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Three Types of Optimization

Three Types of Optimization

In designing the new engine, I have found that there are three distinct types of optimization. Streamlining This is refinement. You make small changes and try to gain a small amount of performance. Typically, this is done as a last step before releasing code. The process can be ongoing, but suffers from diminishing returns after a while. When you eliminate unnecessary math based on guaranteed assumptions you are streamlining code. For example, a 4x4 matrix multiplication can skip the calc

Josh

Josh

Revisiting Border Recon

Ok I'm finally done with my obligations to my University as a student. Now it's time to come back to game dev and finish up (hopefully) the Border Recon development.  While I was busy in University, I did do a bit of work on the game here and there. I added a spectator feature that allows the players to spectate others in free mode and third person while waiting to respawn after dying. Pretty cool. Also, I think some of us have seen the earlier changes with the style of the graphics...

jen

jen

Animation Tweening

Leadwerks 5 uses a different engine architecture with a game loop that runs at either 30 (default) or 60 updates per second. Frames are passed to the rendering thread, which runs at an independent framerate that can be set to 60, 90, or unlimited. This is great for performance but there are some challenges in timing. In order to smooth out the motion of the frames, the results of the last two frames received are interpolated between. Animation is a big challenge for this. There could potentially

Josh

Josh

First Animation Metrics

I got skinned animation working in the new renderer, after a few failed attempts that looked like something from John Carpenter's The Thing. I set up a timer and updated a single animation on a model 10,000 times. Animation consists of two phases. First, all animations are performed to calculate the local position and quaternion rotation. Second, 4x4 matrices are calculated for the entire hierarchy in global space and copied into an array of floats. To test this, I placed this code inside the ma

Josh

Josh

Animation in Leadwerks 5

The design of Leadwerks 4 was meant to be flexible and easy to use. In Leadwerks 5, our foremost design goals are speed and scalability. In practical terms that means that some options are going to go away in order to give you bigger games that run faster. I'm working out the new animation system. There are a few different ways to approach this. In situations like this I find it is best to start by deciding the desired outcome and then figuring out how to achieve that. So what do we want?

Josh

Josh

Second Performance Test: nearly 400% faster!

After observing the behavior of the previous test, I rearranged the threading architecture for even more massive performance gains. This build runs at speeds in excess of 400 FPS with 100,000 entities....on Intel integrated graphics! I've had more luck with concurrency in design than parallelism. (Images below are taken from here.) Splitting the octree recursion up into separate threads produced only modest gains. It's difficult to optimize because the sparse octree is unpredicta

Josh

Josh

First performance demonstration

I am proud to show off our first performance demonstration which proves that my idea for the Leadwerks 5 renderer works. To test the renderer I created 100,000 instanced boxes. The demo includes both regular and a mock VR mode that simulates single-pass stereoscopic rendering with a geometry shader. The hardware I tested on is an Intel i7-4770R (for graphics too) which is a few years old. Now this is not a perfect benchmark for several reasons. There is no frustum culling being perform

Josh

Josh

Multithreaded Rendering

After working out a thread manager class that stores a stack of C++ command buffers, I've got a pretty nice proof of concept working. I can call functions in the game thread and the appropriate actions are pushed onto a command buffer that is then passed to the rendering thread when World::Render is called. The rendering thread is where all the (currently) OpenGL code is executed. When you create a context or load a shader, all it does is create the appropriate structure and send a request over

Josh

Josh

Building a Zero-Overhead Renderer

The Leadwerks 4 renderer was built for maximum flexibility. The Leadwerks 5 renderer is being built first and foremost for great graphics with maximum speed. This is the fundamental difference between the two designs. VR is the main driving force for this direction, but all games will benefit. Multithreaded Design Leadwerks 4 does make use of multithreading in some places but it is fairly simplistic. In Leadwerks 5 the entire architecture is based around separate threads, which is chal

Josh

Josh

Lua in Leadwerks 5 is Solved

When considering the script system in Leadwerks 5, I looked at alternatives including Squirrel, which is used by Valve in many games, but these gave me a deeper appreciation for the simplicity of Lua. There are only a handful of rules you need to learn to use the language, it’s fun to use, yet somehow it does everything you could ever need. These were three big issues I had to solve. First, the Leadwerks 5 API makes extensive use of smart pointers, which our binding library tolua++ does not

Josh

Josh

More amazing things you can do with Lua in Leadwerks 5

Our implementation of Lua in Leadwerks 5 is shaping up to be a dream come true. Below are some of the great improvements that are being made. Access STL Containers in Lua You can access STL containers directly from Lua: for n = 1, #entity.kids do entity.kids[n]:Move(1,0,0) end while #entity.kids > 0 do entity.kids[1]:SetParent(nil) end In fact, verbose commands like CountChildren() and GetChild() are no longer needed at all. On the C++ side you can use this: for (int

Josh

Josh

Lua binding in Leadwerks 5

Lua binding in Leadwerks 5

The Leadwerks 5 API uses C++11 smart pointers for all complex objects the user interacts with. This design replaces the manual reference counting in Leadwerks 4 so that there is no Release() or AddRef() method anymore. To delete an object you just set all variables that reference that object to nullptr: auto model = CreateBox(); model = nullptr; //poof! In Lua this works the same way, with some caveats: local window = CreateWindow() local context = CreateContext(window) local world =

Josh

Josh

Visual Studio Code for Leadwerks

Visual Studio Code for Leadwerks

I have been using Visual Studio Code for a couple of years now and it is my defacto text editor next to Notepadd++. I mainly use it however to write Lua scripts.  Opensource Lightweight Cross platform Completely adjustable hotkeys (or automatically map from Visual Studio: https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=ms-vscode.vs-keybindings) Fully customisable theming (with standard themes included) Supports all major languages. Lua is supported

AggrorJorn

AggrorJorn

Plugins in Leadwerks Game Engine 5

Plugins in Leadwerks Game Engine 5

Internally, Leadwerks Editor uses an EventHandler class for every interface in the program. The material editor is a class extended from the EventHandler. So is the little window that has all the controls to calculate normals. So is every viewport. The event handler class has one important function: Event ProcessEvent(Event) Every EventHandler has access to events as they occur. This is how all program actions are handled in the editor. The plugin system will work by hooking int

Josh

Josh

Lua table gotcha

I recently was introduced to a bug in my game. I had 20 AI units and only 19 of them were actively doing something. Number 20 was just standing there. The problem eventually lied in using '#enemies' to get the amount of enemies. Here is what happened: A lua table index by default starts on index 1. This in contrary to many other languages where it starts at 0. However, you can assign a value to index '0' if you want. Since I use C# on a daily basis, I am more comfortable using the 0 in

AggrorJorn

AggrorJorn

"Cirque de Jeux" Game Tournament wrapup

The latest game tournament brought in a small number of games, but they more than made up for it in quality. Each title that was submitted was pretty fantastic. The tournament was held during an odd month and there was no banner across the forum to remind people about it, so that is something that can be improved in the future. Each entry will receive an 11"x17" poster in the mail. Please make sure your name, address, and phone number (for customs) are correct and up to date in your Leadwerks ac

Admin

Admin

Behind Enemy Lines

Hi, the last weeks in office are very bussy. But today i have some time to work on my project. In Akt 3 i  would imlement a Mortar. I found a nice free model that i rework in blender and exported as mdl file also i searched for some sounds and mixed them together. For the sound i use "Audacity" becaus i get some errors in leadwerks with this sound i converted sounds with "Audio online converter" then i work on the scirpts. i use some parts from einlanders grena

burgelkat

burgelkat

Announcing Leadwerks Projects

We've added a new website feature called Projects to help teams collaborate on their games. A project can be created with several privacy features so you can use this for public open-source games everyone can participate in, or for your team's secret project. I myself have started a project I intend to develop to demonstrate Leadwerks multiplayer capabilities: You can add a forum, blog, and downloads section to your project and use it to host files, carry out discussions, and post updates

Josh

Josh

4.6 Beta Available with Multiplayer Support

An update is available on the beta branch on Steam that adds support for multiplayer games with the following features: NAT punch-through with relay server fallback. Connectionless peer-to-peer UDP messages with multiple channels and optional reliable flag. Public server list of available games to play. Voice-over-IP for in-game chat (and taunts). The new multiplayer system will open up a new range of game types that can be easily created with Leadwerks Game E

Josh

Josh

Leadwerks Enterprise Edition Updated

The standalone enterprise edition has been updated to the now-stable version 4.5. The new installer is available in the client area when you are logged into your Leadwerks account on our website.

Admin

Admin

Final sound recording API

My Gigabyte Brix pro lacks an audio in port and I was not able to find a USB microphone yesterday. However, I found a cheap webcam with audio support and have been using this to test voice recording, and it works great. Here is the final voice recording API: bool Sound::StartRecording(const int frequency = 22050, const int format = Sound::Mono8, const int buffersize = 20480) Sound* Sound::StopRecording() bool Sound::StopRecording(Lobby* lobby) lobby->SetVoiceFilter(const uint64 steamid, c

Josh

Josh

More voice recording

Previously I talked about a voice recording API done through Steamworks. However, OpenAL already has a simple recording API that handles this. The only thing the Steamworks API adds is compression (presumably OGG) to send the data. I quickly implemented an OpenAL-based recording API, although I do not presently have any recording hardware device to test with. OGG compression can be added with the Ogg library that is already built into Leadwerks. Here is my modified recording API: s

Josh

Josh

TeamSpeak

Being able to communicate with a gaming headset or microphone is an important part of fast-paced multiplayer gaming. Therefore, Leadwerks 4.6 will feature easy to use voice recording features that allow you to talk to your teammates or taunt your opponents, in addition to a new peer-to-peer networking system. The system is largely automated so that you only have to call a single command: Voice::SetRecording(true) Or in Leadwerks 5: SetVoiceRecording(true) In practical usage, y

Josh

Josh

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