Optimization and Performance for Mods Discussion

Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good idea to start a discussion on possible ways to optimize our mods and to maintain a high level of performance. I’ve noticed that remastered really starts to bog down in those 4v4 matches (especially with resourcing on high) and figured that, since the engine is still running on a single core, performance and optimization are going to be two key issues to creating any sort of fun mod.

To start with, i’ve noticed that projectiles can cause extreme performance drops when many ships fire at the same time. To offset this, vanilla hw2 default projectile speeds and fade time are very fast. So, it makes sense to keep this in mind for mods to keep missile/projectile speeds quite high, or to at least try to ensure that the gameplay encourages a steady stream of firing instead of alpha strikes.

Would love to hear the thoughts of some of the more veteran modders out here.

I didn’t mod HW2 back in the day because of the PITA factor (Pain In The Ass factor). HW1 was much easier to mod despite its hard limits.

Sins of a Solar Empire suffers from two similar problems. One: Single core CPU usage, and Two: A 2 gig hard coded ram limit (it automatically crashes when the game ram usage hits 2 gigs). When we made the optimization project it opened up a lot of eyes as to how much “waste” was in the game. It was understandable why it was there. We wanted eye candy. However eye candy doesn’t do a damn bit of good if you can’t “see it”, and it eats up your ram, and cpu. A lot of things in sins suffered from both problems. Sins also has a hard limit to how many particles were rendered at once. So in some huge games you will see ships not firing anything at all, or ships not exploding, but just disappearing.

When you have thousands of particles rendering at once, That uses a huge chunk of system resources just in graphics alone. So that would be the first area i would look at optimizing. Especially look at the textures. If the particle in question shows up as no more than a tiny dot in game. For example an Interceptors bullets. You do not need a 1024 res texture to render it.

I dont know about the textures in RE yet. Mainly what resolutions are used for the ships, particles, and map objects. I think it is safe to say that HW-RE uses the full 3.5 gigs of ram that 32 bit will allow you to use for a program. Especially if it can render at 4k.

Next thing i would look at is… Are there any “errors” in any meshes, and particles? For example are the particles using what they are supposed to use as far as textures? Is the particle calling for a texture that doesn’t exist? Are there any typos? Stupid “little things” that the dev’s, or you when making your mod may have missed.

Same can be said about weapons, and stats. Weapon has a range of 7000 when it fades at 6000. I think something like that can cause “problems”. Especially when ships maneuver to fire their weapons at max range. That is just one example of an error.

Basically the word is “Mod Smart”. Bigger does not always mean “better”. You don’t need an 8k resolution texture to represent a “pebble”. You don’t need a 1 million triangle mesh to represent a “paper airplane”. Eye candy is all well, and good, but its useless if it messes up the game.