Developer Diary 10 – Performance

Nice, eh? Since this is now in proper 3D, you can zoom and rotate the map as you like.

I assure you we’re open! — Dante Hicks

It’s been a few months since the last diary entry, so frankly you’d be excused to think we’ve all gone AWOL or something. BUT! – we were in fact cheerfully working on various low level systems, and actually managed to get a lot of work done. The screenshots below show you approximately where we are with the rendering engine, that is, almost everything works now.

I was happy enough to load the game onto a laptop and start showing it, somewhat gingerly, to other developers at the Reboot Develop conference last week in Dubrovnik. We got a lot of positive feedback, which may or may not be down to devs being a supportive bunch and all. It did feel good to have a working game again.

Since we were showing the game on a proper gaming laptop (cheers to Admir from Croteam for providing it), this was a chance to compare laptop performance to our desktops (both the laptop and the desktops are running the game at about HD resolution).

Desktop

Our desktop machines have either Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent ATI cards (well, slightly slower but thereabouts). The game renders at 150-250 FPS, and currently it looks like it will never be able to tax this class of GPU to the fullest.

We are looking at some optional effects, but basically this is just because we can, not because it’s necessary, or a priority.

Laptop

This laptop had a Nvidia GTX 960M card, which was able to render the game at 66-110 FPS. Despite a substantially weaker GPU, the game was running just fine. We then tried turning off the 960M, and running the game on the integrated Intel HD 530, but that gave us only about 20 FPS.

There are quite a few optimization options still on the table, so I am hopeful that integrated graphics will end up as a fully supported option. A low-cost mobile GPU like the 960M is a sure thing on the other hand, though even that will benefit from optimizations – less work for the GPU means longer battery life.

As usual, feel free to comment or ask questions below.

Cheers,

Tomislav

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21 Responses to Developer Diary 10 – Performance

  1. MacUser says:

    When you do the Mac port make sure that it works with Nvidia cards (personally, I Run on a GTX 780M).

    Any chances to see the War in Poland in 1939?

  2. Stian says:

    Wow, those screens look amazing! I never really got into UoC but this is definitely on the wish-list.

    Just wondering, if there will be an overhead simplified strategic view that allows you to see more of the theather at a glance? I often find with 3D maps, as nice as they are, lack the big picture view of things.

  3. tom says:

    @Stian: you can zoom out quite a bit more than what is shown in the screenshot. The limiting factor is that, at some point, the units become way too small to be useful.

    @MacUser: there won’t be a scenario for Poland ’39 in the game itself, but I hope eventually in the DLCs – yes.

  4. Stian says:

    Hey Tom thanks for the reply 🙂

    That’s basically why I think it might be a good idea to have a top-down possibly “strategic map” with more abstracted units, counters or the like?

  5. mgdriver says:

    Looks great! But you left out one little detail I’m sure everyone is looking for–tentative release date?

  6. Gryphonrider says:

    Any chance I can participate in beta-testing?

  7. tom says:

    @Stian: there are already units represented with icons on the campaign map (this will also be a topic here on the blog). I don’t think there’s a need for another, “intermediate” map – on my monitor I can zoom out to view all of Sicily, *and* Italy up to Naples and it’s still playable.

  8. tom says:

    Regarding release dates, no promises. The development is continuing full gas though. I do promise to post more often!

    @gryphonrider: once we’re ready to start testing, we will probably call for testers on our mailing list and here on the blog. You should be safe following one or the other.

  9. Luke Hughes says:

    Still using Python/pygame and SDL (2?)?

  10. tom says:

    @Luke: yeah, python 3 + pySDL2 + OpenGL

  11. HappyDaze says:

    “It’s been a few months since the last diary entry….” Seven in fact. I’d call that quite a few months in view of the average attention span of gamers. 😉

    Seriously, it’s good to have you back. Re MacUser’s post, I am also on a Mac with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M card and no option to change. I am not an FPS fanatic, so anything over 30 FPS is fine by me as long as the picture looks good. I don’t usually have any problems even running Combat Mission.

    HappyDaze

  12. nikdav says:

    Hi Tom, very interesting shots, but i note the fw190 in the first shot. How work air war in this new engine?

  13. tom says:

    @Happy: you’re of course right regarding attention spans. But what do… low level stuff just takes time to do properly.

    @nik: good spotting! We will be testing a new patrol-like mechanic for fighters, in addition to existing ground-support bomber missions (those missions are only enhanced by airfields, to pin down their range). If the new mechanics are as exciting as they look on paper, the air war is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

    Thanks for dropping by folks 🙂

  14. John McMenamin says:

    Can we per order to be able to participate in beta-testing?

  15. tom says:

    @John: we don’t have a “pre-order” set up, no

    Once we do send a call for testers though, feel free to remind us of this comment thread – we’ll be sure to include you 😀

  16. Boyan says:

    Putting myself down with an enormously important comment to increase chances of Beta eligibility! Big fan of UOC, as well as experienced with other wargame tabletops.

    Can we hope for a 2017 release by any chance?

  17. HappyDaze says:

    Boyan said: “Can we hope for a 2017 release by any chance?”

    Ditto on that. I don’t mean to pin you down to a date, as that would not be possible given the unpredictability of software development. Something unforeseen crops up that has to be dealt with, usually laboriously, or someone on the team gets a great idea that “simply must go in”. But if you indicate which season of the year might be the most likely at the moment, that would help to keep the hounds at bay.

    Happy

  18. conboy323 says:

    Tom, how do we get on the UoC mailing list – especially for beta testers? Good luck with all this, we await your new product eagerly!

  19. Holy.Death says:

    I am late to the party, but it’s better to be late than never.

    It looks good visually, however, will there be an option to show the hex grid for more precise movement-making?

    Will there be “enemy-owned territory” shown on the map, like in “Unity of Command 1”? I really liked the visual aspect of it and how it all changed with movement, without obscuring the actual map.

  20. tom says:

    Guys – it’s hard to accurately predict anything while we’re still working on systems. Just as an example: we are currently in our second week of simply making sure the game can handle the enormous amounts of data needed for the big map (not the smaller test map used for these screenshots). The big map is BIG: quarter of a million hexes (give or take), everything between Iceland and Saudi Arabia.

    Once we start putting the actual campaign on board, it’s much easier to plan: scenario design is much more predictable. Maybe I commit to something then.

    @Holy: hex grid will be available, absolutely. Territory on the enemy side is mostly covered in FoW. You can see the FoW already in our Dev Diary 8. Note that, graphically, FoW design isn’t final, and so it might indeed end up in “enemy faction” color. It’s a question of color coordination more than anything else – the colors will probably evolve until very late in the project.

    Cheers!

  21. HappyDaze says:

    “The big map is BIG: quarter of a million hexes (give or take), everything between Iceland and Saudi Arabia.”

    Yike! I sure hope you guys haven’t bitten off more than you (and my computer) can chew. Sincerely, good luck with all that.

    Happy

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