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[Twitter] Sim City 5 Main Sim + Game Loop Will Be Single-Threaded - Page 20  

post #191 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzleBoy View Post

+1000
No it isn't.

Memory leaks and poor coding aren't fixed by pressing an "okay, lets multi-thread the game loop" button.

This (atleast the memory leak problem) Cities XLs memory leaks issue is even mor eannoying than JA2's "Spare Proccessing power? REDRAW"
 
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post #192 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by biltong View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven.7 View Post

Have you ACTUALLY played CitiesXL? If so, you'd know the game chokes and memory starts leaking heavily at 50K population.

CitiesXL is the epitome of a game that needed to be compiled to take advantage of multi-core CPUs, yet wasn't and therefore the experience is completely ruined.

This is why Maxis' decision to use single-threading bothers me, and they chose to limit city sizes as the easy way out.

Because you just need a compiler switch to enable multi threading.

Really.

While I agree that it's not acceptable that technology advances on and software does not utilize it to its potential, multithreading IS NOT easy, especially when it comes to games. What exactly would you have them split over threads?

Look at what a game is: a loop with different inputs and outputs. In this case, the inputs are the keyboard and mouse, and the outputs are what you see on the screen and hear. Each of those will have their own thread, the game WOULD NOT work if they didn't. The entire game would grind to a halt waiting for you to click a mouse button or press a key. That's why it's on it's own thread. The game would also stop completely while a sound plays, and then carry on when the sound stops playing. So it also gets its own thread. If the video output were also on the same thread, the game would grind to a halt every time the GPU has some big operation to do, instead of just dropping frames and keeping the game in sync. So it gets its own thread. Now what do you have left? The main loop. That loop is what kicks off all the other threads and keeps them coordinated whenever something in the game needs to happen. You click a button, and that input gets sent from the input thread to the main loop. The loop looks at what you clicked, and tells the other threads what to do, such as play a sound or show an animation. That's all SimCity is made up of, really. It just needs to play a sound or animation when you click on the right thing. That's suited just fine for a single loop, how else would you do it?

When you get into other genres where there's a hell of a lot more happening at the same time, that's where more threads come into play, but that is difficult, time consuming and with today's technology being so fast, not really worth it if it is certain it doesn't need it. Running the main loop in a single thread means the developers can get it done faster and patch it easier if something goes wrong. It also means they save cash and can push the game out faster. Remember that, too.

Now of course it's all a LOT more complicated than what I've explained, but they would not have decided on this if they had a good reason not to. It makes business sense to get something done faster and easier and cheaper if the technology can handle it. Then you get companies that are geeks and nerds (please don't take that the wrong way) and like pushing hardware to its limits. Clearly EA is not one of them.

Oh and just FYI, multithreading does not cause memory leaks. Single threaded applications can leak memory just as much as multithreaded ones can. When you use some memory in an application and never release it, the memory manager has to assign more elsewhere and if this is in a loop (think about what I said about the main loop above), you end up with a big memory leak.

Also if you think about this, it means low power laptops should be able to play the game well. Remember high end PCs are likely not all of their target market. It could also allow them to make a mobile version with a very similar if not the same code base as the full PC version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheezman View Post

There is no reason why SimCity shouldn't utilize multiple cores. The fact is, it's a simulation game, which means it is mostly made up of processing mathematics; that's what processors are designed for!
I'd like you to show me how you split a single, structured mathematical operation over multiple threads in code please.

The game is not exactly a "simulation". Yes there's a bunch of maths going on deciding who is happy, a bunch of scores and who gets hit by crime, but the game is mostly just playing sounds and displaying animations when you click a button.

Just quoting this to get it on the newest page. Hopefully it helps people understand a little more.
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post #193 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post

Most new PCs come with 4GB minimum, only budget ones have below that...Most PCs are older, but we're not comparing the mainstream majority, are we? We're comparing PC gamers, who according to the best resource we have on this are quickly moving 8GB as the largest single amount of RAM.

Well according to "the best resource" a majority as of Jan 2013 still have 4 GB (52.39%) 37.92% have 5 GB+, as in 5 GB, 6 GB, 7 GB, 8 GB, 9 GB, 10 GB, 11 GB, 12 GB, 13 GB etc. all counted in one category.

A lot of people don't buy a new PC every year or so either, believe it or not most people still have dual core CPUs (C2D, not i3s), 2-4 GB RAM and a cheap GPU. I wasn't comparing PC gamers rigs either, I was comparing what a lot of people have (where all the money is) compared to PC gamers rigs. A perfect example of what happens when you only really cater to the PC gamer is Max Payne 3, Rockstar made a game that only hardcore PC gamers could run properly and they ended up making a huge loss on the PC version.

By the way, I was looking at brand new laptops and desktops a few weeks ago, most of the laptops had 2-4 GB whereas the desktops had 3-6 GB.
    
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post #194 of 257
Pathetic. There was a very, very slim chance I'd buy it (although very unlikely thanks to EA's DRM crap, cloud saves and other shenanigans), but single threaded game? Yeah right. I bought an hexacore to use it. Otherwise I would've got a singlecore 1156 chip and overclock the crap out of it, don't you think, EA?

Even indie games make use of multiple threads.

About the ongoing discussion about RAM... I've got 4 gigs and yet to find anything that makes me go for 8GBs.

I got 8GB on the Trinity because of the IGP using system memory as a framebuffer...
Edited by Artikbot - 2/12/13 at 2:57am
   
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post #195 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artikbot View Post

Pathetic. There was a very, very slim chance I'd buy it (although very unlikely thanks to EA's DRM crap, cloud saves and other shenanigans), but single threaded game? Yeah right. I bought an hexacore to use it. Otherwise I would've got a singlecore 1156 chip and overclock the crap out of it, don't you think, EA?

Even indie games make use of multiple threads.

About the ongoing discussion about RAM... I've got 4 gigs and yet to find anything that makes me go for 8GBs.

I got 8GB on the Trinity because of the IGP using system memory as a framebuffer...

They are making use of multiple threads.

Did you just read the title and assume the entire game will be single threaded?

xImmNtT.png
    
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post #196 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

For a game with lots of AI and calculations? Near linear gains.
Path finding isn't that easy being an NP-complete problem.

Finding the shortest path is NOT a NP-hard problem, it's a really easy algoritm that completes in logaritmic time.

Finding the longest path is probably NP-hard.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortest_path_problem
post #197 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrews2547 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post

Most new PCs come with 4GB minimum, only budget ones have below that...Most PCs are older, but we're not comparing the mainstream majority, are we? We're comparing PC gamers, who according to the best resource we have on this are quickly moving 8GB as the largest single amount of RAM.

Well according to "the best resource" a majority as of Jan 2013 still have 4 GB (52.39%) 37.92% have 5 GB+, as in 5 GB, 6 GB, 7 GB, 8 GB, 9 GB, 10 GB, 11 GB, 12 GB, 13 GB etc. all counted in one category.

A lot of people don't buy a new PC every year or so either, believe it or not most people still have dual core CPUs (C2D, not i3s), 2-4 GB RAM and a cheap GPU. I wasn't comparing PC gamers rigs either, I was comparing what a lot of people have (where all the money is) compared to PC gamers rigs. A perfect example of what happens when you only really cater to the PC gamer is Max Payne 3, Rockstar made a game that only hardcore PC gamers could run properly and they ended up making a huge loss on the PC version.

By the way, I was looking at brand new laptops and desktops a few weeks ago, most of the laptops had 2-4 GB whereas the desktops had 3-6 GB.

Look down, you're looking at the Mac system RAM. thumb.gif

It clearly shows 8GB is right behind 4GB and rising (While 4GB is falling), plus 12GB and higher (ie. Mostly 16GB or 32GB as most people have dual or quad channel systems bar the 1366 owners, and not many gamers run like Dell and put differently sized sticks in their machine) is also rising pretty fast.

I've been looking at laptops and desktops here recently, I want to replace my laptop and looking at desktops is just interesting...The only laptop with less than 4GB RAM was a $299 one running an AMD C-70, all of the ones worth talking about when you're talking about gaming even light games like this or Minecraft had 4GB+. Hell, even the desktop my Mum got that came new with a G35 chipset and E8300 came with 3GB RAM and that machine is nearly 5 years old and was not very high-end in terms of how much RAM it came with.

Also, if we're going to talk portables, why would we even compare it? You can't play this game without an internet connection, if I was on the train or in the passenger seat in a car I can happily play Minecraft, SC4, RollerCoaster Tycoon or any other reasonably light game with battery life to spare, but to play this I have to get a 3G stick and hope I don't go out of reception or end up paying a tonne extra if my usage goes over, however that's something to save for another topic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by killbom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

For a game with lots of AI and calculations? Near linear gains.
Path finding isn't that easy being an NP-complete problem.

Finding the shortest path is NOT a NP-hard problem, it's a really easy algoritm that completes in logaritmic time.

Finding the longest path is probably NP-hard.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortest_path_problem

Regardless, the sheer quantity of path-finding means that path-finding was the biggest part of SC4s CPU load and a good enough reason for EA to have it run on content servers.
    
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post #198 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrews2547 View Post

They are making use of multiple threads.

Did you just read the title and assume the entire game will be single threaded?

That's like saying 'we're using an extra thread to render the onscreen text, therefore our game is multithreaded'. And yes, I did read the article.

Hell, my phone's processor could cope with the load they are putting on the extra thread. Audio? Don't make me laugh. Rendering? The GPU can do that on its own without moving a finger.
   
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post #199 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artikbot View Post

That's like saying 'we're using an extra thread to render the onscreen text, therefore our game is multithreaded'. And yes, I did read the article.

Hell, my phone's processor could cope with the load they are putting on the extra thread. Audio? Don't make me laugh. Rendering? The GPU can do that on its own without moving a finger.

Have you played SimCity 5 yet?
    
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post #200 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrews2547 View Post

Have you played SimCity 5 yet?

It doesn't matter.

Gameplay doesn't matter.

Fun doesn't matter.

The fact that this is almost standard practice and has been for years and years, doesn't matter.


There is a headline. It must be honoured with copious amounts of hysteria.
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Jeantech 1000W Corsair Obsidian 800D Corsair M90 Edirol UA-25 > pair of Pioneer S-DJ08  
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i5 750 @ 4GHz (1.2 vcore) Asus P7P55D EVO Powercolor 5850 4x 2GB of Corsair XMS 
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2x 250GB (Raid 0) XSPC Raystorm CPU block + EK 360 rad + XSPC Dua... Samsung UE37C6000  Corsair K90 + Logitech G13 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Jeantech 1000W Corsair Obsidian 800D Corsair M90 Edirol UA-25 > pair of Pioneer S-DJ08  
  hide details  
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