DELTA General Discussion Topic

The Delta 2D Platforming Suite is a forthcoming powerful game creation tool. Its expansive scope and professional game engine will allow creation of almost any 2D platforming game – and best of all, it's free!

Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 9:22 am

WAZ__Up wrote:I just wanted to make a mention of something I noticed, when running delta in the smaller window size, when i click on Config or the other option, my mouse disappears and reappears randomly (flickers). this only seems to happen when the dropdown box is opened, not when the config box is opened. It seems to happen less severely in the maximized window but it still does happen. The curse also becomes somewhat dimmer when moving it around any time.

The focus detect for mouse grabbing has to be going haywire. Nothing else would do that.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » November 28th, 2011, 9:26 am

Simion32 wrote:Does it do that continuously, or does it eventually stop? I don't seem to see any buggy behavior here... :|

Remember, there is CAMERA SMOOTHING. The camera is supposed to slide based on that value in the [] brackets up top in green text.


It eventually stops, but it does it for about 20 seconds.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 9:27 am

What's the value in the brackets say? The higher that is, the longer it will take to get to its destination.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 10:10 am

There's no possible way it could be taking 20 seconds. Were you looking at the bottom-right corner? That's NOT seconds... :lol:
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » November 28th, 2011, 10:15 am

No, I was looking at what value the little [XX] thing said at the top, it said [10] but when I go Southeast it won't stop moving until I press a million keys to make it stop, it could be my computer, my computer is getting kinda... Slow.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 10:18 am

I'm thinking it's a keyboard hardware bug. You press a certain combination of keys, and when you let them all up, one or two of the key states remain stuck.

This goes in with the same "can't press more than a few keys at a time" stuff that comes from the crappy keyboard manufacturing process (99% of them are like this).
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » November 28th, 2011, 10:53 am

Why don't I try a game controller then. (posts joined)

Well here is what I got.
----------
I used a controller, and it fixed the problem, but that is not all, I found out that fullscreen (Regular) is much much much much much faster than windowed mode, in fact, it is 5x faster.
----------
And SORRY for double posting.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 10:55 am

Great, that explains the "bug" then. It WAS the keyboard issue.

Now go try Ctrl+F11 and see how much faster that is... ;)

EDIT: Hold the pause/break key for engine specs!
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » November 28th, 2011, 11:04 am

Here is what It said...

Windowed :
1280x800x32bit @59hz
Available CPU : 102%
Graphics : 18%
Logic : 1%

Full :
1280x800x32bit @60hz
Available CPU : 20%
Graphics : 31%
Logic : 1%
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 28th, 2011, 11:10 am

Markster wrote:1280x800x32bit @59hz
That would explain things, you have a widescreen monitor. I need to figure out what the lowest resolutions are, and have it select something smaller that matches your ratio (which should be on the order of about 4x faster in any case).

Markster wrote:Available CPU : 20%
Erm... what? :|

I really need to figure out how to fix that gauge, I find it to be more unreliable each time I make a release - people give me specs that don't make any sense! I hereby deem the spec generator a buggy piece of crap.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » November 29th, 2011, 8:13 am

Hey Simion32, good job on the progress, looks like you are FINALLY working on game-play updates, I think it is going really good, what do you plan next for DELTA?
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » November 29th, 2011, 9:56 am

Next is getting the rest of the loader system up and going, and then the object system, after which I can finally tackle physics.


Right now, I'm re-coding that bloody ridiculous stats timer. You got the figure 20%, which is incorrect. Why? It's NOT percent usage, it's percent available!

The figure of 20% makes absolutely no sense at all, and in your particular case windowed mode would be faster.

I've had evidence from Video Viking that suggested buggy statistic timing - his graphics stats are always through the roof, for no reason, and sometimes extremely low for no reason at all. The results aren't reliable.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 1st, 2011, 5:11 pm

Now hunting down memory leaks and heavyweight heap corruption bugs in the heart of the engine.

NGUI is at fault in several areas, including the text drawing routines. I found an option to make the EXE freak out upon heap corruption, and now have a method to track the corruption crashes.

I've also grabbed an allocation checking tool called Stones of Nvwa, it's helped get rid of a whole bunch of memory leaks already. 8-)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 4th, 2011, 3:36 pm

I just nailed down a huge bug in the debugging code itself, which was causing random crashes due to multi-threaded access conflicts (and therefore data corruption).

I'm working on getting some more bugs/crashes out, and this should go a bit faster now that I've gotten rid of that really confusing multithreaded crash (trust me, the multithreaded crash I speak of would happen ANYWHERE with little explanation as to what did it).
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 5th, 2011, 7:57 pm

Progress Update: Bugs Gone, and....
DELTA_PostProcessingBasedDeltaTiming.png
DELTA_PostProcessingBasedDeltaTiming.png (25.6 KiB) Viewed 24832 times

The inter-frame blending actually looked horrible in practice and has been removed from the engine. That is what led to the rediscovery of a technique I thought would be impossible - delta timing!

This only requires DELTA to keep a few extra "history variables" around for each object regarding their positions and animations.

When you run at something other than 60Hz, DELTA will automatically render graphics at the best possible position in-between the last 2 logic frames. The effect is that the camera and object movement can be effectively smoothed out to higher (and lower) Hz rates without any expensive graphics processing overhead - and users will not have to scuffle with floating-point rounding errors and berserk physics code.

I can still make the guarantee that the game runs at 60 logic frames per second, no matter what the rendering speed is. So this simplifies making custom objects; as a custom object designer you do not have to account for somebody's computer setup using a different rendering rate.

In short this means that DELTA will now run faster and smoother. 8-)

EDIT: I just completed the higher-Hz part of the delta timing method, and it is unbelievably smooth!! :mrgreen:
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 9th, 2011, 11:17 am

It has been a few days ever since I focused on Delta, so far, what do you have to do?
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 9th, 2011, 11:30 am

Markster wrote:It has been a few days ever since I focused on Delta, so far, what do you have to do?
I have the low-Hz delta timing and some very special frame skipping code (for slower computers) to implement.

Notice: a Full Backup has just been Completed.

Don't worry, work is being done - I took out a day to get all my files together and did a full backup of everything, it ended up being roughly 13 DVDs in size (~48GB). Now, absolutely none of the data is at any significant risk. :geek:
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Cosmicman » December 10th, 2011, 5:47 pm

I tested this on my Vista and it worked perfect, plus it picked up my really, really old Microsoft D-Pad, this progress got me pretty hyped up!
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 11th, 2011, 10:17 am

That's great to hear cosmicman!

DELTA is now using the lowest-level input interface possible, and the 64bit time stamping that's attached should ensure that user input is not registered to the wrong frames, skipped, or other various input logic glitches exhibited by your average game engine. I've got the synchronization covered without creating more than one thread (as doing another thread would create severe lag problems on single-core cpus, and create input desync on multicore's).

Speaking of timing and synchronization;

DELTAv006Br72_FPSMeter.PNG
DELTAv006Br72_FPSMeter.PNG (3.89 KiB) Viewed 24732 times

I found a way to detect frame skips by getting a very coarse estimation of the current video cycle's running time.
The FPS Meter is back!
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 12th, 2011, 8:05 pm

Progress Update: Frame Timing COMPLETED, Smooth Frame Skipping

I have just completed the frame timing methods - it now works for all Hz's no matter what your monitor's refresh rate Hz is. It even works with weird rates like 59Hz and should properly result in a perfect, overall rate of 60 game logic frames per second. (The only perceivable limitation is that it uses whole-number Hz's, but it doesn't really need any extra granularity to work correctly, anyway.)

Not only that, but I've taken this new timing code a step further - it calculates the minimum delay required to collect input, so that button presses will be precisely registered - as if they were being detected exactly every 60th of a second, not just an "effective 60 times a second" that jumps all over the place on each frame. By doing this I have basically ensured that input will be smooth no matter how slow DELTA has to run.


To top it all off, the new video timing is also outfitted with Smooth Frame Skipping. If DELTA is taking longer than a frame to do logic and rendering, it will be able to switch to a lower display rate while keeping the display output smooth. This is done by forcing DELTA to waste time until 5% past the frame end, even if some of the frames actually made the deadline - the effect is a reliable, smooth frame skip.

The order of progression for a few Refresh Rates:
_______(<=100%) (<=200%) (<=300%) (<=400%)
60Hz: 60.00FPS 30.00FPS 20.00FPS 15.00FPS
75Hz: 75.00FPS 37.50FPS 25.00FPS 18.75FPS

To prevent confusion, please note that Refresh Rate (monitor Hz) is not the same thing as Frames Per Second (FPS). ;)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 16th, 2011, 9:19 am

Hey Simion32, have you ever consider making a beta version of Level Builder that just creates tiles for Delta.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 16th, 2011, 10:43 am

No, I haven't, and there's not much point because DELTA isn't far enough to be doing the real level files just yet.

You know the test DebugLevelBinary.dat file that is included with the latest DELTA? It's the same stuff that RE extracts from a level in extraction mode. You can actually drop a different level and its tileset PNG's into the r70 DELTA if you're clever enough (and you do it right). ;)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 18th, 2011, 3:04 pm

I got some questions on some of the BETA side of stuff.

1. Will you keep the unused DKC2 Ship Mass palette from the beta version, I recently found this beta palette in the final release. (Both (U) versions and (J) versions.)
2. Will you keep some of the stuff like upside-down dumb drum?
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 18th, 2011, 8:13 pm

Both yes.

Design and implementation of the special data structure for the collision detection system is in progress.

It's tentatively called a "Buckets on Shelves Structure" ("BOSS" - pretty nifty abbreviation eh?) due to the way I came up with the idea.

This structure aids in a few very important areas of the engine, such as heavily reducing the amount of objects that need to be checked for bounding-box collisions, and also doubles as a very fast way to find the nearest object in any of the 4 basic directions (there may be a function that calculates the closest object based on distance, too).

Essentially each level is divided up into columns (or rows in vertical mode) of (16? - this number might change) pixels wide, and these are then cut into overlapping sections of (the default) 512 pixels high, resulting in a searchable grid that speeds up finding objects based on their position. Each section of the grid is a bucket, and each row of sections is a shelf, thus the name Buckets on Shelves.

DELTA_BOSS_ExampleDiagram.png
DELTA_BOSS_ExampleDiagram.png (54.53 KiB) Viewed 24663 times

This structure also has some very unique properties that make it extremely fast to use on each frame...

Once the structure has been allocated, there is no longer a need to do any more allocation during the game. Through careful design, simply setting the root value of the Bucket Allocation Table to 0 means that the entire structure has been invalidated and is ready for re-use. There is no need to zero-clear or reset maintenance values because during use, the old values from the previous frame are always overwritten with the new incoming ones.

This in effect means that I can rebuild the table each and every frame, and I don't need to worry about the objects on each shelf getting out of order and having to do manual sorting - none of that time wasting junk is needed here. 8-)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 19th, 2011, 2:00 am

Cool, when I go make DKC2+, I will make a new Ship Mass level with that palette in it, cool structure you made, it looks like it will work really good, and that frame skipping code! Wow, Delta has so many cool things being made for it, I can't wait to kill some kremlings with COMPUTER POWER!!!
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 19th, 2011, 11:26 am

I just had a thought and the shelves actually should have an extra 128 pixels on either side that overlaps.

This is because it will provide more of a speedup — if the shelves to check for any given objects are all compacted into just one, instead of checking the shelf above and the one below, it will go faster. :geek:

That makes the default shelf size 768px, not 512 (but it will still be centered the same as the above diagram, there's just a little more overhang area).

I might eventually have to redraw the diagram, as there might be further optimization changes (might be able to get rid of one shelf by fooling around with shelf height and placement).
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 20th, 2011, 8:09 am

I got more questions about DELTA.
1. You know those graphic settings on SNES9X, like the HQ filters, and the TV simulator, etc., will you add that kind of stuff to DELTA?
2. You know in DKC3, some objects re-appear, will you make a setting on DKCLB where you can make a object re-appear, even enemys.
3. What are some of the picture formats that will be supported with DKCLB/DELTA?
4. What is the maximum FPS you are planning for DELTA/DKCLB? (I always like having stuff at 60 FPS.)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 20th, 2011, 10:03 am

1. Possibly, we'll have to see how that works out.

2. You mean like the barrel re-spawn stuff? You'll need to use a spawner object for that, which can basically generate up anything you like. The same goes for caches and pretty much anywhere an object is shot or generated.

3. All PNG formats with the exception of APNG are loadable into DELTA's 32-bit ARGB colorspace regardless of the PNG's color depth. Other images are not supported, and here's a few reasons for each:
BMP: Creates files that are too large, and the low color variants of the bitmap format are flawed or improperly handled (all versions of MS Paint screw it up). Also, most image editors do not properly support ARGB bitmaps (which again are too large anyway).
GIF: Color dithering and compression is lossy, and more than likely causes your image to lose quality via most editors. The few cases of low-color images are an exception only if your editor properly assembles the GIF, but this is not an easy thing to guarantee. On top of all that, GIFs are an animated format and are too difficult to work with.
JPG: Uses lossy image compression each time you save the image. Never suitable for games. No transparency either.
TGA: Format is too uncommon, and targeted at the same low-color kind of stuff as GIF.
TIFF: This format is intended for scanned documents and picture markup. Considered to be too obscure.

4. The maximum FPS is capped at your monitor's refresh rate, and this is not something DELTA can directly choose. However, if your computer and monitor can handle it, you could well play DELTA at 120FPS or even higher (note that a double in FPS also means a double in CPU time taken for rendering - you'll hit an FPS limit eventually, which will be some "integer-divisible" of the base refresh rate). In layman's terms, the FPS is theoretically infinite, but is limited by your PC's hardware and your Monitor's maximum Hz rating.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 21st, 2011, 3:48 am

I got a question for you on DELTA, if SOPA passes, what will happen to DELTA, and the rest of the DKC fan projects and fan games?
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 21st, 2011, 7:46 am

Well, not to be fear mongering, but in such a situation DELTA would be the least of our worries. DKC-Atlas could plain disappear off the face of the internet, and all other fan games and their sites for any franchise would be vulnerable too. Don't think Ninty wouldn't jump on a bandwagon like that - they are only out for profits.

I've ensured so far that DELTA itself has absolutely zero infringing materials (it IS built from the ground up), so at least it should be safe no matter what. DKCRE uses a few 16x16 icons but I'm calling that fair use anyway; there's little reason to take it offline other than out of spite.

Of course said bill would try to abolish fair use and it already violates the 1st amendment, so it won't pass anyway. It's just one of the RI*A's many futile power grabs, and it shall not come to pass. The result of doing so would cripple the world and bring us back to the stone age.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 21st, 2011, 11:32 am

FAN-GAMING IS AWESOME!!!
I hope SOPA & Protect IP doesn't pass.
----------
And when will the next beta build come out for download.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 10:30 am

Delta Game Engine v0.0.6.B r77
YOU TEST THIS PROGRAM AT YOUR OWN RISK.

>>> DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION HERE <<<

  • WARNING: Anti-virus programs can make this build extremely slow.
  • Any-Hz Frame and Input Modulation!
  • New Statistics Timing Code!
  • DELTA now outputs a run-time DebugLog.txt of the basic stuff it does.
  • The FPS Meter is back.


I want usage statistics. What I need:

DELTAr77reportneeds.png
DELTAr77reportneeds.png (12.32 KiB) Viewed 24563 times

Kingizor, could you test this build?
I need to know if the program hang-on-exit still happens on your computer.


DEBUG CONTROLS:
Spoiler!
F7 and F8--------------------Controls the Frame Skipping Level
L + D-Pad (Gamepad)------Moves you around by 8 whole pixels per frame.
D-Pad (Gamepad)----------Moves you around by 1 whole pixel per frame.
ABXY (Gamepad)-----------Moves you around by 8/256ths of a pixel at a time.
Arrow Keys (Keyboard)---Moves you around by 1/256ths of a pixel at a time.

L2/R2 (Gamepad)----------Adjusts the camera smoothing ammount.

BARRAL (Gamepad)--------Buggy cheat checker, doesn't always work.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Kingizor » December 22nd, 2011, 10:58 am

The most recent releaseI have prior to this one (r70) still exhibits the same issue. This new release does not, so I think it's fair to assume the bug has been eliminated. Well done! :D

Spoiler!
Usage Statistics:
1x
2x
3x
4x
FS
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 11:08 am

This sucks, full-screen is not full-speed anymore.
256x224 Windowed.PNG
256x224 Windowed.PNG (6 KiB) Viewed 24544 times

1280x800 Full-Screen.jpg
1280x800 Full-Screen.jpg (19.05 KiB) Viewed 24544 times


:cry:
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 11:11 am

Don't worry Markster, there is still a resolution fix in the pipeline for people with wide screen Monitors such as yourself. ;)

Low screen size is key to it being as fast as possible. Only screen sizes near 640x480 will be at an optimal ~20%.

EDIT: The previous stats you had were faulty and therefore fake. These are the REAL statistics you should have gotten! :ugeek:
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 11:17 am

Well I tried it on full-screen on the old version and it is blazing fast, on this version's full screen, it is slow.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 11:20 am

The reason, as I stated in my edit, is that the previous version had faulty statistics. The old version's stats aren't correct.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 11:24 am

I know, but the old one was much faster on full-screen, while this one on full-screen is almost as slow as windowed mode.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 11:33 am

Please describe "faster"?

I'm having a hard time understanding what's wrong. Your screen shots look completely fine.

If (FPS equals Hz) there is no slowdown to speak of, so I don't know what you're talking about.

If you're talking about the FPS, please take note of the @Hz stat at the top before complaining that there's not enough FPS. The FPS can only go as fast as your monitor can put out the frames. Doing any more than that is pointless.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 2:26 pm

On the old one, when I turned it to full screen from windowed, it goes 5X faster.
On the new one, when I turned it to full screen from windowed, it goes only 2X faster.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 2:36 pm

That's the statistics glitch I fixed in this build.

The old value (that tells you 5 times faster) is not a proper stat and means nothing. :roll:

Also, in the new build lower percentages mean faster. So, the fullscreen is taking more time because it does the full screen. ;)

EDIT:
How about hitting NUM Plus and NUM Minus in windowed? you should be able to tell the difference in CPU usage by that.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 2:48 pm

Okay, but I was not talking about the stats counter, I was more talking about how fast the game ran on my computer, the game went about 5X faster on full-screen mode in the old version, but on this version, the speed is only going 2X faster, it is much much slower on my computer, what am I doing wrong?
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 3:03 pm

Well, the old values that are outputted as stats in r70 and below are known to be bogus.

You may be mistaking the screwy stats system on the old builds for being legitimate usage.

See your old stats...
Windowed: Available CPU: 102 % Graphics: 18% Logic: 1%
Full: Available CPU: 20 % Graphics: 31% Logic: 1%
*The stat marked as pink is the faulty one, under Triple Page Flipping modes, which only happen in fullscreen.
...and the new stats with oldstyle values...
Windowed: Available CPU: 101.69% Graphics: 18% Logic: 1%
Full: Available CPU: 100 % Graphics: 31% Logic: 1%

See the values highlighted in red? The new DELTA does not display that!

The old version is showing you available CPU compared to the length of a 60Hz frame. Said value was causing confusion. This is why it was removed!

The usage statistics you got never changed, actually. Just look at those and compare. It's the same.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Markster » December 22nd, 2011, 3:15 pm

I figured out the problem, you set the regular movement at a lower speed, I am such an idiot, everything else runs pefect, like the mouse movement, and the speed up camera movement, sorry for all the trouble.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 3:18 pm

The fastest way to move around is by holding the L gamepad button while moving using the D-Pad. ;)

EDIT: I know what it might have been!! I added vsync to Triple Page Flipping. It's possible that the engine was running too fast on the old builds!

The timing is now correct and the logical speed of the game should be the same for all screen modes - that is, stuff should appear to move at the same rate.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 22nd, 2011, 4:22 pm

...
SimionStatsDELTAv006Br77.png
Stats taken with no rendering -
that is, completely outside the level.
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 30th, 2011, 1:26 pm

Slight update.

The last few days have been relatively slow (other than the 3-day delay full of festive stuff). I now have yet another task before me, this time I need to create my own 128-bit integer class in order to properly handle the physics calculations, starting with the division operation in finding the point of collision between two lines.

This issue arises because I'm not using doubles or floats, I need extensively long variables to ensure that the variables will not glitch during the calculation. For example the current requirement for the calculation is at the very least 99 bits (I'm dealing with fractions and huge multiplied numbers here).
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby FalsePower » December 31st, 2011, 8:15 am

Well the good news is the latest build recognizes both my usb Snes controller and my Afterglow PS3 knockoff controller.
That's pretty promising. :)
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Re: DELTA General Discussion Topic

Postby Simion32 » December 31st, 2011, 9:56 am

Great to hear it's working!

I've used the Windows Raw Input APIs, so we should have a hard time finding things that it won't pick up. It's as close to the hardware as possible. ;)


Also, the 128bit integer class is still underway. I'm almost ready to code the division, then I'll be doing multiplication, and then all of the other bits and pieces to make it a complete and usable type.

For line collision I need at the very least the operators -, *, /, >>, <<, and maybe + too depending upon the variable size at the end of the calculation. So I practically just need the whole complete type anyway... :geek:
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