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Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 08:07
by Reactions
*tl;dr at the end*

I've been wanting to make this post for a long time, but haven't gotten the time. Shootmania obviously strives to become the next big competitive Shooter. It has spectate mode, a replay function, map/mode making and a competitive game mode. However, there is one big slip, and that's the optimization of the game. Now I do of course know this is just early beta, and things will hopefully change, but I just want to emphasize how important this is.

The stage Shootmania is at now is very important. More and more competitive gamers from different games enter the scene and want to see what the Shootmania hype is all about. What's the first thing they do? They enter a Storm server. And what are they met by? Lag, lag and some more lag. GPU usage rates drop to below 40% in crossfire/SLI setups, and even strong single card setups get below 100 FPS. Devs uses the excuse that the amount of players screws up the game. This is not an excuse. The graphics in Shootmania are not very advanced, and this is a fact. Yes, they're awesome and should for no reason be any better, however, it's badly optimized. If you put everything at low in this game it won't look any more pretty than say Quake or COD4 on low graphics. The maps are simple, and the only real graphic hogs I can think about are the huge amounts of mountains that extend on each side of some maps (however Nadeo might have a clever way to handle this so it doesn't) and the rocket particles (should be possible to make the rockets even simpler if this is the case). Still, it runs far from as smooth as the earlier mentioned games, and this is a much bigger issue than Nadeo thinks it is. Competitive gamers require smooth and high FPS. If someone has a 120 Hz monitor they won't be like, "meh, 60 fps is okay, I don't need anymore because my eyes can't see it anyway". They'll feel the lag, and they won't like the game because it's laggy.

Now, I know the game is a lot smoother in Elite, but even there it's extremely badly optimized. If you want this game to be competitive, you need to optimize this game so hard that everyone and their mothers can play it with smooth FPS. Look at other competitive titles and see what it has ended up like. In COD4, SC2 and Quake as a few examples, almost all competitive gamers run the games at the lowest graphics, and they get tons of FPS from it. If you need to simplify the graphics further for people to be able to run this game at 120+ FPS constant with players on the server, you have to do so (however I figure there must be other options, but I'm not a game dev, so I wouldn't know).

Now, I want to pull forward BF3 as an example. This is a game which has received a lot of hate from most competitive gamers in the world, and this is very reasonable. However, there is one thing Dice has managed to do well, and that's the optimization of the game. It doesn't matter if there's 10 or 64 people on a server, if you have a decent system it'll still run stable at high FPS.

About the issue with crossfire/SLI, at first I thought this was AMD/nVidia's fault, but to me it doesn't seem like it. If you have a dual card system, try creating your own local server. At least for me, and other people I've talked to, this will result in 99% usage on both cards with tons of FPS. However, as fast as a few people joins, the usage will drop more and more, until it's down to around 30-40% for Crossfire systems and even further lower for many people's SLI systems.

Tl;dr: Game needs to be optimized badly. Even bad systems should be able to run this game at decent FPS with lowest graphics if you want it to be competitive. Further important, people with decent systems are getting way too low FPS and this needs to be a high priority, no competitive gamers like playing with lag and people with 120 Hz monitors really need that 120+ FPS to make it feel smooth.

Thanks for reading.

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 08:19
by eyebo
Well written post on an important subject. I hope, for the sake of everyone, those optimizations come.

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 08:24
by chipstalaizah
Big freaking +1

One option might be to look into different DX versions. Just look at the Source engine. No matter what DX version a player decides to use, there's really no significant advantage to neither. Also, Call Of Duty 2 did this as well, giving the player the option of using DX9/DX7. (Granted, this DX9 was extremely bad optimized but hopefully you get my point).

Like you said, the particles should also be looked at. Not only for performance issues, even thought thats the biggest priority, but also for gameplay. Just stand still and fire a rocket, the black smoke is pretty intense and results in poor visibility.

On a side note: Has anyone else noticed a more "sluggish" main menu since the latest Beta 1 update? (The Maniaplanet home + the gametitles thing)

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 08:27
by mistertl
I agree with Reactions at this subject. Good post :thumbsup:

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 09:11
by chrawr
+1, One of the most important posts on the forum so far.

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 09:30
by sedaz
i cant agree more i have a solid system

gtx 460
8gb ram

and i cant get more then 30 fps in a game my cpu usage its is bellow 30 and my game is just horrble
when i play quake or counter-strike quake at 125 fps and cs 100fps stable and i have 120 hz monitor from benq so this is a nightmare atm.....

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 12:06
by Omnixor
biiiig +1.

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 15:12
by BragonHightake
Really good post!
The lag is a shame in SMS.
More than 20 players=lag
Big map= lag
Nadeo/Ubi are you satisfied with this "multyplayer"?

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 18:04
by MichaelMaulwurf

I've found myself playing more QL than SM the last days, simply because QL is the smoother experience. Should be Nadeo's no 1 priority!

Re: Optimization

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 19:44
by AuriOk
i hate those laggs! i give my account to a friend! he just bought a pc for 4000 bucks! maybe he can play at 100 fps!