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Thread: What are you working on RIGHT NOW? - Community WIP thread

  1. #176
    Moderator
    Thief2X

    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Plano, TX
    Brother Krypt speaks the truth - 64MB of RAM was precious little, especially considering less than 1/4 of that went to content (missions/art/animations/sound) and 3/4 was taken up by code. Almost every T3 level took up roughly 62MB at run time, with about a 1.5 - 2.0MB buffer for memory expanded by physics interactions and (in city sections) spawning AIs.

    Larger levels do indeed hurt framerate, but that problem is generally independent to the memory issue. More actors in a map overall means that at any given time more actors will be "ticking" or eating up spare CPU cycles and affecting framerate because the engine has to keep track of certain actor behaviors off screen. The fact that so much of the world is interactive definitely affects this; Doom 3 levels are huge but only a very small percentage of objects have interactive physics assigned to them.

    For performance with respect to rendering and shadows, generally it's good code practice to offload as much of your rendering as possible to your graphics card so that your CPU can deal with other game systems such as AI and physics. However, how much of each is eaten up can depend on the engine in question.
    Last edited by Raen; 15th Mar 2005 at 05:21.

  2. #177
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Quick mockup:

    Xbox:...........Me:

    CPU: 600......2,800
    GPU: GF 3.....GF 6
    RAM: 64.......1024
    FPS: 25........25

    If what you're saying is true (Krypt), then:

    Xbox RAM: 512 = Big levels

    and yet

    Me RAM: 1024 + Big Levels = FPS 5.
    But the XBox is optimized for playing games, and games are optimized for playing on XBox. You don't have much other junk running in the background (like the joyous XP stuff)

  3. #178
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: cesspool
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    The TDS version is different. You have an unpolished, "heavy" engine programming plus a dumb decision to use per-pixel lighting and shadows on top of it, and what you get in the end is junk.

    Oh yes, junk.
    TDS looks no worse than Doom3 (I think better) and runs smoothly enough on my comp.

  4. #179
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Are you sure it was RAM? Because if the levels were 2x the size at first, as you say, we, with our awesome PC's, would be running 2 fps right now.
    Are you sure you aren't confusing open spaces with level size? Any normal engine will have a visibility system (I beleive "zones" in unreal/tds lingo), as long as you see the same amount it doesn't matter that the level on the other side of the map is twice as big, you'll still see the same amount of polys and lights. That kind of level size is really only a RAM issue.

    There would be the exception of if there is some AI that always executes even when the player is not close, that would take a bit more CPU. I don't know how they deal with that in TDS, but graphics-wise you don't see more in any given scene just because the level is bigger (if the size of open spaces remains the same), zone portals and whatnot take care of that.

  5. #180
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Norman, OK
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Quick mockup:

    Xbox:...........Me:

    CPU: 600......2,800
    GPU: GF 3.....GF 6
    RAM: 64.......1024
    FPS: 25........25
    Dario,
    did you forget a couple of stats?

    Xbox:..........................You:
    Textures: small,ugly.......big, pretty
    resoultion: 512x384(maybe)....1280x1024(guessing, here)

    I think these things impact game performance quite a bit, too. I'm not saying that if you were somehow able to actually select 512x384(who'd want to... It'd look terrible on a computer screen) that your frame rate would be in the 100's, but I'd bet it would be much smoother. Plus, who'd want small,ugly textures(okay, some of the PC ones are small and ugly too, but we do have John P's texture packs )

    I bet if the Xbox were to try and run the game at twice its native resolution, it's frame rate would drop into the single digits...

    'Course, I'm just happy I can play it now, and I'm all the way to the
    spoiler:
    hammerite cathredal!


    disclaimer: this has been my 2 cents, and with the current state of inflation, you can see that it is not worth a whole lot...

  6. #181
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Marlboro, MA, USA
    inflation is pretty low now
    The Keep for Thief 1 and 2 FMs, Shadowdark for Thief 3 and Dark Mod FMs

  7. #182
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by jolynsbass
    I think these things impact game performance quite a bit, too. I'm not saying that if you were somehow able to actually select 512x384(who'd want to... It'd look terrible on a computer screen) that your frame rate would be in the 100's, but I'd bet it would be much smoother.
    It could well be in the 100s.

    Assuming that the overhead for physics, AI, input etc is negligible (which it probably isn't, but it will be small compared to the rendering), a resolution of 512x384 will give you 4 times the frame rate of 1024x768.

  8. #183
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by OrbWeaver
    It could well be in the 100s.

    Assuming that the overhead for physics, AI, input etc is negligible (which it probably isn't, but it will be small compared to the rendering), a resolution of 512x384 will give you 4 times the frame rate of 1024x768.
    Err, since when ?

    Graphics cards don't work like this I'm afraid. You'll only get framerate scaling in proportion to resolution IF fill rate limitations of the graphics card are the bottle neck.

    With todays high fillrate cards, this would only ever happen with a very old graphics engine such as the Quake1 engine that will give you frame rates in the several hundreds.

    With an engine that is highly CPU/GPU dependant like the Thief3 engine, you'll find that provided your video card has decent fill rates, the framerate is limited by CPU/GPU performance, and you'll get very little difference in frame rate regardless of what resolution you run.

    This is in fact the case if you try it - on my FX5900XT I get a few FPS improvement (about 5) going down from 1024x768 to 800x600, and very little further improvement going down further resolutions, because fill rate simply isn't the limiting factor - CPU and GPU performance are.

    And BTW, X-Box games run in 640x480, not 512x384.

  9. #184
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Graphics cards don't work like this I'm afraid. You'll only get framerate scaling in proportion to resolution IF fill rate limitations of the graphics card are the bottle neck.
    Of course you're right. I was confusing modern pipelined 3D cards with Ye Olde per-pixel software renderers.

    If the rasteriser produces pixels from 3D data, but the 3D data is not "ready", then obviously it does not matter how many or how few pixels are to be produced.

    It does make me wonder why there is a slight FPS change between resolutions. Surely if the rasteriser is not the limiting step, there should be no change whatsoever? Perhaps there are some internal optimisations that cull polygons earlier in the pipeline if they would ultimately be too small to affect the final image.

  10. #185
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    There is a slight change that becomes a massive one as you go higher. This is beacuse fill rate CAN be an issue with an engine like Thief 3 (or Doom 3) which requires multiple render passes to dynamically light the scene. When you have to redraw a polygon for every light that hits its surface, it becomes the bottleneck at high resolutions.

    Although I think that the number of passes required depends on the video card, I think newer cards can handle more than one light in a single pass, not sure about that though. If it's a shadow casting light I'm pretty sure each one requires its own pass due to the nature of casting shadows using stencil volumes.
    Last edited by rujuro; 16th Mar 2005 at 15:19.

  11. #186
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: Canada
    Hey rujuro, how is your level coming?? Any new pics?

  12. #187
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    It's coming, nothing exciting to show yet, I'm still getting the full layout of the level blocked in. I want to make sure the spaces connect and feel right before I start tossing in all the detail work. Also need to make sure there's adequate hiding space, how the light layout will work, etc.

    So far I'm feeling good about it, I've got the major technical issues I was worried about out of the way, hopefully I'll have more to show soon. Glad people are still interested.

  13. #188
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Austin, TX, US
    Quote Originally Posted by jolynsbass
    I bet if the Xbox were to try and run the game at twice its native resolution, it's frame rate would drop into the single digits...
    hehe... actually, the xbox does all its calculations at hdtv resolution, and then scales it down for normal TVs. So actually, hooking it up to 10** by **** wouldnt do anything except make it look better...

  14. #189
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Norman, OK
    I stand humbly corrected on my Xbox knowledge. All I know is that : most people play video game consoles on a standard TV, which doesn't seem to display anything better than about 400x300 resolution(scanline limitations). I haven't played a video game console in years, though. I wasn't aware of how fancy they are becoming...(Plus isn't the Xbox getting a little old now? I'm just remembering the trend of a new machine coming out every couple of years or so. Yes, I'm really out of it, I guess.)

  15. #190
    Quote Originally Posted by Karkianman
    hehe... actually, the xbox does all its calculations at hdtv resolution, and then scales it down for normal TVs. So actually, hooking it up to 10** by **** wouldnt do anything except make it look better...
    I'm not sure how true that is, the vast majority of XBOX games (including TS)
    support only 480p (640 x 480), only a tiny minority have 720p/1080i(HD) support.

    For a list see here

    http://www.hdtvarcade.com/xboxlist.htm

    I would find it highly unlikely that a game would have all calculations done at HD
    rates and then only allow 480p output. Yes, the XBOX can do HD rates, but doesn't
    seem to do so for most games.

  16. #191
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Karkianman
    hehe... actually, the xbox does all its calculations at hdtv resolution, and then scales it down for normal TVs. So actually, hooking it up to 10** by **** wouldnt do anything except make it look better...
    Maybe you mean if they have FSAA enabled, then they render to a larger resolution and scale down to regular resolution (how much larger depends on the FSAA scheme), as for TDS having FSAA enabled or not on the xbox is nothing I know anything about

  17. #192
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Raen
    Brother Krypt speaks the truth - 64MB of RAM was precious little, especially considering less than 1/4 of that went to content (missions/art/animations/sound) and 3/4 was taken up by code.
    Now that sounds pretty strange to me. Either you mean this in some other way than I understand it or there is somehting wrong with it.

    Usually code takes up a VERY small part of most applications and even more so in games, because graphics, sounds, mesh data etc, is ultimately larger than anything you can come up codewise. Even using a VERY bad compiler and coding the worst possible way this would be hard to achieve (if not impossible). Or do you mean that you used a lot of static arrays and such and count that in to the code, which would make the only sense I could read into this. I know that 80x86 CPUs have a much longer instruction set then in the good old days where you could write complete programmins within 256 bytes of code, but still I can't believe that the code takes up to 3/4 of the RAM with only 1/4 to go for the content.

  18. #193
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by OrbWeaver
    Assuming that the overhead for physics, AI, input etc is negligible (which it probably isn't, but it will be small compared to the rendering), a resolution of 512x384 will give you 4 times the frame rate of 1024x768.
    Actually the AI is a pretty big hit. Especially if the AI has to pathfind through complicated mazes. IMO it is easily on the same amount of the renderer.

  19. #194
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Norman, OK
    Quote Originally Posted by sparhawk
    Usually code takes up a VERY small part of most applications and even more so in games, because graphics, sounds, mesh data etc, is ultimately larger than anything you can come up codewise. ....[SNIP].... still I can't believe that the code takes up to 3/4 of the RAM with only 1/4 to go for the content.
    If anyone has the Plextools Pro software, they will know that some code really does take a surprising amount of RAM. In Plextools case - 40+MB of RAM, and it has no AI, no fancy graphics content, or anything... Okay, really, I think that is just some kind of bloated programming... ridiculous amount of memory.

    I think the reason more and more games are requiring larger amounts of RAM(isn't Unreal 2 something like 384MB minimum?) is that the code does really take a lot of space... plus dymanic allocation for AI, spawned objects, VFX, etc. I think 64MB is a very small amount of RAM to work with for a modern game.

  20. #195
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by jolynsbass
    If anyone has the Plextools Pro software, they will know that some code really does take a surprising amount of RAM. In Plextools case - 40+MB of RAM, and it has no AI, no fancy graphics content, or anything... Okay, really, I think that is just some kind of bloated programming... ridiculous amount of memory.

    I think the reason more and more games are requiring larger amounts of RAM(isn't Unreal 2 something like 384MB minimum?) is that the code does really take a lot of space... plus dymanic allocation for AI, spawned objects, VFX, etc. I think 64MB is a very small amount of RAM to work with for a modern game.
    Lack of ram was the biggest mistake Microsoft made with the X-Box, and the thing that is now obsoleting it. I remember thinking even back before it was released that 64MB simply wasn't enough. I think at the time I already had 256MB of ram in my PC, and nowadays I have 1GB, which makes the 64MB in the X-Box seem pretty puny...

    Obviously TDS suffered due to this ram limitation (thanks Microsoft ) but I wonder how many other X-Box games really struggle to fit in that amount of memory these days...

  21. #196
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Lack of ram was the biggest mistake Microsoft made with the X-Box, and the thing that is now obsoleting it. I remember thinking even back before it was released that 64MB simply wasn't enough.
    The funny thing is that the Xbox has the most memory of all the modern consoles. The PS2 only has 32mb of it, and the Gamecube has 40mb I believe.

  22. #197
    What's even funnier (actually, it's not funny at all, and just watch - it will screw us all again), is that they apparently haven't learned.

  23. #198
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Poland
    Same with PS3. I don't get it too...

  24. #199
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Since the hardware is dedicated and there is no OS those components give much more oomph than the PC equivalent I think. And it is a cost thing.

  25. #200
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Belton Missouri
    Since were all pretty much talking about crappy framerates, does this mean that the FPS your getting is in the editor. Ive yet to build in T3ed just yet, but in my experiances with framerate in Dromed VS Thief.exe the framerates nearly double in thief.exe using FRAPS. Where I would get 19-20 I would get 38 in the exact same place in thief.exe. Im guessing that T3.exe is stripped of a bunch of things which would allow it to calculate faster.

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