Track Builders take note.

General discussion about all the Trackmania series.

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Smok!n
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Track Builders take note.

Post by Smok!n » 07 Mar 2006 14:30

Just a little pointer to all those marvelous people who design and build tracks for our consumption on TMN.

Please be aware that not ALL of us own or have access to super fast computers, and it's hard on the eyes when trying to play those huge tracks when our FPS drops to virtually zero :shock:

I know you chaps put a lot of effort into making the tracks look and play good, but some of us don't like too much eye candy, and it really does slow our PC's down.

Even with graphic settings at the minimum, I find it impossible playing on some servers that are full of huge tracks filled with loops and wallrides.

Regards, Smok!n'.....
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Fix
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Post by Fix » 07 Mar 2006 16:49

I agree,
1600 coppers is a good max target.
2000 is the last limit.
Above is just madness!

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Post by Zooz » 07 Mar 2006 19:42

I totally agree, above 2500 coppers is impossible to play online on my PC. Unfortunately most people think a track is only good if it has over 4000 coppers, and nearly every custom tracks server has many of those lag maps. That's why I have to play on Nadeo track servers only... :(

Crusard

Post by Crusard » 07 Mar 2006 20:05

As a trackmaker I always try to reduce decoration to zero (My "Racing Station" track is the only exception...) and keep coppers under 2000 if possible. I try focus on gameplay, and add any eye candy with MT if necesary. I agree that a few people think tracks are better if they use a huge amount of coppers...

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Post by Racemaniac » 07 Mar 2006 20:05

isn't it more dependent on how you use those blocks?
i just did a little test with monitoring the framerate on nadeo's pro1 (1500 coppers) vs maniaxrace2 (4100 coppers)
where my track uses lots of blocks and coppers, few are visible at once, on nadeo's tracks you've got places where the entire tracks is visible at once, the result is in the pro track the overall framerate was probably a bit higher, but on my track i never saw the framerate drop below 30, on the pro track i saw it drop to 27...

lots of coppers are murder on pc's if they're all visible at once, if you take care to make the track closed enough and not show them all at once i don't think it's so bad.

ofcourse this is just my pc, try yourself and tell the results, if it's really still way too heavy on your pc's even though little is showed at once i'll stop using that many coppers on my tracks!!
http://nations.tm-exchange.com/main.asp ... 52738#auto

Crusard

Post by Crusard » 07 Mar 2006 20:08

That's something I'm not really sure about...
Most games don't render things that are out of view, but since trackmania uses a flexible block system the game might try to render even what's behind view. I'm not really sure though... I think I'll make a test track to make sure.

Crusard

Post by Crusard » 07 Mar 2006 20:39

Download and play this track. It tests to see how the rendering works...

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Post by Racemaniac » 07 Mar 2006 21:28

hmm, pretty interesting.
but i still see a significant difference between the start (15fps) and the actual inside part (10 fps). ofcourse when most things are behind the car everything goes super smooth ^^ (60+ fps)
but how does this translate to for example my track. is it too heavy compared to normal tracks? it's 4k coppers and on my pc i didn't notice any lower framerate than a pro race from nadeo (which is taken as a good example). ofcourse i have to say this is my slow pc and i'm running TMN on very low settings, so less transparancy etc... which will also make a difference.

besides, your "blocked view" is also still quite complex, all those roads above eachother use quite an amount of polygons... (although when trying to block them with wallride walls, i only saw the framerate drop further ^^)

i am mostly worried because my tracks are made for online play (40s long fun timetrial tracks), if they're really too slow that's very bad :s )

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otmb;ripbox
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Post by otmb;ripbox » 07 Mar 2006 22:32

well if you wanna blame any1 blame nadeo as they put the piontless stadium in that takes a lot of fps to start with secondly they havent let us interact with the floor
like in tms you could reduce fps by placing a hill ti hide the loops and wall rides
however you do make a vilid point where it comes to ppl placing eye candy but this is down to panis every1 wants to get all of his award so they try too hard and blow the fps out of the roof just making it look nice so what and how can this be solved
i can only call on nadeo to put the game right by giving us a patch with some nice fps friendly eye candy just to hide thos insane wall rides and loops

come on nadeo what do you say?

some new blocks plz!

plz plz plz
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Post by Acegikmo » 07 Mar 2006 22:39

Ogro wrote:I agree,
1600 coppers is a good max target.
2000 is the last limit.
Above is just madness!
LOL, thats WAY under my average ^^
Usually my tracks goes on maybe 1000 coppers.
then i add scenery.
4000 coppers :P

The most expensive track i have made, is totally Urban Chaos - 7520 coppers :)
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Post by ChiggenWingz » 08 Mar 2006 02:17

I've noticed that the Inflatables (bouncy castle looking scenery) seem to eat away at frame rate. I thought they would be used to occlude any track pieces behind them while the player drives around a track, sort of a way to optimise frame rate. :?:

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Post by jimbo_b_69 » 08 Mar 2006 04:51

I have noticed that even on smaller tracks with HUGE amounts of buildings, be it either concrete or balloons, i drop frames badly....

and with big tracks and no buildings, no problems.

my point... i have a MONSTER system, SLI 6800 ultra OC from bfg, amd 64 4000+ 1gig ram and fairly hefty connection. i DO have my system set pretty high on settings, and this machine handles it very well, untill there are lots of buildings.

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Post by Acegikmo » 08 Mar 2006 06:01

When you have a good PC, most things will shine with a special shineyness map.
The inflatables has one shine on every hump.
I think thats the reason for lag.
Also, putting something in front of something else doesnt help, it has to be out of the screen.
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Fix
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Post by Fix » 08 Mar 2006 08:20

TM engine doesn't do object occlusion yet (except in tunnels), so yes, you can place a huge inflatable, and everything behind it will be sent to the graphic card, and instead of gaining performance, you'll lose some because of increased fillrate (and fillrate = resolution dependent).

The rendering technique of TMN is more complex than TMS, so for the same amount of coppers, the framerate can be lower in PC3 (in PC0/PC1, that should be quite close to TMO & TMS).

ripbox : actually, I have only one answer to the copper madness of some track builders : limit the coppers in the game.
The stadium is here to minimize the need of strong decoration (because it's big, and because of it's meaning : in a stadium, you're not going to create a highway, hills, harbors or cities...this also makes difficult the choice for good stadium decorations thematics).

"Eye candy" and "nice fps friendly" are 2 concepts often very hard to mix 8)

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Post by ChiggenWingz » 08 Mar 2006 14:20

Ogro wrote:The rendering technique of TMN is more complex than TMS, so for the same amount of coppers, the framerate can be lower in PC3 (in PC0/PC1, that should be quite close to TMO & TMS)
I find that TMN doesn't run on my old system nearly as well as Trackmania (before the expansion packs) did long ago. Even with absolutly everything turned down (including dropping the colour to 16bit) the frame rate would die on my old system when it came to seeing a few cars on screen or a large portion of the track.

My new system is much more powerful now and the main problem I have with frame rate is when I turned down all the graphic settings so I could get great frame rate it would be very inconsistent and choppy. Jumping from 100 to 20fps within a split second, coming around a corner and the frame rate stops for some reason, but when I come around it again its fine. I watched it with a frame rate monitor, and for some reason the game would pause for a split second occasionally, barely noticable, but there if you know what you are looking for. So what I did to soften the jumps in frame rate was to put the graphics back up again, so a jump between 40-20 isnt as devestating while driving. Also I found turning off "Hide Cars too close" helped a bit.

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