MAG Could Have Even More Than 256 Concurrent Players

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MAG Could Have Even More Than 256 Concurrent Players

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The developers of MAG claim that the MMO shooter on PS3 could support more than the 256 player battles they currently have planned.

Mike Nicolino, the Software Manager at Zipper Interactive, and Nate Klee, the Chief Software Architect discussed the framework behind MAG on the Mag Blog. The shooter is an MMOFPS set in 2025, when national armies are banned which leads to the rise of private military companies. The technological capabilities of the PS3 allow up to 256 players to engage in battles in MAG but the infrastructure exists to allow even more players. MAG, previously known as Massive Action Game, is scheduled to be released on January 26, 2010 in North America on the PS3.

From the beginning, the scale of MAG was important. "I had to worry about the scale of the thing," said Nicolino. "I had to say 'Remember: there's going to be 256 people in this game at the same time. So, we're going to have to make sure that we can implement your idea correctly with that much going on, otherwise, we may have to make some adjustments.'"

Nicolino offered a software developer's perspective on what it is like working on the PS3. "The PS3 is a lot more flexible. It has a bunch of memory, it has a hard drive, and it's a little more PC-like from a development standpoint, so I like that," Nicolino said.

Klee added that there were some challenges to developing for that platform which ultimately paid off: "Building a new engine on new hardware is time consuming for sure, but the PS3 itself is very, very powerful and it takes a custom effort that asks you to think about things in all-new ways to best utilize it." He went on, "That's why MAG only runs on the PS3 by the way - because the system's SPUs are so powerful that they give us the technical capability to simultaneously run 256 players in the way we do."

The players are divided into into 8 man squads, with 4 squads forming a platoon and 4 platoons forming a company, which is why they settled on 256 players. But Klee said that the way MAG utilizes that hardware and networking capability would allow for even more concurrent players:

We built a technology that can support a huge number of players - we picked 256 because of gameplay balance, how we divide squads up, etc. But with our infrastructure, we can increase the number of players to beyond even 256 if we wanted to. There are trade-offs that would have to be made, of course, but the technology supports even more players if the need was there.

If only bigger meant better, then MAG would be the best console shooter ever made by humans. I reserve the right to pass judgement when it is released. You, on the other hand, can feel free to judge away.

Source: the Mag Blog via TheSixthAxis

Permalink

Oh snap, here we go...

I'm very interested in this game, but at the same time judging from the beta can they really say "we could have put more, but didn't due to balance issues"? Haven't Battlefield games done that many players (serious question) though I imagine not officially?

Either way, 256 is a good enough number, and if the game is better than the beta (which it should be) then good times.

Greg Tito:
and it's a little more PC-like from a development standpoint, so I like that,"

Is that the opposite of what other developers have said about the PS3 though? That the 360 was more PC like?

After this they will build colonies within MAG. And soon, everyone will be living in a cyber-world, killing each other over and over again. Oh the humanity!

Still not getting me to buy it though.

I'm really looking forward to MAG actually, ever since they announced it at E3 years ago. I From what I've seen it looks good, I just hope it plays well.

wow, really? I have to admit, thats pretty impressive.

Just imagine if this game had P2P matchmaking.

I think that 256 is a good number to stop at, but I'm still curios just how many more they could have implemented into a single game.

sounds cool , but too bad it's only on ps3 , and yeah i have a ps3 but don't play on it

Times like this make me wish I had a PS3. Not really incentive enough to make me go out and buy one, but the game sounds interesting.

Greg Tito:
The shooter is an MMOFPS set in 2025, when national armies are banned which leads to the rise of private military companies.

"War. War has changed."

OT: I'm actually quite intrigued by MAG, i'll be interested to see how well the tier system plays out

I want a PS3 just to play this.

And so I can play God of War 3.

AAAAAANNNNDDDDDD so I can play Shadow of the Colossus in HD!

ChromeAlchemist:
Oh snap, here we go...

I'm very interested in this game, but at the same time judging from the beta can they really say "we could have put more, but didn't due to balance issues"? Haven't Battlefield games done that many players (serious question) though I imagine not officially?

Either way, 256 is a good enough number, and if the game is better than the beta (which it should be) then good times.

Greg Tito:
and it's a little more PC-like from a development standpoint, so I like that,"

Is that the opposite of what other developers have said about the PS3 though? That the 360 was more PC like?

No, at least, not that I'm aware of. 64 is the max number of players in the PC battlefield games (I have the console one as well, but I can't remember how many people there are). I think that "Armed Assault" could support 256, but to be honest, I didn't buy it so can't be sure (the demo pretty much showed it was an Operation Flashpoint clone, which whilst good, still had the crappy interface)

I'll be interested to see if this works - if they manage to make this work without huge lag problems, I might have to consider getting a PS3, heh.

The beta was alot of fun did not run into too many glitches compared to alot of other betas I have been in. it played nice and the framerate always seemed solid my only one complaint was the amount of time it took to get into a match at times. But that was also good time for me to edit loadouts and spend some XP.

Definitely picking this game up.

*drools*

I AM GETTING THIS ON RELEASE

I do not care if it comes out the day BEFORE my birthday, I WILL NOT MISS ONE DAY

OmegaXIII:

Greg Tito:
The shooter is an MMOFPS set in 2025, when national armies are banned which leads to the rise of private military companies.

"War. War has changed."

OT: I'm actually quite intrigued by MAG, i'll be interested to see how well the tier system plays out

Yeah, but "War, War never changes"

OT: I'll say, 256 is quite impressive. Still, I lack a PS3, and am not inclined to buy this, only for that game.

I'll still follow development though

Has anything more been revealed about this game, i won't be sold on this unless i know this is not just some shitte game that supports a gazillion players.

it seems like it would take a long time to get into a game. or that you would not be playing at max most of the time

I find it hard to imagine that this game would be totally maxed out on a server. Good idea on paper, lets see some realistic execution.

Fudgo:
Just imagine if this game had P2P matchmaking.

It'd ruin everything?

I played Planetside, and there was nothing like hitching a ride on a dropship that would fly you to the action, and then JUMPING OUT and landing on top of enemy towers and bases.

Shru1kan:
I find it hard to imagine that this game would be totally maxed out on a server. Good idea on paper, lets see some realistic execution.

Fire up the ps3 and download the beta it will begin again January 4th. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/12/mag-is-gold-beta-for-everyone-soon/

Considering I can't even get three other people to cooperate with me in L4D2, I doubt this game will fare any better.

My anticipation for this title is waning.

Hardcore_gamer:
Has anything more been revealed about this game, i won't be sold on this unless i know this is not just some shitte game that supports a gazillion players.

there was a couple month beta and the 256 people games had no lag. another beta starts in january and its opened to everyone. so just go to the psn store tomarrow download the beta and wait till january 4th to try it.

midpipps:

Shru1kan:
I find it hard to imagine that this game would be totally maxed out on a server. Good idea on paper, lets see some realistic execution.

Fire up the ps3 and download the beta it will begin again January 4th. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/12/mag-is-gold-beta-for-everyone-soon/

If only I had a PS3 to fire up. I'm planning on buying one around spring break.

I'm sorry? By the year 2025, national armies are banned? Maybe I'm missing the point, but that just sounds fucking ridiculous.

Even so, I can't help but imagine the lag. Not only the strain on the PS3's processor, but the internet as well.

But I'll be interested to see how it all pans out.

I still have a problem with the main outcome of the concept. In order to be a high rank you'll have to play alot.

I shudder at the thought of being ordered around by some 12 year old with no life.

Doug:

ChromeAlchemist:
Oh snap, here we go...

I'm very interested in this game, but at the same time judging from the beta can they really say "we could have put more, but didn't due to balance issues"? Haven't Battlefield games done that many players (serious question) though I imagine not officially?

Either way, 256 is a good enough number, and if the game is better than the beta (which it should be) then good times.

Greg Tito:
and it's a little more PC-like from a development standpoint, so I like that,"

Is that the opposite of what other developers have said about the PS3 though? That the 360 was more PC like?

No, at least, not that I'm aware of. 64 is the max number of players in the PC battlefield games (I have the console one as well, but I can't remember how many people there are). I think that "Armed Assault" could support 256, but to be honest, I didn't buy it so can't be sure (the demo pretty much showed it was an Operation Flashpoint clone, which whilst good, still had the crappy interface)

I'll be interested to see if this works - if they manage to make this work without huge lag problems, I might have to consider getting a PS3, heh.

first, Armed Assault is the spiritual sucessor to Operation Flashpoint, since the developer and publisher split.

second, this game will have lag problems, every game has lag problems, but being able to say you have 255 other players in the same game with you does say something. The only reason I wouldnt get this game is if it kicked you in the balls every five minutes and threw your ps3 out onto the street.

Kalezian:

Doug:

ChromeAlchemist:
Oh snap, here we go...

I'm very interested in this game, but at the same time judging from the beta can they really say "we could have put more, but didn't due to balance issues"? Haven't Battlefield games done that many players (serious question) though I imagine not officially?

Either way, 256 is a good enough number, and if the game is better than the beta (which it should be) then good times.

Greg Tito:
and it's a little more PC-like from a development standpoint, so I like that,"

Is that the opposite of what other developers have said about the PS3 though? That the 360 was more PC like?

No, at least, not that I'm aware of. 64 is the max number of players in the PC battlefield games (I have the console one as well, but I can't remember how many people there are). I think that "Armed Assault" could support 256, but to be honest, I didn't buy it so can't be sure (the demo pretty much showed it was an Operation Flashpoint clone, which whilst good, still had the crappy interface)

I'll be interested to see if this works - if they manage to make this work without huge lag problems, I might have to consider getting a PS3, heh.

first, Armed Assault is the spiritual sucessor to Operation Flashpoint, since the developer and publisher split.

second, this game will have lag problems, every game has lag problems, but being able to say you have 255 other players in the same game with you does say something. The only reason I wouldnt get this game is if it kicked you in the balls every five minutes and threw your ps3 out onto the street.

when I played in the 256 people games I had no lag ;P

I have to agree that 256 players sounds wonderful... on paper. My problem with a MMO type game on the PS3 is that from what I have experienced with my system their online service is unreliable at best. I thought it was strictly on my end but I was rather surprised to hear similar stories from most people I have talked to who own one as well. The other problem is that Zipper seems to be relying strictly on the amount of players that will be in these battles, while the ingredients that actually make a strong/fun/entertaining game look extremely weak. Don't get me wrong I realize I have only played the beta, and not the final product. However, solid frame rate, and 256 players doesn't make a "great" game.

This game is great in concept.
The only thing that will make it great is player cooperation to actually complete objectives.
What we need is a clan.
But imagine, 100+ people in a clan.

How about an Escapist Magazine clan ;D

So can't wait for this game. I thought 30 vs 30 was great on Resistance 2, but 128 vs 128? Sounds fantastic. Though I'd like to see the balancing etc, as it could run into issues, e.g. Grenade spam. 256 grenades at start? Could be interesting...

Arikuza:
This game is great in concept.
The only thing that will make it great is player cooperation to actually complete objectives.
What we need is a clan.
But imagine, 100+ people in a clan.

How about an Escapist Magazine clan ;D

Depends I've already mentioned if this is a monthly fee thing it can go fuck itself but if it's not sure I'll join

Meanwhile, it'll take an hour to fire your gun after you pulled the trigger.

Greg Tito:
set in 2025, when national armies are banned which leads to the rise of private military companies.

This alone makes me eerie... Clearly the "writing" part was, again, handled during someone's lunchbreak or as some designer's kid's third grade homework assignment...

It's a completely impossible situation. First of all it's impossible from the standpoint that if nations were civilized enough to peacefully accept a national army ban, they wouldn't need a ban to begin with. Second of all, how the fuck would you enforce an army ban? What if a country suddenly went "fuck all of you with a rake, we like our army"? What do you do to stop them? Send them disappointed e-mails, with potential escalation to angry letters? Challenge them to a thumb war?

An army is one of those things a country simply can't NOT have... Even if it's a minor and mostly inactive one. It's like asking all the countries with nuclear bombs to destroy them... They won't. The moment one side gets rid of theirs they're at the complete mercy of the other side, dependent on them not being assholes and using their weapons for leverage. And if humans are something it's opportunistic assholes.

BUT THEN, pièce de résistance, they mention private companies have armies... What the fuck? So countries just up and decided "Yes, we're better off in the hands of people with their own independent personal agenda", "Oh wait, we're MUCH better off in the hands of the same kind of people who'd murder their own grandmother with a plastic bag for money". So whatever entity ended up banning national armies is ok with private organizations having their own military forces?

The story so far is a complete shameful and nonsensical piece of junk, it would be better if it wasn't there at all... As far as gameplay goes, while the prospect of 256 online players in huge scenarios seems quite interesting I have to pose the question in the back of any online "veteran" at this point: It's hard enough to find decent 32-36 man servers in most games... How's 256 gonna hold up?

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