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Smurf
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« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2013, 10:15:31 PM »

Well I almost found one, reasonable in all regards except cores - but when you put in an i5 for the quad-coriness suddenly you see where the savings are made Smiley
http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Packard_Bell_iMedia_S_1216201.html
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Kyjja
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« Reply #106 on: January 07, 2013, 07:04:11 PM »

Well... are you looking for a desktop or a laptop ? How will you use it ? Games, Video encoding... ?
How much money would you put in this computer ?
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Smurf
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« Reply #107 on: January 07, 2013, 08:44:48 PM »

Well... are you looking for a desktop or a laptop ? How will you use it ? Games, Video encoding... ?
How much money would you put in this computer ?
All those things are variable, depending upon my mood - but what I have done is put together a self build which comes in at £454 including OS and delivery and is pretty kick ass for the cost.  I have a few SATA hard drives to extend the storage so that wasn't an issue.  I dont care that they aren't SATA III because the OS and browsers etc will be on an SSD.

It's capable of true 3D and meets my requirements of 2gb graphics ram, 8gb ram, and quad core - actually a stunning 4.2ghz per core which I was quite surprised about, but given it's AMD I would not be surprised if it's actually nearer 2.8 Tongue.  But the benchmark tests compared it reasonably well to a good i7, and way better on bang per buck.

Kitlist:
AMD Bulldozer FX-4170 4.2GHz Quad Core Processor
2xTranscend Jet Ram 4GB Memory Module PC3-10600 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Motherboard Phenom II AMD Athlon II Socket AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX RAID Gigabit Ethernet (rev. 4.1)
64GB Crucial v4 2.5" Solid State Drive
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 650 (2GB) Graphics Card
Ace 650W BR Black PSU
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit) English International (DVD) OEM
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Quiet (Rev 2)
Samsung 24x Internal DVD Writer
CiT Saturn Midi Tower Case

Now I just need some pliers or a hexdrive for the motherboard mounts... And I think i'll pickup a wireless keyboard and mouse (I hate them, but where its going it'll be more useful with wireless) if I've still got money at the end of the month.

I could have gotten away with an old case, but for £20 the new one looks a lot nicer and as it's going to sit next to my TV in the lounge so I'd rather spend the £20.  Unfortunately my old DVD drive as IDE which is just too old hat now.  With these specs it will probably take over as my main development machine and relegate my laptop to the role it should be in - that of a laptop!

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olly
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« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2013, 09:58:48 PM »

Nice specs, especially for only £454!

Smiley
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and back in Nuln, the ageing Graf Berhardt smiled his secret smile of pride whenever he heard the latest tales of his eldest son's ever growing chain of glorious victories -(sothr manual)
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« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2013, 10:30:49 PM »

aye Smiley I'm quite excited.

I dont much fancy the work of building it but doing so does save a few hundred quid - and yes, for that kind of money I do get out of bed Tongue

What this means is after some build and tinker time and maybe a 3D game of some kind to test it out, I can begin work on the multiplayer! YAY.

I'm taking the night off tonight, I'm coded out, so it's going to be a quiet week - but I should be getting the new art assets tomorrow (it wouldnt be the first missed promise).  I'm really looking forward nervously to seeing the cavalry in the game because I am not sure if they are too big to work as sprites or not.  I'm a bit worried about that, because a large unit of 3D cavalry just isnt going to be possible technically, I would have to commission some low poly versions and that's expensive.

Aside from the yet to arrive art assets, the siege engines (which I must come up with a plan for media-wise) and the hydra, pretty much all of the core work is done although I know i'll be doing a few AI tweaks when I work on the gameplay - which I'll be doing soon.  The hydra also, will be a fair few days work.
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Smurf
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« Reply #110 on: January 11, 2013, 08:54:38 PM »

I just wanted to post an update because I've been quiet for a few days, and that's so not like me!

I did do a bit of tinkering on the archery logic but it's not quite right yet, there's a few glitches in the logic that still need to be resolved.

The distraction has actually been because I have received a lot of art assets.  About 20 or so characters, each built up by components so I can swap their clothing out and mix and match.  I've now completed an importer to assemble them but I am still waiting on some animation data.

Whilst they aren't specifically intended for this project, I will be able to use them to render off a few more sprites.  Specifically some archers and the much awaited cavalry Smiley, plus a few more mages and the like and possibly even a peasant unit.

I need to get them some weapons as I've not got much in my media library that's suitable, but we're very close to getting a complete set of units for the game.

The models are actually intended for a future project which I will start once I have all of the required media (still lots more to go).


* heavyarmour.jpg (49.54 KB. 463x584 - viewed 793 times.)

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olly
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« Reply #111 on: January 15, 2013, 11:56:42 PM »

Can't wait to see the cavalry in the mix

Smiley
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« Reply #112 on: January 22, 2013, 11:10:31 AM »

The last week has been spent mostly playing Assassins Creed III on the new PC and then a bought of quite demoralising illness brought on by the depths of winter, so no progress was made on my part.  The artist has been busy making a sci-fi character for some other project so he hasn't got back to me about the animations either, so all in all a week of no progress.

However I did just try the game out with 3DTV Play, the nVidia solution for making any game into 3D.

Now I don't know if this is just my setup, or if it is a problem with 3DTV Play in general, but I had the same issue in Assassins Creed where the 3DTV Play cannot handle shadows.  It struggles when two shadows overlap, and it gets the intensity of shadows completely wrong, and it utterly breaks the scene.

Aside from that true 3D doesn't add very much to this project, unless you get right down to unit level.  Watching over the heads of my soldiers as a unit of skeleton infantry charged them in true 3D was actually quite breathtaking!

None-the-less, it's not a game mode I am going to focus on in this project, i'll be using it in my next one for sure - infact designing that game for 3D from day 1, but for now I am going to ignore it as it really doesn't do much for the gameplay of this game.

One of the disappointing things I have found is that performance on the new PC hasn't risen very much which suggests I have a thread locking issue, I suspect I am locking something on the main thread which is pausing all the supposedly concurrent code, I shouldn't have - the only time I lock anything is when a mouse button is held down - but the behaviour suggests I've cocked up.

So performance, and archery logic, are things I can be getting on with for now.  At the moment though I have to focus on getting myself better, so progress isn't about to pick back up just yet.
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olly
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« Reply #113 on: January 22, 2013, 02:21:59 PM »

Sad to hear you are suffering but hope you get well soon. I haven't used the Nvidia 3d for many years so can't confirm about shadows etc but would be cool to see it in 3d and agree it's not necessary for this project etc..

Wrap up warm and enjoy Assassins Creed on the new pc and hope you locate the Thread issue.

Smiley

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and back in Nuln, the ageing Graf Berhardt smiled his secret smile of pride whenever he heard the latest tales of his eldest son's ever growing chain of glorious victories -(sothr manual)
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« Reply #114 on: January 22, 2013, 04:38:24 PM »

I had a little tinker in the code, I fixed the archery logic in a couple of minutes but the speed problem is not a thread issue.  What it is is a limitation of the animation system.

Basically the way animation is normally done in 3D is simply a selection of rotations and movements of pivot points and the effected vertices - it isnt much data and so is usually just part of the 3D object.  With sprites, usually you have a sprite sheet and you just view a different window of the sheet.

Because of a side-effect of the sprite shadow system which I got working essentially by hacking, and of packing as much into memory as possible, the way I have done my animations is technically wrong.  I send an entirely new image down the bus every time the animation cell changes - so the limitation on performance is more due to bus speed than anything else. Which is the same on both machines.

In theory the textures should be getting loaded to the video memory on both machines which should speed things up for me but could effect users who dont have as much graphics ram, meaning that performance could be more of an issue for other users than it is for me.  I am wondering if there is a problem with the textures loading in to video ram but I've checked the docs of the 3D engine and everything seems in order.

Basically, performance isnt great - and more specifically, it isnt sufficient.

I cannot help but wonder if I have tackled a few things incorrectly.  The structure isnt quite right for multiplayer (although not far off) and the way the world is built is very inefficient given what the final world has ended up looking like after I had to remove tonnes of stuff.

I think there is some merit to using modeled maps rather than the way I am generating them now and I am still really disappointed about the shaders on the mesh units.

So... I have been thinking about a re-write and I have been thinking about using very low polygon models instead of sprites.

I have also been wondering whether to base the games internal rules logic on OSRIC - I can't get a Warhammer license but for OSRIC I can (A: Because it is an open platform and although some of the licence does not bode well for computer games, however B: I know the author), and this would allow me to essentially make it the AD&D equivalent of Dark Omen.

EDIT: Without shadows the game still runs at 30-40+ fps depending upon the number of units - but shadows are soooo pretty.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 04:46:51 PM by Smurf » Logged

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Darkmancer
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« Reply #115 on: January 25, 2013, 01:17:57 AM »

I'm not sure what sort of game your aiming for but OSRIC seems to be RPG oriented which farely ill suited to large scale combat.

There's a few alternatives to WHFB kicking about but tbh you be better coming up with your own system because at the end of the day real time always plays different to turn based systems.  It's all about what you gameplay to be about.
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« Reply #116 on: January 26, 2013, 12:14:57 AM »

I think my earlier reticence was more the illness talking, I am actually fiddling with the code now for half hour or so before bed - I'm about to attempt to get the soldiers pathing around buildings and other mesh based terrain obstructions.

To my mind the OSRIC is more about flavour than rules, the internals of the system already take a seperate to hit / damage approach - picking stats consistent with OSRIC is no biggy, the internal number base is 120 - which divides neatly into all the dice sizes which is why I chose it.

The fact that OSRIC does not have an official battle rules set is actually an advantage because it gives me some artistic license - although there are some rules by a third party which I may look at.
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« Reply #117 on: January 26, 2013, 01:35:20 PM »

This is stage 1 of getting the units pathing around buildings and other mesh-based terrain obstructions.  I have integrated the mesh data into the ground height algorithm, so currently they fight over roof tops!


* rooftopbattle.jpg (94.32 KB. 1026x601 - viewed 758 times.)


The next step is to integrate the terrain height data as part of the actual movement code and get soldiers to move around the obstructions when they cannot "climb" the area infront of them.

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« Reply #118 on: January 26, 2013, 05:42:26 PM »

Smiley

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and back in Nuln, the ageing Graf Berhardt smiled his secret smile of pride whenever he heard the latest tales of his eldest son's ever growing chain of glorious victories -(sothr manual)
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« Reply #119 on: January 26, 2013, 10:58:51 PM »

Pathing done Smiley

Now, sleep.
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