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View Full Version : Results of Scorched Earth Beta Test (9-27-03)



XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 04:05 PM
S! All!

We ended up having company last night and I got off to a late start.

The first mission was a whopper - lots of airplanes, most of which were 'AI only' types. Consequently the mission was a bit choppy on all but the most powerful systems. After running it, I ran into problems with the newest version of the DCS, which runs just fine on my laptop but does not run properly on other computers. Consequently I had to run the DCS on my laptop. I then ran into a few minor code issues when I tried to build the first mission, but I fixed those and made a new mission.

The second mission ran just great. Attrition rates had been pretty high in the first mission. There were still a lot of planes in the second mission, but the number had dropped enough that frame rates were smooth. Nobody locked up. The mission ran just great and was a lot of fun!

I had to run the DCS after mission two on my laptop again, but I didn't have any problems and had mission three back to Taipan within maybe five minutes.

I intitially thought there was a problem with Mission Three. We only had a handful of flyable aircraft left! It turns out that there were still a lot of aircraft in Mission Three, but most of them were still 'AI Only' types and not flyable. I looked through all of the missions and looked through the database to see how many planes had been destroyed. Everything worked properly. Mission three ran just fine, but there wasn't as much action as in previous missions.

As for the size of the first mission, I want to discuss that a bit because there has been quite a bit of complaining. I can certainly understand that it's frustrating trying to fly with low frame rates. My computer is one of the ones that can't handle that many. Well, there weren't as many as there had been the previous week and frame rates, while low, were better. But how do we find out how many planes we can handle in a mission? Taipan builds the initial missions and he has a brand new computer. His frame rates were fine LAST week.

Attrition rates can run pretty high. The more planes we have available and the more things we can have in missions the better. What we are seeing with Taipan's computer is where most of us will be in a year. Brand new computers can handle 200 aircraft flying around with tons of ground objects. While my computer might not be able to handle that much, I think it's pretty cool that newer computers can.

But the bottom line is that Taipan IS adjusting plane quantities to find that magic number where we maximize object levels while maintaining acceptable frame rates for slower systems. The only way he is going to find that number is through trial and error.

There are other things we are doing to try and maximize object levels without killing frames too. Right now we are working on having planes go through a one-hour refit period after they fly. Ideally we would have missions occuring in real-time, so if missions averaged 1/2 hour, then each plane would only be available for every third mission. That would mean that if we had 300 planes in the game, we would only have 100 in each mission - and as they got shot down that number would drop...

Another area we need to work on will be resupply. We can only do mini-wars of maybe 5 or 10 missions even with refit (the fewer planes the shorter the war - once there isn't anything left to fly the war would have to end). Having longer wars will require that squadron leaders have a way to add planes, and we will need rules to allow them to do so fairly. I don't know what the rules will be, but having more planes becomming available isn't a huge hurdle to program. But how many planes do we want the different sides to have in a war? Once again, we need to know the number of planes people's systems can handle to answer that question - and once again that requires stress-testing.

All in all, last night was a big success.


RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 04:05 PM
S! All!

We ended up having company last night and I got off to a late start.

The first mission was a whopper - lots of airplanes, most of which were 'AI only' types. Consequently the mission was a bit choppy on all but the most powerful systems. After running it, I ran into problems with the newest version of the DCS, which runs just fine on my laptop but does not run properly on other computers. Consequently I had to run the DCS on my laptop. I then ran into a few minor code issues when I tried to build the first mission, but I fixed those and made a new mission.

The second mission ran just great. Attrition rates had been pretty high in the first mission. There were still a lot of planes in the second mission, but the number had dropped enough that frame rates were smooth. Nobody locked up. The mission ran just great and was a lot of fun!

I had to run the DCS after mission two on my laptop again, but I didn't have any problems and had mission three back to Taipan within maybe five minutes.

I intitially thought there was a problem with Mission Three. We only had a handful of flyable aircraft left! It turns out that there were still a lot of aircraft in Mission Three, but most of them were still 'AI Only' types and not flyable. I looked through all of the missions and looked through the database to see how many planes had been destroyed. Everything worked properly. Mission three ran just fine, but there wasn't as much action as in previous missions.

As for the size of the first mission, I want to discuss that a bit because there has been quite a bit of complaining. I can certainly understand that it's frustrating trying to fly with low frame rates. My computer is one of the ones that can't handle that many. Well, there weren't as many as there had been the previous week and frame rates, while low, were better. But how do we find out how many planes we can handle in a mission? Taipan builds the initial missions and he has a brand new computer. His frame rates were fine LAST week.

Attrition rates can run pretty high. The more planes we have available and the more things we can have in missions the better. What we are seeing with Taipan's computer is where most of us will be in a year. Brand new computers can handle 200 aircraft flying around with tons of ground objects. While my computer might not be able to handle that much, I think it's pretty cool that newer computers can.

But the bottom line is that Taipan IS adjusting plane quantities to find that magic number where we maximize object levels while maintaining acceptable frame rates for slower systems. The only way he is going to find that number is through trial and error.

There are other things we are doing to try and maximize object levels without killing frames too. Right now we are working on having planes go through a one-hour refit period after they fly. Ideally we would have missions occuring in real-time, so if missions averaged 1/2 hour, then each plane would only be available for every third mission. That would mean that if we had 300 planes in the game, we would only have 100 in each mission - and as they got shot down that number would drop...

Another area we need to work on will be resupply. We can only do mini-wars of maybe 5 or 10 missions even with refit (the fewer planes the shorter the war - once there isn't anything left to fly the war would have to end). Having longer wars will require that squadron leaders have a way to add planes, and we will need rules to allow them to do so fairly. I don't know what the rules will be, but having more planes becomming available isn't a huge hurdle to program. But how many planes do we want the different sides to have in a war? Once again, we need to know the number of planes people's systems can handle to answer that question - and once again that requires stress-testing.

All in all, last night was a big success.


RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 04:12 PM
Sounds very interesting.

Keep us posted.

S! Simon.
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