Optimization?

For sharing bugs and usability issues in Outer Colony.
wafehling
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Re: Optimization?

Postby wafehling » Tue May 16, 2017 2:12 am

No problem, glad to help. And I've got some coding experience, nothing too concrete or in-depth, but I know the basic of C++, Python, and VBasic.
wafehling
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Re: Optimization?

Postby wafehling » Tue May 16, 2017 2:18 am

Afraid the stuttering's still happening after installing the update. Opened a new micro world, same issues.
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Re: Optimization?

Postby Administrator » Tue May 16, 2017 2:47 am

wafehling wrote:No problem, glad to help. And I've got some coding experience, nothing too concrete or in-depth, but I know the basic of C++, Python, and VBasic.

That's solid! I love Visual Basic. My first software job was converting legacy VB6 insurance systems to VB.NET, and it was actually pretty fun, in some ways.

As for the continued stuttering, I'm going to try something with another forum user, Torvus, to see if he can hit the same problem when starting a new micro world. On my end, I'm having trouble inducing any processing spikes, as all my knob colonists are running around and doing stuff without issue. If everything were working correctly, you'd be seeing load more like this:
Image

Torvus has a somewhat older laptop with significantly lesser hardware than your build, and I want to see if he is running into these performance issues in the same way. In the past, I've used his laptop as a yardstick to tell if Outer Colony is running alright on slightly older computers.

Once I know whether it's happening for both of you or not, I can figure out what to look into next. If he's lagging out on new mico worlds, then I'll be pretty sure it's a general performance issue, and I can coordinate with him for figuring out what's going on. If he's in good shape for running it, though, then I'm in much trickier territory, and I'll have to think about what might be causing the stuttering in your specific environment.
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Torvus
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Re: Optimization?

Postby Torvus » Tue May 16, 2017 7:25 am

Just downloaded the latest version and started a micro world. I didn't notice anything weird going on. I was able to set down, put up my basic structures and begin mining without any noticeable lag.
I am Torvus. My titles at voyager games are thus: Lore Weaver, Creature Consultant, Chief Science Officer, Company Chaplain, and Star Magus among others.
wafehling
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Re: Optimization?

Postby wafehling » Wed May 17, 2017 12:03 am

Is there a debugger/monitor program I can run on my end to figure out what's causing all the trouble?
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Re: Optimization?

Postby Administrator » Wed May 17, 2017 2:45 am

wafehling wrote:Is there a debugger/monitor program I can run on my end to figure out what's causing all the trouble?

There is! It might be a little tricky, but if you have programming experience, it might not be too bad! Have you ever used a profiler before?

If you'd be willing to give it a shot, I can walk you through the steps.

There's one more thing I'd like to check out / try. I just realized that I'm not forcing software rendering in installed instances of Outer Colony, while I've been doing all my testing from my IDE forcing a CPU-only rendering pipeline. I set things up this way many months ago, because JavaFX kept spastically spitting out errors when I enabled GPU acceleration, but I forgot to include the "-Dprism.order=sw" JVM parameter in Outer Colony's installer. Torvus' laptop doesn't have a proper GPU, so his system would incidentally and correctly default to software rendering, and he wouldn't be experiencing any potential issues.

Ironically, because you have a great video card and JavaFX's GPU accelerated rendering is spastic, this might be the cause of your problems.

Before we try profiling, can you go to C:\Users\*your user name*\Outer Colony\

And look for an ErrorLog.txt file. Is one there? If so, does it contain anything?
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Re: Optimization?

Postby Administrator » Wed May 17, 2017 5:50 pm

Alright man, I've cut a new release, in another attempt to solve the stuttering.

Version 0.5.49 introduces a new JVM parameter to the launcher, this one forcing JavaFX to use software rendering only, no matter what kind of hardware is available.

For it to take effect, you'll need to download and install the update, load Outer Colony once, and this will update the configuration files with the new launch option. Then, close Outer Colony, start it up a second time, and the new rendering mode will take effect. Hopefully, this has a positive impact, but if it doesn't, I'll continue investigating until this gets worked out.
wafehling
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Re: Optimization?

Postby wafehling » Wed May 17, 2017 11:55 pm

Administrator wrote:Alright man, I've cut a new release, in another attempt to solve the stuttering.

Version 0.5.49 introduces a new JVM parameter to the launcher, this one forcing JavaFX to use software rendering only, no matter what kind of hardware is available.

For it to take effect, you'll need to download and install the update, load Outer Colony once, and this will update the configuration files with the new launch option. Then, close Outer Colony, start it up a second time, and the new rendering mode will take effect. Hopefully, this has a positive impact, but if it doesn't, I'll continue investigating until this gets worked out.


I can't 100% say for sure the problem is gone, but I've played several minutes to the point where it'd normally be choking and stuttering constantly, and had zero issues crop up. Looks like this fixed it!
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Re: Optimization?

Postby Administrator » Thu May 18, 2017 1:31 am

wafehling wrote:I can't 100% say for sure the problem is gone, but I've played several minutes to the point where it'd normally be choking and stuttering constantly, and had zero issues crop up. Looks like this fixed it!


Fantastic! Major thanks for your help in working through this, man. I really appreciate your patience and feedback on this, because I'm positive that this is an issue that affects the overwhelming majority of gaming computers.

In truth, this is an extremely funky issue, and I'm hoping to consider this fix of sorts to be temporary. The new launcher argument tells Java to not use the GPU for rendering, and to shift video processing onto the CPU. This is, of course, a bummer, because it's taking work that your video card should be doing and forcing it onto your CPU.

I might hit Stack Overflow or another resource to see if I can get to the bottom of why JavaFX, the framework at the base of Outer Colony's engine, is being so spastic in using hardware acceleration. I can see no reason for the observed behavior here. Maybe there's a bug in the JVM? Maybe there's something wrong in my buffering strategy? Maybe something I'm doing in my rendering code is ruining everything? I can't say for sure, but I might be able to consult a higher power if I file a report on Oracle's issue tracking system, or if I make a post on Stack Overflow.

At least we've got a functional solution in place, for now. Huge thanks, once again! If you hit any more bugs, which I'm 100% sure that you will, feel totally free to post them here. And if you've got feature requests for things you'd like to work differently, or things you'd like to see in the game, let me know! Every issue that's reported helps improve the system.
wafehling
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Re: Optimization?

Postby wafehling » Fri May 19, 2017 1:21 am

Will do. Just pledged to the kickstarter too.

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