How optimize game size?[solved]

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How optimize game size?[solved]

Postby Rooster » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:02 pm

Hi.

I recall someone (Skye?) writing about increasing game loading time when using a large number of variables. Does it matter which kind of variables you use (variants/integers)?

Since we have realized that our game is going to be HUGE, it would be really interesting to know how you have dealt with large size projects.

We have optimized the use of variables to some extent, but what about number of frames, hotspots, size of procedure file, number of files in areas and external etc.

How does it affect the game, is it mostly the game loading time that is affected, or does the game play suffer too? Developing problems?

Did someone try to split a game into several projects?

Thanks in advance

/Rooster
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Postby Skye » Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:40 am

Hi Rooster,

Yes it was me that posted the timings for slow load time on a saved game when having different numbers of variables. I only use integer variables so I can't comment on how it would be different with variants but my guess is that it wouldn't make any difference.

How does it affect the game, is it mostly the game loading time that is affected, or does the game play suffer too? Developing problems?


The number of variables only seems to create problems when the player needs to reload a saved game. The initial start up of the game is well within acceptable limits and I have 1800 + variables in my game.

We have optimized the use of variables to some extent, but what about number of frames, hotspots, size of procedure file, number of files in areas and external etc.


The number of frames, hotspots, procedure file etc do not seem to have any affect on the playability of the game at all. I can speak from experience here because I have over 4000 frames and a few of the frames have upwards of 20 hotspots. Movement between frames (even the ones with large numbers of hotspots) is quick and smooth. The procedures files runs flawlessly also. Mine is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300KB and again, no hesitation when the scripting is called upon to handle an effect or puzzle sequence.

Developing problems?
Did someone try to split a game into several projects?


Now here is where you WILL run into problems with a large project. As the number of frames increases, it will take AM longer and longer to load the project and if you have all the frames in their own subfolders it will really slow things down when the project loads. A large procedure file will take a long time to load and will be a headache to work with because the VB editor seems to read through the entire file every time you make a change or move to a different location in the file. There are, thankfully, ways around these obstacles. I did have a description of how to work with large projects posted in the old tutorials forum. I'll see if I can locate it or barring that, I'll rewrite it.

Until then, to answer your question about splitting a game into several projects - a definate YES. My game exists in 9 separate projects which I combine to create the Main game.

A tip for dealing with a large procedure file; I maintain a copy as an RTF file. All the changes that need to be made I make in the RTF file. When I'm done with corrections or new procedures, then I load the main game, open the procedures and cut and paste the appropriate pieces into the procedures. It saves a lot of hassle waiting for the editor to do what I'm asking.
Another advantage to splitting a large game project into smaller pieces is the relative ease with which you can test and modify your VB script. It takes my Full Game about 5 minutes for AM to load and then an additional 15 mins or so to read the procedures when I want to edit them. 20 minutes can be a long time if you discover while testing that you forgot to initialize a variable :( Testing out the script in the smaller projects is a breeze :) and you know it will be correct when you incorporate it into the main project.

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Postby Skye » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:57 am

Hi Rooster,

I did up a new tutorial on how to split and recombine a large project. I did it at work from memory for some of it (don't use folder or frames files on my main game project) so I hope I got everything named properly :wink:

Let me know if something isn't very clear or if you are confused about something. The procedure looks very daunting but with a large project, it is the ONLY way to go.

It's in the Tutorials section (duh)

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Postby Rooster » Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:02 pm

Hi Skye.

We will certainly try this out. Thanks a lot :D

/Rooster
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Re: How optimize game size?[solved]

Postby GM-Support » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:21 pm

Rooster wrote:increasing game loading time when using a large number of variables

Skye wrote:slow load time on a saved game when having different numbers of variables


Just for the record, these issues have been fixed in AM v4.5 and newer.
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