I'm trying to be a bit thorough on my point on a couple subjects that are often misunderstood, sorry for the wall of text.
Sadly high levels of fidelity always come at a cost and the art requirements are high so we've been working to find efficiencies and ways to do more with less but ultimately I think the fans will thank us for not holding back and really aiming to ensure we're making the best quality MechWarrior game we can that will look and play great for years to come.
For those that think I want to lean back in my seat and look at the pretty pictures on the screen, let me get this out of the way, game play is more important than graphics. k? k.
Visuals really do help build immersion, helps suspend disbelief when there is more realism in the scene.
Many of you have the HW you already need for this game, I'm just wondering how/if it will be utilized.
Even if they had the talented artists and development resources to produce high level of fidelity,
graphical art tricks aside, HW limits do pose an issue, especially 32 bit. I can't believe I have been asking on this subject for like 5 years now, but progress really slowed on building bigger games on PC since their is no 64 bit console, yet.
I'm curious how well 64 bit and multithreading will be utilized and supported and I thought others may be as well. I'm not sure these things have been touched on by the devs yet.
This isn't a HW requirements thread, those have not been announced yet.
This maybe something to later post on "ask the devs", but I wanted to put it up for general chat.
First off, I better preemptively mention I am well versed in those subjects and already know that CryEngine 3 has native "support" for 64 bit and multithreading. I'm questioning the utilization of these aspects. Buzz words alone isn't what I am after.
It's the year 2012 and even though consoles have slowed the progress of leveraging PC hardware over the years, I thought this game is in a proper position to do so without causing people issues with performance or their wallets, just by utilizing most of their HW in their computers that goes underutilized. Utilizing these realities well in development can allow for bigger maps, more and better quality game assets, more mechs. Additions without a performance hit by utilize the potential better.
it's too late in the development of the game to make any big changes here, except for adding a 64 bit runtime someday, but I'm curious on the current state and goals.
Most gamers by a landslide have decent enough computers to support these realities today, the question I'm wondering is if the devs are making good use of the potential. Steam does a hardware survey that polls everyone, casual and non-casual players alike. STEAM has a nice cross section of games in it's library now so the survey by no means targets high end gamers. These figures are valid enough for this exercise.
Some current statistics as of May, 2012:
7% of computers have 1 CPU core.
50% of computers have 2 CPU cores.
38% of computers have an additional 2 cores, making 4 CPU cores.
93% of total of computers have more than 1 CPU core.
64 bit vs 32 bit:
6% of computers are using Windows Vista 64 bit.
54% of computers are using Windows 7 64 bit.
34% total of computers comprises the 32 bit users, one third is not using 64 bit, unfortunately.
Over 50% of players have over 4GB of System RAM.
With much unused when developers don't leverage 64 bit.
Being 2012, so many people having multi core cpu's now, we can really leverage it more. I am really hoping that the devs take full advantage of pushing the threading boundaries, not just skimming over the engine but being willing to tweak areas as needed, really digging into tools like IntelGPA, NVperf, etc.
The way I see it, regardless of actual number of overall working threads you'll have it always comes down to the main threads, with 2 cores being such a standard these days I'd like to see 2 threads required on more heavily for the majority workload. Not sure how much you guys can do with tweaking the threading in the engine though, or would want to. AI and physics don't appear to be too heavily used and that should be saving some cycles, so outside of the main render thread, what are you guys pushing and what will the next most expensive thread be and why?
I imagine it still may be physics or AI, if so, can you expound?
Before anyone misunderstands, I am not suggesting doing away with 32 bit by requiring 64 bit. Although I have spent years trying to help people understand why 64 bit is necessary for us to advance to have bigger/fuller game worlds, that time is past and that's another subject.
While I know that multithreading and 64 bit is supported in the engine, I am just curious if we are still basically working within 32 bit boundaries, even if a 64 bit runtime ships, and if they are doing any thread utilization tweaking in the engine on their own.
I'm wondering if the devs be utilizing 64 bit in any tangible way beyond just providing a 64 bit runtime, are they even providing just the runtime (is all their code 64 bit safe).
The 64 bit runtime should be provided even if the game does nothing else tangible, because those with large monitors using high AA, or triple monitors, will likely run out of application memory and CTD. Unless you guys are really shooting low.
Will their be any actual benefit, like additional assets (like 2048 textures at least) that allow us to surpass the usual 2GB virtual address space. Will there be any tangible benefit in the game, outside of just some OS benefits.
It would be sad if there are so many 64 bit users that are waiting for someone to do something with it and we are still stuck in 32 bit thinking.
I'm pretty sure PGI can just not push boundaries here too much, and they would be just fine, it's just a shame though. It's 2012 and it would be a missed opportunity not to utilize the HW from a few years ago as the baseline. It will look especially so with the console refresh around the corner when things finally ramp up and 64 bit and many cores is common place. At least I shouldn't have to wait too much longer for games to start really leveraging the HW we have had for years.
Obviously with graphics cards coming with 1.5GB, 2GB RAM and above, it would be nice to be able to utilize the otherwise untouched silicon. User application space rears it's head and throws up obvious limits. Realistically, having 1GB to 1.5GB of texture memory is where we can be on a healthy PC title on a large monitor(1900+) maxed out.
Being this isn't a console port, I am hoping these aspects can be leveraged a bit more for this title in really focusing on leveraging the several year old PC HW. The benefit is being able to have a lot more happening in game, by using the unused CPU cycles and memory. We should atleast hope for a 64 bit runtime just to avoid memory issues and CTD's, even if they don't leverage the benefits in the game. Any PGI engineers up to comment ?
Edited by MadBoris, 02 June 2012 - 02:19 PM.