Author Topic: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!  (Read 3918 times)

Offline x4000

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AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:14:51 PM »
Oriignal: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-official-8-007-8-014-now-with-moar-released/

This one is the culmination of a couple of weeks of no-joke improvements to performance.  Not only is the underlying timing for frames completely rewritten and improved, but the all-new sprite batching for our engine's render pipeline is now in place, too.

Just what does this mean to you, as a player?  Well, even on fast machines there were previously some times where you'd get stuttering and slowness that wasn't warranted, based on heavy CPU load.  That is now pretty much a thing of the past, and even really large battles run much faster.  Additionally, really huge battles would previously tank pretty much everyone's graphics cards because it was just trying to render so darn much.  Now it's incredibly efficient by comparison!

This is something that I've been wanting for a long time, so seeing how awesome the game runs now is really very satisfying.

 

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 05:29:19 PM »
I'm pretty sure I can find a save that can put this through it's paces.   :D
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Peter Ebbesen

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 05:36:21 PM »
I've got to dig up my Ride the Lightning save, where ~146,000 special forces ships decided to invade one of my planets for fun, spreading not only dread but also extreme slowdown, to see what this means in practice.
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Offline NickAragua

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2014, 05:39:45 PM »
Does this mean I can go back to playing with high ship caps now?

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 06:10:41 PM »
Does this mean I can go back to playing with high ship caps now?

Possibly, but bear in mind the main limiter is your main CPU core, not your gpu. The game really isn't designed around high ship cpas since 4.0. That said, it's still better than something like an 8 hw start, so it's probably fine. Depends on your specs, in the end!
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Offline doctorfrog

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 04:48:03 AM »
Might be coincidence, might not be, but the issue I had with images taking forever to load (necessitating the "preload all images" option) seems to have disappeared. I've cleared the option for now and will pipe up if it comes back.

Optimizations aren't often a sexy thing, but congrats on knocking this one out Arcen! Just because a game is sprite-based is no reason for it to abuse a hardworking CPU!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 04:49:44 AM by doctorfrog »

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 09:06:40 AM »
Might be coincidence, might not be, but the issue I had with images taking forever to load (necessitating the "preload all images" option) seems to have disappeared. I've cleared the option for now and will pipe up if it comes back.

Awesome!  That is a very interesting thing.  I have no idea if it is a coincidence or not, but I guess it could be related since it has some cross-thread stuff in both cases.  But it's all a black box to us.

Optimizations aren't often a sexy thing, but congrats on knocking this one out Arcen! Just because a game is sprite-based is no reason for it to abuse a hardworking CPU!

Thank you!  And both Keith and I are actually optimization fiends, so its practically a fetish around here, if we're going to stick with that kind of metaphor. ;)  It tends to be logic-side optimizations that we work in the most, though, because those are a lot more fun than faffing about in someone else's code that you don't understand as well (by nature).
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Offline ZaneWolfe

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2014, 05:21:14 PM »
I'm pretty sure I can find a save that can put this through it's paces.   :D

I'm pretty sure that any save you post up to test this will still kill most systems Cinth. I've tried to run your saves before... Even with everything I've done to it my laptop can't survive them.

Offline Volatar

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 05:40:41 PM »
After this update I have been getting weird behavior when the game is under stress (like a shard chase...). Normally the game was running at a steady 100% pace or slow down to 80% or so, completely acceptable for endgame Fallen Spire gameplay (2 players, normal caps).

Now however weird behavior is happening. The game will run at 100% for a couple of frames (lowest performance profile so you can really see them), go down to ~70% for a couple, then up to ~130% for a couple, then back to 100%. This would then loop over and over again.

Slowdowns are fine and expected but the slow-fast-slow-fast got annoying very, very fast.

Offline Kamamura

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 06:57:34 PM »
8.014 update broke my game completely, I got "reached breakpoint" error and crash.

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2014, 07:21:19 PM »
After this update I have been getting weird behavior when the game is under stress (like a shard chase...). Normally the game was running at a steady 100% pace or slow down to 80% or so, completely acceptable for endgame Fallen Spire gameplay (2 players, normal caps).

Now however weird behavior is happening. The game will run at 100% for a couple of frames (lowest performance profile so you can really see them), go down to ~70% for a couple, then up to ~130% for a couple, then back to 100%. This would then loop over and over again.

Slowdowns are fine and expected but the slow-fast-slow-fast got annoying very, very fast.

Do you have a save for reproducing this?

8.014 update broke my game completely, I got "reached breakpoint" error and crash.

Ditto here -- when do you get that error, and is it duplicatable through a savegame, etc.  If you have the game through Steam, can you be sure and check your local file cache for consistency?
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 07:55:11 PM »
After this update I have been getting weird behavior when the game is under stress (like a shard chase...). Normally the game was running at a steady 100% pace or slow down to 80% or so, completely acceptable for endgame Fallen Spire gameplay (2 players, normal caps).

Now however weird behavior is happening. The game will run at 100% for a couple of frames (lowest performance profile so you can really see them), go down to ~70% for a couple, then up to ~130% for a couple, then back to 100%. This would then loop over and over again.

Slowdowns are fine and expected but the slow-fast-slow-fast got annoying very, very fast.

Do you have a save for reproducing this?

Incidentally, this may be related to multiplayer more than anything else, if one player's machine is a lot stronger than the other's.  It may be related to the revised timing stuff.  Basically playing "catch up" over the network.  Slowing down the overall game speed with the minus key might help with that.

Basically, previously it may have been that both of your machines were chugging due to the graphics load combined with the CPU load.  But now that the graphics load is effectively nil, the CPU is the factor, and during big fights that is a BIG factor.  One way to test this would be for both of you to look at nothing -- basically empty space.

If you still see the slowdown and speedup behavior, then it definitely has nothing to do with the graphics at all -- those aren't being stressed in the slightest.  In that case it's one machine running faster than the other in terms of the CPU and them having trouble averaging out the timing to keep it steady (which is a very hard problem to solve automatically without making EVERYTHING slower on average in that scenario).

Actually in older versions of AI War prior to Unity 3D, that used to happen.  When that was the case, I'd just slow down the simulation speed during the slow parts and it would even itself out.  Then I'd speed that back up again after it wasn't so overloaded for a bit.  With Unity 3D, their internal code made it average that out for us pretty well, so that was less of a thing.  But it also slowed everything down, all the time, to some extent.  So that was kind of a bad tradeoff, actually.

What you're seeing now is probably the other side of that tradeoff, unless it only happens when one or both of you are looking at graphically intense stuff.  But even then... frankly, it could be a mismatch in the GPU processing.  Same sort of deal with the network timing.  I'd say that using the plus and minus keys would be your best bet.

One other thing to test to make sure that this is absolutely network related (which means a syncing of time issue between the two machines based on one taking longer to do the same thing that the other one is doing) is to each take the game and run it solo (turning the other player off temporarily in that savegame), and then see if it runs in a jerky fashion or not.

If you are the host, I believe that you can see a little (WAIT) message pop up next to the other player's name repeatedly if they are the ones running slow.  If you don't see that, odds are that you're the one running slow and that possibly they should be the host.

Boy, this really takes me back to the 3.x era.
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Offline Peter Ebbesen

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2014, 02:31:42 PM »
I've got to dig up my Ride the Lightning save, where ~146,000 special forces ships decided to invade one of my planets for fun, spreading not only dread but also extreme slowdown, to see what this means in practice.
As a followup to this, while the speed was significantly improved, I must report that battles with an excess of 100,000 ships present are still afflicted by significant slowdown on my computer. On the positive side, it is now a CPU rather than GPU bottleneck, making it much easier to smooth out by varying the speed setting, and seeing the bullets flying from more than a score carriers at once was moderately awesome.

Good work.
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 02:48:52 PM »
I must report that battles with an excess of 100,000 ships present are still afflicted by significant slowdown on my computer.
..
100,000 ships
..
Haha what settings do you people with? 100,000 wat da heck.
Ask NASA where they get their super computers from. Get one of those.
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Offline Peter Ebbesen

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Re: AI War Official 8.007-8.014 "Now With Moar" Released!
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2014, 03:04:31 PM »
I must report that battles with an excess of 100,000 ships present are still afflicted by significant slowdown on my computer.
..
100,000 ships
..
Haha what settings do you people with? 100,000 wat da heck.
Ask NASA where they get their super computers from. Get one of those.
It was my Ride the Lightning Fallen Spire game from this summer. Somehow - and I still don't know why - the Special Forces at one point got the bright idea that they'd invade one of my planets, and at that point they had around 146,000 ships.

On low ship caps.

Needless to say, the fixed defences even when bolstered by the full normal fleet and spire fleet were insufficient to defeat the special forces as they entered the system and headed for the command station. Careful strafing along the line of advance to inflict maximum casualties while avoiding immediate annihilation from the carriers only killed a few thousand ships. Definitely the most scary moment of that whole epic campaign, as I had no idea whether I'd accidentally triggered some mode I was hitherho unaware of, that would put the special forces on the attack. Fortunately, it wasn't the case. Here's a screenshot.

http://imageshack.us/a/img841/4310/lfw9.jpg
Ride the Lightning - a newbie Fallen Spire AAR - the AAR of my second serious AI War game. Now completed.