Serious speed issues

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Serious speed issues

Post by Nom » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:23 am

We've played two sessions with 1.3d so far.

On the first session, I noticed that selecting and moving figures was sluggish. If I didn't deliberately wait a second between selecting my figure and drag-moving it, BRPG got confused about what I was trying to do and I'd need to re-select and re-move the figure.

Last Sunday's session was bad. The first encounter was sluggish, much like the previous week. The second encounter (more figures, FoW, larger map space used) caused my machine to lag for 2-3 seconds every time a figure moved a square, and 10-20 seconds every time the turn manager clicked over a turn. Die rolling would take a few seconds to come up, and then I'd get several very rapidly.

The guys on the Windows boxes reported some lag, but nothing like mine. Performance had been fine on 1.2.

At times, it was much quicker to log out and back in and load the current state than to wait for the event queue to play out at several seconds per event (or part thereof).

Platform: OS X 10.4.11, 1.5 GHz G4, Safari 3.1.2.

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Post by heruca » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:40 am

I'm surprised, given that your computer is three times faster than mine, and I'm running the exact same OS version.

Does the Turn Sequencer update faster if you disable showing portrait or token art? Roughly many rows are in the Turn Sequencer when you were experiencing 10-20 second delays?

Could you post the contents of your BRPG INI file? If it isn't set to "SleepTime=10", try lowering it to that to see if it helps reduce the lag.

Is v1.3e any faster for you? I made some speed optimizations in that version that might help.

Lowering your Fog of War resolution should also help, if you haven't done that already.
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Post by Nom » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:18 am

Sorry for the delay in responding.

1.3e was less badly slow, but it still took quite a while to respond to clicking to select figures or even to use arrows to move (maybe half second to second between hitting arrow and figure moving).

In the previous game we had 20+ figures in the turn sequencer. In this last one we were down to 10 or so. We also had a smaller map, which we hoped would help with FoW.

I also had issues where the system would freeze up for a second or two when things were happening and refuse to take input into the chat bar.

---
INI file
---
[Settings]
SleepTime=10
BackgroundSleepTime=1000
BackgroundAnimation=1
UseTitleBar=0
;FullScreen=0
ResizeStage=0
SingleInstance=1
[Lingo]
DisplayFullLingoErrorText=1
[Memory]
ExtraMemory=10240
---

As far as I know, I haven't changed anything in this.

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Post by heruca » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:23 am

Your INI settings seem fine, so let's see if we can isolate the cause of the lag. Some things I would try:
1) Don't include any units in the Turn Sequencer. Does the lag persist?
2) Turn off FoW. Does the lag persist? Does lowering the FoW Resolution help speed things up?
3) Include units in the Turn Sequencer but set it to NOT show the tokens or portraits. This will determine if the lag comes from re-rendering the sequence list.
4) Make sure you don't have background processes or apps running that could be causing BRPG to perform poorly.
5) Purge any unneeded media using the "Purge Media Assets" command, and have your players do the same.
6) Try to determine if the lag is worse the more players you've got logged into your game.
7) See if it helps running BRPG right after a reboot.
8) If all else fails, try reinstalling BRPG from a freshly-downloaded zip file and see if performance improves.
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Post by Nom » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:15 am

heruca wrote:5) Purge any unneeded media using the "Purge Media Assets" command, and have your players do the same.
Possible confusion: I'm running a client. The other guys - using win clients - don't seem to have the same issues to the same extent.

1.2 was fine. None of the 1.3 versions - and I've used a fresh download each time - have been overly responsive.

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Post by heruca » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:09 pm

Nom wrote:Possible confusion: I'm running a client. The other guys - using win clients - don't seem to have the same issues to the same extent.
What kind of client are you running? A Player Client? On a Mac?

Did you ask your GM to try any of the 7 things I mentioned above, in order to ascertain the cause of the sluggishness you are experiencing? At the very least, have him try #1 and/or #3.
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Post by Nom » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:51 pm

Ran again last night and it was pretty decent. I'm using a Mac client; everyone else is on Windows (including GM).

Two major changes from previous:
* no images in turn sequencer
* no FoW

I'll try to set up a test with FoW and no sequencer, and vice versa. I'm suspecting the sequencer, however, since we've used FoW on 1.2 without crippling the game, and because we did get some performance improvements previously by reducing the number of units in the sequencer.

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Post by nortonweb » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:07 pm

Nom is one of my players.

Like he said taking the images out of the turn manager sped things up. Sunday night we played again this time the map had FoW (dynamic and manual) we started getting speed issues again. Not as bad as with the image in the manager and FoW but still there. I turned off dynamic and just had manual and it got better but still was there.
We are playing again on the 21st. We will be using the same map and this time I've added masking objects and switched FoW off I'll report the speed after that.
I'm thinking it could be the FoW mask rendering?
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Post by heruca » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:54 pm

nortonweb wrote:I'm thinking it could be the FoW mask rendering?
If it is, hopefully things will be a little better with v1.3f, since I've done some optimization with the FoW rendering.

In the meantime, I'd suggest Nom turn down the resolution on his FoW prior to joining your game. That will help in all cases except when a FoW Overlay is in use.

Nom, is your computer a laptop with an integrated graphics chip?
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Post by Dormouse » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:59 pm

I don't know whether it would be possible, but how about a script that can run automatically using the prog (would need to be a GM & player version) using a range of the features? Could be run stand alone and hosted.

Given a 'standard' time, it should be possible to see whether issues are related to a particular host or player or connection or the particular maps/encounters being run.

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Post by heruca » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:54 am

I'm not really understanding how that would work, Dormouse. "Standard" times will vary so much from system to system as to be nearly worthless. What do you really learn if you know that things render in under a second on the GM's machine, but it's taking 10 seconds to update on your machine? How does this tell you which feature is to blame, if any?
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Post by Arimmus » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:05 am

Im not seeing any problems. I have the gm client and my friends have the player client. But then none of us have any issues with speed, but we are not using mac's either. All of use either have the POS vista or XP. So maybe a mac thing????

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Post by nortonweb » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:54 am

As reported above by Nom none of my other players or myself have a speed issue and we all use PC's running different versions of windows.
Nom is the only Mac user.
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Post by Dormouse » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:27 am

heruca wrote:I'm not really understanding how that would work, Dormouse. "Standard" times will vary so much from system to system as to be nearly worthless. What do you really learn if you know that things render in under a second on the GM's machine, but it's taking 10 seconds to update on your machine? How does this tell you which feature is to blame, if any?
It doesn't isolate the feature (though that might be possible if it reported results for sub-components).

What it would do is:-
  • let you know if your perceived slowness is because your machine runs BRPG much slower than other machines or whether it is little different and it is just that your expectations are different
    let you see if the problem is with a particular encounter
    let you see if the problem is the connection (by comparing connected with standalone mode)
I've read a number of threads complaining about speed. It has always been very hard to know which of these factors is the cause or whether it is a particular process in BRPG or Director that throws up these issues; FOW is mentioned a lot, but some of that might be because attention has already been drawn to it as a factor affecting speed.

There is no reason why times should be the same. What you would expect is that relative differences in speed should relate to differences in the speed of the machine and should be fairly similar in all conditions.
(There will be some variation across conditions and features since there will not be complete consistency since CPU speed, RAM and graphics cards may all independently vary).
'Standard' times would just give you some basis for comparison, if people used it and reported their results and giving their CPU, RAM and Graphics Card and other major processes/apps running concurrently.

Whether it is worth doing at all depends on how many people raise speed as an issue. The one advantage is that you don't have to be the one to code this since it is really just an automated script running the program and recording times. Though it will still take some coding ability to do it :(

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Post by nortonweb » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:02 pm

I think Dormouse is talking along the lines of standardized load tests. I can't remember the tool but we used it where I worked once (well I say we an external firm came in and run it) it mimics a verity of platforms and bandwidths and tells you what spec your application is best suited to. You can get it to pretend to be a whole heap of users by scripting a selection of actions and it randomly does them.

It would as Dormouse suggest give some excellent diagnostics as to where the speed problems really lay and with the scripted component you can see if there is a specific feature in BG causing any speed problem. But from my experience there is no cheap way to do any of that in an automated fashion. The cheapest is the most time consuming. The old fashioned get humans with a selection of machines to all do the same things and time with a stop watch how long stuff takes. Then look at the results try to identify where a possible problem is and take a closer look this time using clock cycle tools and traffic monitors.

Its no small task tho.
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Post by heruca » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:36 pm

Perhaps I could add a timing mode that would keep a log of how long the various sections of code take to complete. Users having sluggishness issues could export the log to an external text file and email it to me. Analyzing such logs should easily pinpoint where the slowdowns are.
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Post by Kazander » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:27 am

I think that would be a brilliant idea.

For myself, I think my Mac user's problem is that it's a MacBook, with Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics. Although I have trouble understanding why it's so graphically demanding. I'm hard pressed to think of a game that isn't substantially more demanding in the graphics department (#figures, texturing, shadows, antialiasing, LOD, etc). BRPG is just 2D graphics.

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Post by Nom » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:13 pm

heruca wrote:Nom, is your computer a laptop with an integrated graphics chip?
No. 1.33 GHz G4 with 1.5G RAM and a 64 MB dedicated graphics card.

For comparison, the most demanding game I've played on this box would be Warcraft III, and it plays decently on medium settings.

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Post by heruca » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:40 pm

What's your display resolution set to?
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Post by Nom » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:38 am

Primary (laptop) is 1440x900. Secondary (outrigger LCD) is 1280x1024.

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