Friday, 28 February 2014

Back From MWC 2014 - Phew!


As the trip was not strictly Reloaded work, I had to book this one as a holiday so I am listing it as a 'Play' report :)  Did some networking and showing AGK to all and sundry, plus met a lot of very cool dudes and dudettes.  Saw some great tech and had some very techie conversations. Also managed to get up on stage a few times and talk my spiel.  My warmest thanks to Intel for inviting me there and making me feel at home, and it was great to meet my friends from across the waters again, both old and new.

Also visited my countryman at the Wales stand at MWC too, which was great to see!  Got a free glass of wine for my trouble ;)  I also really enjoyed the hotel, despite it's distance from Barcelona. If you want a place that gives you REALLY big measures, this is the place!

In those quiet moments on the plane, or in the airport, or in the 40 minute taxi ride to the MWC event every day, I had time to reflect on WHY OH WHY do I only get a handful of content in the level before it bombs. It did not take long to realize a 5000 polygon building with three LOD levels should not cost 15MB of system memory.  The most the vertices should cost is 800K and the textures 'should' be in video memory, so what on earth could eat SO MUCH system memory when it is clearly not required? This was the burning question I came back with, and I will be writing a very mean prototype this weekend to trace a series of LOAD OBJECT processes with some of the offenders from the FPSC Reloaded Asset Library such as the character and the large buildings.

I now have two solid weeks of Reloaded coding ahead of me, and my mission to reduce memory and increase performance is approaching make or break time. After that, I am off to GDC for a few days to present it to 'die hard FPS players and top game developers' and I am presenting on an Ultrabook (mobile PC) so the challenge is definitely on. To that end, I have given my mid-range graphics card to Simon so he can work on higher quality visuals in the Construction Kit and I have installed a GeForce 9600 GT:

Essentially the card is 5 times slower than the one I have been using, which will give me some first-hand experience of the problem. It also simulates the speed of a mobile PC too so I can craft the best GDC demo in the time available. I plan to put out a few versions to our internal testers during this process and if the results are good, we will look to release something to the Alpha cadence guys to get a taste of the improvements.  If the version is bad, our internal testers will protect you from it :)

Anyway, a LONG day almost done. Now my emails and blogging duties are complete, I think I will sneak off to bed and get a head start on the weekend. I am pleased to see the roof still on, so hopefully we've seen the last of the UK storms for the time being. 


  1. I've been saying this pretty much every time for the last few posts, but.... excellent work, Lee! Indeed, I see no reason a 5000 polygon building would use 15MB- wait, 5000 polygons?! Why on EARTH does a building need 5000 polygons?! Most of the detail should be baked into the textures, not individually modelled with polys. Wait, I have Reloaded now, I get just go open the .X and see where those polys are going! Awesome!

    I'll be back as soon as I have a look at the building models...

  2. 5000plys and 800k worth does seem to be much to high for a single building entity if its just a simple building. Perhaps this includes the LOD versions too which still seems to be very high....unless of course high numbers of polygons and the size in memory/used is of little concern to the engine and the game maker whereby these things can handle unlimited amounts of these things that we don't have to worry about it which is not the case.