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Faster lo-res PD?
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Faster lo-res PD? Reply with quote Back to top

Hey there fans of the great game that Perfect Dark is, doing great?

Been playing this game for many years, with the original on my only 64 and even emulated versions, the one that Iīm willing to know more now

You see, I play this game alone and with friends on my Wii, via the emulator not64, and, get a pretty much playable setting, with some lags only when things are really crowded (well, the 64 was like that too)

But, since I started messing a bit with modding the game with the Goldeneye X setup editor, I noticed that many things are easy to change, did a version without the guns reloading animation for testing for example

But, the question is, is there a way to mod the game to make it run smoother? I noticed that the main issues of the frame rate is, again, crowded scenes and some special guns, that seems to have a higher poly count (Reaper, Mauler and Shotgun comes to mind)

Let me know if any of you tweaked the game on something on the matter and if you guys can help me out, for now, Iīm only doing mods for fun, but, would be awesome to do a "ligher, lo-res" version for example of this game for better multiplayer experience with friends!

Let me know if such thing is possible! Thanks in advance!
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome to Shooters Forever! Smile

Glad to see another PD fan interested in using the Perfect Editor to customize ROMs. You'll find there are many things you can do, but not all are easy to start using straight away. If you stick at it, read tutorials, and ask questions, you'll get it going.

One idea I have, if you prefer framerate over looks, would be to modify the character (head and body) models. Most of them have a high poly version, and a lower poly one seen from farther distances. If you change the rendering distances inside the file, so it only ever shows the low poly models, it should help. However, they will look really boxy, without much definition. You might want to test a couple and see how it fares, and if it isn't too poor looking. I may be able to help out to get you started, if that sounds like something you'd like to try.

Weapons in 2P+ modes should already be using the "lod" low definition models, but you could also set the 1P only weapons to be the same way. In the first weapons menu of the Editor Game Configuration menu. First model ID is 1P, second is 2P+.


Edit: I took a little time to edit four characters to use only their lower definition parts. I picked a few that were "cooler" people to start with (Mr. Blonde, Trent, Shocktrooper, Biotechnician). Grab the following zip file, extract the contents, and use the Perfect Editor to inject them into your custom ROM. Each .bin file has the file ID and model name listed. Simply select the model from the Stage Options portion of the Game Configuration menu, and click Inject File to replace it with the new one. Give it a test and see if there is any noticeable improvement. The PD characters seem less crude in their lo-res versions than GE. In fact, Biotech looks just fine. The dD Shocktrooper is probably the worst in this batch.

http://netbooksolutions.ca/goldeneye/pd/PD_C_Z_lores_samples.zip
 
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wow, many thanks for the message Wreck! Glad for the welcoming part and much more for all the help and support already given in just one message! hehe Smile

Now that things got into the "possible" realm, Iīm much more excited to work things out, and, this first part already gave me a first step

You see, I got the models you sent me (truly thanks for doing this) and replaced the Mr.Blonde one only for testing, and, did some combat simulator runs here with the game crowded with Mr.Blondes, and, gotta say, donīt know if itīs an placebo effect yet but the game truly seems to be running smoother! Very Happy

I think it worths a shot to try to do this "lo-res" version of each model, if it improves the gameplay, the models are not THAT ugly as I initially thought and, this is a projects focused on multiplayer, so, with the divided 4-player screen, nothing of that will be much of an issue! ^^

So, Iīm gonna start working on this, but, need a quick advice.. you think itīs better to extract all the "lo-res" files on the gameīs models and re-inject them just like I did with Mr. Blonde here or there is an easier option to do on the game configuration, changing the depth of view or level of details of all models all at once?

Just let me know how I can start things up and, in the first case, I find all lo-res models in the same "Stage options" part that Iīve injected the one you sent me now, right?

Will be waiting for your reply and, of course, take your time too cause you are already helping me a bunch with this first part, Iīm really excited for doing this cause itīs about 16 years since I dreamed about playing this game on a better frame-rate with friends but, not using an PC emulation or the Xbox version, which Iīm not very found of (donīt even have an Xbox too! XD)

Thanks again and till next message!
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Glad I can help you out. Hopefully the efforts can result in a better performing multiplayer experience, even if it doesn't look quite as nice.

I edited the min / max drawing distances myself manually, by opening the files in a Hex Editing program. However, you should be able to do the same with the Perfect Editor. First, go to File, then choose New. Pick a level from the list. I usually pick Ump_setuppipesZ, as it loads a bit more quickly. Then, go to Edit Setup, and click Visual Editor. Once it opens up, go to Tools, and pick Model Editor. After it opens (must have Visual Editor loaded too), you can choose a character model from the "Guards" list. Once you pick one, click the Edit button. You'll see a window to the lower left open up. Scroll down this window until you see "Distance Trigger". There will be Minimum Distance and Maximum Distance listed. If Min is 0.0, change the Max to 0.0 as well. If the Min does have a value other than 0.0, change the Min to 0.0, so only the Max remains with something greater than zero. You'll need to do this a bunch of times for the different parts. Once all are done, click the "Export" button in the bottom left hand corner to save the edited character. You may also be able to inject into the ROM straight from there, but make sure you have the right ROM chosen in either the Preferences, or you selected it at the top of the Model Editor menu. There could be some random characters with issues, but that can be remedied later on.

Since you have disabled the reloads, you could probably also remove the hands from many weapons. Obviously not pistols or smaller machine guns, but bigger guns where you barely (if at all) see your right hand. The left hand is only really important for reloading animations, after all. You can do this in the first Weapon Stats menu. Choose a gun from the list, such as the AR34. Now, the upper middle left side you will see "Flags". See the little box with the "..." Inside? Click it to open a menu. There is an option that says "Hands Drawn". Click it to remove the checkmark. That should get rid of the hands, and draw less polygons on screen.

And you're obviously playing with Hi-Res OFF, correct? That can really take a hit out of performance. Looks purdy, but impacts the framerate heavily at some moments.

The lod weapon models seem to mostly remove parts of the weapon that you can't normally see. Some pieces on the right hand side, as well as front on only parts (keeping reload animation in mind). Rare kind of did similar with the regular models, by breaking up some parts and only showing them via the menu. The lod versions don't show in the menu (since 2P+ modes only list weapon names), so they simplified matters. Smart, and potentially helpful with less being drawn all around.
 
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ok, I will try to cover all these options and see what happens, this might take a little while cause I will work on this in the mid-time between work and other things, but, yeah, if I need anything, will send a message here! Smile

Again, many thanks for all the help, hope things work it out! ^^
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If I can think of anything else that could potentially help performance, I'll remember to mention it. But most would require altering physical models, like props or backgrounds. But in most cases, rare tried to optimize the multiplayer levels to keep framerate up, so I doubt much can be done there.
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Can I say that I'm very interested in this as the framerate in PD has always been a bane of mine to the point where I was modifying consoles and counter tweaking the speeds in the rom to try and get smoother results, and even swapped out the ram to try and fix latency issues.

I'd be dead keen to try out any improvements you do manage to glean from the system. Does anyone know if there are debug tools that can be used to measure the differences during gameplay?
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK! FINALLY DONE! Very Happy

Was quite a chore change values of each model and get things to work but itīs finally done now

Well, Iīm doing this in phases, so, the first one was just replacing the models for their lo-quality ones, and, this is what I concluded now

The characters look extremely ugly in some cases, but, since again this is for multiplayer only, I think the smaller screens can hide some of those terrible looks, specially with some faces XD

But, about the performance, well, again, donīt know if itīs a placebo yet but I can definetely see some improvement, some crowded areas run more smoothly and, tested a game with four screens and, again, seems to have a better frame-rate quality

But, also, I see that are other things that are messing a little bit on the delays and such, seems the emulator have a little extra time to load the weapons, since the lag happens mostly when putting the higher polygon ones into the screen, so, the next step will tweak the weapons too, with the infos you sent me, will try to do versions without the hands and reload animations, and see what I can get

But for now, itīs definetely an improvement, and, even with the ton of work, Iīm happy to work on this and probably do something not only for me, but for the community too maybe (judging by the other fellaīs reply! ^^)

So, for now, I think thatīs it, will try to make new versions tweaking weapons also to see what happens! Thanks again for all the support and guidance! Smile
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Glad to hear you got it sorted. I'm sure some characters look pretty rough, since you were only supposed to see them from a distance. But if it's for three to four-player split screen, than the smaller squares won't make it quite as visible. Performance is the important thing here, after all.

The slowdown between weapon loading should only occur on emulators. This can happen on the N64, but it's more rare (likely higher poly models with a large number of textures, or a custom model that doesn't register all the textures inside the file header). But generally speaking, that's more an emulation issue.

Getting rid of hands may help somewhat. Especially when both were visible on two-handed weapons. Of course, reloads need disabling. Can't have a shotgun magically insert shells all by itself. Razz
 
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, Iīm pretty sure things will work better without the hands and the reloads off too, did some runs here and even did a test with a crowded game, two players, 8 simulants and a small place (Facility) , and, unarmed only, and yeah, the game had 0 slowdowns, which probably means that, reducing the number of polygons for the models already made a difference even in a crowded scene, and thatīs definetley some good news! Smile

I noticed that only two minor issues happened.. one, Joannaīs combat standard outift vanished (now she is just a floating blocky head) and, the purple Sniper outfit glitches tjhe textures of the stage wherever it passes closes by

If this canīt be fixed via codes, I can always extract the original models from the game and reintroduce them via the editor right?

But yeah, will bring some news when the guns are changed too! Smile
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ah, right. Joanna Combat body doesn't actually have lower poly models, I'm pretty sure. So you likely reduced the distance on her parts to zero, so now nothing shows. Simply load a normal Perfect Dark ROM into the Editor, save out her original file, then inject it into your custom ROM. No helping her, I'm afraid.

Strange about the dD Sniper. I could see about changing it manually, if that helps. There could be something unique about it that the Editor doesn't currently support. Can you try the head and body separately, to see which of the two is screwed up?
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Are there any other places where gains can be made? Turning off light flares to remove the need for an alpha pass for instance Smile
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Rare already made some cutbacks for multiplayer mode. The lens flares (or coronas) aren't rendered (though only Ruins in Combat Simulator featured lights), the sun and other weather effects (again, not in any CS arenas) don't show, and ejected bullet casings are absent. There may be more things. I think the scorch marks from explosives are missing in GoldenEye multi, and may also be in PD. So there isn't a whole lot to try out.
 
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TheInsaneDarkOne
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just to let you guys know, I did the final version of the game with everything cropped the best I could, the thing is, will still test that playing with four actual players + bots to see if I got improvement in an actual match

After things are done with the testings, would be ok to share the hacked rom? I donīt know how things work here with things regarding this subject of sharing roms and etcs, so, let me know in advance to know if other would also be interested to test this one in different scenarios

Again, many thanks for all the help, wouldnīt be possible without it! ^^
 
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You can create an Xdelta patch for other people to use with the Perfect Editor. If you need help with that, someone here can walk you through it. We don't allow ROMs, just to be on the safe side. Patches are welcome, though, as they mean nothing on their own.

Did you need me to manually edit the dD Sniper? And did you determine if it was the head or body that was causing graphical errors?
 
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