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Category Archive for: ‘Tech’

Developer’s Corner: Asset Streaming

As was mentioned already in the last few blog posts, a lot of the work that we have been putting into the upcoming Manstein build of Heroes & Generals is aimed at improving performance. One of these improvements is asset streaming.

Lock & Load

In all the previous builds, the game would load all of its assets (geometry, textures, sounds, etc), every single time you launched a FPS match, using up a large amount of memory, preventing some of the lower-end graphics processors from running the game at all. Starting with the Manstein build, textures will be loaded on the fly (i.e. streamed), as they become needed.

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Feature Friday: Destruction

No war game would be complete without some destruction effects! With the upcoming Manstein build, we can at last announce the first iteration of our destruction physics: now wooden fences can be blown up and plowed through. Even gunfire damages them, if you’re ready to waste a few bullets!

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New Armor Model

Tankers rejoice! Starting with the imminent Leeb build, your enemies will have to learn to aim better if they want to stop you. We have increased the level of combat realism by completely rewriting the armor physics model. Here’s how it works…

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Fishing for frames.

We are continuously trying to improve performance as well as add more content to the maps. These two things often pull in opposite directions as more objects in the game gives more hiding places while also hurting performance. We try to keep ahead of the issues of bad performance by tracking performance over the different builds.

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Big Brother is watching you perform bike stunts!

A while back Fry-40 sent us a Youtube video of a bike stunt he did in game. We thought it was fun and shared it with you here.

We decided to use this as a test case of how our own capture system works, so Reto.Ogssan dug around in the server records and found the time and place where the stunt happened. Then we grabbed the corresponding data-files and set to work.

As you might know, we record all game sessions and we can play these back when needed, this is both a nifty tool for making videos, but also a secondary part of the Anti-Grief system, as it lets us playback situations from the game and look for bugs, cheats, exploits, random griefing etc.

Reto.Colding was the man with the binary camera (and full control of the weather).

New LOD Models and textures

One of the things we need to do when creating buildings and other props for the game is to build LOD (Level Of Detail) models. LOD Models are low-resolution models that are used when you are looking at something far away. If you imagine a door with hinges, keyhole, door handle etc. When you are 50 meters away you cannot really see any of these, so there are no reasons for the computer to spend CPU and GPU power drawing them.


Continue reading to see how we got there :-)

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Clear sky to overcast from a rendering perspective

To penetrate and dissipate these (ingame) clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education. – Thomas Jefferson

This time I’ll write a bit about our upcoming real-time volumetric cloud system. Unless something goes horribly wrong and the sky is falling down the new clouds should make an appearance in the Jefferson build.

About a year ago I wrote the code and shaders for the current cloud system, that uses sprites to render the clouds seen in the action game. At that point I was already pursuing various options for rendering clouds in a different way, that I wasn’t satisfied with the quality and performance I could achieve using sprites, but due to lack of time I had to let go of the research and use the sprite system.

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Overdraw: An effects dude’s worst enemy.

I would just love to see a thick black and grey smoke slowly sweeping throughout the battlefield and to see smoke and dust linger for several seconds after various explosions and impacts – however…

this will destroy the performance and the frame-rate will drop through the floor, making everybody curse at me and scream and yell and shake their fists in my general direction! SO…

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What are you waiting for soldier? We need heroes on the battlefield and generals to lead them!