How id Software went from skeptical to excited about Google Stadia streaming – Ars Technica

How id Software went from skeptical to excited about Google Stadia streaming – Ars Technica

Enlarge / Google Stadia's controller. reader comments 137 with 72 posters participating, including story author Share this story GDC 2019 View more storiesSAN FRANCISCO—Back in 2016, when Google first approached id Software about bringing some games to a potential new streaming service, the game developer was skeptical to say the least. "The proposal immediately bumped against our main bias, " id Senior Programmer Dustin Land said during a talk at this week's Game Developers Conference. "Streaming adds latency to the thing we desperately want to remove latency from." Fast forward more than two years, and id was proudly on stage this week showing a version of Doom Eternal running on Google's newly announced Stadia streaming platform. But getting from that initial skepticism to that grand unveiling wasn't always an easy process, Land said. Getting to yes For years, Land said, Google had been watching their YouTube analytics, waiting for a big enough group of users to reach the point where their connections would be able to handle game streaming. By September of 2016, Google thought the broadband market was mature enough to give it a try, and the company approached id for some real-world help with game testing. ....

So after a bit of iteration, Google came back to id that November with a new version that ran on a nearby cloud instance using a wireless router, a Chromebook, and an Android phone for input. "Needless to say, it was a night and day difference, " Land said. "We were stunned by how much things had improved... It [only felt] like someone just forgot to enable game mode on the TV." That was enough to convince id to move forward with the project, even though there were still some kinks to work out. More recently, Land said Google came to the id offices to set up a "Pepsi Challenge"-style blind test between Stadia and local hardware "to keep themselves honest and really drill down on eliminating perceivable differences in the play experience. They also wanted to demonstrate that Stadia could be superior to a local experience in certain eyes." In that blind test, you could "hardly tell what was local and what was remote, " according to Land. .

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