Xbox One Smart Match

Earlier today I chatted with Chad Gibson, Principle Group Program manager for Xbox Live Gaming features and Mike Lavin, Sr. Global Product Marketing manager for Xbox Live on our live E3 broadcast. They outlined how the new Smart Match feature works on Xbox Live. Last week, before E3, I had a long conversation with Micheal Dunn from our team who leads the development on the new Smart Match system. I asked him to sum up what his team is putting together for all of us

Asynchronous Matchmaking

I’m Micheal Dunn, Program Manager on Xbox Live Services. I love how console games and especially co-op games bring people together to “spend quality time.” It’s great to play with friends and family online, but it’s fun sometimes to try a new “bar” so to speak and meet new people to play with online. I’ve met people from all over the world while playing on Xbox Live.

We all have better things to do than wait for people to show up to play a game. It would be great if I could start up the flight sim game, see if anyone is online to play, put in my play request and then switch to something else while I wait for people to show up. That is what Smart Match on Xbox One allows people to do. It makes it easy for a title to create a match request and then “untether” me so I don’t need wait in the title while the match search is processing. I can switch to reading a quick social blog or watch a viral video and when the match is ready Xbox One tells me to pull me back into the title to play.

The new Smart Match service allows titles to change their match model from traditional peer-based host searching for players typical in Xbox 360 to now completely untethered cloud-based. The example I gave was for a low population title like a flight sim game, but there are also great results for the more popular shooter and sports titles too.

You will be able to launch a popular shooter or sports title and see the “typical wait time” for different online game modes. For example, imagine a match area for a quick match] that might have a wait time of 1 minute, and then another match area in the title for “match by downloadable content (DLC)” with typical wait time of 7 minutes. Chances are you’d never wait in a game for 7 minutes to play online, you’d just make do with “quick match” and lowest common denominator DLC. With Xbox One titles, you can instead pick the longer “match by DLC” option if you please, see it might take 7 minutes to find a match that night, and switch to another task while Smart Match in the cloud is searching for you. You end up with a much more enjoyable match result since you get to play with people with similar DLC versus just the lowest common denominator levels in the base title. You get to make the most use the latest map or car you just bought to keep the game play fresh and interesting, versus just going into quick match with the same options every night.

With Beacons in Xbox 360 you could set a toast to tell other friends of your desire to play a specific game online. Smart Match on Xbox One goes way beyond that to help you tap into the full player population for a title, versus just the friends you know, and means you skip waiting in a match search screen in the title. This is a true departure from consoles that don’t have a way to switch between tasks quickly. Plus over time Smart Match empowers Xbox One titles to unlock many more ways to play online without the penalty of segmenting the available pool of people each night to match with. This same pattern depending on the title can include player attributes to search for such as very specific skill or social elements like spoken language or even people of similar age. You will see lots of new play styles open up for online play as titles start to experiment more with match types, without you needing to be stuck waiting for players to show up.

With Xbox One, I’m looking forward to putting in my match request in for a super special online play style or specific DLC needed for a play mode, then kicking back and letting Xbox Live do the work to find me a good person to play with while I practice my mad skills. Here’s an example of playing Ryse and then getting a match ready toast to jump into Killer Instinct online play that was shown in Monday’s E3 presentation.

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Reputation
You can usually tell a family member to stop crunching on corn chips in your ear or yakking on the cell phone while they play with you. With a stranger you meet online it doesn’t always turn out that way though. Sometimes you meet someone online that decides it’s cool to hum Top 40 songs as they go through a match or sometimes meet someone that can’t seem to avoid swearing at everything that #$%^ happens to them. The majority of Xbox Live players are polite online and know how to socially adjust to the people they are playing with, but there are some bad apples you run into that just seem to like to cause trouble. With Xbox One we’ve built a new social reputation model to help expose people that aren’t fun to be around, and also create real consequences for those few bad apples that continue to harass our good players.

Sometimes it’s hard for strangers to know what “polite” means with different social norms and backgrounds, and even harder when you aren’t in the same room face to face with someone. You have few social cues to rely on, and typically a stranger sees no real reason to listen to your complaint about their behavior. We all care a lot about behavior on Xbox Live and player feedback options in Xbox One allows you to help educate those who don’t seem to follow good social gaming norms. We simplified the feedback mechanism also to be less of a “survey” and more direct feedback options, even linking things in like block or mute player actions into the feedback model.

All of the feedback from player’s online flow into the reputation service to evaluate a players online social reputation. The more hours you play online without causing others to have a horrible time the better your reputation will be, similar to the more hours your drive without an accident the better your driving record and insurance rates will be. Most players will have good reputations and be seen as “green” good players you’d enjoy playing with. Even those good players might receive a few player feedback reports each month and that is OK. Xbox Live is looking to identify players that are repeatedly disruptive on Xbox Live. We’ll identify those players with a lower reputation score and in the worse cases they will earn the “avoid me” reputation. Looking at someone’s gamer card you’ll be able to quickly see their reputation.

Smart Match sees their Xbox Live rep too and when a person’s social reputation gets low enough the service will only match those low reputation players with similar low reputation players. This gives them the benefit of playing with people just like them. Ultimately we want to help encourage good behavior between strangers. By the way, before a user ends up at this extremely low reputation level we will have sent many different alerts to the user reminding how their social gaming conduct is affecting lots of other gamers. The chart includes examples of the reputation score that will be seen in the gamercard.

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This reputation system will evolve as we track the feedback we get from actual players and titles, plus add more consequences for bad apples that we want to stop #$%^ crunching on corn chips in your ear. All you need to do is block or report players that are abusive, cheat, or causing various amounts of non-fun mayhem and their social reputation will reflect that. We’ll keep the good friendly players together with other good friendly people, and keep a seat for the bad apples in their own special place. Our team and I built this for all of you and we hope you like it!

Comments

  • CID

    Interesting read. I look forward to seeing how this will effect my gameplay in the future.

    Like

  • Adonis Lestat

    The sad thing would be that Xbox, and Microsoft didn’t explain their new system really. There needs to be a presentation on WHY we gamers should care about the new Xbox; or WHY we should pay $100 more than the new Sony PS4.
    Mind you, I think the potential is there to garner gamers back into the fold; but the hard stance presentations; and not discussing the elephant in the room at E3 was a HUGE mistake. Simply put; Xbox got pant’s in the school yard, and we handed them over our lunch money.
    That being said; bullies suck. Get back on track; and quit giving us the superlative sales pitches. Smack the PR reps for their presentation organization; and show us why we as gamers should care about Xbox anymore. The system is amazing; but trying to exist in 2 separate worlds. The old school “I paid for my plastic coaster; it’s mine” (disc) and has the potential to be YET AGAIN on the forefront of moving to the next generation of downloading everything; and moving into the next generational wave of how we are going to be taught as consumers to play games.
    Oh; and retract the title “Entertainment Device.” There can’t be a console war if Microsoft and Xbox’s next offering isn’t a console; but to feel snubbed as an Xbox Loyalist by force feeding us the “Company Line” is a bit much.
    We already have to deal with the fact that our play area has become sold to the highest bidder, and ad’s are now supposed to be the “norm;” but give us credit for having an intelligence level. We KNOW Xbox One is a better system because we believe in the “Gamers” that developed it.

    Stats don’t mean a thing unless we get it in Crayon. Simplify for the mindless monkey masses; and demonstrate how the future landscape of gaming is changing, and how MOST people don’t even recognize that they are ALREADY being trained for it.
    Game Trailers had live coverage for Spike TV; and the interview with the editor in chief from Game Informer; the co-creator of a web blog; and Naughty Dog founder explained FAR more about the potential for the Xbox One than ANYONE from Xbox or Microsoft.
    It’s sad to think that we are going to loose so many gamers to the idea of an “Entertainment Device” to a Sony “console.” The Xbox Forums show the fans distaste for how they “felt” they were treated. 9BTW; Sony finally caught up; and the PS4 is nothing more than a glorified Xbox 360 with a Sony tag.
    PLEASE save us from ourselves; and spread the word.
    We are educated consumers, but again; sometimes it just better to explain everything in a simplified manner.
    Oh, and as for the “new” reporting methods…that doesn’t help with legitimate players who get ganged up on by clans, and harassed and bullied with being filed against by gamers who were simply “Out Played.” Just sayin’

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    • Alex Rickert

      well should they have to really explain… i think its obvious don’t you? One better online experience PS is just getting cross party chat and just starting to make people pay for online, to improve online on their new system. they’d figure hey lets make our system cheaper this time so more people will buy it. well let me tell you… i will never buy a sony system their inexperienced with online, there behind in that. and i hate the small controller, and lack of community standards on PS. and yet you get so much more out of the Xbox One than PS4 you, get hdmi pass through, TV interactive capabilities, and a already great online experience, even going to get better with this next generation, and lets not forget, you can finally pre-order games digitally now through the market place! i love that! something Sony does not have, there sticking to traditional discs. while Microsoft offers both

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      • Alex_Atkin_UK

        Sony have offered digital pre-orders for a long time now. More importantly, you get to “choose” if you want to buy digital or have the freedom of discs.

        Xbox One does NOT provide that freedom as it ties everything to online licenses.

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      • Orlɛanž

        Sony never said they didn’t have that stuff, they just didn’t reveal yet.

        Typical MS sheepie

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  • NoBullet

    You know a gaming community is horrible when you have to implement this much stuff to avoid them.

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    • Alex_Atkin_UK

      Would you say your local community is horrible because you HAPPEN to meet a few people you do not like? Would you continue to go to the places where you knew you would meet them? No, you would avoid those people/places.

      This system is merely replicating online something which we would do without even thinking about in person.

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      • NoBullet

        A few? Xbox live is INFESTED with the most annoying people on earth. You must be playing dead multiplayer games or something.

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      • TOPPER67

        you just need to find the right servers, the ones I play are moderated and enforced. asshats get the boot and the rest of us can work as teams.

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    • Lou

      People have bigger balls when they’re not face to face with you. This will help but its not going to stop it.

      Like

  • CM Phenomenal

    If theres one feature im actually not to crazy about its this. I have a 100% negative rep because im 100% aggressive apparently. Its not my fault little kids or soft losers cant take their loses properly, and its not like im talking smack cause im in XBL party with the same friends almost everyday

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    • TOPPER67

      CM, if you are in a party that means you arent communicating with other players not in the party. If so and someone accidentally TK’s you and you dont hear them apologize. do you TK back because ” they are d1cks” if so you’d get an aggressive rating, and if its 100% its not a fluke you got it.
      I see this happen literally everyday, thats why I play a mic only server on BF3, if you dont mic up they boot you. Its to force more comm’s and team work, and it really does work.

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      • CM Phenomenal

        I wouldnt say I had a problem with teammates outside the party, if anyones ever wanted to communicate outside the party im sure I may have inconvienced them by having them send me a voice or typed message. I wouldnt blame my rep on teamates. But i have had my share of “tongue lashings” from people I may have busted up while playing CoD or NBA2k. Everything from “you have no life” to “you do this particular thing far to well, you must be a cheater”

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  • Robtroy

    Give me my next GEN console Microsoft, One that I can say Is my own and have not borrowed from you for £430 I know britains tax system is through the roof but come on why am I paying over £110 more than the US even those who are worse of than us those who pay bye euro cash we should be getting 2 free games for our trouble or 2 year free subscription what also happens to all these gamers that never were gold member but filled your pocket for years with hard cash are they going to be told good ridden cheep skate most of these people aren’t people that can’t afford it the are people that parent don’t want to allow them online with the crazy’s out there were is all this family love you’d are on about

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  • Willy Chris Hui

    Wow, how polite!

    I suggest you to learn to read, you are able to share them with up to 10 Xbox Live accounts. But never has he stated that multiple accounts can play the same shared game at once.

    You don’t believe me? Well, I don’t care if you can’t accept the truth or fail to inform yourself. If it’s really too difficult for you to catch up why don’t you just shut up kindly?

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  • Willy Chris Hui

    There might be a way to fix the One’s problems. Since Microsoft is “only” disabling the ability to play games after 24h, one could say they do this to check if the account has a valid license. As we all know games can be played without the actual disc after installation, let’s assume the reason would be the benefit/necessity of faster reading speed (hard-drive).
    …………………..
    My solution:
    …………………..
    One should be given the option to register the game, or not. If the latter is chosen the game will be installed on the hard-drive and deleted immediately after one exits the game. The good thing about this is that no online check is needed because non-registered games require the actual disc to play. On top of that a faster reading speed is still available because the installation is mandatory, either way.
    …………………..
    Now, if one exceeds the 24h limit with a registered game without connecting to the internet it will be automatically “unregistered” (immediately), and deleted (after one exits the game).
    …………………..
    The benefits of the digital way of gaming stay, the problems with 24h-checks are gone! And even the ability to borrow games, loan games and resell games at any retailer WOULD work, but only if the system can distinguish between different games.
    …………………..
    What do you guys think?

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    • Shawn Springer

      Retail disc shouldnt be required to be checked online, and once installed.. To play the game, disc would need to be reinserted as the game stays on the hard drive. If they want to disable USED games. Digital games should be priced lower on the same day as release. You cant trade them in. Plus your not making a product other then the game, no packaging or shipping. Straight up iTunes style.

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      • Willy Chris Hui

        Yes, that would work as well. But again, the console needs to be able to distinguish between games, and it would only work for non-registered copies.

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    • TheDahaka

      At the very least it would be convenient to be able to use a retail disk for verification to play on a single console offline. We have to do it this way already on 360 anyway. Im sure they don’t allow this to limit loopholes for hackers, but I don’t like the idea that the majority of us who are honest consumers getting punished for the actions of others. Meet us in the middle Ms and you may win some of us back.

      Like

  • RED360

    Ya I see this going bad as well.
    Nobody will give you GOOD rep. Only Bad rep will be reported deserving or not.
    XBL sounds worse every day.

    Like

  • Alex_Atkin_UK

    It will be interesting to see if when playing online and you share a clip, will it include the voice chat? That could make proving who is being a jerk a whole lot easier.

    Like

    • TOPPER67

      very good point, Alex

      Like

  • Dylan McCrae

    67% of my rep is made up of “Trash Talk” and “Language”. Have never at any point had a headset; so me doing either of those is impossible.

    How does someone in my position fit into this?

    Like

    • http://www.youtube.com/BADA55GAMING BADASS GAMING

      “you beat me so I’m reporting you!!!” (said in my best 12 year old impression voice)

      Like

  • TOPPER67

    I agree Dylan, having said that I also agree with this new improvement. I do tend to cuss quite a bit but not at people, usually at my myself. I do know if an asshat comes in the room though and you have a disagreement all their friends will post an avoid on your profile. I think they made the point that they know that that will happen. theoretically most of the time you should get a positive score. O and dylan, because of the lack of actual drop down options, if someone doesnt use a mic its considered annoying to the other players and the only option for that is language(or lack thereof)

    Like

  • TOPPER67

    its considered rude because you cant help the team if you are muted. Lonewolfs dont get that. You might play really well, and even have a high score, but you arent playing with the team.

    Like

  • TOPPER67

    read above, we all start with good rep and go down with bad reviews, and only those with a decent rep will have influence in that.

    Like

  • TOPPER67

    this is fairly big issue I think for many gamers, those who dont have mics but play a team based game. its frustrating to the other players who try to communicate with them but cant. I think all servers should be specific, if you dont have a mic you can only play in servers where it doesnt matter but not in servers where its a requirement. that would solve the problem. each server would have a setting that could be toggled

    Like

  • joevsyou

    so many flaws in stuff like this.

    Like

    • demetreHG

      Umm has come out yet so shush !!

      Like

  • TheDahaka

    Word. I don’t like the idea of being punished for being in a party or not wanting to talk to people. People should be able to use live how they like within the rules IMHO.

    Like

  • Timothy Hames

    I am just wondering how will you stop people from trolling.

    example friend A has 500 friends on this friend list and they all say person B is being a jerk and report them.

    What recourse would person B have? Would they miss playing due to complaints and such?

    Like

    • demetreHG

      It doesn’t matter if he has 4000 friends who report you if this complaint valid that’s for them(MS) to see and people wont be able to abuse it

      Like

  • Timothy Hames

    Nope

    Like

  • Timothy Hames

    The problem is though i have a friend who is a jerk online, He and his friends will try for weeks to get someone banned, Weeks not days. I just think this system will lead to abuse. I understand they want to try something but this will not work.

    Like

  • Timothy Hames

    I’m at 60% rep, I never use my mike unless I’m talking to friends, most of the time I play games by myself. I’m sorry this system will not work.

    I’m just wondering what penalties will be in place and if you block people from playing on severs how that is not going against what is promised to the consumer when they pay for their Gold Account.

    Like

    • Jonathan Neal

      Idiots get pissed and they leave bad feed back for no reason mine looks just like yours. Half the time i don’t have my mic plugged in because no one ever talking anymore.

      Like

      • demetreHG

        Talk with what Idiots ? no thanks

        Like

  • demetreHG

    If the Kid was one of the idiots with a loud mouth ruining peoples Xbox One experiences he deserved to be punished hell yes !!

    If he is innocent he won’t be punished the system is being fixed and balanced against any form of abusing of it

    Like

  • demetreHG

    To all the idiots that are on COD and are idiots because voting has been made so much better and I won’t hesitate to Submit mine in to the jerk offs

    Like

  • demetreHG

    Hahahahaaha this made me LOL so hard awwww

    Like

  • demetreHG

    Keep doing it and you will be in the red zone

    Like

  • Matthew Hage

    Not true – if you watched the broadcast about this it’s said that things are taken into consideration, such as if the people giving reputation to that individual even played a game with them. If not, then their actions will have little to no effect. THey also look at the reputation of the person who is giving a bad rating as well as the frequency in which they give out bad ratings.

    Like

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