Ubisoft announces Scalar: What is it and how is it going to work

Ubisoft announces Scalar: What is it and how is it going to work

Ubisoft Scalar is going to use cloud technology to power games instead of just hardware.

(Photo: Ubisoft) (Photo: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has announced a new cloud-based technology that will allow gamers and developers to unleash “unprecedented freedom and scale for the games of tomorrow” through cloud computing.

Called Scalar, this tech, when used by games, will make them capable of using “virtually unlimited amount of computing power, and thus run anything from virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and depth to vastly detailed simulations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise,” Ubisoft explained.

“By placing microservices independently in the cloud, Ubisoft Scalar enables developers to update and improve one service without impacting others, or even add new features or components to a game without interrupting play sessions,” the company added.

Essentially, Ubisoft Scalar’s “purpose” is to “remove technical constraints” for game developers allowing them to focus wholly on design and creativity. The tech takes traditional game engine components and systems, like assets, animations, audio, renders, etc., and transforms them into microservices on cloud thus opening up “closed, single processor systems” to a “distributed models across potentially unlimited number of machines”.

Ubisoft Scalar is not a cloud streaming service like Stadia or Xbox Cloud. Simply put, it is a tool that can be accessed by game developers anywhere and its components used without the hardware constraints. With such vast computing power at its disposal, games being built on Ubisoft Scalar will “always be running” and get live updates on the go, players will no longer have to quit a game to download a patch and will instead be able to see it roll out as they play. This means that if developers add something new to the game, every player can experience it at the same time.

But this also means that if there is a glitch, all players are going to experience the same thing at the same time. During its presentation, the Ubisoft’s Stockholm studio, the ones spearheading Ubisoft Scalar, did not address how they plan to deal with these glitches though.

“Developers can create very rich worlds, which can develop and evolve, and change as the players are actually playing them. So, it should bring a much closer connection between players and the creators of those games,” said Christian Holmqvist, Technical Director at Ubisoft Scalar.

Holmqvist also added that they have separated the interlocking functions of the game engine, thus separating their roles. This gives developers the option to work on a single aspect without “necessarily having all of the other pieces on your machine”.

Ubisoft Scalar is not being offered as a replacement for the current game engines in use today, it is supposed to serve as an alternative for faster production and real-time experience.

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