Gaming Tech Behind the Scenes

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Gaming is now at the forefront of entertainment technology. In fact, the gaming industry has helped drive a ton of new innovations—even beyond entertainment. For example, VR technology is now being used for educational purposes around the world. So is the concept of gamification, which has found its way into the retail sector. 

When people think about platforms like Twitch and the most popular eSports stars, from Ninja to Faker, they’re likely imagining a high-tech world. While they wouldn’t be wrong, some of gaming’s most impressive technology has been placed behind the curtain—which means many people, from gamers to techies, aren’t aware of the industry’s coolest gadgets and features. 

Let’s explore some of the coolest technology that supports the gaming industry. First up: the complexity of generating randomness in a computer.

Generating Randomness with RNGs

Non-gamers are probably wondering what randomness has to do with gaming, while gamers are shaking their heads and recalling a time when their luck ran out. And that’s why randomness is important—it’s responsible for generating chance within games. This is important in eSports, as well as any gaming market. 

For example, roulette is a popular casino game that’s played virtually. While most players are probably focused on learning about the roulette board layout and how to strategize, others might wonder how a casino can guarantee a totally random result when the virtual wheel is spun. The answer is a random number generator or RNG.

RNGs are the same technology that determines which Pokémon a Pokémon GO player will discover in the wild and why a bullet’s trajectory might not be perfect in CS: GO. These RNGs create random outcomes using a variety of processes, some computer-generated. But the ‘truest’ RNGs might actually use bio-feedback from the earth, which can’t be predicted because of organic processes—such as tracking lightning strikes or even seismic movements.

Gaming Tech Behind the Scenes

Dedicated Servers

Many popular video games are hosted on dedicated or private servers. For those who don’t know, a server is a device that hosts a game and manages the players. For example, the CS: GO game mentioned above has a server that ‘loads’ players into a game together as they access it from remote locations. 

The same goes for open-world titles like Rust. The game is hosted on a dedicated server, which means players will spawn into the same game each time—and they’ll be competing in real time. Developers might own these servers to host their games or, in the case of smaller groups, pay a company to let them host on one of its servers. 

Similarly, popular streamers on Twitch or YouTube might also have their own server. This lets them spawn into the same map or world for certain titles, while it also lets their followers join their server and potentially game with them. The average cost to launch a small server would be about $100-200 a month—but that price can skyrocket or dip depending on the gamer’s needs.

Recognition Software

One last piece of technology that toils behind the curtain in the gaming industry is recognition software. These are tools used to create some of the world’s top video games while still in production. In other words, just like mobile tech uses audio and visual recognition software, so do some games.

This trend is set to advance in the coming years, too. Facial, audio, and other types of visual recognition are being used to enhance the gameplay experience for certain titles. But what does this look like? So far, developers at Ubisoft have been toying with video game tech that could recognize a player’s facial expressions, either dialing up or dialing down the game’s difficulty in accordance with them.

Audio software that includes speech recognition, on the other hand, might be used to allow a player to dive into a game without using a controller. This emerging tech has particularly positive applications, as it could expand the means of controlling and participating in various games for those who struggle with motor skills.

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