Enable fidelity and realism that directly impacts gameplay
Distributed physics, particularly for fully dynamic destructible environments, provides an opportunity for game designers to create newfound levels of interactivity and realism for their worlds.
Some types of physics have no gameplay significance, such as hair and cloth, and therefore may be easily processed on a local client. However, physics with gameplay impact has to be carefully designed in scenarios where it affects multiple players - any inaccuracies in the experience can cause an inconsistent simulation. Furthermore, if the number of physics bodies isn’t controlled, it can lead to pathologically bad cases where too many are interacting at once and causing the game to slow or crash.
In a real-time strategy game where every building is fully destructible, the steady case – where nothing is being destroyed – is easy enough for hardware to handle. Similarly, in a situation where a building being destroyed is a rarity, managing it is straightforward. However, in the thick of a battle when vast numbers of buildings are being damaged and destroyed simultaneously, the simulation typically begins to falter due to a lack of processing power.
Such a problem is easily solved in cloud-native gaming by spiking the required CPU and memory resources on-demand as and when the physics computation becomes burdensome. This ensures a smooth and consistent tick rate despite having a world that is very dynamic and malleable.