Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thursday Super Tired

A Pile Of Emails and Plenty Of Zzzz's

I set off this morning at 8:30AM and did not get back until after 5PM, driving both ways and utterly drained. The mission was a new pair of glasses for my continued coding, and of course they will not now be ready until November so back to square one almost.

I started going through emails but suddenly found my head loll right into the keyboard while reading and responding to emails.  I have dealt with the urgent ones, and look mournfully at the 14 remaining ones. Fortunately all juicy FPSC emails, but each one requiring some effort that does not directly contribute towards performance profiling.

Profiling Tool

I also had a recommendation from an alpha tester for a piece of software that compares your graphics card with every other published graphics card in the market and it's quite an eye opener where you find yourself sitting in the grand scheme of things.

I am curious where you guys and gals sit amongst the grand scheme of things, and if anyone would like to share a screen grab of a card they feel should be able to run Reloaded, comment a link here so I can see. The software is called PerformanceTest 8.0 from PassMark:

I am running a GTX 650 Ti Boost, which I consider a middle of the road card capable of running Reloaded once the performance tuning has been done. You can use this litmus test to see if your card is anywhere near this benchmark so you know how your system compares to the one used to develop Reloaded.

Signing Off

I am posting this blog a little early (and short) just in case I fall asleep at the keyboard and miss Thursday's posting.  I will continue chasing engine speed for as long as I can, and hopefully report some more improvements at the weekend. I am still quite happy that all my attention will be on the GPU activities as I have a bit of experience in this area and have a few ideas already.

Alpha Tester Sneak Peek

As you may know we have a few alpha testers producing screen shots in top secret to see what can be created with the early version of the software, and I received a few of them in the inbox, one of which I could not resist but show.

Notice the attention to detail in the mountain sculpture, and the stepping effect. All my mountains so far have been smooth blobby hills, and this shot from Mr H. really showed me what could be done with a little care and patience with the sculpting tool. All the more impressive as we have not finished adding all the sculpting brush modes yet!  Nice work dude.


  1. That's a gorgeous screenshot there.

  2. :O

    My heart stopped when I saw that screenshot. Gosh, I feel so honoured.

    Well, okay. That performance test was very trippy (I think you need an epilepsy warning on that), but here are my results:

    I should point out, that I don't regard your card, or even my own as "mid range". I think that thinking is just so over-expectational it annoys me. I'd say they are bordering on mid/high end graphics cards.

  3. @Lee
    That makes me curious if reloaded is starting to head the way of fpsc x10

    remember it is not always good for a product if it cant be run by the mainstream
    especially since not evryone that plays PC Games is using a Gamer PC/ Laptop

    However since only invited ppl are pre-testing the latest Reloaded Developement Version - it is hard to say how compatible it will be but there are still some days
    to go until the rest of the pledge-world gets their hands at it.

    1. I totally agree with everything you say, Mio. Reloaded will be no good if most people can't use the thing.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I partially agree. But on the other hand no one develops new software for old computers. Everything is moving forward. What is high end today is mid range in 6 months.
      I also believe that many of the Reloaded users are gamers, and then they probably have hardware up to date.

  4. That's a really excellent screenshot. Finally shows us that Reloaded can indeed create _actually_ professional-looking landscapes :) The skybox and fog levels are perfect.

    Ok, so after I did the "Are you epileptic?" test, this is my score:

    I have an nVidia GTS250, which is low-mid. It plays all modern games on low to mid settings well. Your GTX680Ti is not mid-range, it might only be mid-high but in my book it's just plain high-end.

  5. Wow jaw dropping screens great landscaping! FYI here is my CPU Info thanks gameman87. My is near high end almost.

  6. My 3D Graphics Mark result is 4451

  7. I would still love to see some erosion features and ways to create overhangs and very steep cliffs... and conditional texturing (like a certain texture is only applied above certain heights, or on certain degrees of slopes) but that's a way off, at any rate that screen looks exceptionally good.

    Now for the embarassing part... there's the result from my GT635M, although for some reason it depresses the result purely because my laptop doesn't have a 1920x1080 screen, which seems a bit harsh.

    1. First and foremost, for me, is extra texture support. Only having access to two (+1 where you have to endue grass entities too.) was a very frustrating experience.

    2. I didn't realise you only had two...

      Well in that case, yes that needs to come in first.

    3. To create overhangs and very steep cliffs, you would need to use voxel terrains. However, as I'm in the process of making a voxel terrain plugin for DBPro right now, maybe we might convince Lee to put replace Blitz with my plugin. Maybe.

      I agree that we need an erosion brush (and even automated full-terrain erosion). That would be very useful.

    this is my machines score for you lee m8, not the bests but if I can run the software I would say any1 could lol...

    all the best for this final week have fun stay safe
    hood almighty

  9. Much the same as ever, Reloaded will rely on and expect people to have the best possible hardware to run it as best it possibly can be run, and in order to make up for low levels of core efficiency and game play performance levels.

    Its effectively based on old technology so system requirements will need to be very high to get the best possible from it much the same as X10 and Classic Yes.

    What else would you have expected.

    The base technologies and underlying core was chosen and decided upon a long while back and people had a chance to comment and consider this before the development went ahead and many people, perhaps the majority did not support an attempt to move to something more advanced and powerful to base the core software technologies upon.

    Now everyone has to live with that into the future.


    1. If I read that right, I think that's unacceptable. Completely

      Disregarding the requirement of a very, very good card just to use the software on the basis that the technology is old is just not fair. There is opportunity to improve that old technology without Lee simply putting his hands up and declaring that reloaded needs state of the art computers.

      Additionally, I don't believe there was a chance to talk about and influence the underlying technology at all. If I recall correctly, those decisions were just handed to us, and a lot of people spoke of this disapproval of the "upgrade" mentality as opposed to a brand new engine. (This decision was made on time and money and resources, and it's a fair decision, to be quite honest.)

      I don't see any reason why Lee cant work on upgrading elements of the engine to become efficient and require less resources. I believe he is completely able to do such a thing and I would expect it if reloaded is to perform well in the market.

      This is a key thing, and unless reloaded can deliver acceptable performance for both the creator and the player (most importantly.) then there is little point in continuing with the product because it will be time and money wasted.

    2. totally agree but hope is still there
      and @uman
      you do realize by saying that, that it comes close to a legshot directed at Reloaded itself

      I feel this alpha test is moving towards
      PR - Catastrophy

      it probably would have been better to keep the testing quiet
      as now
      what needs to be done
      is to proof that Reloaded is able to run
      on casual/ middleware good enough
      because that is what most gamers have - believe it or not
      you cant just defend Reloaded performance with arguments like uman did

    3. @uman:

      "What else would you have expected."

      I would have expected Lee to work on upgrading said old technology so it was no longer old. That's what you do when you upgrade old software.

      The fact that code is old is no excuse. If it's too slow, it's too slow and needs to be updated/fixed.

  10. My screenshot is not much different from what Lee posted therefore I am assuming that I should be AOK?

    1. I'd wanna hope so! If a card like Lee's can't run it, we're doomed.

    2. Indeed, especially when he thinks its mid range! :S

  11. Here's where I'm at in the grand scheme of things. If you use the following link you will see by the image that I'm on the low end, however, it runs FPSC really well and I'm pleased with that. Bond1 recommended to me when I was looking for a graphics card to get the GTX 680 but I just couldn't see paying that much at my age.

    Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium Edition Service Pack 1 build 7601 (64-bit)

    Passmark Rating 1,679
    CPU Mark 4,960
    2D Graphics Mark 518
    3D Graphics Mark 830
    Memory Mark 1,332
    Disk Mark 625

    CPU Type Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz
    CPU Measured Speed 2.66 GHz
    Motherboard 0X501H
    Memory 8GB
    Video Card Tested GeForce GTS 240
    Hard Drive Tested Seagate ST1000NM0011 (1 TB)

    1. Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with a card in that range. Mine's a GTS 250.

  12. Who on earth has suggested I am defending slow engine and product efficiency and performance? The very opposite in the case and is well known both by users and TGC.

    I am afraid you have not been following or understanding any of my posts and consistent comments including those here and elsewhere which is one and only one reason that Performance is now on the top of the list right now.


  13. Everybody also bear in mind its a little to do with your other system parts as well. If you have a £200 card, but 3 Full-HD displays its not going to run as good as a £90 on a 600 x 800 display... Same as SSD vs HDD, etc.

    We could all argue the definition of high end cards, and midrange etc, but there will always be enough un-affordable (Really Really high end) gpu's to tip and old high end cards (older than about 3 - 4 years) down into the mid range scale. Thats how tech goes.

    I can be painful, especially when you put quite a bit into upgrades. I used to measure if it was mid range and high end by GTA IV performance on mid to high settings - it gave me a better way to compare cards than numbers, in a way. Doesn't work so well across multiple products though e.g.: It plays Mafia II, it must therefore play GTA IV, and therefore Reloaded at max fps. Different products will optimise in different ways.

    I'm just going to leave it to Lee to do his best (as always) in terms of optimisation, and accept my integrated Intel HD 3000 needs an upgrade!

    Some of us may be disappointed with framerate, but remember, FPSC-R is a much higher quality product with better graphics. Rockstar wouldn't go back to GTAIII era graphics to maintain backwards compatibility.

    1. Sorry everyone if you knew all that already - it always looks longer on screen than it does in the typing box...

      I'm starting to rival evan Uman's post length... :-)

    2. Woh, you have an Intel HD3000?? Talk about pathetic.... ;) I wouldn't expect any game to run on an Intel card.

      "I'm starting to rival evan Uman's post length... :-)"

      Haha you're not there yet :P

  14. Currently I has a integrated Intel HD3000 graphic card (it´s a joke) - but wating for my Asus GTX 760 any day know! :-D

    1. I'm on a bootcamped mac mini, so I have the HD 3000, without possibility of upgrade! Haha, even throwing 16GB of RAM at the system didn't help...

      And before anyone starts going "there's no way your system can use 16GB RAM", running fcp in OS_X will expand to use 14GB for HD editing :p )

      But yeah, upgrade time :)

  15. Running on a GTX 660 Ti 3Gb version


  16. well I was looking at gc's today top end I found was £3300 which would be awesome I guess, but that's way out my price range lol... if what uman was saying about needing top end to run the software then there is something wrong...very wrong with that idea.
    I can push about £150 into an upgraded gc but which 1?!! thats the question...

    have fun stay safe

    1. Yeah, I think everyones Idea of top-end is a bit out. I don't think Uman meant you'd need a £3300 card, thats more elite than top end...In the scale we are looking at.

      I would imagine (Don't quote me though...) that a new £150 card could run reloaded at max fps.

      My problem when upgrading is picking which one though, so much out there!

  17. yeah I hear ya, which 1 indeed.. and yeah your probably right about the £3300 gc being elite (or legendary) or whatever and uman probably ment something abit more affordable tbh

  18. Hey there,

    I just ran all the tests. The app says 4788 points.

    I'm running this system:

    Intel Core i7 2600K (OC to 4Ghz base freq)
    2x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (CL10)
    EVGA GTX 680 2GB (No OC)
    Samsung 830 128GB

    As I didn't become an alpha tester, I cannot test the engine's performance on my PC, but I'm sure, Lee will work it out pretty well and get it to behave like it should. :)


  19. My screenshot is not that good :) But ok... I think i can run Reloaded...

  20. @Lee, here are my 2D and 3D results, not all shown on 2D as more results shown than I could capture in 1920x1200.

  21. Hello Lee, my 3d mark result is 1619, sorry no pic..

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Here are my benchmarks (summary and video card 3d):

    I am running a Toshiba Qosmio x505 laptop with a core i7 and a GeForce GTS 360M


  24. Here is my result. I have GTX 460:

  25. Here´s my benchmark, running on my new Asus GTX 760 OC 2 GB :)

  26. Here's my results (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670)

    ScreenShot :

    Good Work Lee !