Author Topic: Things that Tidalis has that AI War Does Not (Yet) -- Updated 5/26/2010  (Read 39469 times)

Offline x4000

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Yep, steam works just fine with unity.
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Offline Adetia

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Well, my objection was a joke so sorry if it was taken another way. The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives. I would have posted sooner but I got dragged into something at work right after I made that post.

Personally, I love fullscreen windowed, it should be an option in every game (and am very sad it's going away :'(). That is not always an option as we can clearly see. Perhaps a semi-hack could be implemented to have the app snap to the screen so the toolbar is actually off the screen and it just appears to be fullscreen windowed. I have seen 3rd party apps that do this for EVE Online so I don't see why something similar couldn't be implemented here.

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too many techy stuff, i only care about game changing things :D

Offline x4000

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Thanks for the clarification, and no worries. For the hack to make it align, unfortunately we can't even set window position in unity, which is super annoying for things like that. Unity 3.0 is coming this summer, though, so my hope is that it will address things like that. Fingers crossed!
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Offline Adetia

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Thanks for the clarification, and no worries. For the hack to make it align, unfortunately we can't even set window position in unity, which is super annoying for things like that. Unity 3.0 is coming this summer, though, so my hope is that it will address things like that. Fingers crossed!

Well, the feature wasn't build into EVE, it was a third party app that moved the window...is that not even possible?

Offline superking

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any idea as to what direction this will effect performance? I can run AI war at decent res on my laptop, but it is a very close thing.

Offline Buttons840

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Unity works in Wine as well; can't wait for my AI War on Linux.

Offline Ozymandiaz

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As someone who playes 99% of the time zoomed out looking at icons, I do not really care all that much, only thing concerning me is pure performance, and if you say that is good, then all is well. ;P (I do however alt-tab quite often...)

I got no idea what unity3D is though... ;)
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Offline Lancefighter

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of random note..

I love faux-fullscreen games..
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Offline RogueThunder

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Quote
But the loss of one little minor feature like this (which no other game I've ever encountered supports) is a pretty small price to pay for all the benefits that you the consumer get, and we the company get.  And it helps to ensure the continued survival of the game and of us as a company, and puts less pressure on Tidalis to do amazing in order for us to make it through the end of 2011 or to be able to make the staff increases that we really need to make.
Everything Valve Source Engine based as of the Orange Box update. Aka TF2, Portal, L4D/L4D2, DOD:S...
Albeit its a hidden setting. Most easily added by adding the shortcut launch option -noborder (and -windowed or setting to windowed in game).
I don't play CS:S anymore because its never been updated to said... Although that's in part because of the older steam engine's ah... disruptive bugs with multiple monitors in full-screen.
The option did actually appear in the menus for TF2 and L4D2 at one point. I think it might still on the latter, it vanished an update down the road in the prior, although -noborder still works.
Also interestingly ol Sid Misers Alpha Centauri could be goaded into it. Albeit through a bug. Open two copies of the game, close one, forces the other copy into a boarder-less window.

I know there are more... Just can't remember which, it's almost always a hidden option on the games that do support it.

Will unity at least support a maximized-window mode? Where pressing the maximize button does essentially what it does in programs that never go true full screen. I can stand that if so... though would prefer to see boaderless. It really is a good feature for this kind of me.

Oh. Get good built in VOIP along with the unity rebuild if ya can... with controls that actually let you toggle mic and such... for rts hold to talk keys are annoying, and voice activated does NOT work for everyone. Atm my friends mostly use skype... though were giving ventrilo a try but when suddenly ya get a disconnect if anyone was in fullscreen... well. Not pleasant. I know, a big request. But without quasi-fullscreen it would make the experience better.

All said, I actually--despite really hating the idea of loosing nobordered full-screen--do support the unity switch. Pretty much for the reasons ya stated.
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Offline x4000

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Thanks for the clarification, and no worries. For the hack to make it align, unfortunately we can't even set window position in unity, which is super annoying for things like that. Unity 3.0 is coming this summer, though, so my hope is that it will address things like that. Fingers crossed!

Well, the feature wasn't build into EVE, it was a third party app that moved the window...is that not even possible?

I'm sure that would be possible, if you had a third party app to do that.

any idea as to what direction this will effect performance? I can run AI war at decent res on my laptop, but it is a very close thing.

Well, that remains to be seen, but my notes on that are in the original post.  Summary: the graphics performance seems a smidge worse in Unity, but because it has so much more flexibility we'll be able to use some more efficient methods in places that might make it a net gain; the CPU-related performance seems the same; and there is an incredible profiler that should aid us in performance improvements over time beyond what we can do now, but the results of any such process are never guaranteed when you go into it.

So what would the net effect to the game be?  Only way to find out is to port the entire thing and see what it does after we have all our refinements in place, etc.  With Tidalis the result has been exceedingly positive, to the point where that game is often able to run at 200fps on my Q6600 with Geforce 8800GT.  It's a really fast platform, it just depends on how it will handle all the sprites, really -- in AI War at present we are using Sprite Batching, which is something that unity itself doesn't support in the same way.  That actually opens up a lot of the flexibility I was discussing above, but at the same time it leads to different optimization paths for a game like AI War.

So there are some unavoidable question marks there, we can't know exactly how that will turn out until we see it in action, but achieving as-good-or-better-than-now performance will be one of the chief goals of our porting process (as it was with Tidalis).  With Tidalis we wound up with overall better performance, so that's something.

On the bright side, let's say that -- picking a bad case of random numbers -- performance was 50% worse in terms of graphics.  On a borderline machine, that might drop you to 10fps, which would be jerky, but the underlying CPU simulation would all be the same, etc.  That's one key difference with this new architecture and the current one, as on the current one your entire performance would go down by about 25% in that scenario unless you used frame skip or similar.  So that makes it a bit more resilient to drops in graphics performance, which is great, not that we want to be in that end of things much.

I have faith that we'll be able to get the performance where we want it -- I was unbelievably nervous about that when we first ported Tidalis, but the result was great.

Quote
But the loss of one little minor feature like this (which no other game I've ever encountered supports) is a pretty small price to pay for all the benefits that you the consumer get, and we the company get.  And it helps to ensure the continued survival of the game and of us as a company, and puts less pressure on Tidalis to do amazing in order for us to make it through the end of 2011 or to be able to make the staff increases that we really need to make.
Everything Valve Source Engine based as of the Orange Box update. Aka TF2, Portal, L4D/L4D2, DOD:S...
Albeit its a hidden setting. Most easily added by adding the shortcut launch option -noborder (and -windowed or setting to windowed in game).

...

Also interestingly ol Sid Misers Alpha Centauri could be goaded into it. Albeit through a bug. Open two copies of the game, close one, forces the other copy into a boarder-less window.

I know there are more... Just can't remember which, it's almost always a hidden option on the games that do support it.

Well, hidden options and enabled-through-a-bug.  Little surprise I haven't run into that, then I suppose. ;)

Will unity at least support a maximized-window mode? Where pressing the maximize button does essentially what it does in programs that never go true full screen. I can stand that if so... though would prefer to see boaderless. It really is a good feature for this kind of me.

From looking at Tidalis, I don't think it does at present.  But, if as many games as you say support this sort of borderless feature, then perhaps it will make an appearance in Unity 3.0.  Honestly I don't know what all they will be having in that version, and hopefully (knocks on wood) that will be out before the AI War 4.0 release is ready.

Oh. Get good built in VOIP along with the unity rebuild if ya can... with controls that actually let you toggle mic and such... for rts hold to talk keys are annoying, and voice activated does NOT work for everyone. Atm my friends mostly use skype... though were giving ventrilo a try but when suddenly ya get a disconnect if anyone was in fullscreen... well. Not pleasant. I know, a big request. But without quasi-fullscreen it would make the experience better.

Really I feel like that is going to be out of scope, there just is no incentive for us to build in VOIP stuff because there are so many external clients that people already prefer.  With the Unity version, AI War will be better compatible with the overlays from stuff like Steam and XFire than it already is, so for those that have voice chat those are then right there in the game already so far as I know.  I suspect there are other such solutions, too.  But I'm not aware of any free, just-drop-this-into-your-code VOIP solutions aimed at developers.  There are a ton with in-game overlays or similar, though.  And ventrilo, teamspeak, etc, are all built around use for games.  Personally I just use skype at the moment, though I used teamspeak for years and roger wilco before that.

All said, I actually--despite really hating the idea of loosing nobordered full-screen--do support the unity switch. Pretty much for the reasons ya stated.

Many thanks for the support.  And the nobordered full screen might see a return, you never know.  Either through something unity does, or through some clever windows-specific P/Invoke calls or something like that.  Unity code written on mono is just as capable of PInvoke as our current native .NET stuff is, so we should be able to get the window handle for the game, and potentially even then give it some commands such as losing the border.  But that would really remain to be seen, and certainly no promises at this point.  This might all turn out to be a lot of worry over nothing, regarding this specific feature, either because of windows API call availability or Unity 3 making that a feature, but at the moment this post is detailing what I know.

Thanks, all!
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Offline Shardz

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The migration to Unity sounds pretty cool to me! When you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs...that's just the nature of change really. I'm looking forward to seeing all the new changes over time on this platform to spice things up a bit in some areas. I also do agree that it is initially 'quite a process' at present to install AI War on a fresh new machine. From the start of installing the initial product and requirements, through the addon and updates, all the way to the final updates can be a lengthy process.  Knowing this from the first time I installed the game, the second time I made a rather large sandwich with fries and made an event out of it.  *rimshot*

Anyway, everything sounds undeniably interesting and intriguing to me and I'm on the team for the Big Win. I'm waiting even more patiently for Windows 7 SP1, but that is another forum and debate on its own.  ;D

Offline blackwhitehawk

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Will this raise the system requirements at all?

Offline x4000

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Will this raise the system requirements at all?

Please see my notes above about performance, nothin the original post and about three posts (or so) up. There is some uncertainty around the graphics, but indicarions are positive. And other than that, no. I don't expect to be making any changes to the system requirements, is the goal, but one can never be sure until the game is entirely porter and fully optimized on the new platform.



And Shardz: Thanks for the support!
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Offline Winter Born

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Thunderbirds are go!
Anything that enlarges the potential player base without dumbing down the game is cool with me.

 

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