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Member Since 02 Dec 2004
Offline Last Active May 01 2015 03:45 AM

Topics I've Started

What difference to game computer behavior by SSD

11 August 2014 - 08:09 PM

Ive been watching the SSD technology for a while and wonder what real change this fairly new technology has brought to gaming machines and the execution of games.


Supposedly faster on seek and (?) data transfer bandwidth, has this actually happened in how game programming performs ?   Too many times I see games hesitate or just freeze while heavy disk operations are in progress (blocking some interface interaction actions which could/should have stayed active).  I had thought that threading/multiple processes SHOULD alleviate that kind of behavior (or do many companies simply not bother...)


Ive been looking an future game designs that would have more disk activity going on behind the user display/processing activities in the 'foreground'  (much more continuous file access than typical 'level' preloading' schemes).


Another general issue was degredation over time of the SSD (their rewrite cycle limits actually have dropped significantly and some of the datblock-use-spreading processing has been less than sterling).



Also has there been talk of changes to programming method to take advantage (or to minimize shortcomings) when game machine have SSDs/SSD-HD hybrids (which more and more will have as time goes on) ?

Continuous Asset Data Streaming - issues/problems with

14 January 2014 - 11:36 PM

Ive been exploring possible advancements for MMORPGs (with much more complex/detailed game representation on client).   One feature is game Asset data being frequently/continously streamed to the Client    (not just new objects, but terrain updates as almost the entire world is changeable with very little static map data any more  -- this is not just deformable scenery but also a continuing addition of new assets flavors to the game as time goes on - magnitudes more than MMORPGs have these days).


The client would have some huge File dictionaries/encylopedias so that once an instance of an object flavor is transfered it doesnt require a repeat  (and the scheme also has alot of hierarchical templating used to define objects which can cut down alot of the data required to be sent)).



Issues I can think of :


 - The Volume of data to transfer that can happen in rushes as the player POV moves  into a much changed location or one with previously unseen object flavors.   Effect upon ongoing gameplay when the gameflow has to share with a background asset data stream  (how much is too much)


 - Need for placeholder data to handle the delay while the client 'catches up


 - Preloading prioritization (to attempt to preload needed data before it is seeable)  types of objects and distance (LOD considerations)    


- In general a much larger number of objects in the clients simulation (keeping the game processing busy)



- Server loads (alot more data traffic to all clients)


- Dictionary/Encyclopedia lookups and update decisions  -- the client has to determine from the server whether there has been an update for an asset flavor (besides NEW asset flavors there are also improvement/fix updates that can happen)


- possibility of offline/background to background generic dictionary updates  (if the immediate-need data flow is Idle then send through changed/new data to get likely future-needed data into the client well ahead of time.)


- Platform considerations.   Limited disk archiving might require discarding some previously transfered data (keeping whats most relevant to the players situation and unfortunately having to reload some data as it is needed.


- Detail level control scheme - need a way to limit/tune this whole system for targeted hardware having significantly less capability (MMORPGs tend to have a wider range of customer target - heck,  tablets continue to advance)




Things helping possible advancements :


 - Higher average Internet throughputs


 - SSD to speed the disk end of archiving/caching client data


 - the usual CPU/Memory improvement for general increases of performance (additional cores etc..)


 - heavy use of a Templatuing scheme with alot of reuse which can help shrink the data that is required to be sent fo any particular object instance




All of this is something for the future - where things MIGHT go  (current state of MMORPGs if not fossilized, have actually degenerated)




Comments..  Ideas...  ?

Connection minutes a problem much ?

13 October 2013 - 12:05 AM

Im looking at issue for haldheld 'on the go' gaming  where celluar links are used when wifi connction isnt available.


Connecting into a central server to pickup game scenarios/surrent level for subsequent  'offline' play and then posting results back (the idea is a tie in to a MMORPG where player can get something mundane done or at least related fun mini-game activity where the results will feed back into the primary game  (leaving more online time for 'adventuring' instead of tedious crafting or auction house, communications, etc...)


So is connect/disconnect thru phone cellular still considered costly (therefore to be as short as possible)  or can continuous connection be retained (with more frequent server updates/ less connect delay overthead)


Note this is not for realtime player vs player data traffic though that no doubt will get more plausible/reliable

Fun crossover picture - oldie tools - nothing fancy

29 August 2013 - 01:52 AM




Guess which two games this is a crossover for ???


Most of the work done was using MSPaint.exe  (do they even still have that on Windows 8?)   with a little blur fixing in Photoshop.


I saw the picture in one game and said  Hey I can do all of the letters for the second with minimal block cut-paste and some minor fixing (struts and flare rematching).



Actually I have had an Idea for MMORPG where Players create assets for expanding the game  (submitted to company and heavily vetted).  Tools/plugins (many probably created by players) could greatly ease the task for less able players (a Neon Sign Tool which creates full game assets  for example  -- as Neon was a particularly important visual feature of the genres both of these popular games had)


I realize there are too many advancements and expectation (that MMORPG's design) for it to happen anytime soon  (risk adverse and rut game companies have been in ).

how far have they got with the 3D performnce on these things (smartphone/tablet)

11 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

Real performance - under real practical situations  (ie- Take into consideration battery expectancy under driven conditions..)..


Any of the standard PC like benchmarks adapted to be used to generate any metrics.??   Are they relevant?



Ive been considering the idea of using smartphones and tablets as addon useability for MMORPGs. 


Face it, you do alot of mundane stuff that ISNT glitzy 3D  (bank/inventory/crafting/auction-house/etc...)  and alot of people would possibly have some time  'on the go'  to do such stuff and leave more 'main computer' gaming time for the heavy effects/rendering adventuring part of the game.


Mini-games (that tie into the MMORPGs game World) is another area that could fit this  secondary access model  and they become more interesting/entertaining  with 3D animation.


Its just how many of these things yet have any real capability (need a decent median target hardware to get enough players able to use something a bit more than a 20 year old  style).    Graphics still largely done by CPU ?  GPU still less capable than the default intel MB graphics processor ??  Little dedicated graphics memory ? etc...


Target say 5 years off.  Is it likely for the abilities (again median HW target - dont want to target expensive  'gaming' handhelds) ) to get much better (or will the physical limitations just curtail much further abilities ?)



MMORPGs still have alot of  potential if they can get past the 15 year old fossilized model the risk asdverse companies employ. Use of smartphone/tablets would likely be part of their future.