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AHWULF

1.31 open beta (soon)

39 posts in this topic

nov12

Just a sticky for news on open beta. Still not there quite yet . I will be working with Ollie to get Mac builds working again with his scripts on Monday.

I also may get Apple dev support to help with certain performance issues, namely trees.

I will update this top post from now on with news.

nov13

martini and I nailed down the two routines slowing down big cities, now we need to figure out the solutions

for sure I will get apple dev support next week on the trees under osx, under bootcamp on the same mac its 3x faster

nov15

Got all the mac stuff checked in; assuming Ollie is there tomorrow we can get a mac beta build

WOrking on speeding up the data building code so that the art guys don't have to sit around and surf the web while it runs. THe new terrain code requires a lot of rebuilding and fixing objects.

Edited by AHWULF

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It was about 2mounths from open beta to release? The info you released earlyer if I remember correst?

Nothing's for sure, depends on what is found. Right now the feeling is to make damn sure its solid before open beta; thus is might take less time in open beta. To be honest this is the biggest patch by far ever and has touched every part of the code and art in some way so its not as easy to predict. Fundamentally its not the same old code anymore.

I wish it was out today, it will be loads of fun to play and even to look at; but getting it right is job #1. That's one reason they hired me (contract) to poke around and find the slow bits and find ways to make it work better.

Macwise assuming Apple can help me with the trees the performance fixes in the base code will help everyone as long as you have a decent video card with 256MB.

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i just thought of something. this font engine thing you were talking about. player icons have text in them is this also another reason, in addition to the buildings and such, that fps is always so bad near towns on the ground and also probably a major part of stutter that planes have when diving on a busy town?

cause seriously flying to target i get 120-130 fps. open the map and 40-50 frames are just gone, poof. i wonder if speeding up the fonts will drastically reduce stutter and improve town fps in general?

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No, it turns out my original measurement of the influence of drawing fonts was exaggerated by the tool I used; its not as bad as I thought but still bad enough it needs to be replaced. The on screen fonts are not the issue so much as the UI in general.

Stutters over towns are being addressed and should be less or gone in 1.31 once we are done with all the optimizations. Basically for pilots the issue was building short range collision lists during the pass over town all at once in one frame. With ground troops this happens gradually (other than at spawn time if you just got to town). This feature was handled generically and really needed to be done different for planes (since they don't walk around on the ground).

All my measuring and profiling lately has found where the issues lie with performance; more often than not they turn out not to be what everyone assumed they were. Of course fixing them is usually harder than finding them :-)

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Still on my list to profile. However, Martini said there is an alternative way to do the sun flare that might perform much better. It also might be something Apple can help with if its related to the current tree leaf issue.

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That "line of trees" objects have always hit my FPS hard on my MBP.

(Ironically on an iMac G5 it handles it just fine.)

I hope you can nail that one.

And I hope everything will go well with your mother.

Edited by frantish

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Tree drawing is 50% faster now, however there are other things that still defy understanding and will require Apple help. I'm still away from home this week (funeral is wed or thurs), but I can probably put together a question for Mac Dev Support. I just need gophur to build some archive files so I can send a running app.

Big town performance are the #1 issue for both platforms and its still not clear how to fix it.

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Big town performance are the #1 issue for both platforms and its still not clear how to fix it.

I hope they change capping system that we dont need to fight in big town anymore.. ;)

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Whatever you do please dont sacrify draw distance for performance.

Oddly enough its not drawing thats the problem, but figuring out what to draw and in what order.

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Might want to test the ATI Radeon HD 4870 in 1.31. Generally all Mac Pro's come with this card as their high-end graphics card. I have a Mac Pro 8-core 3.2 processor and I get frame rates on the high end of 20-30 fps in open fields, and 10-13 fps around big cities and around FBs with medium action. Should it be this slow? I am running Snow Leopard and have 12GB of memory.

Let me know if you need help testing since this rig is relatively new.

Keep up the good work Ahwulf.

Regards,

Robert (a.k.a bugoff):)

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I'm going to get a second video card soon, maybe one of those will be good. I posted in the other thread to turn off all shaders, then add one at a time. Once we have open beta we can see what fps you get; we've rewritten so much its almost a new game.

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Hi Ahwulf,

I received my Nvidia Geforce GTX 285 today, so I will be able to give you benchmarks on both the ATI Radeon 4870 and the Nvidia GTX 285. I will get some baseline numbers for you on 1.30. Let me know if their is anything else I can do. By the way, the NDA is all signed, and Dana sent me back an email letting me know were good to go.

Regards,

Robert (A.K.A bugoff)

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Hi Ahwulf,

. By the way, the NDA is all signed,

What you mean the NDA that explicitly says you cannot tell anyone that you are even a tester let alone what you find as a tester :)

Just ribbing you bug but probably best to air on the side of hush hush even if we do now know :)

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Just ribbing you bug but probably best to air on the side of hush hush even if we do now know :)

I didn't hear anything badger. I don't know what your talking about! ;)

::covers for bugoff's tracks::

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FYI. I notice that when using the ATI Radeon 4870 with version 1.30 that the shaders seem to work fine. The water looks great and the buildings draw fine. When I switch video boards to the Nvidia GTX 285 I have to turn the shaders off due to a problem trying to draw water, some building walls, and the gun I am holding looks black. Performance does seem to be twice as fast with the GTX 285 board due to its optimization for Open GL. Anyone seeing the same thing?

Bugoff

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Shaders in 1.30 don't work with most (or all) nvidia cards.

All fixed in 1.31. Blame @#$@#$ Apple's ancient opengl support (2.1). Remember they maintain the drivers for all cards they ship. I had to experiment a bunch to find a way to get the shaders to work correctly on both cards/platforms for 1.31.

Most video cards these days have the hardware to support opengl 3.x but all of Apple's drivers still only support 2.1. You can get 3.X drivers now for PC's.

It might be that 3.X requires more work since OS X is based on opengl, but still Apple should have had enough time to be at the front of the pack, not the tail.

Other than the water reflection shader (which is slow since you are drawing twice) the shaders in 1.31 seem to make little performance difference on my crappy GT120 (which BTW has 10% of the raw performance of the mighty GT285).

It is mighty purdy to see your boats reflection in the rippling water.

The new corpses can be turned off/on etc so you can see how much they affect your FPS. I noticed that COD Modern Warfare 2 hides their corpses soon after they stop moving, but having a pile in front of the door still looks cool so you can have that if you mac is fast.

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Shaders in 1.30 don't work with most (or all) nvidia cards.

All fixed in 1.31. Blame @#$@#$ Apple's ancient opengl support (2.1). Remember they maintain the drivers for all cards they ship. I had to experiment a bunch to find a way to get the shaders to work correctly on both cards/platforms for 1.31.

Shaders also doesnt work for me on my ATI Radeon X1900 card, too.

Ahwulf, i am absolutely ignorant about OpenGL implementation e.t.c., but why other games (like Doom3, or even ancient Halo) works perfectly with shaders on much more ancient Macs and videocards? I remember playing Halo with all bells and whistles on my G4/867 dual MDD with GeForce 4 Ti card - i had pretty good FPS with all those transparency, fog, and "predator-like" active camouflage.

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They all have staffs of 100's of people :-)

Actually the older games have way less objects to display than this game does. Antwerp for example in 1.31 has almost 11,000 objects to display (buildings, parts of buildings, lamposts etc). This game puts way more demands on the whole system than the other guys do. Plus we can have 100

However, some of this code base is 10 years old and was crappy even then. As we are working on various performance things its an endless task; much of the code is old and impenetrable. Most big game manufacturers use an existing modern engine or write essentially a new one every generation; our game code was born in the last century.

Couple that with Apple's crummy opengl drivers and running on the exact same hardware, the Mac version can often be 1/2 the FPS of the PC on lower end hardware where the opengl is generally optimized by NVidia and AMD to be faster for gaming. At the high end the FPS is pretty close once the hardware gets ridiculously fast.

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I think it will depend on what we learn from the open beta and when I can get Apple's assistance after Christmas. Even the PC guidance is a bit early I think.

Most likely:

Intel Processor (core2 duo+)

OSX 10.5 and 10.6

2GB of RAM (beta may require 3 unless I figure out the #$@#$ bug I'm working on today).

Video card (no integrated video) with 256MB.

The biggest question is still what video card constitutes bare minimum. The beta will help but ultimately it may depend on what Apple can tell me. My GT120 is crappy but so far works OK even with the current version. The "M" cards in laptops and older iMacs are the biggest concern.

Your best bet is a decent iMac with an ATI 4xxx card. It's the lower end iMacs / MBPs that are fuzzy atm.

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Ahwulf do you know if we are going to get a Mac spec? Rats posted a PC spec with no mac guidelines.

Read Gophur's specs again Fundin. OS X with Mac specs (same hardware specs) is included there. :)

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