Jump to content
rllmuk
jon_cybernet

Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

Recommended Posts

I think as long as rllmuk is front and centre on the title intros and that rllmuk  merch are prizes for top of the leaderboards this could be great. I understand though if you're a bit coy admitting that the real reason you've poured years of your life into this is to drive rllmuk membership.

 

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21/07/2018 at 07:46, johnj said:

I think as long as rllmuk is front and centre on the title intros and that rllmuk  merch are prizes for top of the leaderboards this could be great. I understand though if you're a bit coy admitting that the real reason you've poured years of your life into this is to drive rllmuk membership.

 

 

We would have got away with it too if it wasn’t for you darned kids!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're going to be doing hands-on demos at Play Expo in a couple of weeks, so if anyone's attending and fancies giving it a go, come on over to our stand!

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19/07/2018 at 01:16, robdood said:

Ah nice work fellas, looks awesome.  You have my support!

 

And my bow!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a huge difference streaming retro games compared to modern games, level of detail, number of colours on screen at once etc, part of the problem on PSNOW etc is the transcode and bitrate required to do modern games is similar to doing HD video, this should work much nicer, good luck @jon_cybernet and @Anne Summers I look forward to giving it a go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, JPickford said:

 

That stuff is about bandwidth.   The problems with streaming are about latency which is unconnected.  There's no reason at all for retro games to work better.  Also retro games were designed for CRT tv sets with zero lag compared to modern screens.

 

Latency for the majority of people is fantastic in 2018, I get under 80ms to some parts of the USA from London. 

 

CRT’s have 8.3ms of input lag, 10.7 when using an interlaced source, it’s a common misconception to believe they do not have any.

 

Bandwidth and Latency go hand in hand, especially as 99% of people stream on wireless devices, the majority of perceptible latency will be encountered in the home unless you have a shocking internet connection.

 

lower bandwidth video from the source means smoother less delayed gameplay at the client so the detail in the video is going to play a big part.

  • Empathy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They don't go hand in hand.   Latency is limited by the speed of light.  Bandwidth can always be increased.


Retro games aren't interlaced.  You get 50 or 60 individual frames and no added lag.   Many retro games manipulate the image in sync with the raster.   Sure, you need to read the player input at some point so there is time between input and output but it's as close to zero as possible on a 60/50hz game.  The TV displays the image at the same time it's output from the console so there's no lag being added there.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is a brilliant initiative but my eyes water at the amount of bandwidth used up by sending a high-res image 60 times per second rather than the ROM + emulator, which is presumably smaller in size than even a single frame?

 

I mean, I realise that one of the very first conversations you had would have been about sending the game code to run client side vs streaming the AV and I assume it’s loads more complicated technically and in terms of rights, but still...

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether lag matters comes down to the type of game that you are playing and I would imagine that retro is the worst type of game to run on a streaming service. Those pixel perfect platforming jumps, perfectly timed shots etc, even the smallest lag can potentially ruin a fast paced arcade game. 

 

I can't imagine that downloading the games to the customer's local device would be a security concern. Someone will always find a way to hack the system, but who would bother, because the sort of games you are promoting are already freely available online if you know where to look, no-ones going to want to hack a service like this, surely?

 

I guess streaming makes the service platform independent and you can make a client for any device you can think of. Imagine a service like this built in to your smart TV. How cool would that be. 

 

If this works without lag, I'll be first in line to sign up. It sounds fab and I love that the devs are involved and getting paid for once.  But I get lag playing a PS4 game on the Vita with a power line connection between the two in the same house and that's enough to ruin, say, Resogun. I wish you all the best luck in the world on this one, because it sounds amazing, and I'll definitely be a customer if it works as you expect it to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎30‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 16:34, jon_cybernet said:

We're going to be doing hands-on demos at Play Expo in a couple of weeks, so if anyone's attending and fancies giving it a go, come on over to our stand!

 

 

 

I'll be there!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m sure that it’s been weighed up by those concerned, but as downloading the emu game is the best option with no lag but presents potential piracy problems, isn’t it a relevant consideration that most people using the service would have no real interest in doing any piracy?

 

I mean these are games that are going to appeal to a (mostly, roughly) middle-aged audience. How many of us who fall into that bracket can be fucked with piracy? Speaking purely for myself, I generally don’t have the time to consume a fraction of all the various media I acquire by legal means. The idea of ‘stealing’ more on top is kind of ridiculous.

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I expect the technical challenge of getting emulators that can run reliably on a large range of different devices is just as much of an issue.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Pob said:

I expect the technical challenge of getting emulators that can run reliably on a large range of different devices is just as much of an issue.

 

Can't they have the streaming on all devices, but with the option of emulation with local play on devices which can run emulators just fine? That would be the best of both worlds, and they could maybe increase the subscription by a couple of quid a month if you pick the local option.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that'd good. Except the local option would require almost infinitely less bandwidth so should be cheaper!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope this works well. I'm all for something like this so count me in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine that the end goal is an Antstream client for every device imaginable and for Antstream to play games from every format imaginable. You could have a state of the art PC gaming experience displaying on your phone if the service streams and I'd imagine retro is just the beginning for Antstream. 

 

I remember On-Live attempting this before, and I had an On-Live account for a while when BT took a stake in it. I remember playing Virtua Tennis on it and being blown away by the tech.  I was playing a modern game on my non-gaming laptop!  Then i started to play, and couldn't serve the ball successfully because of the lag. There were some point and click games that worked well, but anything arcadey just didn't work. Specifically 3d platformers felt like you were playing on an ice level. The tech just wasn't ready for a streaming gaming service at that time and I hope Antstream have better luck. 

 

The weird thing with lag is you have to learn to hate it. If you gave my mum a SNES with some lag on it she would have no idea. But once you realise that the reason you are missing that jump is because the controls are unresponsive, you stop blaming yourself for being bad at the game and slowly work out what's going on. My Samsung DLP TV from 2006 added 6 frames of lag to an SD image and most games were unnecessarily difficult as a result. You play a streaming service on a TV like that and you have no chance.

 

For me, the moment you realise that the lag is the same on each game and its the system, not your gameplay skills that's making it frustrating, that kills it.  I really, really want Antstream to be good. I'll be the first customer. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/08/2018 at 13:27, Eighthours said:

 

Can't they have the streaming on all devices, but with the option of emulation with local play on devices which can run emulators just fine? That would be the best of both worlds, and they could maybe increase the subscription by a couple of quid a month if you pick the local option.

 

I think it would be more down to licencing. Letting the users download a copy of the game onto their device then becomes distribution, which requires new licenses. Not just for the game, but for any lincenced content in them too.

 

That's the problem Microsoft has with backwards compat on Xbox. Because it downloads a copy from the servers, even if you have a disc, Microsoft have distributed a new copy to you. They need to get new licences from every company involved with the game.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, dumpster said:

I imagine that the end goal is an Antstream client for every device imaginable and for Antstream to play games from every format imaginable. You could have a state of the art PC gaming experience displaying on your phone if the service streams and I'd imagine retro is just the beginning for Antstream. 

 

 

Correct!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would be perfect on the Switch.

 

Are you using that predictive thing that Retroarch now does to reduce latency?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, carlospie said:

Can a mobile device be used? 

 

Check the tags at the top of the page. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon and I have five spare guest passes for Play Expo this weekend, where we will be unveiling Antstream to the world!

Drop me a PM with your email address if you want one, first come first served. 

If getting to hang out with us isn't incentive enough, it looks like it will be a fantastic event with lots of other cool stuff - a large 1980s arcade area, lots of stalls and traders, cosplay competitions and Knightmare Live on the main stage. 

 

https://www.playexpolondon.com/

 

Also thanks to @strider for the great piece about us in Retro Gamer this month, which hopefully some of you will have seen by now. 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, if anyone is coming to Play Expo, we'll be doing a talk on the main stage at 11.15 am on the Saturday, so please come along and give us a bit of support!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got to try this out at PlayExpo and I was impressed by the demo. Me and my friends got to try a couple of games out for both a full version and the challenges. We all had a go, it got a little competitive, and none of us felt any discernible lag while playing. 

 

Personally, I really liked the challenges and I can see them being a great implementation, especially with the leaderboards. The only ones I saw were for points, which is fine but it would be interesting to know if there will be other challenges such as time trials.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.