Reduce loading times and/or RAM (random access memory) use

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Reduce loading times and/or RAM (random access memory) use

Post by RAP » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:38 am

Yes, that's right. Reduce the amount of loading times, and possibly RAM usage.

When I tried playing Rocks 'n' Diamonds in an older or slower computer (which would be months ago), and I noticed while it's pretty decent enough that the game would load all the levels in -- I found out that it's around 60MB of RAM (or that's what I last remembered, or is it 200MB?). I'm guessing that it's because the program is loading and holding onto all the Emerald Mine Club levels as a way to make the program play those levels faster. I really suggest that you should cut some slack from loading so much data to hold on to -- by simply loading a single set. And what about loading the whole directory of levelsets? I think they should display them as simply links: Click a levelset, the program would load the levelset, and there now you can play the levelset.

Additionally -- just right now, Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a 32-bit program file. Due to the fact that I'm running a 64-bit Windows OS, the game I ran used about 140MB (or 130MB when starting up the game) -- not during gameplay of course. Even though I have around 5 or 6 GBs of RAM, I'm a bit concerned that the program isn't up to date. ;o

Is there any possible way that you can rework your program to run in 64-bits so it can take advantage of the extra RAM? Or you don't have enough time? Or, would you work on the first problem only? X3 (I haven't read much about 32 vs. 64 bit comparison articles very much... so I don't know right now)

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Post by Sigma » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:00 am

I concur - loading times for the Emerald Mine Club are quite long. Furthermore, the large number of files used by RnD really slow down disk operations. Is there any way the file can be compacted so there are less of them?
Loading a single levelset sounds like a good idea - a 'load on demand' for levelsets like is done for the graphics?

The comparison for 32 bit vs. 64 bit are usually limited to memory - 32 bit programs can't utilise more than 4GB of RAM. And 64 bit programs can handle large numbers better and OSs have better security... things like that that don't really affect everything too much. Shall I go into more detail? :) 32 bit programs should run fine on 64 bit OSs. But the reverse isn't true. However, you still don't see many programs available in 64 bit...

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Post by Holger » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:27 pm

Yes, R'n'D uses quite a lot of RAM (probably too much for this type of game).

No, it does not load all levels into RAM. It just loads their meta data (level set information), because level set X may depend on level set Y (like using its artwork). (Yes, this touches a lot of files at startup, and currently this all takes longer than it should. Caching the meta data and only looking at the actual files when they have changed would speed up things. This technique is already used here and there, more of it would probably make the game a bit faster.)

About 32/64 bit: The short answer is that you don't need a 64 bit version of R'n'D as long as R'n'D does not use more than 3-4 GBs of RAM. (As mentioned, it currently uses quite a lot of RAM, but not _that_ much. ;-) )

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