1. Perfecting Affinity for Matchmaking

      written by Ray Benefield
      I'm disappointed in you guys. Only a few of you have actually posted in that Timer Centric/Turn Based Juggernaut thread and because of you it is dieing. I guess I can't count on you guys after all. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Looks like I will have to do things my way like I used to fairly soon. For those of you that did post in that thread, I appreciate your help and I hope you help me keep it alive with ideas of your own and possible implementations of the gametype. I cannot keep it bumped myself... I'm not one of those people who will use an alt to keep it alive. So if it dies it dies. And you can be to blame for that. On a side note I just removed 20 people from my friends list. So if you are a regular reader than feel free to send me a friend request. Be sure to also add that you are from RP or else I will probably deny it if I don't recognize your gamertag. Anyways, let's talk about Affinity for a bit.




      How it started


      First I was just going through and doing some minor tweaks. Fixing some crouch jumps, tweaking weapon timers, moving weapons slightly to improve their eye catching from multiple sides, etc. And then I saw that video of Bungie playing it in their studio and it inspired me to push harder. It is time I try to push Affinity into official matchmaking. But to get it into official matchmaking it has to meet a MAJOR requirement that can hold a lot of forgers back. What requirement is that? Well... it is the dreaded curse of splitscreen performance my friends.


      The problem


      So some of you forgers have not yet delved into the world of split screen tweaking. Let me tell you that it is the most difficult thing you will ever do and it may not be possible for some maps. Splitscreen effectively doubles the number of objects being rendered on your map. And that is only two player splitscreen. Three and Four player splitscreen are exponentially more difficult to deal with. As stated your map is being rendered multiple times for how many players there are. This can cause some serious framerate issues. You thought you had framerate issues now just building for one player? Phhh... you haven't experienced that mountainous terrain of splitscreen. Affinity is known pretty well for not having ANY framerate drop period in fullscreen. Mainly because it is sectioned so that you only see certain parts of the map at one time and the map is made of extremely simple pieces to keep rendering low. So render framerate drop is not the issue. The issue is what we call discoing drop. Discoing, from what we have experienced, seems to be caused by number of objects that can potentially be rendered on the screen. Meaning that the object can be blocked by a wall and still count towards disco count. This is a problem.


      The solution


      So how do we fix that. The only real way to do that is use object substitution and simplification to remove objects from the map. So what did I do first? I changed the floor from it's pretty pattern of banks and XXL platforms to coliseum walls. At that point it pretty much made two player splitscreen silky smooth even when trying to maximize the number of objects that both players can see at the same time. Three and four player splitscreen are proving to be more difficult and right now I am experimenting with a new roof as well as a new walling system. Most of the wall was aesthetic anyways... except for the columns which act as nice cover in various places. With some of the latest things I've tried I've increased my budget from $0 to about $4K. That is a HUGE difference. I've still have yet to have a silky smooth three player, but I am close. Four player is going to be the one that kicks me in the teeth. Hopefully I will find a way... hopefully it is not impossible. Community Slayer isn't coming back til April, so I need to get it done a couple of weeks before that. If you see me forging, this is probably what I'm doing and it is probably a good idea to just leave me be unless I invite you. Splitscreen forging is the devil.

      12 comments:

      Dj7291993 said...

      I bumped you, just wasn't sure if it would hurt the rep of you post if it was filled with endless "bump"-ing. I'll try to see if I can get some other people to look at it to get it moved up. As for the discoing, that is good to know. I hadn't even considered that, but it makes sense. Otherwise, as soon as you rounded the corner, you'd hit a loading screen (like in the old days of going through blackness to the next room/section). Anyway, if you need some testing, let me know. I'm trying to finish the structure part of my bridged towers map, but I'd be happy to help, as I know you usually are.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Your help is greatly appreciated DJ and I completely agree with the mindless bumping. As for testing, hopefully I will have something done soon with solid 4 player splitscreen performance. Once I do I will then put it up for everyone to do their own splitscreen performance testing before I fully release it and send it to Fyrewulff updated.

      MythicFritz said...

      Hey. I do what I can. I have a life you know. Occasionally. It just so happened that your request for feedback/thread bumping has fallen on one of those occasions when I have a LOT of life. I still made time for you though. :-*

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol Mythic. I'm just messing with you guys. Regardless, the popularity of the thread is starting to pick up now that I have fully dedicated my skills to the scenario. ;) Now let's all hope that Jeremiah feels that it is worthy enough to submit. Because I have faith that Jeremiah reads every post in the optimatch forum... or atleast every thread's OP.

      MythicFritz said...

      That makes me wonder Godly, do you read everything posted in RP forums, just OPs, or do you get notifications when flagged words are used like Godly, Affinity, Halotactics?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I pretty much read everything, but I only post every once in a while where need be.

      EarlyExecuter said...

      This seems like a really good idea. I never realised framerates would drop so much for splitscreen. Well, considering your doubling the map right? If you ever need another guy helping ya with something let me know, i'll also help you test out your map. I would find it an honor to test a map that will soon be on matchmaking. Good luck man. I'll help you test, just MSG.

      Gnappy said...

      I've come to the conclusion that the design of Seafort will never fly for MM, simply because of framerate. The whole map's design is centered around how narrow and long the layout is, and the long sightlines from the bases out. Kinda bummed me out when I realized, but that just means I need to make a better one. lol

      Splitscreen forging is, in fact some devil, if not The Devil.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      That is only partly true Gnappy. You can still keep a good majority of Seafort's design, but in order to improve framerate you need to definitetly consider sectioning off parts of the map... that is if your framerate issue is related to just straight render drop.

      Noklu said...

      The floor is gone???? awwww

      I guess the framerate god must be obeyed...The floor is sacrificed...

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Sadly yes... however, it seems that it only appeased the two player splitscreen gods... grrr... I'm having a hard time with three and four player. *sigh* looks like I may be done for this round of Affinity modifications. The new version will be tested this weekend and released some time next week.

      Richie Burke said...

      Dying.