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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Gothic 3 » Interesting experiment at work

Default Interesting experiment at work

October 21st, 2006, 03:50
If any of you are wondering if G3 would play any better on a "dream" machine, I can assure you it does'nt.

At my work we have access to some stuff you'll never likely use in the foreseeable future. We decided to test G3 on one of the machines that I'll briefly outline.

This particular PC has an AMD FX-74 3ghz CPU, 10GB RAM drive, 4GB of PC2 8500 system memory, and an Nvidia 7950 GTX. All of that you can buy, well almost. You'd better have DEEP pockets to find and buy the 10GB RAM drive. The ASUS mobo you simply can't buy yet, and never will be able to buy the configuration of the board we tested. Anyway…..

We toy'd with different settings for a day and still had terrible performance……terrible for a machine like this in particular. There seems to be a problem in the game engine itself. Keep in mind that the OS is installed in memory, the application(G3) is installed in memory. (BTW, the OS is a highly modified version of XP, similar in concept to TinyXP you can download.) As the game loads textures into memory, the engine seems to lose the location and reloads the texture again later. In theory with that much memory the game should be able to load all the textures into memory for instant access. Not so with G3's engine. A couple of co-workers are looking at the engine over the next few days and so we will know more. Also we are going to set up a duplicate machine using an ATI card and test it.

Now the funny part. Do you know I get PAID to do this LMAO. My boss loves the Gothic series(I wonder WHO got him playing it ) and wants us to fix what we can playability wise until PB patches things up
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October 21st, 2006, 04:06
Wow, very intresting and impressive stuff, keep us informed and thanks.
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October 21st, 2006, 06:25
That should be a warning to everyone considering spending big dollars on upgrading just for G3. Hopefully PB can get it optimized in time for the U.S release next month.
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October 21st, 2006, 07:05
10GB might not be enough, assuming you have XP + G3 installed, that already takes up around 7.2 GB space. The gothic3 VD system also requires some additional space. G3 can only use a maximum of 3gb application space RAM or 2 gb RAM?

How many FPS does it run? Just how terrible does it run? A godly machine like that should hopefully run it at least the higher end of terrible?
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October 21st, 2006, 10:32
G3s big problem will always be memory. It always has been in the Gothic series, and always will be, due to the nature of the game(loading such a big world all at once, and storing it in the memory). No super processor or anything will change that, it's all down to how much GB memory you have and what your graphics card is. The GF 7950 should run the game smoothly though - I know I run it smoothly on my GF7800GT even on high settings, altho I don't have too high resolution on it.

If you are experiencing any technical issues on such a machine I'd try to tweak it a bit, or lowering the resolution. Like I said, I have no real issues on my 2gig ram, GF7800gt comp. A bit of lag from time to time but thats it.
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October 21st, 2006, 15:23
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
10GB might not be enough, assuming you have XP + G3 installed, that already takes up around 7.2 GB space. The gothic3 VD system also requires some additional space. G3 can only use a maximum of 3gb application space RAM or 2 gb RAM?

How many FPS does it run? Just how terrible does it run? A godly machine like that should hopefully run it at least the higher end of terrible?
He said that there was a 10GB RAM drive AND 4GB system memory. The RAM drive is used just like a hard disk so the game files are stored there. While the game is running, the 4GB system ram is being used.

The interesting thing is that having this RAM drive should really rocket the world streaming & loading since RAM access is orders of magnitude faster than the hard disk…but it seems he is not seeing it??? Odd…

I am also interested in knowing how you know exactly which textures are being loaded. I know that file activity can be monitored but I figured Gothic 3 would have its resources in some kind of archive as opposed to being distinct files. Are you using some kind of debugger? Or maybe the game has a console that gives verbose info…
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October 21st, 2006, 18:13
"This particular PC has an AMD FX-74 3ghz CPU"

This must be a typo right Uriziel?

Otherwise I would be interested in knowing how you got your hands on a cpu that hasn't even been released yet.
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October 21st, 2006, 23:23
It has'nt been released to the public maybe, just like the mobo being used.
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October 22nd, 2006, 06:51
mmmm…a few pics would be cool.


So you're saying that Gothic 3 didn't run any faster on that system compared to a normal mid-range system?
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October 22nd, 2006, 07:35
What I'm saying is there is an apparent bottleneck in the game engine itself limiting performance. This system should run any game released at maximum settings. G3 does'nt play on it any better than a P4 2.5ghz, 2gb pc 3700 ram, ati x1900 xtx, 7200 rpm 250gb drive machine we tested it on. Both have slowdowns, stutters, pauses, etc. And don't confuse gameplay with performance testing. We realize there are bugs and other gameplay issues, that will hopefully be patched.

I talked to Ken earlier today and he is going to rebuild the system into a watercooled/iced case and start OC testing after we runs the ATI card test. Daniel and Duy are disecting the game engine now. Have'nt heard from them. From the tests earlier it appears something is wrong inside the engine.

Quick example: Imagine a 360 degree circle around the nameless hero. As he moves through the gameworld, new textures should load into memory and be ready to be displayed when needed as he walks forward. Once memory capacity is met the new textures overwrite older textures to the memory space. The engine and GPU know the location of textures to be called up when needed….lets say the hero turns 180 degrees and runs back……the textures should already be loaded into memory and can be displayed instantly. At some point as he continues to run back, new textures must be loaded again since they were overwritten when memory filled up. Simple enough right? What we are seeing is new textures being loaded and reloaded even though memory capacity has not been met. The engine is "losing" the locations of previously loaded textures and writing them over and over.

Someone asked earlier about how these memory writes are monitored. Special software is the easiest response The memory bus can be tapped and software records and analyzes the data. This has no effect on the test systems performance. The "tap" leads to another device running the software.
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October 22nd, 2006, 15:44
Originally Posted by Uriziel View Post

Someone asked earlier about how these memory writes are monitored. Special software is the easiest response The memory bus can be tapped and software records and analyzes the data. This has no effect on the test systems performance. The "tap" leads to another device running the software.
Oh you've got an In-Circuit Emulator Well then you've got some serious tools
for reverse engineering! Keep us informed on what you find.

Just from your descriptions it would seem PB has some kind of bug with their
resource cache. Perhaps certain entries are getting aged out/replaced too soon?
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October 22nd, 2006, 16:16
Uriziel, Is there any interaction going on between your crew and PB on the result that you are discovering during the analyzing of the PB G3 engine? It would be nice to know that the guys over at PB are taking a proactive approach to the results you are finding…and correct them.
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October 22nd, 2006, 16:17
Originally Posted by elkston View Post
He said that there was a 10GB RAM drive AND 4GB system memory. The RAM drive is used just like a hard disk so the game files are stored there. While the game is running, the 4GB system ram is being used.
I am quite aware of what he said. Just because he has 4GB of ram doesn't mean G3 can use all of it. It is a 32bit application so the maximum possible it can use is 2GB if I am not mistaken. G3 also uses a VD drive system which requires more HD space (in this case a RAM drive), this probably doesn't use the 3GB space remaining but I just mentioned it as a possibility.
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October 22nd, 2006, 19:04
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
I am quite aware of what he said.
OK. Sorry if I misunderstood.
Just because he has 4GB of ram doesn't mean G3 can use all of it. It is a 32bit application so the maximum possible it can use is 2GB if I am not mistaken.
Well in theory each process can access 4GB of virtual address space (2^32), but
as you noted there is usually a limit as to what portion of that can actually be
in RAM (the "working set"). Usually Win32 processes have a default working set well below 2GB and they have to make a system call to request more. It would be interesting to see if Gothic 3 requests more than 2GB if its in a system with 4GB…
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October 23rd, 2006, 01:48
Originally Posted by Ragnar View Post
Uriziel, Is there any interaction going on between your crew and PB on the result that you are discovering during the analyzing of the PB G3 engine? It would be nice to know that the guys over at PB are taking a proactive approach to the results you are finding…and correct them.
At this time…no. We normally work under contract, but this is a pet project for the bossman. To be honest I'm not sure what we are doing is even legal without a contract. I'd have to ask the legal gurus, but I'm not sure anyone is allow to "inspect" any code without permission. I just do as I am told lol.

On a side note. I was told that our server based authorization system was going to be offered to PB as a highly secure copy protection alternative. Dunno if that every happened though. At one time I was told our system was used exclusively by the military and financial institutions. But whadda I know.

@elkston
Yes, we have some serious tools and contacts. Software is sent to us under contract and it is our job to hack it, break it, find any flaw or exploits possible. At least 90% of it is software you'll never know exists, done for the military and financial institutions. And I'm not saying we do it, but it is slightly possible that we sometimes look at other similar products and features and compare it to the contracted code sample. *coughs*

@Gorath
What I posted on another site was not wrong. A NO-DVD is not piracy, it is part of fair use. Giving news that a pirated copy is available(also discussed here) is not condoning piracy….it is stating a fact. I never said check torrent sites. I never said hit the newsgroups or IRC. I never said ANYTHING pointing the person to the pirated copy. I did however state the size of the NO-DVD to help prevent the poor soul from getting the virus instead of the NO-DVD. Deleting my post and a short PM would have been nice. Calling me out in public and closing the thread was not cool. Had you simply deleted my comments into a smiley face or altogether would have been cool. I don't appreciate how you handled it. There were several better ways. BTW, I'm posting this off topic comment cause I'm too lazy to start a new thread Peace bro
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October 23rd, 2006, 02:43
Whatever you find out, make sure you send your findings to the developers.
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October 23rd, 2006, 06:11
Uriziel: Without entering your differences with Gorath, let me say one thing. We deal with a large number of Developers and Publishers and we are welcome with (nearly) all of them. For this reason, we MUST take a strong stand on anything which can be 'perceived' as supporting or encouraging any form of Piracy, no matter how the term is defined or interpreted!! Rightly, or wrongly, many publishers do not approve of the use of No-CD/DvD 'patches'. We are caught in the middle!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 23rd, 2006, 07:07
Bypassing copy protection is illegal in Germany, and maybe in the whole EU because these kind of laws are usually based upon some stupid paper from Brussels.
The situation may be different in other countries, but that doesnīt matter because our server is located in Germany.

Corwin already explained our position on piracy.

Your post contained more informations than we can tolerate. My reaction was rather moderate. A few people were banned for asking for a crack or providing a link to one (which you didnīt do). You didnīt even get a warning, I only let the thread alive as an example for others. I can delete it if you prefer it that way.
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October 23rd, 2006, 10:20
I am glad your guys are still looking through the code and you analysis of the engine forgetting or Dumping(?) current data incorrectly causing a need for reload of current datas, very intresting as it would seem to explain many things.
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October 23rd, 2006, 22:26
Corwin and Gorath…I'm not trying to stir the pot. If you are caught in the middle you are caught in the middle. I just think the approach of zero discussion of cracks works about as well as not talking about sex with your children. Developers and pubs have a right to be compensated for their efforts. The public has a right to protect their property also…..remember the starforce sh!tstorm?

By not allowing any discussion whats so ever the devs and pubs are shooting themselves in the foot. They should be getting the message out that piracy raises costs and complexity, and limits new game development. They should also implement "try before you buy"(I don't mean a demo) by using server based validation. There have simply been to many crap games released which furthered piracy. Think about how many games have been hyped using hollywood effects that have ZERO relation to gameplay. Simply put it is false advertising. Real in game footage should be freely available and tied into the ad campaign. People get the game and see it was nothing like what they expected…..then piracy gets a foothold. I will not personally buy a PS2 game until I have played it first. Too many times I have wasted money on overhyped crap. Lastly the devs and pubs need to take the time to release a bugfree quality game, and they should keep in mind that the pirates are not going to buy the game anyway, but they might buy it if it is a good quality game. Win the sale with quality, not by force
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