At the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the debut of the Azure Game Development Virtual Machine. Microsoft’s cloud platform now offers a game development workstation in the cloud that can be set up in minutes thanks to partnerships with Unreal Engine, Perforce Helix Core, Parsec, Incredibuild, Blender, and HP’s remote desktop platform Teradici.
The new virtual machine is now available for public testing. Game studios may get started with the basic workstation generated, then use it as a basis image and personalize it as they get more expertise with Azure, according to Microsoft. The firm also plans to expand on this first version by adding more technology and deeper interactions with its partner network over time.
In today’s release, Ben Humphrey, principal software engineer, Microsoft Azure, writes, “At Microsoft, we are focused on expanding our commitment to make Azure the cloud of choice for game producers so that they can take advantage of the benefits of cloud.” The Perforce Helix Core version control system is at the heart of the development workflow, with Azure DevOps serving as the default CI/CD solution.
A system like this, according to Microsoft, will make life simpler for remote game development teams. It not only removes the need for specialized hardware on-site, but it also allows teams to collaborate from a single server. In addition to the new virtual machine, Microsoft announced new features for its platform-agnostic Azure PlayFab service at GDC, including new real-time notifications and a new PlayFab Lobby Service to manage multiplayer sessions, as well as a new service for integrating user-generated content into games, dubbed PlayFab User Generated Content.
ID@Azure may sound like an enterprise-grade identity management system when it comes to names, but it’s the company’s initiative to “accelerate your game development on the cloud,” and it’s already out of beta. It’s a free program that may provide game makers with benefits such as a free PlayFab plan, as well as additional support and resources. ID@Azure enables independent studios and startup game creators to fully utilize the cloud in the development and growth of their games. By enrolling in the program, you will get free access to development tools as well as industry-specific assistance.