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14 Jul 2024, 00:00:00 (PRT)

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Burning Sands - A journey of learning and optimisation
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Posted 2011-04-06 at 22:36 by Rudd

Hi all, thought I'd let you know about what I've been working on aside from helping community mappers and messing with maps currently in the build.

Burning Sands unfortunately had alot of issues that didn't crop up during testing, however thanks to both friends and fellow gamers I've had a large number of reports identifying the problems.

Burning Sands suffered from:

[B]Memory CTDs[/B]

- Too many lightmap files
- Too many textures/texture pallets being loaded for objects
[URL=""]- Problem statics[/URL]

[B]Performance issues especially in the city[/B]

- Too may enterable buildings or high poly buildings close together
- Memory taken up in loading the map in the first place

Other bugs e.g. Combat areas in layer 64 had become messed up.

I'm confident this is all fixed and will be released with the next release, which will be done when its done. :D



She's still big and pretty despite my optimisations.

Heres a list of some the changes

Removed pavements (that was about 2000 objects, all had been lightmapped, so thats over 2000 textures not loaded, huzzah!)
Removed problem statics e.g. iraqi low apartments.
Optimised Lightmaps in both resolution and in selection of objects (was [B]55 [/B]atlases, now only 15!
Optimised terrain Lightmaps by decreasing resolution of FINAL LMs to 50% (note this achieves better quality and avoids offsetting colormaps than simply LMing on medium)
Replaced alot of enterable buildings with non-enterables/more optimised versions. This might sound bad to some people, but honestly I think spreading out the enterables will be good for both performance and gameplay. (muttrah being a prime example of this)
Removed a good number of destructable objects
created several more open spaces in the city (both for gamplay and FPS)
Removed alot of rocks (LOD issues)
Removed alot of mid east village statics
Lowered VD by 50m

These changes mean that alot more RAM is freed up during loading than before and also the FPS will be higher since theres fewer polys to render in the city, without sacrificing gameplay.

Also, for those of you who played the last public beta test - I've fixed the CTD on low terrain bug :) HUZZAH!

Gamplay changes

Asset and balance tweaks
Now all assets spawn in main base even at the start, exception is two MEC vehicles in the military base. This will prevent confusion.
AASv4 implemented

For you budding young mappers out there, remember all because it runs at 100FPS on your computer on local doesn't mean it'll behave like that on a public server. Optimisation is key!

Never use 3 objects where one will do, never use 3 kinds of objects when one kind will do.
Space out your enterables
Be selective with your lightmaps

I hope you enjoyed this humble blog, and I hope it reaffirms your belief that optimisation and fixing problems is at the fore of our minds.

Live Long and Prosper
Updated 2011-04-06 at 23:35 by Rudd
Views: 72847 | Comments: 25

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Total Comments: 25
  1. Old Comment
    nice fixes lookin forward to playin the new version
    Posted 2011-04-06 at 23:29 by theflidgeface theflidgeface is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Shovel's Avatar
    Looks awesome! Can we has minimap?
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 00:00 by Shovel Shovel is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Aww man, you removed the sidewalks? That gave the city a unique look in PR, really sad to see that go... Will it still be bright like the current version (a good thing IMO, looks really nice) or did the lighting get darker? Looking at those screens the city looks darker than before. Maybe an idea for a skirmish version, focusing on the building complex that's most to the West of the MEC's Munition Storage Bunkers, that complex could provide some very interesting firefights. Good thing in optimising it for people though, looking forward to having this map being overplayed Weirdly enough, so many people crash and lag on this map, for me it's one of the smoothest-running maps in PR, I've never crashed or had noticeable FPS drop (yes, playing online with 62 players, in the city, flying, in the desert), and yet in Fallujah which is so much smaller I get FPS drops often.
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 01:50 by Stealthgato Stealthgato is offline
    Updated 2011-04-13 at 23:32 by Stealthgato
  4. Old Comment
    Snazz's Avatar
    Could the sidewalks/pavement be optimized for future use?
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 02:47 by Snazz Snazz is offline
  5. Old Comment
    BIGsmalll's Avatar
    You forgot something at the end of this awesome fix...

    Posted 2011-04-07 at 04:01 by BIGsmalll BIGsmalll is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Nice to see this getting optimised. I didnt have problems, but more people like me, the merrier!
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 04:46 by Arnoldio Arnoldio is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Curry's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Stealthgato View Comment
    Maybe an idea for a skirmish version, focusing on the building complex in the North-West corner of the MEC's Munition Storage Bunkers, that complex could provide some very interesting firefights.
    +1. Or just a alternate layout for skirmish.

    Will there be another public test, like last time on PRTA?
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 05:12 by Curry Curry is offline
  8. Old Comment
    hmmm two apaches and havocs should be very interesting
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 06:56 by hobbnob hobbnob is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Nice Rudd, the city looks absolutely amazing, so much detail in it, you've obviously been working hard... Well done
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 10:55 by Cpl.Small Cpl.Small is offline
  10. Old Comment
    good job broo.

    looks splendid.
    Posted 2011-04-07 at 12:52 by Psyko Psyko is offline

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