For those unhappy with the port

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    For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Rockstar2112 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:14 pm

    Copied and pasted from broken-forum for your viewing pleasure, just to make it clear that whinging about the 'poor console port' is a severely annoying case of simple gamer entitlement.

    ---------

    Also, because this issue really *** annoys me, massive incoming
    technical post with reasons why it may have been technically difficult
    or visually undesirable to have higher framebuffer resolutions or
    framerates. As a bonus, I’ll likely throw in other stuff they dealt with
    which might have impacted their decisions on rendering related changes.
    I will also rate each independent point with two 1-10 scales, the first
    representing how much entitled PC gamers would ***** and moan about it,
    with 10 being the Whiny Entitled PC Gamer Who Chooses Not To Buy It
    Because It is a Total Deal Breaker, Man, and the second representing
    development cost, with 10 being "*** it, bin the project, it costs too
    much."

    1. UI.
    This one is low hanging fruit. But if you know exactly what resolution
    your game will be, often it is significantly easier to build all of the
    UI in such a fashion that it just lands on screen where you want it.
    This means all the game UI could in theory be on one large texture
    that's just slapped to the screen and that's that. Even if they didn't
    do that, the resolution is guaranteed to be perfect, and the positions
    are close to guaranteed to be hardcoded. Meaning that if they were to
    up-res the framebuffer, you would have huge chunky blocky UI that would
    be immediately at odds with the rest of the game's high resolution. To
    fix it would require rewriting a large part of the UI system to either
    properly scale everything, or properly position relative to screen
    edges, and having the artists completely redraw all of the UI such that
    it would look good or better at higher resolutions.
    Whiny: 7
    Cost: 4

    2. Texture mapping (including normal maps).
    Given the game's internal low resolution, the look of their art was
    probably balanced such that the artists knew the target resolution.
    Given the rough size of enemies on screen, and the graphical look of the
    game, I'm expecting they made heavy use of low res normal maps in order
    to get the level of detail they wanted on characters and enemies. Were
    you to upres the framebuffer without creating new normal maps, it's
    possible for characters to suddenly look like they are all wearing
    outfits made of small colored bathroom tile, as a single pixel of a
    normal map would map to significantly more screen space in a roughly
    square fashion.
    The textures will also be nearly the same resolution as the texture
    maps, because if they are too drastically different they'd look
    absolutely terrible.
    Whiny: 5
    Cost: 7 (10 if including the world).

    3. Low polygon models
    The game world is large and open enough that the character and enemy
    models are likely quite low res, only you can't notice it at their
    target framebuffer size. Clever use of texture mapping and normal
    mapping is what generally lets them get away with this. But at a higher
    resolution, the magic disappears and suddenly you are looking at blocky
    models. Which is *especially* apparent if they have low resolution
    textures.
    Whiny: 4
    Cost: 10

    4. Fill rate.
    A lot of the really interesting and cool effects they have for a lot of
    the enemies, bosses especially (Sif immediately comes to mind), use a
    ton of fill rate by massively layering transparent polygons or
    particles. The cost for these kind of effects increases exponentially
    with render size in pixels. Fixing it would require remodelling,
    retexturing, and likely redesigning the problem models so they don't
    look like complete ***, and don't drop the framerate to single digits
    when they suddenly take up the entire screen.

    Some math (assuming Sif has about 8 layers of fur, which seems likely from the screens I've examined):
    Frame buffer at 1024x720, wolf fills the screen:
    This means it has to draw 1024x720x8 pixels in a worst case. That’s 5.9m
    pixels. Per frame, of course. So at thirty FPS it’s trying to use about
    17.7 megapixels of fill rate.
    Frame buffer at 1920x1080 (cause if you are a pc gamer, I’m sure you
    have at least this, otherwise what the *** are you complaining about?):
    1920x1080x8 pixels in a worst case. 16.6m pixels. Per frame. That’s 49.8 megapixels of fill rate.

    Of course, videocards don’t measure pixel fill rate, they measure
    texture fill rate, and when 3d rendering, nearly everything counts as a
    texture. Lighting? Check. Shadows? Check. Textures, normalmaps, spec
    maps, alpha maps... check check check. You get the idea. That 50
    megapixels very quickly becomes 300-400. For a single character.

    But wait! You say. Modern video cards are much faster than the consoles!
    BZZZZT. They are, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Console video
    chips have specific optimizations based on how developers tend to use
    them. As such they can do things like transparencies and FSAA for free.
    Or nearly so.

    Oh you wanted some kind of AA on Sif? Well on PC that just doubled or
    quadrupled your frame buffer. So now you are using somewhere between 1
    and 2 gigatexels of fill rate.

    Whine: 9 (I can’t fight sif! the game slows to a crawl!)
    Cost: 9

    5. Shader Languages.
    This is where they take the biggest hit on the port, and where they have
    likely focused most of their work. Because they have a 360 and PS3
    version, they obviously have some kind of shader abstraction going on.
    But the problem is, when you hit PC, different videocards support
    different things when it comes to shader languages, and using the wrong
    thing at the wrong time can take a 60fps game down to nothing. On 360
    and PS3 this isn’t an issue but on PC? You bet it is. In fact, it’s
    something you can’t ignore, despite the cost of testing, debugging, and
    profiling on a ton of video cards. On a modern engine? ****, this has
    been done for you (or mostly). But on the one they used? It’s only there
    as a rough helping hand.
    Christ, even when making simple PC games nowadays, you’ll find features
    you take for granted that just don’t work for **** on common videocards.
    Locking the framebuffer resolution may have allowed them to take
    shortcuts for problem graphics chips.


    Whine: 10
    Cost: 7

    6. Online Stuff
    I’ve already gone into this further up in the thread, but this is not a
    trivial thing either. But they made a choice which was great for them
    and likely enabled the project at all.

    Whine: 9
    Cost: 10 ( Non-GFWL ), 2 (GFWL).

    7. Animation Quality.
    Animation can take up a lot of space, especially when you have multiple
    skeletons (they have unique skeletons for everything in the game as far
    as I can tell), and when there’s a lot of bones per skeleton (oh, there
    is). One way people get around this is by using very high rates of
    animation compression. Well, that’s what you do when you can’t use a
    single skeleton (which is what a vast majority of games these days do).
    What animation compression does is reduce the size of the animations in
    memory, but it also introduces a jittery aspect to the motion. Ever seen
    a character’s feet float around on the ground when they were standing
    still? Animation compression.
    Using a lower framebuffer can hide some of that jittering, which would otherwise look fairly terrible.

    Whine: 4 (6 if you have crashing due to running out of memory from less compressed animations).
    Cost: 2 (reduce animation compression), 7 (change animation compression
    algorithm), 10 (try and change skeletons/reduce raw animation cost).

    8: Timing Calculations
    For those of you who don’t know how to make games, every frame the game
    takes a rough count of how much time has passed since the last frame,
    and calculates a new game state. That’s moving things, rendering things,
    animating things, etc.

    The problem with Delta Time, or DT as we call it, is that if you are
    working such that you always have a known or high DT (High being lower
    framerate), there’s a *** of code bugs that will never get seen.
    From particles that don’t work (It normally looks like fire! But now it
    looks like a laser beam into the sky!), to physics that freak out (When I
    kill that enemy he stretches to infinity!), to things that to the
    layman simply don’t make sense at all (My attacks don’t hit anymore! I
    fall through the world! The enemy only ever turns left!).

    Finding and ironing out all these issues after the fact? It’s close to
    impossible. Especially when some of those issues may have to do with
    fundamental architecture assumptions.

    Whine: 8
    Cost: 10

    9. Single threaded game updated.
    Given the PS3 only has one general purpose CPU, it’s not irrational to
    think they may have a single threaded game update. Depending on choices
    they made, that same game update may have to wait for the frame render
    to complete in between updates. If this is the case, then, given the
    fact that we already know their AI eats up a *** of CPU, it’s likely
    that in this case they have to keep the render costs extremely low in
    order to have a playable framerate at all.
    The reason I think this may be the case is that traditionally japanese
    developers have worked this way in order to target their games for a
    locked 60 frames per second. But they are also used to building games
    with very little update logic (AI and such), so they could traditionally
    keep CPU costs for things other than rendering low.
    But I’ve seen how poorly modern games can perform in these scenarios, so
    if they did build it this way, they’d have little choice in these
    matters.

    Whine: 8 (poor framerates)
    Cost: 10


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by KomradDakka on Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:58 pm

    thank you for another pointless rip on the pc community.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Lancelot on Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:09 pm

    tl;dr

    The PC port will be exactly the same as the console version, everyone needs to accept that.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Rockstar2112 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:07 am

    KomradDakka wrote:thank you for another pointless rip on the pc community.

    Sorry bro, it's not meant to be a rip on everyone, I too will be getting the PC version later this year as I am heading to uni and don't intend on dragging my PS3 along with me, so I consider myself a member of the Dark Souls PC community also to an extent. It's just more for the benefit of people who seem to be incapable of understanding why they're getting an 'imperfect' port. It's not meant to be directed at the entire PC community as the thread is clearly titled 'for those unhappy with the port'. Nothing more, nothing less. No offence intended.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Onion Knight on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:42 pm

    I'm sure I saw this on Facebook and some other forum. I can't remember when though.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Rockstar2112 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:14 pm

    Moonlight Knight wrote:I'm sure I saw this on Facebook and some other forum. I can't remember when though.

    Yes, hence I said I copy/pasted it directly from broken-forum silly


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Serious_Much on Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:13 pm

    i don't like that people call it an 'imperfect port'.. it's a perfect port. Exactly the same game as the console version, only with extra stuff and no framerate issues in blighttown.. asking for more is just unrealistic really.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by bloodpixel on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:21 am

    I dislike people who feel entitled to get more crap than we do. They get a free dlc with some issues fixed, so why the hell are they complaining?


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by KomradDakka on Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:17 pm

    Rockstar2112 wrote:
    KomradDakka wrote:thank you for another pointless rip on the pc community.

    Sorry bro, it's not meant to be a rip on everyone, I too will be getting the PC version later this year as I am heading to uni and don't intend on dragging my PS3 along with me, so I consider myself a member of the Dark Souls PC community also to an extent. It's just more for the benefit of people who seem to be incapable of understanding why they're getting an 'imperfect' port. It's not meant to be directed at the entire PC community as the thread is clearly titled 'for those unhappy with the port'. Nothing more, nothing less. No offence intended.

    While appreciated, i still don't see why these posts are needed here, i haven't seen anyone on these forums causing a stir about the PC edition and their (negative) opinions on it (aside from the earlier rumors that the dlc was pc exclusive, THAT was messy) I guess what im trying to say is dont preach it to the choir man, everyones on the same page here! or at least id like to think so. My opinion!

    6 MORE DAYS, PREPARE TO DIE.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by dannyhugz on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:27 am

    On a side note, those complaining about "getting the DLC for free" are also invalid arguements anywhere. The physical copy of the console version is 29.99, digital versions generally have a -$5 price tag so it's basically 24.99 for PC users, and the DLC is speculated to be $15, Prepare to Die is 39.99, which means we are paying the same as everyone else currently(aside from those who paid $60 when the game came out, which was a worthwhile investment).


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by venomblader on Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:02 pm

    Serious_Much wrote:i don't like that people call it an 'imperfect port'.. it's a perfect port. Exactly the same game as the console version, only with extra stuff and no framerate issues in blighttown.. asking for more is just unrealistic really.

    Hi Serious_Much, I wasn't here for a long time. You are missinformed. PC version will have blocked HD resolutions and worse framerate than ps3 even outside blighttown. Textures will be lower resolution, quick matchmaking will let invite friends so it won't be random anymore. Whole game on PC will be divided between 2 networks, windows live and steam. All this means worse quality and less people playing. PS3 is still the best version. Not to mention cheating on pc. Remember xbox?
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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Rockstar2112 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:17 pm

    dannyhugz wrote:On a side note, those complaining about "getting the DLC for free" are also invalid arguements anywhere. The physical copy of the console version is 29.99, digital versions generally have a -$5 price tag so it's basically 24.99 for PC users, and the DLC is speculated to be $15, Prepare to Die is 39.99, which means we are paying the same as everyone else currently(aside from those who paid $60 when the game came out, which was a worthwhile investment).

    It varies from region to region. Dark Souls is still selling well enough in the UK that it's still priced at £29.99 from most retailers (which is about $42 give or take). I myself bought the Limited edition upon release for £44.99 (about $60) though admittedly the UK is getting a slightly better deal on the DLC than other regions with a £10 pricetag on the DLC (about $13). Still that's a larger investment for PS3 users. The argument that we should get the content for free remains legitimate, not because of the PC at all, but because it's content clearly cut from the original game, as you seen pictures of the Manticore, Artorias and such in the artbook that I own. Many people think it's very poor for a company to do this, but it's clearly a distributor decision from Namco-Bandai rather than From Software. To be honest, this thread was posted in response only to one or two people whinging in the "I'm concerned" thread, but while we console gamers and PC users seem to be at each others' throats in some retarded platform war, we should be directing our bile at Namco-Bandai for screwing everyone over to some extent.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Onion Knight on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:35 pm

    venomblader wrote:
    Serious_Much wrote:i don't like that people call it an 'imperfect port'.. it's a perfect port. Exactly the same game as the console version, only with extra stuff and no framerate issues in blighttown.. asking for more is just unrealistic really.

    Hi Serious_Much, I wasn't here for a long time. You are missinformed. PC version will have blocked HD resolutions and worse framerate than ps3 even outside blighttown. Textures will be lower resolution, quick matchmaking will let invite friends so it won't be random anymore. Whole game on PC will be divided between 2 networks, windows live and steam. All this means worse quality and less people playing. PS3 is still the best version. Not to mention cheating on pc. Remember xbox?

    You can buy it on Steam , but you still need windows live to play it. So only one system. Also the pvp arena is one area, people can still pvp as normal, but it's handy for people who want duals (Fight club. etc) Also the journalists previewing have said it runs much better than the console version.
    http://www.destructoid.com/preview-dark-souls-prepare-to-die-edition-233137.phtml
    The rest of what you said is so subjective I'm not even going to bother.


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    Re: For those unhappy with the port

    Post by Onion Knight on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:42 pm

    Rockstar2112 wrote:
    Moonlight Knight wrote:I'm sure I saw this on Facebook and some other forum. I can't remember when though.

    Yes, hence I said I copy/pasted it directly from broken-forum silly

    Now I remember why everyone complains about my lack of awareness silly


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