The General Unhappiness Thread

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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby charnode » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:59 am

Ringu wrote:
Lemar wrote:Made a post about the same and ask what feature he could drop that is causing the performance problem but one would also have to look at what hardware he is testing because I dont agree with that it has to run on a 10 year old crap pc.

Guys & Gals, you're all missing the point: it's not a *feature* that's causing the performance problem, it's literally everything that isn't the graphic renderer of a system.

So, if he wanted to cut it out, he'd release a game that had no AI of any kind, no entities would exist (like NPCs, or your own spaceship), possibly no planets or asteroids depending on how that's coded, and no ability to display a HUD either.

He's trying to work out how to put a game onto the renderer, not how to make warp rails work, or anything like that.


So basically he'd release another No Mans Sky. --scnr
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Lemar » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:13 pm

charnode wrote:So basically he'd release another No Mans Sky. --scnr


Would say more like his prototype but add a few things ;)

+ the better graphic
+ the new UI
+ more systems / sectors but limited
+ better AI but limited in its capabilities
+ bit more game play (scanning, trading, crafting etc.)

Oh he already had it

Lets destroy what we have because we need something bigger, better...two years later... here we are :wave:
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby charnode » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:28 pm

Lemar wrote:Would say more like his prototype but add a few things ;)

+ the better graphic
+ the new UI
+ more systems / sectors but limited
+ better AI but limited in its capabilities
+ bit more game play (scanning, trading, crafting etc.)

Oh he already had it

Lets destroy what we have because we need something bigger, better...two years later... here we are :wave:


Your ignorance of the underlying challenge, despite the fact Josh has elaborately explained it, baffles me.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby orfeusz » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:32 pm

Zero Gravitas wrote:Anyway it's water under the bridge. He's doing what he's doing, and I'm out.


Sadly, I must agree. Some people do not learn from their mistakes and I fear LT ambition will crumble under its own weight.

LT was very mixed journey for me. Great and satisfying at beginning but sad and frustrating for years now. Even as a lurker I was always feeling sympathy for members of this community and it was only thing that keep me here. Personally I believe the way Josh handled LT community was even worse than simply canceling the game.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Talvieno » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:33 pm

Lemar wrote:Lets destroy what we have because we need something bigger, better...two years later... here we are :wave:

He didn't destroy anything... you did read the post, right?

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5659


edit: Ninja'd by two people. :lol:
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby DWMagus » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:17 pm

Lemar wrote:"GTX 560 my best rig"


Information I have says he's now using a GTX 10xx card. Tal can clarify.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Ringu » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:23 pm

Zanteogo wrote:This cannot be true because we have seen the game in action running at decent FPS with most of this already added. (I know it's been several years since we have seen a dev video..)

It was something he added afterwards that caused the issue.

Uhh, that's the whole point, Z - back then, when it didn't have much to do, it was kinda sorta fast enough. Adding in the needed bits - and not even all of those - caused it to be too slow, by very large margin, and there was nowhere to go to speed it up.

So the problem is either drop back to the beta, and only the functionality you saw, or play something that crawls along.
If you really want, you could say "remove all the AI", and "make the UI text only", but Josh was already clear that no combination of those things worked - and really, you couldn't play that, as Charnode said.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby DWMagus » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:27 pm

DWMagus wrote:
Lemar wrote:"GTX 560 my best rig"


Information I have says he's now using a GTX 10xx card. Tal can clarify.


Tal brought up another point;

GPU doesn't really matter much if the main coding behind it is the bottleneck. :ghost:
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby kaeroku » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:19 pm

Zanteogo wrote:Why hasn't he reached out for help?


This is one of the largest issues I have as well. +100
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Lemar » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:48 pm

charnode wrote:Your ignorance of the underlying challenge, despite the fact Josh has elaborately explained it, baffles me.


You see a challenge. I see the owner and creator of that challenge that can change the path he wants to walk so I suggested not to throw more tools / manpower at it but to take a look if it is possible to circumvent it / drop it / cut features back...at least after 2 years this could be considered reasonable .
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Dinosawer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:54 pm

DWMagus wrote:
Tal brought up another point;

GPU doesn't really matter much if the main coding behind it is the bottleneck. :ghost:

Indeed.

The CPU on the other hand... :ghost:
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Zanteogo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:14 pm

Ringu wrote:
Zanteogo wrote:This cannot be true because we have seen the game in action running at decent FPS with most of this already added. (I know it's been several years since we have seen a dev video..)

It was something he added afterwards that caused the issue.

Uhh, that's the whole point, Z - back then, when it didn't have much to do, it was kinda sorta fast enough. Adding in the needed bits - and not even all of those - caused it to be too slow, by very large margin, and there was nowhere to go to speed it up.


I hear what your saying. My point however is, at some point Josh did have a partly working game with many features that ran at what seemed like a at least an acceptable frame rate most of the time. The last couple dev videos DID have a ton of features working in them. Not all of promised features, and not perfectly mind you. I'm not saying he needs to go back to his last dev video and release that. I'm just saying that after 2 years of mostly sideways progress he perhaps needs to look at the fact that perhaps LT 1.0 can't be EVERYTHING he promised in the kick starter.

Ringu wrote:So the problem is either drop back to the beta, and only the functionality you saw, or play something that crawls along.
If you really want, you could say "remove all the AI", and "make the UI text only", but Josh was already clear that no combination of those things worked - and really, you couldn't play that, as Charnode said.


I have a hard time believing that removing any amount of features made no difference. Again, we SAW the game function to a reasonable degree without "just the graphics". I'm not saying just release a No Man's Sky clone, I'm not saying just re-release the prototype with slightly better graphics. I'm saying at the end of the day, if it means 2 more years of sideways progress with no reasonable end in sight, perhaps some sort of feature cutting needs to be put on the table for the 1.0 release. He can always patch up in the future.

Of course there might a third solution that I already brought up, that perhaps this is just too much for one person and he needs to look for help at this point. Perhaps a combo of both.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby smurfer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:44 pm

Ringu wrote:Guys & Gals, you're all missing the point: it's not a *feature* that's causing the performance problem, it's literally everything that isn't the graphic renderer of a system.

So, if he wanted to cut it out, he'd release a game that had no AI of any kind, no entities would exist (like NPCs, or your own spaceship), possibly no planets or asteroids depending on how that's coded, and no ability to display a HUD either.

He's trying to work out how to put a game onto the renderer, not how to make warp rails work, or anything like that.

Ringu, I think you're right here. If the underlying gamelogic depends on the scripting language (sorry, but I can't understand it takes years to discover Lua when trying to find a possible scripting solution for a game) you can't just remove feature X. You might just limit ( :roll: ) features, e.g. the number or fidelity of AI units (which might on the other hand be defined as removing a feature).

The only "feature" I can think of that would help by removing/reducing is moddability, caused by less scripting. As mentioned before, I also favour the classical approach of implementing gamelogic with an interpreted language and then replacing bottlenecks by native C/C++.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby Ringu » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:09 pm

Zanteogo wrote: My point however is, at some point Josh did have a partly working game with many features that ran at what seemed like a at least an acceptable frame rate most of the time. The last couple dev videos DID have a ton of features working in them. Not all of promised features, and not perfectly mind you. I'm not saying he needs to go back to his last dev video and release that. I'm just saying that after 2 years of mostly sideways progress he perhaps needs to look at the fact that perhaps LT 1.0 can't be EVERYTHING he promised in the kick starter.

Two parts to this: first, are you saying that you would be happy if Josh released the last-working-version and was unable to ever modify it to include something new or fix anything, because it would then be too slow?

And second, I 100% agree that once he finds a basic platform that can be added to, he should definitely figure out an MVP and work towards that - he seems to be in this for the long haul :-p so we know we'll get all the features eventually. I think the real problem for now, is that he can't be certain he's found a basic platform that can be added to without slowing down too much without adding in lots of features to test the limits of it, and that kind of approach to an architectural problem (not a programming problem, which is why he hasn't solved it yet) is not really sustainable if he wants to release something in our lifetimes.

I have a hard time believing that removing any amount of features made no difference.

My understanding was that he would have to remove large number of basic features, and that if he did, he had no way of improving what was left.

Again, we SAW the game function to a reasonable degree without "just the graphics". I'm not saying just release a No Man's Sky clone, I'm not saying just re-release the prototype with slightly better graphics. I'm saying at the end of the day, if it means 2 more years of sideways progress with no reasonable end in sight, perhaps some sort of feature cutting needs to be put on the table for the 1.0 release. He can always patch up in the future.

I imagine it as a 10m-square yard, in which you plant an apple tree every 3m. If you see the yard with 9 trees in, it looks lovely, produces apples, and everyone is happy. But if your business model is to sell 100 trees' worth of apples, you're going to have to change something. You could just sell the 9 trees' worth, and they would be lovely, but you could never get more than that. To do that, you have to work out an alternative planting arrangement. And if apple trees don't produce apples unless they have 3m of space around them, you have to devise some cunning plan to make it work. If you try different arrangements and one of them ends up with co-mingled roots, you'd discard it. Another that is too susceptible to disease would go. And so on. Each time, you have to plant almost the entire yard with trees to see if they grow up straight and produce the apples, so it takes time and you have to accept that you may never find the right arrangement.

Of course there might a third solution that I already brought up, that perhaps this is just too much for one person and he needs to look for help at this point. Perhaps a combo of both.

Again I think you're 100% correct at this point - if you spend this long trying to find a new solution, pragmatically you need to speak to someone else.

To refer to points other people have made about developing in C rather than a script language - this is what I meant before when I said that Josh had made some terrible decisions using some inappropriate technology in inappropriate ways. Script languages (especially like Lua - I was shocked when he went for Python instead) are traditionally used to add modding support as has been said, because explaining how to call the engine from lower-level languages is a massive PITA. Using it to provide all your game above the render level, well, just leads to the current situation.

The JiT compiler was invented to improve performance, but not to the degree needed in this case. I remember developing one in the early 90's to replace PC Emulator code with more optimised versions that dynamically skipped checking some CPU flags, and in extreme cases, to chain dozens of instructions together into a single native block rather than re-interpreting each one every time; but the compiler itself takes a lot of engineering effort to support enough instructions in enough circumstances with enough optimisations to make it infeasible for one relatively-inexperienced developer to use as a substitute for a more standard architecture.

I've written floating-point CPU emulators in C and assembler, and even written compilers to take an intermediate language designed by us and output native C or assembler, and these require significant devotion of resource to do. Writing the game in C should really be Josh's first choice when faced the current problems, but it's almost impossible to tell someone that - they almost always need to discover it for themselves.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

Postby masseffect7 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:26 pm

The question I have is whether the original vision of LT is even possible to create right now. When you have a limitless universe combined with an AI that can essentially do everything that the human player does, I can see how that would lead to issues. Think about it, let's say you've discovered 100 systems. Let's say 25% of them have some sort of trading market. That's 25 markets that have to be simulated along with the bottom lines ($) for each of the AI in those systems.

Simulating 25 different economies and calculating how the different individuals and factions would react to changes would be a very difficult problem to deal with, and that's without taking into account how AI actions in systems without trading posts affect economies (I think having trading posts in every system is not feasible). You could have it so all extra-system (systems other than the one you're in) simulation is done during some type of inter-system travel animation or (God-forbid) loading screen, but that also presents issues if you are going to have AI's be able to travel between systems in response to economic conditions and would preclude the ability to check actual real-time conditions in other systems.

Games with great economic systems are awesome, but the problem with creating a realistic economy is simulating the interconnectedness of the system. Simulating at smaller divisions gets you better results (for example, a single planet would be a small division while a large sector would be a large division), but it is more complicated to do when you factor in connectivity. What I would recommend is having economic simulation conducted at a sector level. I would have the game create sectors (space provinces) procedurally and have prices set at the same level across the entire sector. I would also consider having one trade post per sector as well, creating a traffic flow to the "capital" system where trade would be conducted. Outer systems would be more sparsely populated and largely used for resource acquisition. I would essentially have the game simulate sectors as one large system, not differentiating between the different star systems in the sector other than factoring in travel distance.

Under this system, you still could have an infinite number of economies to simulate, however I believe this would delay reaching the point where you start crashing or get major slowing of performance (this is assuming we will have an infinitely large game universe). I also think it is worth considering having a limited universe size, or one where the player could enter the maximum size of their choice into a menu prior to starting the game. This way people who have more limited equipment could try to compensate by making the game world smaller, while people with better equipment could choose larger universes.
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