Double Helix Games Will Take Advantage of Xbox One’s Cloud to Balance Killer Instinct Without Patches

By on October 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm
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During a recent interview with Game Informer, Killer Instinct producer Torin Rettig touched on how Double Helix Games plans to utilize Xbox One’s cloud system to push out updates for the upcoming fighter. Instead of relying on a constant stream of patches that need to be received from Microsoft’s servers, Double Helix will be able to balance the title without being tied down to mandatory downloads like current-generation consoles.

All of our variables that go into how a character behaves are going to exist basically in the cloud. Without having to content update or patch the game at all, we can just go in on the cloud and tweak these variables without the player having to know.

Content updates like new characters, however, will still need to be downloaded through larger patches.

While this may raise concerns that Double Helix won’t make details of each update privy to the community or might patch the game constantly without letting certain discoveries play out, Rettig was quick to assuage those worries. Notes will always be provided by the developers to keep players in the loop, and they are very aware that knee-jerk patches need to be kept in check to allow the title some breathing room.

This news, along with a previous report that Double Helix will be allowing specific players to test out post-release Killer Instinct characters early through the Xbox One’s devkit tools, provides an interesting look at how future fighters may function on next-generation consoles.

Make sure to visit Game Informer to check out the rest of the interview.

Source: Game Informer via SpeedBrkr

  • $19298411

    So….it’s a patch just delivered a new way?

    • iantothemax

      Yes and no. While it’s technically still patching the game, it isn’t really a patch in the traditional sense.

      • Huy Pham

        Mind elaborating on this? I don’t see how these mini-adjustments are much different from a patch, aside from how much is changed at a time.

  • robjarv

    Sounds like the MK9 hotfixes… no thanks. If you’re not able to connect to the internet then the recent changes get blown away? Sounds great for tournaments /s

    • CptPokerface

      “…they are very aware that knee-jerk patches need to be kept in check to allow the title some breathing room”

      • robjarv

        Not really the part of the hotfixes I was commenting on (more about needing to be online than the frequency and severity of the changes), but Mash Harder’s idea below seems like a good scenario!

        • CptPokerface

          That’s the best way it COULD work. Hopefully this is the case, though I can’t imagine it any other way. They get to make needed adjustments when the need arises and we don’t have to wait weeks/months for minor fixes. Everyone wins.

    • Mash Harder

      Sounds like they store character frame data in an external database ( the “cloud” ), and your game auto-patches every time you connect to this server. I assume they will cache your most recent update locally, so you shouldn’t be stuck playing vanilla just because you’re offline.

      • Amer1ka

        Yup, this exactly.

  • Unemployment Master

    Hmm… I wish they keep us on the loop, because:
    “…we can just go in on the cloud and tweak these variables without the player having to know.” is a very bad idea. Or not.
    Kinda reminds me of the time when no one knew what the differences were between title updates, if done in a good way (like telling you a small version number).

  • Amer1ka

    Think of it this way. When you play a game on a PC there are these files called config files that allow you to set values and it changes how the game looks, plays, etc. You know like when somebody turns on no gravity mode on a Team Fortress 2 server. The game being designed with a similar config file or mini-database (that would be locally cached) in mind allows them to adjust things like power value of hits, hit stun, block stun, recovery frames etc. with these config file settings. Many MMO’s use a similar method and they are called hotfixes.

    The whole “cloud” thing they keep saying isn’t even accurate…it’s basically MS trying to drum up more hype for something that isn’t that special…it’s on par with the old Genesis BLAST PROCESSING.

    This type of development will make it quite nice to very quickly tune characters but it also could make players go on a roller coaster ride if things are constantly changed (which, has been a problem in some MMO’s that use similar techniques). So it’s definitely a double edged sword.

    • TiredOcean

      They really shouldn’t say it’s on the cloud then. I thought for a second that KI was going to be streamed to your console as if it was OnLive. (I don’t even want to consider the input lag… eugh)

  • ZenTzen

    cant wait for the complaints of the people saying they dont know what the hell is going on because of this

  • Louis Lam

    It’s still patches, it’s just done change by change and instantly.

  • TheWetWorks

    uh…no
    I am hyped for this game, but this is a bad idea.
    They need to first let the game grow and then provide an update notice of version and changes and when to expect it.
    Changing/adjusting one thing at a time without anyone knowing is going to cause problems for serious players and such
    i.e. one second this move links to other, next second it doesn’t
    This type of stuff would happen during QA Testing of products, and caused more problems than good;
    where a dev would slip in a quick fix and re-build the program/app/backend that test is currently to work on, and ended up breaking everything because it was on-the-fly, and not checked against other related fixes (sometimes for workarounds of problem that now don’t work due to quick fix)
    they need to just schedule updates with release notes

    • Scott Bender

      Does nobody read the articles? ” and they are very aware that knee-jerk patches need to be kept in check to allow the title some breathing room.”

      They’ve stated that they will balance at the start of each season. Having hotfixes is still a good thing, in case some severely glaring issues arise. But they are smart enough to know that NRS style balance updates are a bad thing. As long as they show restraint, its not a bad thing

    • nasnas76

      I’ll assume you didn’t read the entire story.

  • heatEXTEND

    “we can just go in on the cloud and tweak these
    variables without the player having to know.”

    LMFAO

  • Azrael VG

    Nice to see consoles catching up to the way PC gaming works. Not to excited as I have no problem downloading a small few MB update for fixes. As nothing is changing with big updates so yea not excited at all.Still a move in the right direction but not news worthy.

  • $17468069

    So you need to be online for the game to function properly?