Designing Performance

Game Design, Starport

Laser turrets are cool. Unfortunately the stuff that makes them cool is the stuff that cause huge performance hits. The problem is they can collide with things and they are rotated which can be slow. This can cause us to do tons of calculations between frames, checking for collisions, doing rotation calculations, etc. on huge lists of bullets. So we were thinking about lowering the firing rate of lasers by about half. Which would cut down the size of the list by half and essentially double your performance when doing crazy colony invasions with max lasers. This would be one of the more simple ways of fixing the problem. But as it could drastically affect the game-play I wanted to post it here and get some thoughts about it or maybe some discussion. If nothing else this is a warning that something is going to change with laser turrets and now’s your chance for input.

So my initial proposal is 1/2 the firing rate of laser turrets and 3 times the damage. Less bullets would be easier to dodge and 3 times the damage would attempt to make up for the fewer hits.

Flaks aren’t nearly as bad because they don’t rotate and they don’t bounce. Therefore we’re not really going to monkey around with them.


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Monday, August 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm and is filed under Game Design, Starport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Comments so far.

  1. Posted by KG on Tuesday 26th August

    IMHO, cutting the laser fire by half most definitely cause a huge change in gameplay.

    When you mention rotation, is it possible to change the laser fire graphics to something that doesn’t need rotating? Or does that refer to their actual change in direction when they bounce? If it’s the first, I think a lot of players would be happy with a graphics downgrade to keep the lasers the way they are.

  2. Posted by Thavy on Tuesday 26th August

    now is this going to be 3x damage and energy damage, or just be only 3x shield damage? it needs to be something that does both shield and energy damage, not one or the other. it keeps the game balance simmilar to when we had full laser shots and not the soon to be 1/2 laser shots. just me thoughts.

  3. Posted by Khayman on Thursday 28th August

    Honestly I like this idea. I believe it will bring back an old skill which, honestly, was never important before. Dodging will become an important new skill in the game. Rather than taking hits and then just running for the Exit, players will need to become skilled in Dodging laser blasts so that they do not take the triple damage. Not to mention the decreased lag will be a benefit for all.

  4. Posted by CaffCoder on Thursday 28th August

    I’m fairly certain that the energy damage will scale linearly but Toonces would know better. That would mean 3 times the damage and 3 times the energy loss. If it doesnt automatically then I’ll make it. Thats what I was insinuating.

  5. Posted by CaffCoder on Thursday 28th August

    KG, I think the performace is more hindered by the collision detection than the rotation but its really hard to say until I get a good profile of the laser performance and I think I’m going to do that next week.

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