If you weren't a gamer (or alive) at the time when quakeworld came around, you might not appreciate how amazing it was for multiplayer games on the internet. On dial-up, you were lucky to have 150ms latency. Before client-side-prediction, that latency applied to every action you took in game, including player movements. Hit the up-arrow, and you wait 150-300ms before the game responds and moves your character forward. CSP really was an amazing break through, and made multiplayer action games feasible on the internet.
This is particularly relevant now, that we are entering the era of cloud-based streaming game platforms, like Stadia. The latency problems of the pre-CSP 90's will be rearing their heads again. Its going to be interesting to see how these same problems will be tackled in this new context. Internet speeds are higher now, but so are our expectations.
I doubt we'll have the nice, simple dotplan files that Carkmack left for us to read and remember, from all the SRE's at Google, sadly.
I'm not sure if it's funny or sad that there's more key press latency typing into most local Electron apps than connecting to a Quake 3 server 200 miles away back when I had 56k dial-up in 2000.
If you want to fast forward to today's internet, with an average internet connection it takes around 150ms to ping a server in the Netherlands from California. That's over 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers). Somehow a local key press has the same latency with certain code editors. What have we gotten ourselves into.
If you want a fast editor, switch to Sublime 3.
"The mess we're in" famous talk by joe amstrong should be transformed into a website listing all of those absurdities, as a way to public shame the culprits.
For anyone else:
Fantastic watch, thanks for recommending. Sad to hear that Joe Armstrong passed away a few weeks ago.
// This is Makepad, a work-in-progress livecoding IDE for 2D Design.
// This application is nearly 100% Wasm running on webGL.
its more than necessary but not as bad as you are implying
Theoretically the server could speculatively render and transmit a number of different "potential future frames", and the client throws the wrongly predicted frames away.
That's a nice way to burn even more energy and bandwidth though ;)
VR actually introduces further latency problems. With a TV, your typical PS4 can cover up latency issues with spectacle, as you mentioned. That's a big reason I suspect so many console games feel like a movie today, with tons of cutscenes and quick time events. I've been playing a lot of Bloodborne lately, and while it's an action game, it's still incredibly slow compared to something like Quake.
But with VR, when you move your head you expect the world to feel as if it is real. A TV is artificial, and latency is not an intrusion in the experience. But with VR, latency is felt on a deeper level. Potentially resulting in headaches and nausea.
The funny thing is that John Carmack is riding the state-of-the-art decades later on this front as well:
True, but don't overestimate the importance of "serious gamers" to the industry's bottom line. IIRC, mobile gaming is now making more money than all PC and home systems combined.
Another issue is that machine learning/AI don't predict rare events, like earth quakes. So even with all the knowledge in the world, it won't predict a rare creative move of a player.
I say some but I do believe a large enough volume of data can improve the performance of this class of input/states.
Stadia could sell it as an add-on to players which not only don't want to play their games themselves, but also aren't satisfied by watching other people play through their games on YouTube or Twitch. With this add-on, they can finally watch themselves play through their games, without having to lift a finger to, you know, actually play!
Call it Sonic Mnemonic.
I'm also skeptical about the ability for a model to generate predictions without having too many mispredictions to make it viable.
And those types of game are the ones that are suffering most from input latency.
In a twitch shooter, you mouse over a visible opponent. Would the AI be more likely to pre-emptively pull the trigger for you? Or more likely delay and swing the aim passed the opponent before shooting at air? AKA Is the training set for predictive user actions based on experience of players better or worse at the game than you?
My take is that it'll be the a primary competitive point, nearly as important as the library available. Companies that can deliver the service without introducing these issues will succeed and ones that cannot will fail. If nobody can reliably crack it, cloud gaming won't take off.
Back in the 90s there was no viable competitor aside from LAN parties, and those weren't available to you every evening.
Also I agree that is not a given that "Cloud gaming" will take off. We have emerging VR were latency is absolutely critical, even more so than for FPS e-sports
source: German who never had a 56k modem but started with ISDN in 1998 and can't really remember a ping > 100 on EU servers ;)
Telekom used "interleave" by default, which provided very slightly faster download speeds. And caused about 70 ms latency to the first hop.
I had to contact them and ask them to change my ADSL to "fast path". This dropped the latency to maybe 20 ms (IIRC, my memory might fail me on this number).
I think ISDN was about 40 ms to first hop, but again, it's been a long time.