
But one more thing, the front-end services are easily accessible through the internet. So, these services have risks of hacking or cyber-attacks. However, you can still strengthen the front end of your cloud gaming thanks to modern technology.
The following are the front-end or head components of the gaming architecture in cloud servers:
Game Platform Services
These platform services provide extra game functionality during gaming on the cloud. The game platform services are also known as online services of the cloud gaming server. These online services give access to interfaces used for necessary meta-game functions. For example, this component of the gaming server enables gamers to join the same video game server. It also allows gamers to hold a friend list/ social chart for their games. So, this is how the raw data of your games display during cloud gaming.
This high-level component is also commonly used on gaming platforms like Google Play Games, Epic Games, Steam, or Xbox Live to provide many services. These gaming services of cloud gaming include:
- Matchmaking settings.
- The lobby of online games.
- Chat system.
- Match history.
- Inventory managing.
- Authorized support.
- Clan, Guide, or Group.
- Player Profile.
- Game feeds.
- Cross deck unlocks.
- Mapping of social status.
- Habitancy of gamers.
- Dedicated Game servers
These game servers host video games. The dedicated game servers implement the logic of the video games in the cloud gaming server. The video game generally communicates with these dedicated game servers to reduce the delay and waiting times during cloud gaming.
Some critical information for newbies:
- A game server runs on a virtual or physical device or computer known as a machine.
- A single machine can run multiple game servers at the same time.
- Running a single game server is known as an Instance.
There are different types of dedicated cloud gaming servers for every different video game available on cloud servers. Following are some popular high-level cloud servers for games:
Real-Time Simulator Game Servers:
These cloud gaming servers find use in playing real-time simulation games through the cloud server. These servers are implemented as endless loops and are bandwidth-sensitive servers.
Massive Multiplayer Persistent Environments:
These cloud gaming servers run MMO games(Massive Multiplayer Online games) like Guild Wars, Eve Online, and World Of Warcraft.
These game servers work with a set of replies and requests. The advantages of these cloud servers are:
- Compact communication interpretation.
- Retry after a network failure.
- Performs well for turn-based games.
- Back end
The back-end services of cloud servers only allow interfaces to other back-end and front-end services. The external gamer or client can not communicate directly with these back-end services. These cloud services generally offer a path for gamers to store and access the data of games. For example:
- Environment data of games in the database
- Logging the game results in the data storehouse.
The following are the back end or head components of the gaming architecture in cloud servers:
- Game State
The records of the system store the game state component. The game state is a bridge between fine-grained (front end)and coarse-grained (back end). Typically, it’s stored in the database of the video game.
- Game Database
The game database is the most crucial component of the cloud gaming infrastructure. It also plays a very impactful role in the back end of games’ processing and performance during cloud gaming. The use of the video game database is to store the current state of the game. This database holds the player’s progress in the game. When you save your game, data is uploaded to the database in the cloud.
This component is the most sensitive part of the game’s infrastructure. You will also lose your game progress if the game’s database is damaged. The game database plays a significant role in the game’s success, smoothness, and performance during cloud gaming.
- Analytics Stack
This stack holds or stores analytics, logic, gameplay events, and queries.
These high-end components can be used or hosted on cloud gaming backgrounds and environments, including Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and On-premises cloud. Any of these cloud services will work for cloud gaming only if your computer system meets the latest communication requirements between these components and the user. Any of these cloud services will work if your PC meets the latest communication requirements.
Basic Technology Behind Cloud Gaming (Easy)
Now we have reviewed cloud gaming infrastructure, which is pretty tough to understand. So, now we will move toward the necessary technology behind cloud gaming. Cloud gaming users have been increasing rapidly over the last few years. It is interesting for gamers to know how exactly cloud gaming works and what technology plays behind it.
One important thing is that cloud computing and database concepts are used in cloud gaming. These concepts can be challenging to understand for gamers or people. But the overall basic structure of cloud gaming is straightforward to understand for anyone. The chart below will help you learn the basic structure of cloud gaming, the transfer of data from the user end to the cloud server, and the mechanism behind cloud gaming.
What is a Cloud?
A cloud can be defined as a virtual infrastructure used to store data through the internet on a remote server. You can again access the same data by using the internet. But in simple words, a cloud allows you to store your data across the internet rather than storing it on your PC’s hard disk.
The cloud plays a leading role in the structure and functioning of cloud gaming. It is also clear from the name ‘cloud’ gaming. You don’t have to download the game on your PC to play it in cloud gaming. You can directly play it by using the internet. It is known as the cloud technology behind cloud gaming.
Cloud Gaming Platform
A cloud gaming platform is also known as a game stream. These gaming platforms provide gaming as a service or gaming on demand. In simple words, these platforms allow you to play games located on different remote servers directly through your PC.
So these platforms are used to experience cloud gaming. These cloud platforms run the games on their remote servers and stream them to your console. It is popularly called playing games through a cloud. There are many popular cloud gaming servers:
- Google Stadia.
- Nvidia GeForce Now.
- Playstation Now.
- Project xCloud.
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A scene renderer renders or furnishes the video scenes of the game you are playing on a cloud gaming platform. It is also an essential part of cloud gaming and provides good-quality video output to the user.
As it is clear from the name, the video capturer is used to record the game’s video running on a cloud server of a cloud gaming platform.
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Video Encoder and Decoder
The video encoder and decoder play the leading role in sending and receiving the video of the game. This video sends from the game program to the user end. The video encoder sends the video in the form of video frames. In contrast, the video decoder decodes those frames and shows them on the gamer’s PC screen.
It is the tech to stream game videos to your console or PC during cloud gaming. The speed of video encoding and decoding depends on your internet connection speed.
It is also known as a controller. A command receiver sends commands from the user end to the command interpreter and then to the cloud server on which the game is running. The gamer uses this controller to play the game loaded on the remote server of the cloud-gaming platform. This command receiver sends the user’s input to the remote server after passing through the command interpreter without delay.
The command interpreter/ decoder performs all the actions at the cloud server end. This interpreter receives user inputs from the control receiver and then executes/ implements them in the game. This command decoder is responsible for performing various commands according to the user instructions in the game loaded in the cloud server.
A gamer sends a command to jump into the game during cloud gaming. Then the command receiver will send user input to the command interpreter. Then the command interpreter will perform the jump command in the game running on a cloud gaming service. After this, the scene renderer furnishes the video scenes of the game. Then the video recorder records it and sends it to the video encoder.
The video encoder encodes this video into frames and sends them to the video decoder located at the user end (PC). After this, the video decoder decodes these frames and streams the video on your PC or console. This way, the gamer sends user inputs and receives video output from the cloud gaming service’s remote server. It is how a gamer can experience cloud gaming through a cloud gaming platform.
Bottom Line Of The Ultimate Guide
Cloud gaming has a bright future in the gaming industry. It is still making many improvements in terms of technology and modern hardware architecture. The total number of gamers is fastly growing on cloud gaming platforms. Many gamers and game developers are interested in knowing about the modern tech and hardware behind cloud gaming. Cloud computing, database, video encoding/ decoding, and cloud technology are the main concepts used in cloud gaming. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the technology behind cloud gaming and how data transfers to and from the end user and the cloud gaming platform.