25Aug

Crashing and Patching

Development, News, Starport

I felt the need to justify all the latest crashing and patching.

Some people noticed that when you fired the fusion blast it would crash the Starport client.  We recently got rid of the FusionBlast.tga as well as many other art files.  They are now all inside sprites.bmm.  The reason we did this was to improve loading times.  Now when the game launches instead of pulling in all the individual tga files it reads 1 big file.  We also precalculate lots of things on the tgas and store the precalculated data in sprites.bmm.  This is usually referred to as “data cooking”.  This drastically decreased our loading times.  We had to patch sprites.bmm in slowly because it was 50 some megs of data and we didn’t to have a 50 meg patch.  The problem started occurring when we removed the old data files from the install.  If you had an older install that had been patched you still had all the old data files (the patcher can but does not erase files it mostly just changes them).  Thats why some of you were experiencing the problem and some were not.  We couldn’t figure out what was going on for awhile because we have all the art assets in our project folders.  So when the game tries to load the art files it would work for us.

As as side effect of the fix to this issue, we now store compressed copies of most of the art in the game.  This does increase our memory footprint a bit but hopefully I can use it to speed up and stabilize our “alt-tab” recovery times.  So if you have issues with alt-tabbing hopefully we can make that better.

So enjoy the faster load times and we apologize for the crashing.  It should all be fixed now, if not I look forward to your flames :).

Tim AKA CaffCoder

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3 comments

Monday, August 25th, 2008 at 5:49 pm and is filed under Development, News, 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 Thavy on Tuesday 26th August

    Sounds like a fantastic idea. Cleaning up clutter is always a good choice. who wants to have 50 files of data, when it can be compressed into 1 file altogether. It good that alot of Positive changes are coming onto this game. I am impressed with how smooth it has been running with the cleanups that PTT has done. Bravo, Bravo!! when would the asteroid idea be implimented? and what does PTT have in store for us players in the future? im very excited to see what will come within the next few months or so.

  2. Posted by CaffCoder on Thursday 28th August

    Thanks :). As to the future stuff we’ll see. The asteroids are being worked on by aaron and I’m fixing some bugs for this week. I’ll update later on this week or early next week with whats next. The design stuff thats up-for-grabs is the asteroids and the lasers currently.

  3. Posted by ArdRhys on Friday 29th August

    hmm, please tell us what you are coming up with, it is great=)

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