For the past two years, Game Stack Live has given us an exclusive look at game development at Microsoft. The live series gave us a good idea of how game development is going and what game developers care about. In case you missed the show last week, we’ve rounded up some of the key developments in Game Stack Live 2021 below. Experience last year’s Game Stack Live Here.
This year we learned that the Xbox teams are having serious behind the scenes accessibility issues and have put in place brand new accessibility guidelines. These guidelines provide developers with the latest insights, knowledge, and information about developing and designing accessible games. What is great about these guidelines, aside from the fact that anyone can use them, is that they are written in partnership with the disabled community. In addition to contextualizing accessibility best practices, these guidelines provide a solid starting point for developers to conduct their own accessibility tests and experiments.
ID @ Azure
Game development self is becoming more and more accessible for small and medium-sized studios. Thanks to the cloud, heavy hitters like Azure, PlayFab and Havok are available and accessible from anywhere in the world. Game development is no longer the world of an AAA studio. Cloud-based game development tools allow smaller teams to use the same functionality.
Microsoft announced the ID @ Azure program, a new game development program for indie studios, startups and individual developers. The program gives developers free access to the same developer tools as AAA studios and support from Microsoft industry experts. With the recent explosion in indie studios and developers, it’s great to see artisans getting the time, attention, and tools they deserve.
Xbox Velocity architecture
One thing we learned over the past year is that game development needs to be done from anywhere, anywhere.
With all the same functions as on-site from anywhere in the world, cloud development is more flexible than ever. We have a pretty clear idea of how Microsoft envisions game development over the past year. We saw how the Minecraft team was able to tackle a previously impossible server port with minimal sweat (a common stressful factor for larger studios, making the leap to cloud game dev).
The cloud is just getting easier to play and evolve. From faster asset streaming to minimal loading times and rendering, innovations such as the new Xbox Velocity architecture in the X / S consoles of the Xbox series quickly make cloud gaming and gamedev the right way to go.
DirectX Agility SDK
With the Agility SDK, all old and new DirectX 12 functions are performed on a massive installation basis. This is an extremely welcome update for the community and fulfills Microsoft’s promise to find a better way to get features working on every installation basis, not just the latest Windows 10 operating system (every version since the 9/19 update). November 2019).
Best of all, games using the Agility SDK can run on a wide variety of slot machines without ever asking players to update to the latest operating system.
DirectX: First Steps https://devblogs.microsoft.com/directx/directx-12-ultimate-getting-started-guide/
Ask? Join the DirectX Discord server https://discord.com/invite/directx
From server scaling to real-time chat translation, multiplayer server scaling and features have been big topics for the community this year. Multiplayer servers and features are a sucker for any developer, which is why the PlayFab, Azure, and Xbox teams kicked them out last year to make things a little easier for all of us.
One of the undisputed advantages of developing cloud games is the ability to build, scale, and manage multiplayer servers, which the PlayFab team excellently demonstrated in a two-part server tutorial that is perfect for smaller and indie studios.
Microsoft also showed us how they approach things like high latency and availability with the Azure Cosmos DB. As Microsoft’s NoSQL database on Azure, Cosmos DB provides increasingly predictable performance without locking your data.
And if you thought game development was only for games, think again. One of the outstanding presentations was about how gaming analyzes move in the business area and what this means for future game development.
Bonus level: entertainment
After more than a year of no shows due to global bans, the most welcome addition to this year’s Game Stack Live may just be the entertainment track. Game Stack did their best to bring back some of that pre-hidden live show magic with sets of @jjbbllkk
CTA: Catch Game Stack Live 2021 on demand
Game Stack Live technical talks are available upon request. Visit our Game Stack YouTube channel to see 40+ sessions ranging from audio to graphics, multiplayer to systems and tools.