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Alien Arena Boosts Frame-Rates, Enhances Graphics

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  • Alien Arena Boosts Frame-Rates, Enhances Graphics

    Phoronix: Alien Arena Boosts Frame-Rates, Enhances Graphics

    Developers behind the open-source multi-platform Alien Arena game have managed some performance improvements as well as visual enhancements through some improvements to the engine's renderer...

  • #2
    Since it's kind of hard to read the framerate through the Phoronix watermark, here are the key numbers:
    Map rendering, high Mesh rendering, high Map rendering, medium
    Before 33 25 87
    After 56 47 120
    EDIT: thanks for the update Michael.

    The improvement in mesh rendering is only at high and highest settings, although we are hoping to apply it to lower settings as well-- mesh rendering is now faster on high/highest than on lowest/low/medium! The experimental cvar to turn on the mesh rendering optimization is r_gpuanim. To get the best-performance combination of low-settings map rendering and high-settings mesh rendering, you can select low settings, turn on GLSL shaders and normalmapping, and then set r_test 1 and r_gpuanim 1. In that case, the framerate on that mesh rendering test would be around 90. This awkward situation will hopefully be resolved in our code soon.
    Last edited by MaxToTheMax; 08-22-2012, 09:22 PM.


    • #3

      Nice!... looking at these numbers AA might become even playable on my craptop


      • #4
        They've gone up even more in the last couple hours.


        • #5
          It should be noted that those framerates are taken from a spot in a map that is among the worst performing in all of Alien Arena. Typically framerates are MUCH higher than this.


          • #6
            The article mentioned "visual enhancements", but I can't see anything different. Could someone help me out and point me in the right direction? At the very least it shows they've really upped the frame rate without sacrificing fidelity. Way to go!


            • #7
              Nice framerate boost!! I too am curious about the visual enhancements, as I did not notice any in the attached screenshots.


              • #8
                Yeah, those screenshots aren't showing the high definition lightmaps that we've added. Also not shown are the high poly versions of the player models that are now possible due to how meshes are rendered(I haven't finished them yet, only one test version that is not in SVN).

                There are probably a few other things I have forgotten about, and there are a few things planned as well.

                There is a test map for the mesh rendering "gpuanimtest.bsp" in SVN. If you use the "highest" preset video setting, and disable shadowmaps(gl_shadowmap), you can then toggle r_gpuanim to see the difference. (the shadowmap/shadow volume code is being completely rewritten as it is still a bottleneck). In my system, the framerates jump from 120 to 470! That's quite a huge increase for mesh rendering.


                • #9
                  Here's an example of the visual enhancements we've been working on. This shows the difference you can get just by increasing the resolution of the lightmap texture:


                  • #10
                    Except for the screenshot with the group of floating aliens wherein there is BARELY a difference (only the lighting on the sides of their torsos is slightly improved), there is absolutely no difference in any of the before/after screenshots listed in the article and here in this thread. Am I the only one who noticed that? This article should say something like "large gain in efficiency" not improved visuals. It's great engineering work, but it doesnt LOOK any different (except for temporal resolution, I'm sure).