Last week, we came across a post on Reddit from Ninlilizi about her experience playing FFXIV on the train with her Android Tablet. In the post, she mentioned that she uses Parsec to stream the game from the cloud over a 4G connection.
Abigail (Ninlilizi’s real name) lives in the UK where they seem to have the world’s best cell phone network with unlimited data with consistent enough access to 8-20mbps of download and 50ms of latency to play games on a 4G connection— we should all be so lucky. Abigail already had her own server at Hetzner for her game development, and she was looking for a way to use the machine while traveling to play her favorite games. Hetzner probably has one of the best deal on the market for continual access to a GPU machine in the cloud. For 99 Euros per month, you can get a dedicated GPU machine with a GTX 1080 and i7–6700 Quadcore CPU.
Abigail loves finding new technology and exploring the future, which led her to the CloudyGamer subreddit. This has become the defacto place for cloud gaming enthusiasts to share news while talking the comparable cloud gaming products.
Cloud Gaming is just the logical progression that makes my inner 8 year old happy. I tried various options first. Such as Steam in-home streaming over a VPN… A number of commercial offerings that claim to do this well. And Parsec is the clear winner, both in picture quality. But usability over less than favourable network conditions. — Abigail
Abigail has been playing the Final Fantasy series since 1999. Her favorite of the series is still the first she played, FF7. With Parsec, she’s been playing FFXIV almost everyday and uses it distract herself on the train ride. She has also played thru Shantae: Half Genie Hero on the set up from her cloud computer.
For the full interview, please read below.
How long have you been playing FFXIV?
I’ve been playing continuously since the second round beta phase of 1.0. Though I’m primarily a social player, so still a long way from max level or having seen all the content.
And how long have you been playing the series?
I’ve been playing the series since 1999. I was forbidden from owning a game console or playing such games as a child by my parents. So the first thing I did after moving out and getting my own place was buy a PlayStation. I knew nothing about Final Fantasy at the time, I saw FF7 in the shop and it just felt right. So I took a chance. My friends who were with me at the time were full on ‘It’s good, but you’ll never complete it’ …. And 2 weeks later I’d max leveled all characters, completed the story and spent half of that time raising Chocobo. Working towards the coveted black bird. This was over a Christmas break, so was off work and spent my entire holiday immersed in the world. It was the story that hooked me. I’d never encountered such a long wined story before. And loved every moment of it. This is also what set me off on a love of gaming for the story over anything else. Since then, I’ve played every game in the series. Though I’ve not had the opportunity to beat them all.
What is your favorite in the series, if you’ve been playing the series for awhile?
Definitely 7. Not only because it was my first. But also parries my personal ethos in regards to environmental issues. That and the concept of a gang of anti-heroes saving the day is much more compatible with my mental operating system than the traditional trope of good guys doing good things. Because good.
My second favourite is 10. For it’s brilliant job building a world. And the way the flow of the story carries you through the experience. 10 was also the first game with an ending that made me cry. It was beautiful and poignant.
How’d you hear about Parsec?
From the reddit sub /r/cloudygamer
I’m an IT nerd first and foremost. And already administering servers for a long time. So the concept of adding in a GPU and running with it, was just a natural progression. And one my inner 8 year old declared as being cool, so it must happen. I give my inner 8 year old a lot of room. Especially as I get older. It helps sustain my sense of wonder, and makes life more fun.
Do you have a gaming PC at home? What type of build do you have?
Sure do. But it’s more development workstation, than gaming PC. Since first playing FF7, I’ve always wanted to be a game developer. So I’m doing the indie thing and this past few years have been spent working on my own game. Which I’m prepared to say little more about at this stage. Lest I provoke unwarranted hype over what I plan to be a niche experience. Back to the question. My workstation is a comparatively modest build. An AMD FX-9590 with 32GB RAM and a GTX1060. It’s basically the lowest spec that meets my needs as a developer that is within my rather paltry budget. Oh, and an Oculus Rift. Because on the list of things that excite the inner 8 year old. VR is top of the list.
I’m into cloud gaming. Because I was already renting the GPU server to meet my development needs. I’m pretty mobile and spend a lot of time away from home, visiting friends. But I’m unable to afford a gaming laptop. I’m dedicated to making my game a successful project. After spending most my adult life self-teaching all the skills necessary to make it possible. So the GPU server that just fits within my budget it is. With this in mind…. Cloud Gaming is just the logical progression that makes my inner 8 year old happy. I tried various options first. Such as Steam in-home streaming over a VPN… A number of commercial offerings that claim to do this well. And Parsec is the clear winner, both in picture quality. But usability over less than favourable network conditions.
It’s pretty amazing you’re achieving this with a 4G connection. What country are you in?
I’m living in the UK, just outside London. We have the fortune to have access to cheap and unlimited data plans. And in this part of the country it’s typical to pull between 8–20mbps over 4G with a latency of 30–50ms… Which translates to a network latency of only 2–3 frames. Which for a game with long Global Cool Downs and not depending on twitch combat, like FFXIV, is more than playable. Though, I’ve successfully played thru Shantae: Half Genie Hero on this setup too. Which really speaks to the reliability of this setup.
Do you use Parsec as part of your regular commute or was this train scene for a special trip?
Nothing special about this scene. This is my everyday carry, and it keeps my mind off what’s happening around me.