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Lars W.

where do you wan't loading times ?

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Hi I am developing an Space Shooter, and am in the stage where i make my Startup Menu and so on. Now i want to know, what is better : 1. Loading all Data at the beginning of the Game or 2. Loading everything at the beginning of an Mission. Lars

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You should try to minimize the amount of time the player has to wait for the game to load. Why not create a thread that loads the game data while the player is in the start menu?

For some reason I find myself more annoyed with games that take a long time loading before the startmenu appears, than with games that load before each mission. It may have something to do with the fact that it is more common to load before the mission and not before the startmenu.

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I think its better to have the game load up real fast, but have the mission load up slightly slower. I guess this is because people like to anticipate the action (usually this is before a mission in any game starts), and the longer the wait there (not that waiting forever is a good thing), will build up their anticipation, while waiting for the game to load while staring at Windows insn''t too good
also, i think that many people get their first impressions on a game the first time they load it and what they see once it starts. if it takes almost no time to load at the beginning, then thats their first impression and they have that "zero-loadtime" mindset from there on out!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Besides from just what the user sees it also depends on how large your levels or missions are if they are so large they wiegh down ram and slow the computer then load them individually, if the levels are small and there arent too many of them then loading at the begining isnt a bad thing as long as its not like a 3 min wait
Just my opinion

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hi

Yes of course the Mission Data itself can only be loaded, when it is clear what should be there, but there are so many Objects, that appear in every mission, like textures for explosions and so on.

Lars

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it depends...i would rather wait an extra few secoonds on mission start then negotiate a choppy menu system. how long of a loading time are we talking here? like a minute?

for a small game a minute seems lie a LONG time...

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Yeah, I would say that you definitely should load on a different thread. What that allows you to do is use the relative downtime of the menus to load. If the user is very quick and is able to blast through the menus, they will earn an increased load time before the mission. The stuff that is traditionally loaded here is graphics. This is mostly because of the time it takes to dump things into video memory. Of course, you''ll probably want to load the level and such at mission start time - a 1 to 2 second hit in most cases. Better than 30 seconds loading graphics. If you''re a bit iffy on separate threads, check out the tutorials on FlipCode.com on Multithreading. They are pretty informative and will pretty much give you an idea how to do it all.

Pythius

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