We played Doom 3 at the first Rhone-Alpes OpenStack Meet-UP

Jul 02 2013

You may rightfully wonder what on earth has Doom 3 anything to do with OpenStack? Well, it does and this is what the XLcloud Project tried to demonstrate last week at the first Rhone-Alpes OpenStack Meet-up organized by Dave Neary.

The XLcloud project provides a Platform-as-a-Service layer on top of OpenStack to ease the deployment and life-cycle management of complex and scalable middleware stacks. During the demo we deployed, in few mouse clicks, an instance of what we call a Remote Rendering Virtual Cluster (RRVC)  that users can connect to play 3D games or interact with other applications that render 3D scenes. We started for fun a Doom 3 BFG Edition session. Okay, I must admit that the game did't go too far during the demo as we were pretty bad at moving around properly while shooting the bad guys. However, we published a video on YouTube that shows what it looks like when real gamers are in command :-). No sound yet, but it will come up soon :-).

The effect is quite stunning especially in multi-payer mode. The complex 3D scenes of the game are rendered and encoded in real time in our lab to be delivered as a video stream in an interactive loop to the gamers. The rendering latency is in the order of a few tens of milliseconds that makes the game as if it were played locally whereas in reality it is running on GPU accelerated instances in an OpenStack cloud several hundreds of kilometers away.

We have recorded a screencast of the demo which shows the user interactions with the XLcloud Management System (XMS) console which starts a RRVC stack that is the preamble to running the game session.

That was a good start for the first day meet-up... And thanks again to Bruno Cornec and the HP team who hosted the event with plenty of food and drinks :-)

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