XB1: Cloud Powered Smart Match & Social Reputation

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Major Nelson recently talked to Chad Gibson, Principle Group Program manager for Xbox Live Gaming features and Mike Lavin, Sr. Global Product Marketing manager for Xbox Live about how the Smart Match & Social Reputation features work on Xbox Live.

Asynchronous Matchmaking

Smart Watch makes it easy for a title to create a match request and then “untether” me so you do not 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.

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. 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.

Reputation    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. The feedback mechanism has been simplified 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.  Most players will have good reputations and be seen as “green” good players you’d enjoy playing with. 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. 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. 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.

Source: Major Nelson

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Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin