Arcen Games

General Category => AI War Classic => Topic started by: x4000 on October 06, 2014, 08:24:55 PM

Title: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 06, 2014, 08:24:55 PM
Original: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-official-8-015-flicker-factor-released/

This one is  relatively small update with a couple of bugfixes.  The main thing here is some fixes to flickering in the far zoom icon display that people were noticing in recent versions, as well as what is likely a performance improvement for most people on that front, too.

Update: 8.017 is now out and includes a couple more flicker-related fixes.  And yet another performance improvement related to that (a happy byproduct).

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.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Bud Backer on October 06, 2014, 09:42:13 PM
Hi Chris,

I feel bad considering this update is a result of the thread I started about this issue but unfortunately, the patch actually made it worse. Now the flickering, which was visible some of the time but not in almost every overlapping ship situation, is more present than not.

In case you're wondering:

MacBookPro Retina Edition
I7 Quad-Core 2.7GHz
Nvidia GT650M 1 GB
16 GB RAM
OSX 10.9.5
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 08:54:00 AM
If you switch to using the icon grouping again, is it still a problem?
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 10:06:41 AM
If you switch to using the icon grouping again, is it still a problem?

It may have something to do with modular ship showing their modules as icons with MK levels now.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 10:10:28 AM
I do not know if this is related to Bud Backer problem but I put up a mantis issue about it.

http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15947
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 10:39:48 AM
I appreciate it!

I'm responding more in the other thread, since we're all double-posting at this point, heh: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16366.msg181779.html#msg181779

:)

Not that the double posts are a problem, it just can get confusing.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 10:48:49 AM
Sorry about that just wanted to make sure.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 10:49:23 AM
Nope, we all did it!  Wasn't you, and it was entirely reasonable in the first place.  Always better safe than sorry!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 10:52:58 AM
Nope, we all did it!  Wasn't you, and it was entirely reasonable in the first place.  Always better safe than sorry!

Thanks for fixing it so quick as it could give you a headache, if there was a lot of modular ships on screen yours or AI I will update to the new version soon!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 10:53:55 AM
I haven't released that quite yet -- still working on something else related to this.  Thanks!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 10:57:39 AM
I haven't released that quite yet -- still working on something else related to this.  Thanks!

Ok that's ok I was not looking at the recent changes to see if it was released I meant for being able to respond on the problem so quickly.

Edit: I was looking at the Mantis when I posted that kind of typed it in quickly.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 11:00:09 AM
Got it. :)
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 11:15:56 AM
Update: 8.017 is now out and includes a couple more flicker-related fixes.  And yet another performance improvement related to that (a happy byproduct).
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Fleet Unity on October 07, 2014, 11:26:13 AM
Great I do not see any more flickering and the modular ships are back to normal!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 11:52:59 AM
Awesome!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Bud Backer on October 07, 2014, 12:56:55 PM
If you switch to using the icon grouping again, is it still a problem?

Hey Chris,

I'm not at home to try anything but will tonight.

What is icon grouping and how do I switch it?
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 01:05:41 PM
Thanks!  Hopefully this is solved for you in general.  But icon grouping is under the Interface tab of settings, and is a dropdown that says Icon Grouping Distance.  You can change that to 12 to be back like it was prior to 8.014.

That grouping basically only draws one copy of any ships that are identical that are within x number of pixels of one another.  That's something that I turned off with 8.015, which I think is better all around in general, but I want to see if your issue was related to that.  But anyhow, I've also put in a couple of fixes in 8.016 that are new, so hopefully that's moot and you won't even need to try the icon grouping.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: RockyBst on October 07, 2014, 02:46:27 PM
I'm not quite sure what's causing it, but since the update I've been getting some quite significant jitter / framerate drops every second or two. The screen just paused for a split second, then carries on. This happens both with and without icon grouping turned on. Maybe it's just a factor of the number of ships in the galaxy, but I've dropped right back to 1 1/2 hours into this game and I'm still seeing the same thing.

This windows 8 box doesn't seem to respond well to any of the recent performance updates, really.

EDIT: Also, it's now started crashing to desktop whenever I exit back to the main menu for some reason. Crash dump is attached. That might just be because I cleared out my auto-save folder and killed the 'LogicLog_' advanced logging files, but I can't see why.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2014, 03:48:43 PM
@RockyBst: Can you upload your savegame?  That's definitely an oddity.  Your error file indicates that you ran out of RAM, which of course isn't something that likely literally happened what with the specs that were listed in the save dump.  However, it may have run out of managed memory inside the game executable process, which is limited to about 900MB.

Do you have any special settings turned on, like the preloading of all image assets?
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: RockyBst on October 07, 2014, 04:18:10 PM
Sure, here's my most recent save. Which just happens to be before nuking the last remaining AI homeworld.

Windows 8/8.1 has always been weird with AI war for me, despite never taking more than ~35% CPU capacity and never getting close to 100%ing a single core. Framerates still drop off a cliff with more than 2,000 active ships, even though technically it's only using 1/5th of my available RAM as well. I suppose this is because it's a 32-bit app, rather than x64.

No special settings this time, and I can replicate both with and without image preloading and icon grouping.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: Bud Backer on October 07, 2014, 10:31:03 PM
Thanks!  Hopefully this is solved for you in general.  But icon grouping is under the Interface tab of settings, and is a dropdown that says Icon Grouping Distance.  You can change that to 12 to be back like it was prior to 8.014.

That grouping basically only draws one copy of any ships that are identical that are within x number of pixels of one another.  That's something that I turned off with 8.015, which I think is better all around in general, but I want to see if your issue was related to that.  But anyhow, I've also put in a couple of fixes in 8.016 that are new, so hopefully that's moot and you won't even need to try the icon grouping.

Hi Chris,

You were right, I didn't need  to alter the icon grouping setting, I've seen no flickering so far. Things do look subtly different, but I suspect that's the "draw only 1copy" but you mentioned. I'll get used to it! Thanks for the awesome responsiveness to our concerns. :)
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2014, 08:59:54 AM
Awesome!  Glad I could help. :)

Things are subtly different, actually in slightly one more way than I publicly mentioned (I just forgot).  The borders around ships are no longer perfect white with 110/255 transparency.  Instead they are now perfectly opaque with 110/255 RGB.  That leads to the exact same color when we presume a black background, but it prevents multiple icons from stacking on top of one another and becoming progressively more white.  I made that shift because it was really happening a lot with the shift to showing all the icons.
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2014, 09:58:50 AM
Sure, here's my most recent save. Which just happens to be before nuking the last remaining AI homeworld.

Windows 8/8.1 has always been weird with AI war for me, despite never taking more than ~35% CPU capacity and never getting close to 100%ing a single core. Framerates still drop off a cliff with more than 2,000 active ships, even though technically it's only using 1/5th of my available RAM as well. I suppose this is because it's a 32-bit app, rather than x64.

No special settings this time, and I can replicate both with and without image preloading and icon grouping.

With your save, I can see the same sort of periodic hitching that you do.  It's a very regular sort of hitching, and I'm not sure what the cause is.  This isn't evident in any other savegames that I've tested, however.  I did make a few improvements that smooth things out a tad for other savegames where there was still some slight jerkiness, but it doesn't help your specific savegame at all.  I don't think that this is an OS thing, and it's definitely also not related to your graphics card in terms of it cranking away every two seconds or so with a blip.

I've done some investigation of my own on this for a couple of hours, but came up empty.  I excluded a lot of parts of the code as being the culprit, but I'm not sure what the culprit is.  I have some things I have to take care of with Last Federation, so I've passed this over to Keith, who tends to be more efficient at finding performance bottlenecks than I am.  I'll let him get back to you further.

Thanks!
Title: Re: AI War Official 8.015-8.016 "Flicker Factor" Released!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2014, 05:02:52 PM
New one!  http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16450.0.html

RockyBst, this gets rid of your periodic jerkiness in that save -- it was a planetary munitions booster, and apparently has been there for years.  Goodness!