Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:20 am

Hi Aloys:

Having the vis-blockers does help with the frame rate, but the main reason we were originally investigating the paging and sliding doors mechanism was the memory usage problem. For those folks who cannot fit the entire age into memory, vis-blockers won't help.

I'm wondering whether people really need to be able to run freely between districts. [I agree they need to run in between subdistricts; in between districts, I'm not too sure.] If we seal the red and orange openings on your diagram - forcing people to use Prin Pahts to go between districts - then we'll no longer see the lag while paging; it will only happen during the linking black-out. We can also open up access between the central hub subdistrict and the surrounding white subdistricts to make it easier to navigate around the white district.

Regarding the view from the top of the Hub: currently, the upper linking point is at an altitude where only the shells in the white district are visible. The inter-district walls are high enough to block out the view of all the other districts. The paging system currently pages in all the white district shells when you link into the hub area.

In the version of the hub that you have (J'anim's hub), is the upper linking point at a higher altitude where you can see past the inter-district walls?
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Egon » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:48 am

Robert The Rebuilder wrote:I'm wondering whether people really need to be able to run freely between districts. [I agree they need to run in between subdistricts; in between districts, I'm not too sure.] If we seal the red and orange openings on your diagram - forcing people to use Prin Pahts to go between districts - then we'll no longer see the lag while paging; it will only happen during the linking black-out. We can also open up access between the central hub subdistrict and the surrounding white subdistricts to make it easier to navigate around the white district.


Come to think of it: It's not a bad solution to seal of districts completely. Although perspective to wander around in such big (finished) city is tempting, I founded myself, going through Prin instead of running to shell 126 from starting point, because it is faster route. And it's a perfect example because, it is closest to the starting point shell from distinct other than blue.
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Aloys » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:21 pm

Robert The Rebuilder wrote:I'm wondering whether people really need to be able to run freely between districts. [I agree they need to run in between subdistricts; in between districts, I'm not too sure.] If we seal the red and orange openings on your diagram - forcing people to use Prin Pahts to go between districts - then we'll no longer see the lag while paging; it will only happen during the linking black-out.

Cutting up the city in separate Ages/areas is really the last thing I would want to see happen; that should only come as a last resort. The whole point of a large city is to be continuous. I do agree that using Prin Pahts is quite useful, but walking through the city is quite enjoyable too. It is a little less currently because it is quite empty in places; but we're working on fixing that. :)
We can also open up access between the central hub subdistrict and the surrounding white subdistricts to make it easier to navigate around the white district.

That's a pretty good idea. There's certainly enough room in there to accomodate something like that.
[Edit] : An 'easy' way to do that would be to go with courtyards like this. It would eat away a bit of surface from the area but nothing unbearable at first look.

Robert The Rebuilder wrote:Regarding the view from the top of the Hub: currently, the upper linking point is at an altitude where only the shells in the white district are visible. The inter-district walls are high enough to block out the view of all the other districts. The paging system currently pages in all the white district shells when you link into the hub area.

In the version of the hub that you have (J'anim's hub), is the upper linking point at a higher altitude where you can see past the inter-district walls?

Yes, the original model by J'anim was very high; I haven't opened it in a while, but I do remember that you could see all districts up to the end of the Age. I lowered it quite a bit with J'anim's agreement in an attempt to add stairs to join the two floors and give the building slightly more harmonious proportions. Having the view restricted to the white districts certainly sound like a good option.
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Paradox » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:33 pm

Aloys wrote:
Robert The Rebuilder wrote:I'm wondering whether people really need to be able to run freely between districts. [I agree they need to run in between subdistricts; in between districts, I'm not too sure.] If we seal the red and orange openings on your diagram - forcing people to use Prin Pahts to go between districts - then we'll no longer see the lag while paging; it will only happen during the linking black-out.

Cutting up the city in separate Ages/areas is really the last thing I would want to see happen; that should only come as a last resort. The whole point of a large city is to be continuous. I do agree that using Prin Pahts is quite useful, but walking through the city is quite enjoyable too. It is a little less currently because it is quite empty in places; but we're working on fixing that. :)


Please do not split the districts into self-contained areas, I think it would take away a lot of the fun of exploring the city.
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:17 am

OK - we'll keep the inter-district portals open. :-) But we'll either have to live with the paging lag, or we eliminate paging and limit who can explore the age to those with 2+ GB RAM.

Any other suggestions for an in-game way to explain the lag? The sliding doors have already been tried. If we have twisty corridors, it will still be the same visual effect as what we have now: avatar is running, avatar freezes, avatar resumes running. [Looks like we've come full circle with this thread.]
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Trylon » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:29 am

Robert The Rebuilder wrote:or we eliminate paging and limit who can explore the age to those with 2+ GB RAM.

I'm for that one. While it's a noble goal to have Ahra Pahts available for anyone, it's just too big to be able to do that and still have it fully functional.
Besides, the number of people with below-spec computers are dwindling anyway ;)
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby diafero » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:22 am

These additional courtyards for the white district look awesome, Aloys :)

Regarding the memory footprint: I am under the impression that PyPRP ages are much more wasteful than Cyan's ages. We have some ages (like Janga, Tvel or Oolbahnneea) that are larger than any Cyan age in file size, and I don't think there's more details in there than in the city. Parts of it might be that textures are not used as wisely as Cyan did, but could it be that Cyan also used some compression for the geometry that PyPRP does not, and/or that textures were more efficiently compressed? Maybe the footprint can be reduced by re-packing the files with libHSPlasma.
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Branan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:26 am

Does PyPRP use DXT texture compression?
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:32 am

The latest release of Ahra Pahts did use the "packing" (i.e. decompiling and compiling) tools of libHSPlasma, with one exception - the city PRP file. It had some dangling key references that, once compiled, caused URU to crash. [More details here.]

PyPRP does support DXT texture compression.
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Re: Portal Mechanism For Ahra Pahts

Postby ddb174 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:53 am

Yeah, even though I'm lazy and usually just link around, it adds a great feeling to realise that you *can* walk everywhere.
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