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 Post subject: Gold mode info
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2002 2:01 pm
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Location: Switzerland
:?: What is the meaning of the figures labeled
as 256x256 64x64 and 32x32 in Gold mode /slew/Z ?
These numbers increase up to a certain level when slewing around, then remain there. I suppose they relate to textures (32x32?) but saw no obvious relation with the number of textures of the track I looked at.

Couldn't find the info in the Gold Mode reference page
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Corridor/9018/gold.htm

Thanks in advance


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 7:17 am 
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They do relate to textures, and I think they reflect the total number of textures in use by the game engine, on terrain, trucks, models or even effects (which would account for 32x32).

You might see something like: 256 = 60 of 64

I think this means a maximum of 64 256x256 textures can be loaded at once. I've witnessed this number reach maximum, then lower a bit when things had passed out of range, then build up again -- while recently beta testing a certain epic track that used tons of textures. On a relatively efficient track I imagine these numbers wouldn't change much. These numbers do not appear to be useful, but may have served a purpose when the game engine was in development.

A better link: http://mtm2.com/~trackville/gold.htm ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:57 am 
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Wint wrote:
I think this means a maximum of 64 256x256 textures can be loaded at once.


On that note, I made a test track containing 64 different 256x256 textures in close proximity, to see what would happen. Chug!

<a href=http://mtm2.com/~trackville/tracks/64max.zip>
<img src=http://mtm2.com/~trackville/tracks/64max.jpg></a>

Click the pic to download the podzipped track (requires the <a href=http://cownap.com/~mtmg/podini.html>stock pods</a>). The textures are arranged in blocks of 16, and if you are using the full viewing distance you can see them all in view at once as you move forward. With computer trucks in the game as well you will quickly have more than 64 large textures on screen at once. Everything at once takes my framerate to near zero, I also see textures on the terrain spontaneously changing as the game engine deals with the strain, I also noticed the Z-mode numeric values constantly changing.

The game will obviously display more than 64 at once, though the z-mode count can't keep up and the game becomes completely unusable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2002 2:01 pm
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Location: Switzerland
Excellent Wint

Driving backwards from the end to discover more and more textures, I have a solid 120 fps (would be more without vsync on) until it suddenly drops to 4. This happens when about 56 textures of the groups are visible (plus some for backdrop, main terrain and truck).

I still don't know the meaning of the figures displayed in the style
256x256: 60 of 64
In the critical situation described, it counts endlessly modulo 64. When leaving th critical area, the count stays where it was.

This demonstrates that the games engine can only display a limited amount of textures at a time, regardless of the capacity of the 3D accelerator.

Next experience I will try is whether the engine can handle more than 64 textures if they are not displayed at the same time and the new textures gradually become visible
(Couldn't edit your example as easily as I hoped in traxx because of the missing textures [memo] )
But maybe you already know the answer?

Your avatar is excellent as well :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:38 pm 
Glow Ball
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> 256x256: 60 of 64
> When leaving the critical area, the count stays where it was.

Which might imply textures are not dumped unless something forces them out (that is, more textures), or the race ends.


> This demonstrates that the games engine can only display a limited amount of textures at a time, regardless of the capacity of the 3D accelerator.

That would make sense too... Once you reach a certain hardware point, game performance does not improve.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2002 2:01 pm
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Quote:
Which might imply textures are not dumped unless something forces them out (that is, more textures)


Yes, I'm pretty sure about that: at some portions of the track I'm working on (which uses less than 50 large textures) some lag can be noticed the first time and only the first time you drive there.

Still don't know how to solve this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:58 pm 
Glow Ball
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> some lag can be noticed the first time and only the first time you drive there.

Right. When the race begins, they are not in viewing range so they're not loaded in memory. As you approach, they're needed so the game loads the in - which can cause the chug. Once in, they stay there (unless the memory is needed and they get pushed back out) so they don't have to be reloaded, and hence, no chug.

Something to think about. Eight ground boxes at the start line, below the terrain and out of sight, with one texture painted on each face (8x6=48 textures). This would ensure the textures get loaded before the race begins. At least in theory, it's an idea. Might be worth trying.


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