Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Biting the bullet

This interior area in Trinity has been giving me headaches and very low FPS since the beginning (between 9 and 26 fps in a benchmark test) and I finally decided to do something about it.

I looked at whether it was due to poor custom tileset optimization, or abundance of point lights and VFX. Adjusting Fog clip didn’t have any impact, nor was the clipping even noticeable in game! Lowering draw distance in the game settings though helped a lot.

Finally I accepted that the poor performance had to do with size really (no doubt the fact that the place was packed with objects of all sorts helped…). The area was 24x30 or so. Didn’t think it would have been much of a problem given it was an interior area.

So I finally came around to the idea of cutting the area up in 3 parts, and now am getting fps in the 23 to 81 range. A better experience for everyone.


Besides that, I’ve been working lately on setting up pretty cool fights with fire ants, ghosts and a death tyrant beholder (different fights, not at the same time). I attached some popping VFX’s on the ghosts’ death that give a lot of spirit to the fight.

Also been working on some gameplay mechanics and custom items. After suggestions from players in this thread, I decided to make a statuette that summons 2-8 pseudodragons (when I used to play PnP, pseudodragons were THE coolest thing) and a gem that you can imbed in any of your weapons to turn it into an elemental weapon that will deal random elemental damage, complete with appropriate VFX.

I’ve got a bunch of other custom scripted items done and in mind, in addition to many custom items that use conventional properties. Besides at the outfitting store in the staging area of the mod, most items to be bought or found in Trinity will actually be custom made. I always find it nice when playing when I find an item I’ve never seen before.


In other news, I’m leaving on vacation for a week in Mexico, this Thursday. After the harsh winter we had last year, my wife and I made a promise to ourselves that we’d try to escape it this year, even if just momentarily. The whole family is going to an all-inclusive resort (the first time in my life!) on the Riviera Maya. I am not bringing my laptop or any notepad of any kind. ;) See you all back soon!


Josh said...

I hear ya. The asylum area I made suffered from lag alot when I first made it. It was a 27x27 area with water. I found the water to cause an insane amount of lag during my tests, which was one of the few things I could actually do anything about.

In the end, I did break it down in half.

dgraf said...

Hey - E.C. - hope you and your family have a fantastic vacation - soak up those rays and return recharged!


Wyrin said...

Yeah, the interior of the Elder fortress in DA2 was a real hog at first - fairly large, using the sunken ruins tileset. Best thing i found was being less free and easy with the point lights, turning off some shadows and whether placeables were affected by the lights.

Enjoy Mexico - same region i went to last year (I stayed just north of Tulum) and loved it

Frank Perez said...

I guess your experience makes for a good lesson in area design: large locales lead to lag. (Alliteration not completely intended.) I'll keep that lesson in mind when I make my own areas.

Anyway, enjoy yourself in Mexico. I'll bet the climate is very different from Canada, especially at this time of the year.

Jclef said...

Nice man - yeah, that's biting the bullet, but better for all in the long run.

Enjoy yourself in Mexico - have a safe trip!!

E.C.Patterson said...

Thanks everyone!

Montreal = -28 C (with wind chill this morning)

Playa Del Carmen = +22 C tomorrow.

Can't wait. :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Custom items ... yes, I like doing those as well, but it can be a long time in the process. ;) I still have to work in that area.

Have a good break!


Lariam said...

-28 celcius... And windy. Man, that's cold. Hope you had a good vacation!

E.C.Patterson said...

Thanks Lance, Lariam.

I thought you were in Sweden, Lariam, no? It must get cold there too!

Lariam said...

Close. :)

Well, I've experienced -40, or so. But that was a long time ago. It's weird, really. We haven't had much snow in the very southern Finland during the last couple of winters. Yesterday morning we had -14, or so, but that's the coldest we've had this winter, thus far.