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Author Topic: The Binary Zoo Bog  (Read 606508 times)
JDog053
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« Reply #270 on: June 03, 2008, 08:00:13 PM »

Good stuff ! As far as i'm concerned you made everysingle type of bullet pattern I think you could ever need in Mono ! That was crazy. Heck whenever i think weapons upgrade system in my, "games" I just use a dilute version of what you did !

Good to see you're still plugging away !
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« Reply #271 on: June 03, 2008, 09:11:44 PM »

Good stuff ! As far as i'm concerned you made everysingle type of bullet pattern I think you could ever need in Mono ! That was crazy. Heck whenever i think weapons upgrade system in my, "games" I just use a dilute version of what you did !

Good to see you're still plugging away !
Yeah in hindsight the mono bullet patterns weren't necessarily a good thing.  Well the bullet patterns themselves were ok I guess, but they did cause problems.  Although each pattern was numerically better than the previous one (it fired more bullets at a faster rate) often the patterns themselves were less useful.   And also because people play the game using slightly different tactics they often found that one of the supposedly less powerful patterns suited their style of play more.

Something I plan on addressing next time.

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JDog053
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« Reply #272 on: June 04, 2008, 12:01:33 PM »

Good stuff ! As far as i'm concerned you made everysingle type of bullet pattern I think you could ever need in Mono ! That was crazy. Heck whenever i think weapons upgrade system in my, "games" I just use a dilute version of what you did !

Good to see you're still plugging away !
Yeah in hindsight the mono bullet patterns weren't necessarily a good thing.  Well the bullet patterns themselves were ok I guess, but they did cause problems.  Although each pattern was numerically better than the previous one (it fired more bullets at a faster rate) often the patterns themselves were less useful.   And also because people play the game using slightly different tactics they often found that one of the supposedly less powerful patterns suited their style of play more.

Something I plan on addressing next time.


Cool, the only way I think that can be adressed is by categorizing a few different tactics...such as,

Sweep - the player moveswith rapid sweeping ovements at the board edges so suitable upgrades would involve spread fire.
Spiral - the player flies in a spiral around the board deviating very little from the circle pattern, suitable upgrades would be minimum spread high volume of power.
Duo-esque - the player likes to stay on a particular axis near the centre of the board so the player not only shoots the way he/she is facing but the opposite aswell.
Stationary - for the people who don't like to move much, the player can shoot 4 different directions, the spread increases a little on each of the directions each upgrades.

And many others, sort of like what Every Extend Extra Extreme did by allowing different play styles to be chosen.
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« Reply #273 on: June 04, 2008, 04:22:16 PM »

Good stuff ! As far as i'm concerned you made everysingle type of bullet pattern I think you could ever need in Mono ! That was crazy. Heck whenever i think weapons upgrade system in my, "games" I just use a dilute version of what you did !

Good to see you're still plugging away !
Yeah in hindsight the mono bullet patterns weren't necessarily a good thing.  Well the bullet patterns themselves were ok I guess, but they did cause problems.  Although each pattern was numerically better than the previous one (it fired more bullets at a faster rate) often the patterns themselves were less useful.   And also because people play the game using slightly different tactics they often found that one of the supposedly less powerful patterns suited their style of play more.

Something I plan on addressing next time.


Cool, the only way I think that can be adressed is by categorizing a few different tactics...such as,

Sweep - the player moveswith rapid sweeping ovements at the board edges so suitable upgrades would involve spread fire.
Spiral - the player flies in a spiral around the board deviating very little from the circle pattern, suitable upgrades would be minimum spread high volume of power.
Duo-esque - the player likes to stay on a particular axis near the centre of the board so the player not only shoots the way he/she is facing but the opposite aswell.
Stationary - for the people who don't like to move much, the player can shoot 4 different directions, the spread increases a little on each of the directions each upgrades.

And many others, sort of like what Every Extend Extra Extreme did by allowing different play styles to be chosen.
Rather than categories based on play style, I currently plan on just giving the user the option of choosing the basic weapon pattern, and what they do with it after that is up to them.

Narrow stream - simply a densely packed stream of bullets with little spread and no side/back protection.
V stream - a slightly wider spread of bullets which covers a wider area but has the bullets less densely packed together.
morphing stream - a series of bullet streams that gradually get more elaborate and give side and eventually back protection to the player (like current mono weapon patterns but with better progression)

I guess you could even give them the option of cycling through the 3 styles while in game as tactics change.  It's all a bit fluid ATM but that's one of the fun things about not having a proper design doc Smiley
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JDog053
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« Reply #274 on: June 04, 2008, 08:47:04 PM »

I wish I could have the luxury of that ! I like the ideas you've come up with so far. The choice to change seems suitable aswell.
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« Reply #275 on: June 05, 2008, 05:46:17 PM »

I wish I could have the luxury of that !
What luxury?  Not having a proper design doc?  Working any other way would just be predictable and boring Wink

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« Reply #276 on: June 06, 2008, 11:10:54 PM »

Well thanks to a tip-off from Paul (free Creators Club membership Smiley ) I finally got something running on the 360.

It was hardly what you'd call a game but it did throw a load of FX particles around on screen.  Too many as it turned out as the 360 struggled under the load.  Not worried about that though as there were several thousand of them, and there is currently a piece of code in there that causes an unnecessary slowdown every time a particle is created so that will be removed.

I'll still have to remember that though as my PC shows no sign of slowdown running the same code.  I guess that's what testing is for though Smiley

Also on compiling the code threw a few errors that didn't show up when compiling for just PC.  A couple of them were to do with the Mouse class which the 360 library obviously doesn't have so were understandable, but one is highlighting an error on a very basic looking piece of code and that has me slightly confused.  I'll have to look into that one.  Tongue
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PaulCunningham
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« Reply #277 on: June 06, 2008, 11:28:10 PM »

Great news!

Here's a couple of audio tracks from this year's GDC specifically aimed at CLR performance on the Xbox.

CLR Performance: Frank Savage
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=8450DB46-283F-4924-B35C-3CCD1DB7E97E&displaylang=en

Understanding XNA Framework Performance: Shawn Hargreaves
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B11AD912-4158-44CC-A771-A5E044F7E3BB&displaylang=en

About 30 meg and 1 hour (ish) long

The Xbox should be able to do several thousand particles.  As long as they're all created up front and reused (e.g. don't new one up each time you need one, just create 'em all in Initialise or LoadContent or whatever and then flag 'em as 'dead' when they expire).  Using sprite sheets is a good perf tip as well if you have different types of particles to draw.  That way there's no texture changes needed on the GPU.
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Paul Cunningham
Pumpkin Games
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« Reply #278 on: June 07, 2008, 12:39:00 PM »

Cheers for the links.  That's the way I like to do my learning.  Smiley

The Xbox should be able to do several thousand particles.  As long as they're all created up front and reused (e.g. don't new one up each time you need one, just create 'em all in Initialise or LoadContent or whatever and then flag 'em as 'dead' when they expire).
Yeah that's exactly what I have been doing.  In the past I have always created new items, but I read that's not the way to do things in XNA so I don't.


Using sprite sheets is a good perf tip as well if you have different types of particles to draw.  That way there's no texture changes needed on the GPU.
Now that I don't currently do.  That's something I'll have to remember to look into.  Right now I'm just reusing images from previous games and they are all seperate so I guess there's a little performance hit there.

Like I said, I know there's a piece of code in there now that is an unnecessary overhead, but that will go when I start loading everything from external XML files and impliment the associated interpretation code.
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JDog053
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« Reply #279 on: June 07, 2008, 05:41:32 PM »

How do you write stuff in XML ? If I could do that i'd save a fair bit of time...or not, probably best not.
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« Reply #280 on: June 07, 2008, 11:01:35 PM »

How do you write stuff in XML ? If I could do that i'd save a fair bit of time...or not, probably best not.
Well some languages allow you to write all your code or scripts using XML, or you could simply use it to store current menu settings.

When using DBPro I found it essential to store as much in XML as possible (or some other external file format) because the compiler was so crap it used to take 1-2 minutes every time I compiled.  The advantage of storing stuff in XML files is that you can make changes to things without needing to recompile.

Also say you had all your level data stored in an external file.  If you wanted to make changes or even add extra levels then all you need do is distribute a new XML file and not a large new exe file.

 I have, or will have when I port my old code over, separate XML files for everything from defining animations and sounds to FX patterns and enemy behaviour.
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« Reply #281 on: June 08, 2008, 10:33:56 AM »

When using DBPro I found it essential to store as much in XML as possible (or some other external file format) because the compiler was so crap it used to take 1-2 minutes every time I compiled.  The advantage of storing stuff in XML files is that you can make changes to things without needing to recompile.

1-2 minutes? Lucky you! Even my smaller stuff takes a good 5 minutes some nights. Reminds me of using my 8088... I can go brew a pot of coffee, drink half the pot, and it still won't be booted.
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« Reply #282 on: June 08, 2008, 05:03:24 PM »

When using DBPro I found it essential to store as much in XML as possible (or some other external file format) because the compiler was so crap it used to take 1-2 minutes every time I compiled.  The advantage of storing stuff in XML files is that you can make changes to things without needing to recompile.

1-2 minutes? Lucky you! Even my smaller stuff takes a good 5 minutes some nights. Reminds me of using my 8088... I can go brew a pot of coffee, drink half the pot, and it still won't be booted.
Bloody hell man....how big are your projects?  Echoes must have been around the 20k lines mark and took about 2 minutes but that was on my old 1.6Ghz jobby.

TBH I kind of got used to having time to kill while it compiled and used to use the time surfing and other pointless things.  Now working in XNA you don't really get any breaks at all so you have to remember to take them at regular intervals.  A much needed 3 minute break can double performance in my experience.  Kang-a-roo!
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« Reply #283 on: June 12, 2008, 11:15:25 PM »

Well I haven't had much time over the last few days and haven't done any what I would call progressive coding, but I have spent a while trying to find out what was causing the slowdown on the 360 build....and so far no luck.  Tongue

I've removed what I thought was the bottleneck, REM'd out chunks of code, switched off sound etc. but nothing has had any impact on the framerate.  TBH though I'm not sure what performance I should be getting in XNA as I have nothing to compare it,  so I'm going to start a new blank project and simply throw a load of images at the screen to give me some kind of benchmark.  Then I'll know if I really do have a problem somewhere.

In hindsight I should maybe have tried the code on the 360 a lot earlier, but as things were running so smoothly on the PC it didn't seem necessary.  Now the problem I have is the code has a lot of extra complexity in it so it's not quite as easy to track down the cause of any slowdown than it might have been.

Now having said all that, if there is a problem I'm sure it's something blindingly obvious and that a palm meets forehead gesture will soon be followed by an embarrassing admission.   BunnyMonkey!

To end on a more positive note, before it starts to slowdown it looks bloody great lol  Kang-a-roo!
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PaulCunningham
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« Reply #284 on: June 13, 2008, 10:01:51 PM »

I can take a look at it for you if you want.
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Paul Cunningham
Pumpkin Games
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