Remember the days when a game would require an update unexpectedly not allowing you to play until it was finished? Respawn’s upcoming first person shooter, Titanfall, looks to completely remove that element completely, allowing you to play when you want to play, without interruptions.
During the closed alpha test a couple weeks ago, Respawn quietly tested a few things behind the scenes outside of online stability. What players were not aware of during playtime is that multiple server updates were performed, completely moving everyone currently logged in from one build to the next. What’s extremely interesting here is that during these updates, no one noticed what was going on. The only thing that would have clued players in were the bugs/issues disappearing. The transition was completely seamless.
Over on the Titanfall forums, programmer Jon Shiring confirmed that this is how they’ll be handling issues they find, by pushing new server side updates. He did want to caution players with the caveat that not everything would be able to be fixed this way as bigger issues would likely need a client side update. Still, the fact that the majority of the issues can be patched seamlessly without causing any interruption to gameplay is pretty great if you ask me.
When asked how they were able to pull it off, Shiring said, “Seamless updates are due to the stuff we’ve written. The fact that we can somewhat-easily deploy new builds on Azure is due to the Xbox Live Compute team’s hard work. This is an area that we’ve been working on with them for some time now. We originally told them that no-cert, fast server updates were a requirement for us, and they made that happen.”
I know these days the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can now download updates in the background getting players into the action a lot faster than before, but what Respawn is doing here truly says “next-gen” to me. If this is the kind of technical wizardry we’re in store for with the future of this generation, then sign me up.
Standby for update? No thank you, not anymore.