Battle screen - allow playback speed faster than 4x


#1
  1. Just what the title says. Watching space cruiser fleets crawl across the screen at each other at 4x is just way too slow. Sure it’s nice that I can do a load of laundry while waiting for the showdown, but I’m pretty sure the name of the game is not Gratuitous Space Battles When You Have Finished The Laundry. Not that that isn’t a bad title too.

  2. An option to reduce rendering detail at high-playback speeds would be helpful too. So lasers could render without the gratuitous effects when you are running through at 16x speed and you just want to see how the battle ends.


#2

But what does gratuitousness exist for, if not to be savored!? :smiley:


#3

Um… My machine with a Geforce 9600, 4 GB of RAM, and a Core 2 Duo slows down if I even speed it up a little. We don’t need anything faster than 4x. We need things optimized.


#4

Obviously you guys are not hardcore enough to test eight minor variations of the same deployment to see which weapons or orders work better. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, there’s not much to savor when you’re watching your slow cruiser fleet cross the Caspian IV map (for 5 minutes!) to reach that annoying engineless fleet. By the way, I have a pretty old Pentium 4 system and I’m able to run the game just fine at 4x playback after disabling some minor features like space hulks and running lights. It would be nice if you could get some of the gratuitous graphics to come back automatically after you slow down to 1x or 2x though.

I don’t know why you guys are against adding a increased playback speed option. Flipping the switch from 4x to 8x to 16x should be fairly trivial.


#5

I suspect you’re hitting the infamous sound bug and you’d benefit from unchecking “Pitch Shift Sounds” on the Options screen. If your sound card is one of the ones that causes this issue, you’ll have major performance problems at any speed other than 1x.


#6

Actually, that was one thing I unchecked. Yay. Its faster now

I’m happy with acceleration going faster than 4x now (but I only have the demo so far, so I wouldn’t know how long things take)


#7

I don’t think I;m against it; I was just being funny.

My suggestion is that people not make engineless challege fleets. Jerks :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

The problem with running the game at faster speeds is that the simulation isn’t entirely decoupled from the rendering and you’ll see even more discrepancies between identical matches (try saving a deployment and running the same match a couple times, you’ll get different results) Some people only ever play at 1x speed in case it effected their outcome. This is a known issue and one unlikely to change.


#9

Agreed. =D Too bad even single engine cruiser fleets take a long time to cross Caspian IV though. :\

But this is strange… how exactly does speeding up or slowing down the game affect the battle? Would weapons miss more at high speeds? This feels slightly wrong though. I play most of the battles at 4x right now to skip over the boring parts. I wonder what I’m missing.

Perhaps the game could save the battle events as a recorded file and then allow you to play them back at whatever speed you choose to without changing the outcomes.


#10

Congratulations with finishing another great game, Cliffski. I’d just like to add my support to this issue. I nearly gave the game up an hour after buying it, but since I enjoy this type of game I bit my tongue and finished it, coping using the laundry method for some battles.

The replayability value of the game is about zero though, and that includes survival. :frowning:

I’ve been playing video games since they were invented, and I’m bored of games that work as fantastic tech demos and video-card benchmarks, but are lousy at actually entertaining people. You know what I mean?


#11

Have you looked at the online challenges part of the game? It gives unlimited replay-ability as people are always putting up new challenges to play.


#12

It can’t play faster than 4x because at higher speeds the integrity of the simulation starts to break down. At least, this is the best guess given mods which don’t work at 4x (by speeding up ships past game-as-shipped maximums). If the simulation were completely divorced from the rendering (and the game were 100% deterministic) then higher speeds would be possible, but the game would likely not render smoothly on low end machines. It’s a tradeoff.


#13

If my computer can run a 3D submarine simulation at 32x without a hitch, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be able to do the same for this. While I agree I like to savor the intense combat, sometimes I wish I could speed it up for just a few seconds to get some ships across the screen.


#14

I understand the problem and as a programmer who has made a few hobbyist games, I have been struggling with this problem myself. Here’s a good article about it and one way to decouple rendering and simulation: dewitters.koonsolo.com/gameloop.html

It’s not that I don’t want to play the game, it’s that I can’t bear to spend hours watching long sequences of weakly powered guns whittling away at a strong shield. I can try to design my fleet to avoid getting into such situations, but it doesn’t feel fun. Also this would make it unnecessary to stop fights short and declare victory or defeat before the game is over. I want to totally crush my enemy and see 0%, thank you!

A perfect example: I tried a challenge, and it’s clearly interesting. Unfortunately it ended up in a dogfight between two cruisers trying to kill each other with their point defense systems. I think I’d need 1024x for that one. Or maybe when the black screen bug is fixed and the game can run on its own in the background overnight…

I also understand that this is very likely to be hard to fix and might not make business sense (I have already bought the game), but without it the game won’t be fun to me.