Beta 3 resolves my crashes, but camera shook badly

Problems with the Mac version of Darwinia

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fletchbiz
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Beta 3 resolves my crashes, but camera shook badly

Postby fletchbiz » Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:44 pm

The installation of beta 3 was a big improvement. My kids and I put in a good three hours on Darwinia with not one crash.

However, the camera shake was a big issue during one lengthy session. My 10-year-old daughter, a very experienced game player, nearly finished the level in spite of extreme camera shaking. She was able to calm the shake by turning the camera to a dark area of the sky or moving to an extreme elevation above the action. I must say she is both diligent and persistent. :-)

The shake appeared to occur whenever she centered the camera on an area where there were pink worms. The red centipedes didn't seem to cause the trouble.

Now my 20-year-old son also played for quite a while, but experienced no shake at all. He wiped out a significant number of enemies with grenades, missiles and airstrikes and seemed to get very good response from his squads, etc.

I suspect that the difference might be in that my daughter took the time to align the towers, but my son did not. Could the beams running between the towers have some effect on the camera shake?

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Postby UberBuckley » Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:41 pm

This sounds almost exactly like what I was experiencing with the slowdown due to Beta 3. After a while, if you don't eliminate the creatures hatching from the eggs on the second island, there become so many of them that the game slows a bit when they're on camera. Your son destroyed many of the enemies, whish is probably why he didn't experience this.

The camera gets jittery if the number of frames per second drops to around 6 or below. If you have the problem again, try hitting F5 to display the frame-rate.

Generally, it's helpful to post your system specs so that the developers don't have to go look for them. Also, with the new Beta, it's helpful to post which version of OS X you're running.
fletchbiz
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Postby fletchbiz » Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:20 am

I'll try hitting F5 next time to check frame rate. However, for now, I'll report that I tried playing for a while just now and was able, I think, to duplicate the tower-shake connection. The camera was slightly shakey after I'd played a while. However, it became extremely shakey when I aligned a pair of towers, the very first set I aligned, in fact.

Don't know what it all means, but just reporting my observations. :-D

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Postby Darkshine » Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:35 pm

I tend to get this bug only when there is a lot of pressure put on the CPU, for instance, when I'm running other programs in the background.

When I ran Reason 2.5 in the background for instance, its CPU meter was only a third full, but this put tremendous strain on Darwinia, putting the camera into crazy crazy land, pointing itself wildly all over the place, but with a fairly unintensive program like iTunes, Darwinia only shook slightly.

The answer is not to run background programs, obviously, but it would be better if the bug could be resolved so that the game simply slowed down and was still playable, rather than went for a picnic in cuckoo land with a load of crazy sandwiches.
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Frame per sec experiments

Postby fletchbiz » Sun Oct 31, 2004 5:33 pm

I have not been running anything except Darwinia on the assumption that it would take up lots of processor power.

Today I experimented with taking some framerate readings. The overall range was 7-13 fps.

The lowest readings were during times when the camera was facing the island with the refinery. The highest readings are when the camera is facing away from the refinery.

Obviously these rates are awfully low. I tried lining up some dishes first off to see if I could duplicate the camera shake and was not successful.

Then I tried immediately doing some intensive airstrikes on the far side of refinery island where the second trunk port is located. Perhaps all of this destruction had something to do with the fact that I did not get any appreciable camera shake in this latest session. Just got a very small amount here and there.

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Postby wallyfoo » Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:46 am

The exact same activity seems to have led to my shaking leading to unplayable game twice in a row. I started following the "cart line" for lack of a better phrase. As I went along the refinery line, once followed into high areas, the camera started shaking very badly. It kept getting progressively worse as I led a squad on a destructive rampage, then the game became completely unplayable if I looked straight up to the sky. The camear astarted jumping so badly it was as if I was teleporting across the landscape, being kicked virtual miles away from my starting point and boucing all over the place.

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