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Suggested AI counts


grayman

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I have a 5-year-old computer.

 

It plays Doom 3 well, and for the most part plays TDM well. Though there are a couple spots in a few FMs where it almost freezes, and I can't get out of the starting alley in RttC, I've been able to play FMs just fine. Anything above 10FPS plays smoothly.

 

In my Vertical map, I've added 3 guards in the opening scene, and by doing so, I'm encountering frame rates of 0 to 1 FPS. With the guards gone, my frame rate jumps to 30FPS. So I know it's not visportaling or the architecture. Displaying triangles and portals shows nothing excessive.

 

Are AI really that much of a drag on the engine? Even if these guys are standing still, throwing things at me, the screen is virtually frozen.

 

So, the question is: is there a recommended limit to the number of AI you should allow in a scene at the same time? In my case, I'm guessing 1 or 2 is as much as I can deal with. I noticed that just having a couple guys playing cards cut my frame rate in half. 'At's a lot of thinking.

 

If everyone's running on computers that have no problems with AI, and that's the assumption FM-makers make, then I'll prolly have to switch production and gameplay over to my laptop, which is faster.

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have you tried using the Ai duming down args that Fids mentioned in my thread, it makes them think less & less often. You get a few extra fps.. But that said Doom3 has loads of Ai and there aint a slow down, so i guess TDM Ai are that much more complicated.

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I remember reading it, but I don't remember which thread it was in. I haven't tinkered with interleaved thinking.

 

The problem might be more of a rendering problem than a thinking problem. I created a one-room map with 2 team 0 card players in it. With the card game completely offscreen, I get 45FPS. Rotating to include one of the two players drops the rate to 27FPS. Viewing both players drops the rate to 17FPS.

 

The amount of thinking is constant, so rendering the slight AI movements is probably causing the slowdown.

 

Maybe I'll cut back to one guard playing solitaire.

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What are your specs? There's not really much we can do, this mod is built on far more complex technology than the original thiefs. However make sure your vis portaling correctly as well because this does affect AI computing I believe. I can easily manage 3 on screen moving about and I'm using the following specs:

 

2gb Ram

core 2 duo 1.87

3850 ati 512

 

Certainly not supreme specs but manageable. Perhaps if your using lower specs you could lower your game settings.

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Yeah, TDM guards are a bit high poly. The biggest gain MIGHT be lighting though. The high-poly-ness of the guards will create a SEVERE strain if they are being hit by more than one shadow-casting light. At least you might try testing it - try deleting ALL lighting and just have a higher ambient (so you can see), just for testing, and see what FPS you get

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The high-poly-ness of the guards will create a SEVERE strain if they are being hit by more than one shadow-casting light.

 

All AI have a low-poly shadowmesh of 1000-1500 polys. The real culprit is probably the thinking they have to do, which puts a severe strain on older CPUs.

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And visportals do effect AI in more than just rendering. If AI are behind a closed portal, their interleaved thinking turns on.

 

Next: have you done much monsterclipping? If there are large or complex areas that no AI will ever reach, drag out a big-ol' monsterclip brush and engulf that whole area. That'll cut down on AI thinking (pathfinding thread) and speed up dmap.

yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

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I am about to post probably the most foolish speculation yet:

 

Could one AI be used to control two or more guards as if each guard is a guided missile coming from the same aircraft?

 

Essentially, is the independence of TDM AI's causing resource conflicts and could we have them share path-finding when in close proximity to each other???

 

(As I said probably foolish as either A) Doom 3 already does this behind the scenes... or B) The TDM SDK team already has that factored in their interfaces... or some other technical detail that my pigeon brain has overlooked or wouldn't understand... :laugh: )

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

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But he said they were in the same room and only lowered performance when on screen - doesn't this rule out the thinking they are doing and any path-finding issue as culprits?

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My one-room test map has a couple friendly guards sitting and playing cards.

 

So there's no large area to monsterclip.

 

And there's no visportaling needed or used.

 

And unless they're quietly considering which paths they would choose if an enemy showed up, all they're doing is playing cards.

 

If they're offscreen the framerate is 45.

 

If they're onscreen the framerate is 17.

 

So to me it looks like a slowdown due to rendering them.

 

I had a couple video settings that weren't dumbed all the way down. Doing so improved things a bit, but not enough.

 

At this point, I've swapped out the card game for a single drunk guard, using the bottle-drinking animation.

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grayman: Apart from RTTC, are you saying other FMs are generally OK/not OK? Many of them have multiple AI on screen at once. Is your test map a simple/complex room?

 

I've gotten through all the FMs released up until a few months ago. I haven't played Heart or NHAT 2&3 or anything else I might not know about yet. There might have been places where the framerate approached zero, but I don't recall. Certainly nothing that stopped me from continuing.

 

RTTC is the only one I can't play, but it has nothing to do with AI. I turned tris on and the whole screen practically turned white, and my computer can't handle that level of complexity.

 

As for the test map, it's six brushes, two lights, a player start, and the card-playing prefab. I'm not saying it isn't playable, because with the players fully onscreen, I get 17fps and anything above 10 is fine. The test was to see how much fps dropped when the players came on to the screen. In my case, using my video settings and older computer, I experienced a 64% drop in framerate.

 

I just need to be careful in my map designs to not allow more than a couple AI onscreen at the same time. That'll let me test what I'm making. I guess that's the answer to my own question at the top of this thread.

 

And for the record, my computer is: 3GB usable ram, single Pentium 4 @ 3.4GHz, and ATI Radeon HD 2400 w/256 video ram. Not a great vid card for gaming, but I do very little of that any more. TDM is the only thing I've played on it over the past few years.

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3GB usable ram, single Pentium 4 @ 3.4GHz, and ATI Radeon HD 2400 w/256 video ram.

 

Still, that thing shouldn't be choking like that, surely?

 

Maybe the card playing AI is particularly at fault? It is a new one, no?

 

I was happy to hear that the AI does so much thinking that that is a one of the primary suspects as to the possible problem because, well, it's good to have AI with some concentrated I, but the idea that anyone with specs at or below the level of yours not being able to move... is not so fun.

 

ETA: what I meant to ask was how did the frame rate go with the different AI?

Edited by aidakeeley

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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I agree with the assumption that the problem arise from the rendering of many high-poly AI's with shadows.

 

Maybe a hardware upgrade? In the end, it is not so expensive nowadays.

 

Imagine quick loading times..

Imagine a stable 80fps at all times even with 5 AI's on screen.

Imagine a non choppy dark radiant even when you've a large mission.

 

That's what I got when I upgraded my 5 years old computer to my current one. Now the big problem is to fight the urge to create too complex maps which run well for me, but poorly for others...

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I agree with the assumption that the problem arise from the rendering of many high-poly AI's with shadows.

 

Maybe a hardware upgrade? In the end, it is not so expensive nowadays.

 

Imagine quick loading times..

Imagine a stable 80fps at all times even with 5 AI's on screen.

Imagine a non choppy dark radiant even when you've a large mission.

 

That's what I got when I upgraded my 5 years old computer to my current one. Now the big problem is to fight the urge to create too complex maps which run well for me, but poorly for others...

 

To test if it is the rendering, you can use console commands to turn shadows of or show the statistics. (I forgot the exact commands, sorry)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Imagine quick loading times..

Imagine a stable 80fps at all times even with 5 AI's on screen.

Imagine a non choppy dark radiant even when you've a large mission.

 

 

Reading this, I drooled so much over my keyboard that I had to use my iPhone to enter this reply.

 

Seriously, I'd love to upgrade, but that's not in the cards at the moment.

 

And the danger of creating maps that low-end players can't play would haunt me.

 

 

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Your hardware is more than capable. I tested NHAT 3/3 on a Pentium 4 @ 2.8 GHz, Radeon 9600 Pro (128mb), 1.75 Gb RAM. There must be another variable amongst the background or Game settings.

yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

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Agreed on that. I started out working on TDM with a 1.4GHz pentium with a GeForce Ti4600 (what's that?) and 1G RAM. It didn't run great, but I could play. Never tried NHAT on it, but when I moved up to a GeForce 6800, same specs otherwise, it doubled or tripled otherwise typical framerates.

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Your hardware is more than capable. I tested NHAT 3/3 on a Pentium 4 @ 2.8 GHz, Radeon 9600 Pro (128mb), 1.75 Gb RAM. There must be another variable amongst the background or Game settings.

 

OK, I tried to resist but...

 

What OS?

 

If Windows, which Service Pack?

 

(sorry for the derail)

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Thanks.

 

I was asking Mortem Desino because he seems to have magical low-end performance... :).

 

I suspect that SP3 may be a factor here, but from a cursory take your 3.4ghz looks to be running slower than my 3.0ghz... :huh: ???

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Oh well. I still wish I knew why I can face the wall around the manor and still have 6fps (normally when you are right against a wall the FPS spikes to 60fps)... but OTOH I have nearly 30fps when looking into a dense group of trees which are in the dark??? :huh:

 

This map (NHAT 3/3) has weird performance characteristics on my system :laugh:

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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I associate that "low fps even against a wall" with AI processing. The first level of NHAT gave me about 4fps even in tiny rooms originally (on my old PC.) A reduction of thinking time made a dramatic improvement. You can try killmonsters in the console to test that.

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That number is with killmonsters. (killmonsters did help elsewhere on the map though...) I know that there's a fair amount of detail past the wall... it's kinda like the wall isn't visportal-ed and it's letting all the geometry past it right through...:huh:

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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