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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: 72707 | Comments: 25

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Total Comments: 25
  1. Old Comment
    Zulnex's Avatar
    Excellent work Rudd. Thank you very much.
    Posted 2011-04-13 at 23:53 by Zulnex Zulnex is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Ive also had to remove the Pavement statics from baghdad, it caused major memory buffer issues.

    Glad to see they have been removed from Burning sands.... now all they need to be removed from is falljuah.

    Can someone make us some nicer pavings???
    Posted 2011-04-14 at 14:55 by dunem666 dunem666 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I used to avoid Burning Sands but now it's one of my favourite maps.Great work!
    Posted 2011-05-20 at 10:37 by agent47 agent47 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Zulnex's Avatar
    I love it as well.
    Posted 2011-07-05 at 00:18 by Zulnex Zulnex is offline
  5. Old Comment
    DesmoLocke's Avatar
    The latest iteration is great too.
    Posted 2013-08-13 at 08:50 by DesmoLocke DesmoLocke is offline

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