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xander
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Postby xander » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:23 pm

trickfred wrote:Edit: It would be nice if IV could make the Task Manager behave like the one in the Icon system for both systems - just replace the 'uncoordinated people, click here to spawn your unit' box with the Gesture circle. I have to admit, I do like the look of it more than the original side-to-side one, plus I dig the whoosing noise :D

Heh... I like the whooshing noise, but I don't think that the icon system's task manager is as good as the original for one reason: when I use the task manager, I like that, in the gesture system, the rest of the game is obscured behind the texture of the task manager. This reduces visual clutter, and makes it easier for me to see what is going on. I don't feel that the icon system does that very well.

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Postby Lowell » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:48 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops:

I thought the Gesture system wasn't working...I never checked it. I have always used the Icon system, didn't like the gesture stuff...it would fill up the screen right at a point where you needed to give orders and was in the way...for me anyway.

Yes...I started building the Mod way before the 1.42 patch. Hadron was changed a zillion times..."hence the sprites file with changed sprites removed...I forgot to remove the folders as Trickfred had seen." I can go through the lot and remove folders not needed...some are for part two and the folders remained after the split of files.

Hmm...there are a couple "redundant" objectives on Hadron...(lazy at the end) I could rebuild Hadron's objectives and slim down a couple things there. But not the Spam script...that stays... :D
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Postby xander » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:15 pm

Lowell wrote:It seems to me "any/all games" that spawn AI people/units will have the same effect on all machines.

Now that we have resolved the objectives issue, I want to come back to this. I think that you are incorrect. Any level with a ton of units will slow down. That is what SpawnPopulationLocks are for. I have not had any trouble with Biosphere since 1.2.2. There are a couple of levels in Insurrection that bog my computer down a bit (Sanctuary, for instance) due to large numbers of units, but nothing like Hadron. I don't have a top of the line machine, but it is no slouch, either. I have been able to play every mod made, so far, except for one or two levels of martin's mod, and one level of EWIII. So, it is possible to create intriguing mods that everyone can play without relying on a metric fuck-ton of enemies.

The issue that I am having is that you seem to feel that everyone should be able to play your mod, and that you are being very insensitive to people with lower end systems. Not everyone can upgrade their machines (read: Mac owners, students with little disposable income, &c.). That is not a solution. The way I see it, you have two options: (A) in your readme, explain that PW is likely to not work on lower end systems and Macs, and live with the fact that a lot of people will not be able to play it or (B) go through it and try to clean it up a bit -- take out some of the default enemies, use triffids to sow more enemies once a player gets to a given place, use more AISpawnPoints and SpawnPopulationLocks to reduce the enemy load, &c.

To some extent, there is little that you could do now to reduce the enemy load -- you have create huge levels, which requires a lot of enemies to fill the space. If I had one piece of advice for any nacsent modders, it would be this: leave out the kitchen sink -- create smaller levels that concentrate on three or fewer primary objectives. Huge levels are a great idea, in theory, but the tend to bog systems down incredibly.

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Postby trickfred » Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:01 am

xander wrote:I have been able to play every mod made, so far, except for one or two levels of martin's mod, and one level of EWIII.


FSB, right? I may address that a bit soon.
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Postby martin » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:27 am

xander wrote:I have been able to play every mod made, so far, except for one or two levels of martin's mod, and one level of EWIII.


Which levels of mine? I'm guessing GRID may be one (MS) and maybe GrandCentralJunction (TD)?
GENERATION 22:The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.
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Postby xander » Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:07 pm

trickfred wrote:FSB, right? I may address that a bit soon.

Yes, I believe so. Also, the second level is a bit slow, but after I took out all of the flowers, it went much more smoothly. I like the flowers a lot, but all of those little polygons seem to hurt performance on my system :)

martin wrote:Which levels of mine? I'm guessing GRID may be one (MS) and maybe GrandCentralJunction (TD)?

I don't remember. I made a note of it at the time...

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Postby trickfred » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:27 pm

xander wrote:
trickfred wrote:FSB, right? I may address that a bit soon.

Yes, I believe so. Also, the second level is a bit slow, but after I took out all of the flowers, it went much more smoothly. I like the flowers a lot, but all of those little polygons seem to hurt performance on my system :)


Awww... :(

*removes some flowers*
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Postby xander » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:20 pm

trickfred wrote:Awww... :(

*removes some flowers*

Don't take them out! I would be willing to guess that most Windows machines wouldn't have much trouble with them. My Mac did okay (c. 15-20 FPS), so it really isn't a big deal.

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Postby trickfred » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:04 am

*unremoves flowers*

^_^
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Postby Lowell » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:14 am

xander wrote:
Lowell wrote:It seems to me "any/all games" that spawn AI people/units will have the same effect on all machines.

Now that we have resolved the objectives issue, I want to come back to this. I think that you are incorrect. Any level with a ton of units will slow down. That is what SpawnPopulationLocks are for ---snip---
xander


"I already said I was inside the unit amount limit using several spawn locks two pages back."
Lowell wrote:There are four outlying islands on Hadron, each needs 100 Darwinians to capture the islands and the pop lock will kick in. The Center Island’s Trunk Port will stop spawning when the objectives are cleared; also a pop lock is set at 50 Darwinians for the center. Hadron is busy for sure...I even blacked out the water which brought up the frame rate quite a bit. I have seen much larger numbers of Darwinians on maps before...so 450 - 600 would not be too large of an amount for a single level.


Hadron map...
-Each of the four islands has a spawn lock set at 100. The center island spawns DGs (50) through the trunk gate as soon as it has been cleared. All Spawn Locks cover the whole island and mountains it is set for. The spawned DGs from the trunk port can then be used for armor-troop transport to the outlying islands. Each islands "Base" is set up of four to five spawn points. Once taken over the DGs can then spawn to the count of 100, and then spawning at that island is stopped. The player can spawn armor only at the center island...by the time the player gets there 50 DGs will be waiting by the trunk gate to be used for the next run with the armor on the next island. Each island is a part of the Pattern Buffer System. (Spoiler Time) A God Dish is on the fourth island...the reds have been using it for some unknown projects and downloads. Beware of the fourth island...many armies have come up missing along with all their armor. One General was in the middle of a transmition just after killing off several Soul Destroyers. He had just given orders to advance when all of the sudden the General vanished...troops, armor and all. Later Intel reported several new red platoons were in the area.

I will review Hadron again and rebuild the objectives list. The map will play the same for the most part.

Hey...and thanks for all the help...
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Postby xander » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:48 am

Lowell wrote:"I already said I was inside the unit amount limit using several spawn locks two pages back."
Lowell wrote:There are four outlying islands on Hadron, each needs 100 Darwinians to capture the islands and the pop lock will kick in. The Center Island’s Trunk Port will stop spawning when the objectives are cleared; also a pop lock is set at 50 Darwinians for the center. Hadron is busy for sure...I even blacked out the water which brought up the frame rate quite a bit. I have seen much larger numbers of Darwinians on maps before...so 450 - 600 would not be too large of an amount for a single level.

In Insurrection, there are two levels that really bog down my system (though nothing quite like Hadron). The first is Processor, which has soul rain (which always slows down my system). The second is Sanctuary, which has a very large number of enemies:
  • 600 Virii
  • 200 free Army Ants + 800 more in AntHills (which come out in smaller numbers)
  • 30 Spore Generators
  • 6 Centipedes (4 with 20 segments, 2 with 25)
  • 3 Soul Destroyers
  • 250 green DGs


That is a total of a little more than a thousand units, but most of those are not DGs, which seem to be the worst in terms of proc usage. If I half the virii and ants, the level runs much more smoothly (and I will probably half the ants at some point soon, and turn down the virii a bit).

That level also has two other things going against it: first, it has a high poly count landscape. I have turned up the cell size quite a bit to limit the effect of that, but I don't feel that I can turn it up any more without losing the look of the level. Have you tried adjusting the cell size in Hadron? As I recall, the default is 12 -- going up to 15 or 16 helps with the speed of the game imensly, but does not have too much effect upon the level of detail. Second, the laser fences really slow things down. I don't recall if that applies to Hadron at all.

At any rate, those are things that I have experimented with to a large extent. Hopefully, those are suggestions that could make PW more low-end friendly.

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Postby Lowell » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:37 pm

xander wrote:Have you tried adjusting the cell size in Hadron?


Yup...many times...

Hadron Map Size...
Landscape_StartDefinition
worldSizeX 7000
worldSizeZ 7000
cellSize 50.13
outsideHeight -10.00
landColourFile landscape_desert.bmp
wavesColourFile waves_spooky.bmp
waterColourFile water_spooky.bmp
Landscape_EndDefinition


:shock: ...yes...it really says 7000x7000 :) however the cell size is set at 50.13. I cut back on the detail of the mountains and landscape, I also "blacked-out" the water...that brought the frame rate way up when I did that.

EDIT//...from my reading it seems that small, bland empty maps are the ones that play fast. In my mind I see Darwinia much bigger. One "new" map has a large fuel depot and storage system...(new buildings for part two,) without all that it wouldn't look as cool, and every other map would look like the one the player just left. One of my Art College instructors once said that if a person walks by your painting and looks at it for three minutes or more...you have a good painting. Others that would scan and walk by saw nothing visually stunning.
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Resizing Hadron...

Postby Lowell » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:50 pm

I am in the middle of rebuilding Hadron. I think this map has turned out better the millionth time over. Unit levels should be better managed as well as frame rates during play. The objectives menu is much shorter and accomplishes the same level play. With a few added tricks thrown in.

Aside of the Electrons map I believe Hadron was the only frame rate monster.

I will have more info in a few days.

Thanks for all the input...
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Postby amandioc2 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:12 am

Almost every game increases in complexity through the levels. More enemies, more powerful weapons and detailed landspaces, which is logic as the learning curve progresses. The side effect - a lower framerate - as odd as it may seem may somewhat please the player as he feels he is dealing with high-end software and his machine is being pushed to the limit.

Everything needs to make sense though. Filling levels with hundreds of creatures but no good reason is the easier way to produce boring ones.

Darwinia is, I believe, rather intemporal and the mods will probabily grow and live happily for at least several years. As such it's inevitable, and even advisable, to upgrade the hardware requirements from time to time. I think Lowell understood that.

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Postby Lowell » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:36 pm

Yes amandioc2 you are correct. Thanks...

As for Hadron I have built two different styles of the map. I am testing them now to see which is the better of the two.

amandioc2 wrote:Filling levels with hundreds of creatures but no good reason is the easier way to produce boring ones.

Remember we are talking about a "Virus." When a virus attacks it sends thousands not a half dozen. They can change their name and reinstall themselves.

The trouble with the Hadron map is not the amount of reds and greens on the board...it is the textures on all the mountains that is causing the lag. Take the same amount of stuff on Hadron and place them on a flat map and it will run fine...make a bunch of mountains and lag city kicks in. I "blacked-out" the water on Hadron and the frame rate went way up. Maps with an AI Unit for control and spawn points give me the most trouble. In part Two there are a couple maps that I Must have One Green AI Unit and One Red AI Unit...right now that will cause many PC's to crash, even though those maps play fine on my machine. Also if cannons are placed by greens and the reds take them over I have heard of crashes with that as well.

So I guess maybe Update 1.43 might address these problems with the Mods, as well as the Start Pylons that are broke in Mods.

Roller Coaster Tycoon2 found that the copy protection that was placed on their game CDs was causing the game to slow to a stop. The forums were full of pissed off players. The game couldn't be played by most that bought it. Frontier pushed Atari aside and gave a new EXE as an update which had the copy protection files removed/changed...and Wha-La...the game screams.

For some reason the use of an AI Unit can cause many different troubles...I am still moving forward with the Mod though with hopes these troubles can be dealt with soon.

I might not be the world’s greatest storywriter, but the Darwinia game is all about killing off a virus...not reading. If anyone would like to help on the construction and more importantly the storyline with this Mod please let me know.

Thanks for all the input from everyone...keep it comming.

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