CCP experimenting with Amazon tech to cut download down-time

AppStream could bring EVE character creation to mobile

Eve Online’s character creation tools could be coming to mobile devices through Amazon’s AppStream service.

CCP’s chief technical officer Halldor Fannar talked about his company’s experiments with the streaming service, currently available only to a small group of developers, in an Amazon promotional video.

In the clip, displayed below, Fannar explained how CCP has been playing around with using the tech to make parts of its downloadable game available before it was finished installing.

“As graphics increase in fidelity we’re shipping larger and larger data packages,” he said.

“People will abandon the download because the download is just so big, and that problem is only becoming worse.”

By using AppStream, CCP can give players the chance to begin creating their characters before they finish downloading EVE, making sure they’re invested enough to put the time into exploring the game once it’s installed.

It works by using Amazon’s STX protocol to stream data from EC2 cloud computing instances to mobile or desktop applications on Android, iOS, Windows, or FireOS platforms.

The concept certainly has its appeal, and developers like Blizzard have been experimenting for some time with ways to make games playable before they finish downloading.

StarCraft 2, for example, is about a 15GB download, but customers can begin playing the game long before it’s completely installed.

It’s an elegant solution, but it requires that gamers sacrifice performance when playing on a partial install and there’s still quite a lot of downtime before full play can begin.

With AppStream or a similar service it could be possible for players to begin exploring the tutorials or even a single-player mission or two immediately.

Amazon began accepting developers into a limited preview shortly after revealing AppStream at its November 2013 re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, and the program is still accepting applications at its website.

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