v1.33.0.4 Production Update

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GOPHURTime to let you all see what we've been up to these past few weeks. We worked pretty hard to make sure that the Third Person Infantry update went into Alpha Testing over the Christmas holiday so everyone could play around with it. Initial feedback has been great. I mean, lots of stuff wasn't working at its umm...optimum level, but we knew that going into that early phase of testing. Happily, much of those early fubars have been fixed. We've also decided to spend more time trying to fix those big bugs that are driving us mental. We've made progress on some of them but others still have us scratching our heads. Be sure to read AHWULFs report on his work down at the bottom of the page.

 Infantry:

Most of this is just getting back correct functionality. there are still a few base animations to be done but they'll be done by next week. Today was about getting the ragdoll working again. The new kit items are cool. They allow for different visual appearances on the various infantry types. Not as cool as the new grenade toss though.

Vehicles:

Some how these planes got a fubar tail when they were built. Switched them to the correct one.

Corrected horizontal stabilizer aspect ratio on:

Sound:

We're testing out the latest version of Microsoft's sound engine. This is a low level engine that decides things like what type of audio device you're using and delivers you 3D audio accordingly. We now for instance no longer have to let you determine hard ware or software sounds. The engine will know if you're running 13.1 Dorky TFX and accommodate you. For me it means no more missing engine sounds in the Hurricane. Which is nice.

Concussion Bug:

- should be fixed
- waiting for all effects to be turned on to be sure

Terrain:

- added new terrain 11-01-12_terrain.zip

General fixes to various reported bugs (FB's, floating buildings, weird berms etc.) in addition to 5 towns not touched since 7 or 8 years ago getting a little love:

Couvin
Eupen
Hamoir
Mariembourg
Spa

AHWULFs Report on his bug hunt and performance improvements:

Progress on Mr.P (Mission Results Pending)

Trying to catch MrP is a pain in the butt, it rarely happens to me. I have put a number of traps in the code to grab it when it happens. One thing I did see is that the symptoms happen when no message is received from the host or that an error occurs in the processing of it. The code that updates the UI is not executed and it comes directly from receiving the host update. The real issue however may be in the sending of the despawn info to the host and not the receiving. I am thinking of adding some time delay in the despawn to see if it changes anything.

Performance increase:

Reducing the memory in 1.32.5.255 by 60MB or so seems to have killed the Out of memory errors on the PC, from about 60% of all ctds to 6%. Watching the bug database to see if this holds true for campaign play.

Memory usage in the game falls into 3 areas

(1) Actual memory used
(2) Memory manager overhead (Smartheap on PC)
(3) OpenGL texture backings

The game generally has 2 million objects at any one point. Working on (1) using the OSX Instruments tool I collect all the memory usage, then focus on figuring out what the most common things are and how they are created, used and destroyed (if they are). This week I found the found we use was loaded 6 times, each one a total of around 11MB. I checked in a change to the current beta that only loaded this once, for a savings of 54MB. I also found places for savings in Granny textures (Martini changed this for future version, saved 13MB) and some unused data in trees (2MB). So far the total savings (most will be in future versions other than the font) total to around 85MB towards the goal of 150MB.

(2) is a tricky subject as it depends on game play and other factors, along with how Smartheap is tuned. Currently the large user of memory is OBJECT, an object which is tied to virtually everything in the game during spawned in play. I had tuned Smartheap to ensure they were created more quickly, but due to their size I think this tuning creates wasted space. I have written part of the solution to treat these specially and allow Smartheap to be tuned in a default way instead, which should cut down on the overhead while still be as fast. Martini will also change how Trees use OBJECT in future, which should save 10-20MB.