What is it? A file-based cloud gaming approach that strives to increase player engagement at a significant saving
Cloud gaming today needs little introduction, even at the consumer level. It is becoming a very ordinary platform for people to access games, but that doesn’t mean the technology powering the cloud is at an evolutionary dead end.
Take Kalydo’s offering, for example, which recently made itself widely available after a period of close work with selected clients.
Most significantly, Kalydo’s approach uses file streaming for games of a 1GB-to-25GB size, unlike OnLive and Gaikai, which are built around pixel sharing technology. Put simply, it means players only need download the elements of the game they are actively using, be they on desktop, in browser or through a social network.
Kalydo’s cloud gaming solution purports to have no effect on latency, and can be used to deploy any type of game from first-person shooters to racers on a global scale, and stakes a claim to requiring a minimum of infrastructure for distribution.
“This makes Kalydo’s Cloud Gaming infrastructure 200-to-500 times less expensive than pixel streaming,” claims Kalydo strategic director Richard van Barneveld (pictured). “Kalydo gamers stream in-game content while playing, which is then being cashed on their hard drive. By making the starting package very small we can offer our gamers an ‘instant play experience’. The end result is happy gamers that can play a game with just a few clicks – around three – and in less than three minutes, instead of 26 clicks and several hours.”
Currently used in 15 titles, such as Remnant Knight (above), which between them share an impressive average of around 85 per cent conversion from registration to launching the game, Kalydo’s method also allows for games to proliferate in low bandwidth regions around the world such as China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Russia.
Quite simply, because only a small starter package needs to be downloaded instead of the full client, Kalydo has the potential to make cloud gaming more user friendly and accessible; a benefit that developers of games that rely on the cloud will likely find hugely appealing.
Furthermore, the Kalydo file-focused solution effectively eradicates the need for game updates, in that only the relevant content files are streamed to the player, keeping updates at the developer’s end of the player-creator relationship.
But what of the responsibility of the developer to make their game applicable for Kalydo’s file-sharing approach? Surely it means increased effort on behalf of the studio looking to stream its game to the world?
“There is little to no impact on the development process, which is one of the best things about our cloud gaming technology,” offers van Barneveld in response. “We invite developers to make the games however they desire, and as large and advanced as they want, as we have the ability to stream them whatever the size.
“The only thing that a developer has to do different to use Kalydo is upload a new XML into the Kalydo Management Console. Also, Kalydo can be implemented post launch without any problem and very little conversion, as we have done with the majority of our titles.”
The way developers connect their games with Kalydo’s is through a provided SDK that itself is part of a platform five years in the making. The SDK can be used to ready a game for Kalydo’s cloud, and includes tools for streaming, compression, and web or desktop launch. The service also includes access to the aforementioned Kalydo Management Console, best thought of as the back office of Kalydos cloud. It is used for deployment of the game, statistics and data, error systems and the Kalydo various support offerings. And, of course, the tech platform is continuously updated and hosted in the cloud.
The service is available through a series of payment options which combine a license fee and per-play session cloud usage cost, or through a custom private cloud solution.
However, as part of the launch, a 30-day free trials if available via the Kalydo website.
“Instead of long discussions or sales pitches we like to invite any game studio to try it for themselves,” suggests van Barneveld. “Our first trial was with a Russian company, who were so impressed they integrating their MMO game within three weeks of starting the trial.”
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