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Author Topic: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine  (Read 6436 times)

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Offline Cougar11

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #120 on: August 22, 2017, 12:59:53 AM »
World of tanks and world of Warships have no problem sending out 100-600gb updates, and they are free.

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I think you meant to say 100–600 MB.
Most updated are 100-600mb, but have seen over 1gb, while the main game fully downloaded is 30gb, and it's free.

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #121 on: August 23, 2017, 12:11:27 AM »
Ssnake has issued a clarification: http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=4#comment-174851
Quote from: Ssnake
The coming update for 4.019 (new terrain engine) will be free.
It was always intended to be part of the initial 4.0 delivery, but we had to pull it and go back to the drawing board as our initial UI concept for handling the (much larger) map data turned out to be impractical.

What's being discussed right now is how we're making the map data themselves available. This depends a bit on how much there will be, in the end. If the amount of data are too large for making a download impractical - mind you, I don't expect this to happen - we may be forced to offer it as a DVD set, and producing and shipping those DVDs costs money. You COULD convert all the legacy maps by your own for free. But it would take a few days of computing time (like, all CPU cores at full blast for an entire weekend, plus possibly running out of disk space). So, that's not really what we recommend either. So, depending on the practicality a DVD set at the cost of material, shipping & handling (and nothing else) might turn out to be the solution. HOWEVER, I have to repeat that, I expect us to offer the map installer as a separate download, for free.
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Offline Cougar11

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #122 on: August 23, 2017, 12:27:13 AM »
Ssnake has issued a clarification: http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=4#comment-174851
Quote from: Ssnake
The coming update for 4.019 (new terrain engine) will be free.
It was always intended to be part of the initial 4.0 delivery, but we had to pull it and go back to the drawing board as our initial UI concept for handling the (much larger) map data turned out to be impractical.

What's being discussed right now is how we're making the map data themselves available. This depends a bit on how much there will be, in the end. If the amount of data are too large for making a download impractical - mind you, I don't expect this to happen - we may be forced to offer it as a DVD set, and producing and shipping those DVDs costs money. You COULD convert all the legacy maps by your own for free. But it would take a few days of computing time (like, all CPU cores at full blast for an entire weekend, plus possibly running out of disk space). So, that's not really what we recommend either. So, depending on the practicality a DVD set at the cost of material, shipping & handling (and nothing else) might turn out to be the solution. HOWEVER, I have to repeat that, I expect us to offer the map installer as a separate download, for free.
Much better explanation.

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Online Asid

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #123 on: August 23, 2017, 01:08:55 AM »
What about the people who purchased the 4.0 based on NO extra costs?

Here in the UK the postage, Customs and tax are significant. So people in the UK and similar situations will looses out.

While I understand the issue. I still cannot understand why the maps cannot be delivered via download. What about a torrent? Other software companies can do it. Why can't esims? Can someone please explain?

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #124 on: August 23, 2017, 01:44:20 AM »
What about the people who purchased the 4.0 based on NO extra costs?

Here in the UK the postage, Customs and tax are significant. So people in the UK and similar situations will looses out.

While I understand the issue. I still cannot understand why the maps cannot be delivered via download. What about a torrent? Other software companies can do it. Why can't esims? Can someone please explain?
Read Ssnake's clarification again. He's saying that there will be a free download of the map installer, with the physical copy of the map installer being the one that isn't free.
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Online Asid

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #125 on: August 23, 2017, 02:03:34 AM »
Quote from: Ssnake
The coming update for 4.019 (new terrain engine) will be free.
 This depends a bit on how much there will be, in the end. If the amount of data are too large for making a download impractical - mind you, I don't expect this to happen - we may be forced to offer it as a DVD set, and producing and shipping those DVDs costs money. You COULD convert all the legacy maps by your own for free. But it would take a few days of computing time (like, all CPU cores at full blast for an entire weekend, plus possibly running out of disk space). So, that's not really what we recommend either. So, depending on the practicality a DVD set at the cost of material, shipping & handling (and nothing else) might turn out to be the solution. HOWEVER, I have to repeat that, I expect us to offer the map installer as a separate download, for free.



The contradictions cause the confusion.   :confused

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #126 on: August 26, 2017, 04:28:48 PM »
The contradictions cause the confusion.   :confused
Point taken. Anyway, a reminder of what eSim is going to do to the stock maps: http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=5#comment-174931
Quote from: Ssnake
The conversion of maps that I'm talking about doesn't involve the inclusion of LIDAR scans. The latter would really inflate map sizes. But even then the old HGT format is obsolete inasmuch as it doesn't allow for a number of features that the new engine is intended to support, even if said features may not be available in this first iteration. Therefore we have not much of a choice - the old HGT files need to get converted into the new format - something that every long-term customer of SB Pro PE could, in principle, do for himself. However, we at least want to take care of the conversion work for at least all the scenarios that are part of the official SB Pro PE installation. So, that's what the current discussion is about, at least as far as eSim's official position is concerned.

http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=5#comment-174935
Quote from: Ssnake
Originally I thought that batch conversion was the way to go. We might still do that. For the PE release however it turned out to be the wrong path to take. There are too many almost identical maps. It turned out that we really have to go through the maps by hand, figuring out which map should be a base map, and fixing the maps' meta data in the process. I absolutely sympathize with the desire to have a magical converter where you just need to throw CPU time at the problem to make it go away. Be aware however that this is a very costly method, as far as disk space is concerned.
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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #127 on: September 03, 2017, 03:19:34 PM »
http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=5#comment-175079
Quote from: Ssnake
Look, the actual amount of additional disk space compared to the current installation will not be THAT much bigger. Look at the current folder for your maps (C:\ProgramData\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\maps), and multiply by a factor of about ten. That's a realistic upper limit, and probably the actual size growth will be smaller, about factor four, due to a number of countermeasures. So, we're definitely not talking about terabytes here, that would be entirely unworkable. But the installation size of SB Pro PE might grow from currently 4...5 GByte to maybe 20...25 GByte, potentially more, depending on how many extra maps you have and if you decide to convert them all.

Now, a single 50x50km˛ map that consists of high resolution LIDAR scans would actually be several hundred gigabytes in size (uncompressed, might shrink to just under a hundred once that you're done editing it). But we're not shipping such a map, so we don't have to discuss it here.

So, in that respect SB Pro isn't more demanding in disk space than other contemporary games like Skyrim, Fallout 4, or similar. It's just a significant step up from the established standards since version 2.4 or 2.5, where the installation was maybe 2.5 GBytes, and today's 4...5 GBytes for version 4.0. HOWEVER, the file size growth forced us to reconsider certain convenience features in current multiplayer games. We can no longer embed height data in scenario files (the good news: scenarios shrink in size, substantially). It is no longer practical for the host so send map data to all connected clients. So in multiplayer games the participants need to come prepared, or they can't participate; they must download the map files separately before the game start, or do it while everybody else starts playing later join a session in progress. Maps must be "published" (=locked down against further editing) in order for the data compression to work, and you probably want to work with "delta maps" that only track the changes from a "base map" when tinkering with maps. Delta maps are much smaller, but again, if you use them, the base map must be present. And since we have these different map types (base/delta) and map states (published/unpublished) and a scenario could be based on any combination of these, we were forced to add a number of precautions and safety railings in the user interface to ensure data integrity in a network session. These all have (we hope minimal) impact on the user interface and some established practices.

I hope to create a number of tutorial videos in advance, explaining the details there.
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Online Asid

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #128 on: September 03, 2017, 05:35:12 PM »
Mission download size was never a problem.

20-25GB is fine for me. It is a growing trend that many games are increasing their HD footprint with each new release/update.

Thanks for posting Rinix  :thumbsup

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #129 on: September 03, 2017, 05:38:58 PM »
You're welcome. :howdy And http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=5#comment-175092
Quote from: Ssnake
As far as map distribution is concerned, all you have to worry about is one big folder per map package that contains everything. All that the clients need to do is to download and to unpack it into the map directory (which will be user customizable). Once that the map is in place you can participate.

Yes, it's a deviation from previously established routines. You may consider the bandwidth considerations low on your priority list. We came to a different conclusion, and because of our different conclusions, most of the other UI changes cascaded from that. The SB Pro user interface hasn't changed much over the past ten years. Occasionally it must be possible however to change things lest we become entirely stuck in development directions that we can take. We don't only have to deal with SB Pro PE maps that are exclusively based on converted low resolution legacy terrain, we must also have a user interface that can deal with said LIDAR maps of several hundred gigabytes in size, each. This inflation of file sizes requires an adaptation of file handling, and with it, changes to the user interface.
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Online Asid

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #130 on: September 03, 2017, 05:45:20 PM »
I think esim games need to realise that people are generally ok with larger downloads. If someone can't download that amount of data then they can have the option to purchase a physical disk.

Hundreds of thousands of people use flight simulators, FSX/P3D/Xplane. 25GB is acceptable for them.

If esims want to move forward then they need to utilise new tech, etc. If not they will be stuck in the past. Look at when they moved away from XP/32 bit. That was a good move.

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #131 on: September 03, 2017, 06:38:01 PM »
I think esim games need to realise that people are generally ok with larger downloads. If someone can't download that amount of data then they can have the option to purchase a physical disk.

Hundreds of thousands of people use flight simulators, FSX/P3D/Xplane. 25GB is acceptable for them.

If esims want to move forward then they need to utilise new tech, etc. If not they will be stuck in the past. Look at when they moved away from XP/32 bit. That was a good move.
I think they are moving towards accepting larger install sizes, based on what Ssnake has said. But what eSim Games needs to do is to finally change the code from pure C or C++ to C or C++ modules linked by a fast scripting language, like JIT-compiled Lua.

As it is, they're trying to maintain a project with about 600,000 lines of code at last check with a mere 6 lead and regular programmers. Using mostly C or C++ has been acknowledged to make it difficult to maintain the code; in dejawolf's words, "the steel beasts rendering code is nearly 10 years old now, and was written mostly in C, which means a lot of interdependencies and confusing code. it's a bit like looking at a bowl of spaghetti and attempting to discern every single strand of spaghetti in their entire length, where every single spaghetti need to lie exactly like it did before."

dejawolf has also said that "Steel beasts is all programmed in C++. modern game engines seems to prefer a C++/script approach, where the components that requires to be run at a high speed are done in C++, while a high-level language like Python/Javascript/Lua is used as "glue". this helps speed up development and makes code more maintainable, while at the same time maintain speeds close to pure C++ code."

Add to this that eSim Games is known to maintain multiple versions of Steel Beasts Pro, and you've got them currently being seriously weighed down by code maintenance.
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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #132 on: September 04, 2017, 12:11:30 AM »
http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/11302-eta-on-terrain-patch/?page=5#comment-175109
Quote from: Ssnake
Well, asking me questions isn't going to delay the release. That's why I'm here, so the actual developers are being left alone to do their work. The trouble is of course that we're running late, once again, and it's beginning to collide with other development contracts. That some of them have been delayed for external reasons, that some customers have a serious bottleneck in their contracting departments but still need to spend their budget on deliveries before the end of the year, well, it doesn't exactly help the situation.
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Offline Rinix

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #133 on: September 18, 2017, 04:41:38 PM »
http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4380055/re-any-development-on-the-t-80-or-t-90#Post4380055
Quote from: Ssnake
At the moment our absolute focus is on the high resolution terrain, and related bugfixing.
The current version merges a number of development branches, one of which involves infantry code "refactoring" (writing new with an attempt at simplification for better maintainability). Refactoring, while absolutely necessary to retain sanity, always has a chance to introduce new bugs (and apparently it did, so they need to get worked out).
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Online Asid

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Re: Steel Beasts Dynamic Terrain Will Come After New Terrain Engine
« Reply #134 on: September 18, 2017, 04:48:54 PM »
Quote from: Ssnake
At the moment our absolute focus is on the high resolution terrain, and related bugfixing.
The current version merges a number of development branches, one of which involves infantry code "refactoring" (writing new with an attempt at simplification for better maintainability).

Maybe the infantry will work better one day  :smileyyea

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