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Some advice on Unity


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#1 ShadowKGames   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:52 PM

GameDev Guru's, I posted this on the Unity forums and I know we have some epic talented people on this forum so I want a second opinion:

 

I'm torn as we paid for Unity Pro, what to do about all of this:

 

I want to share the list of issues with Unity Pro I'm / were having and see if we can get some feedback before either making a real go at sorting out the issues. Or ditching Unity Pro and moving on:

Firstly:

We are having to switch off a bunch of resources (asset's) in a half built scene, because if we don't a stack error occurs and the editor runs out of memory / crashes Unity. Obviously a 64-bit editor would fix this, but it's becoming painful. I've experimented with dicing up the scene with Async loading, not to much avail.

Moving on:

We have partially replicated a scene from CryEngine, draw calls stay below 2000 in CE and we usually get around 50 - 60 FPS on a Radeon 6850 which is our lowest target market, with DX11 switched on in Unity we are usually getting around 6 - 7K with deferred rendering after occlusion culling (With weird issues like models occasionally disappearing). It seems the best solution, would be to create our own culling solution using better algorithms which some should be hardware based. When I investigated, it seems because Unity doesn't support new versions of GL so it may be impossible to do.. I'll see what is possible with DX11. (Even though ideally we want to release for Mac)..

The profiler in Unity points towards the scenery rendering being the main issue, bill boarding seems to be of little use especially with an over the shoulder camera you notice the billboards changing dramatically. It looks horrible to be honest..

Which brings me on the next issue:

Trees: Up close textures look like old 16-bit console representation's of how trees should look, we have tried shaders to improve the look to little avail. These shaders we wrote in Unreal Engine and look great, I'll post some examples. Beyond that, wind zones don't seem to represent how wind actually works.. It would be ideal to split the windzones if possible? To make grass etc. appear as if it's moving more fluently.. The only solution I can think of is to build a completely new terrain system.

Which follows on to:

Shadows: There's a lot of issues with flickering, especially from trees and grass causing a lot of artifacts.. So the only solution I can think of is to change how shadow mapping works, which I'm unsure of and I'm not to clued up on the viability.

Which then leads me to lighting:

The likes of god rays appearing through trees appear as a block of pixels instead of representing how light would actually work, this somewhat can be less noticeable by switching to a linear color space. But that's only a small portion, there seems to be an issue with pointlights near geometry. As a user moves the lights will flicker quickly, solution is to replace the lighting system..

Then we have issues with Far plan Z-Buffer precision on busy geometry, I've only ever noticed this in Unity as CE and Unreal doesn't have this problem. Distant objects flicker incessantly.. Not sure how I'd get past this in Unity.!

All in all, it seems a lot of work to sort all of this out.. In some instances, it's something we can't sort out.

So, any feedback is welcome.. Even if it's move on from Unity!



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#2 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6122

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:14 PM

We are having to switch off a bunch of resources (asset's) in a half built scene, because if we don't a stack error occurs and the editor runs out of memory / crashes Unity. Obviously a 64-bit editor would fix this, but it's becoming painful. I've experimented with dicing up the scene with Async loading, not to much avail.


A stack overflow error? It sounds like you have a particular script or arrangement of scripts/references which is causing very deep (perhaps infinite) recursion. Fix that and you should be fine. 64-bit will not help with infinite recursion. I am not aware of any problems with Unity handling massive numbers of GameObjects in a single scene. These can be somewhat of a bitch to find in Unity because they cause the editor to crash and Monodevelop to crash or lose the information you'd want about the call stack. You'll probably have to do a binary search over distinct subsets of your GameObjects until you find out which one(s) cause it, then read through the scripts on those GameObjects / place breakpoints to watch what's happening.

I only do 2D in Unity, so I can't help with any of the 3D rendering questions, unfortunately.

Edited by Nypyren, 20 January 2014 - 11:24 PM.


#3 ShadowKGames   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:17 PM

 

We are having to switch off a bunch of resources (asset's) in a half built scene, because if we don't a stack error occurs and the editor runs out of memory / crashes Unity. Obviously a 64-bit editor would fix this, but it's becoming painful. I've experimented with dicing up the scene with Async loading, not to much avail.

A stack overflow error? It sounds like you have a particular script or arrangement of scripts/references which is causing very deep (perhaps infinite) recursion. Fix that and you should be fine. 64-bit will not help with stack overflows. I am not aware of any problems with Unity handling massive numbers of GameObjects in a single scene.

I only do 2D in Unity, so I can't help with any of the 3D rendering questions, unfortunately.

 

 

There's no scripts in the game so far, just a big level. It literally says at the side of it, system out of memory!.

 

2D games would never have this issue as the size is small, if you have a collection of around 20,000 meshes in the asset / resources section then start applying only a small portion to the scene it then falls flat on it's face.

 

It starts to grind to a halt even after you just import a set amount of objects.

 

  1. ERROR: Out of memory
  2. Stacktrace:  
  3.  

Edited by ShadowKGames, 20 January 2014 - 11:27 PM.


#4 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6122

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:17 AM

Understood - that's definitely out of memory and not a stack overflow. You confused me when you said it was a stack error.

Splitting up the level will help, but only if you limit what you load to what you can fit in memory. If you have to load the entire level at once, splitting it up won't help. Splitting up the level WILL let you distribute the blocking loads over more frames though if you want to do that.

You will probably also eventually need to reduce the size of your assets (shrink or lower texture quality/compression type, reduce triangles, etc).

In some cases you might be inadvertently copying textures or materials if you are modifying them at runtime (it doesn't sound like that yet since you don't have any scripts yet).

Edited by Nypyren, 21 January 2014 - 01:23 AM.


#5 ShadowKGames   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:02 AM

Understood - that's definitely out of memory and not a stack overflow. You confused me when you said it was a stack error.

Splitting up the level will help, but only if you limit what you load to what you can fit in memory. If you have to load the entire level at once, splitting it up won't help. Splitting up the level WILL let you distribute the blocking loads over more frames though if you want to do that.

You will probably also eventually need to reduce the size of your assets (shrink or lower texture quality/compression type, reduce triangles, etc).

In some cases you might be inadvertently copying textures or materials if you are modifying them at runtime (it doesn't sound like that yet since you don't have any scripts yet).

 

Cheers, it pops up with a stacktrace error every now and again sorry for the confusion. The ironic or should I say moronic this is it works absolutely fine once you have built the solution!

 

So do I scale back the quality of the game so the Editor will work correctly? I find this kind of un-acceptable. Something Unity need to address.



#6 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6122

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:37 PM

Cheers, it pops up with a stacktrace error every now and again sorry for the confusion. The ironic or should I say moronic this is it works absolutely fine once you have built the solution!


A stack trace is not a type of error. A stack trace is additional information about what functions the program was executing when an error occurred.

So do I scale back the quality of the game so the Editor will work correctly? I find this kind of un-acceptable. Something Unity need to address.


You should contact them, describe the problem, and ask if a 64-bit editor is even possible for them. Providing a 64-bit version is not always possible, and even when it is it can take a LOT of effort. If it's not possible or feasible for them, you'll have to deal with it yourself by fitting your assets within the 2 or 3 GB of RAM that's available to a single 32-bit process.

#7 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6577

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:04 PM

This might be of use: http://www.ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php


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#8 ShadowKGames   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

This might be of use: http://www.ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php

 

That is beautiful, thanks I'll give it a try.



#9 ShadowKGames   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:40 PM

 

Cheers, it pops up with a stacktrace error every now and again sorry for the confusion. The ironic or should I say moronic this is it works absolutely fine once you have built the solution!


A stack trace is not a type of error. A stack trace is additional information about what functions the program was executing when an error occurred.

So do I scale back the quality of the game so the Editor will work correctly? I find this kind of un-acceptable. Something Unity need to address.


You should contact them, describe the problem, and ask if a 64-bit editor is even possible for them. Providing a 64-bit version is not always possible, and even when it is it can take a LOT of effort. If it's not possible or feasible for them, you'll have to deal with it yourself by fitting your assets within the 2 or 3 GB of RAM that's available to a single 32-bit process.

 

 

I fully understand this, I'm building an engine with a 64-bit editor. It still doesn't take away from the fact Unity loads resources directly into RAM which is a limitation that's causing headaches.. I'll try the patch and see where to go from there:

 

I'm going to start (or try) porting the lighting and shadow mapping system into Unity) The only thing left is to create some sort of terrain system which will probably take a fair while but it's better than starting from scratch.

 

Maybe voxel based? Not sure yet, it's been a while since I've attempted a lot of this stuff.


Edited by ShadowKGames, 21 January 2014 - 03:44 PM.





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