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Topic Summary

Posted by: TheDeadlyShoe
« on: February 23, 2016, 10:20:10 AM »

The economic/per 5day processing does use the hard disk heavily, but everything else is more cpu dependent.
Posted by: Frick
« on: February 23, 2016, 09:10:38 AM »

Quote from: Jumpp link=topic=3011. msg83428#msg83428 date=1450126280
I've never attached a profiler to Aurora, but I was a professional game programmer for about twenty years.  I'd bet good money that the performance issues on this game have very little to do with the choice of language and everything to do with using a relational database as the runtime store of game state.

Wouldn't SSD's/RAMdisks improve performance if this was the case?

Quote from: MarcAFK link=topic=3011. msg83500#msg83500 date=1450329972
I recall someone suggesting there could be a noticeable performance increase if you pop the db into ramdisk before loading Aurora.  At the moment I'm using a laptop that can't even handle the processor load so it's not worth testing :p.

I've tried that, didn't help.  That was on version 5. xx though, but I assume things haven't changed since then.
Posted by: AL
« on: February 20, 2016, 01:17:27 PM »

Quote
I would love the option to choose an point on the 2d map for my fleet or particulaur ship to move.    Would add alot more tactical options for engagement.
You can already do this in the current version of Aurora; add a waypoint in system view and order your task group to move there. I used to make use of survey locations a lot for maneuvers before I found out you could use waypoints.
Posted by: DattMuffinMan
« on: February 19, 2016, 09:36:28 PM »

Hello,

Well I'm going to necro this thread after a few months of it being non-active.    I've recently gotten into Aurora, and to say the least, I'm addicted to it.    Going through this thread has given me several substantial ideas, and personal wishes have come up in my head that I want to share.   

Newtonian flight
 It always bothered me that ships simply travel at their rated cruise speed then stop dead cold.    Engines should use their thrust rating to climb to the cruise speed, then stop their momentum as they approach their target in the same fashion.    However this would limit space flight only to two points, A and B it wouldn't be true Newtonian flight, also during combat sudden changes in flight course would require an onsite braking burn which would leave an ship vulnerable to incoming missiles.   

SO in other words, either true Newtonian flight or sticking to Aurora's original system will work without mucking things up.    But I do have an proposal for either scenario.    I would love the option to choose an point on the 2d map for my fleet or particulaur ship to move.    Would add alot more tactical options for engagement.   

Also creating patrol waypoints would be great, you could plan out battle actions using this.   

Non-superluminal flight mode
No hard-drives, no jump points.    Only wormholes and vast monolithic distances in space.    Perhaps later very advanced tech, that is unlocked by delving into precursor vaults, or disassembling Invader wormhole gates will give you access to faster space travel.    But you will have to earn it.    Would add an larger emphasis on strategic decisions, fleet locations, resupply, and planned campaigns involving decades or even centuries(For shorter distanced campaigns, this would be modified in game creation for whatever intent).    Such a mode would reckon faster time acceleration though.   

Government Customization
Would be nice to not only name your own type of Government, but determine its attributes as well.   

Trans-Newtonian Engines
Really simple, an engine with more thrust output than anti-matter.    Harnessing the power of particles going faster than light, superluminal, or you could consider it the quintessential Tachyon.    Would be available in either mode since even though making an ship travel faster than light is impossible, making particles do so wouldn't be a problem once you had the know how.    Would have to be earned through scavenging Precursor, or Invader bosses.   

Bussard Ramjet
An electromagnetic net designed to pick up hydrogen in space, overall will be ineffective unless going through an Nebula.    Would be ideal for scouts, and all ships in general if you are playing an non jump drive game.   

Nano-tech
An industrial overhaul that allows an improved economy and industry output.    However the downside is once engaged in Nano-tech you will constantly have to research and create countermeasures for any Nano-plagues that might happen on accident, or caused by enemy Nano-viruses.    The upgrade will be just enough to be worth it, say an 10-25% increase, but its downside will make players weigh their options.   

Nuclear Ballistics
The use of the energy of Nuclear detonation to propel projectiles hyper velocities otherwise unachievable by conventional cannons.    Basically a bigger badder version of the rail gun, with more distance and damage than most weapons aside from missiles and high tier energy weapons.    Reloads are much longer akin to missile launchers.   

Precursor Caches
Vaults or resource dumps, long forgotten.    And sometimes perilous in nature.    Mines, deadly robotic guards and even Precursor drone fleets might be hiding in plain site.    Requires an geology survey to uncover(Thats if the ship doesn't get blown up first), then an Engineer team to uncover.   

Invader Command fleet
Is activated when the player defeats an certain amount of Invader task forces, the Command fleet encroaches armed to the teeth with dreadnoughts, carriers, the whole deal.    Not something to take lightly.    It starts work on the outermost colonies and works it way to the Player's homeworld.   

New NPR races
Some inspiration comes from Sword of the Stars.    The RNG factor of the space anomalies was amazing to say the least.    Sometimes encountering the unkown could absolutely cripple you, sometimes very rarely you could benefit.    Also a few ideas I ripped straight out of books like those written by Alistair Reynolds.   

-Inhibitors
An race of Programmed sentient robots that leave beacons in systems to detect space flight species.    If these beacons are triggered an task force is sent to exterminate and scour the area for any more links to civilization.    They are like Invaders, but will act differently, their strategy will be different ranging from conventional missile spam, to when you get them very riled up by resisting the dismantling of entire stars, or destruction of planets.    Would add an great deal of !FUN! for veteran players.   

-Von neumon
Traveling flotillas of machines that strip planetary resources that they encounter and produce more of themselves.    To avoid the snow ball effect, Von Neumon will be attracted to player/NPR inhabited systems only.    Weaponry will mainly be lasers.   

-Nano Plague
Wouldn't be an NPR, rather an event triggered by uncovering ancient alien ruins.    Or not upkeeping/maintaining you nano-tech infrastructure.   

-The ancients
Benevolent or full of malice? Rng will decide the predetermined relation with the player and other NPRS(They will have negative relation with premade NPRs ofc).    Older than even the precursors they have shepherded themselves and kept to their own system for years beyond count.    Awaiting for an great crisis to pass within the confines of their massive Ringworld.    If in good terms they will trade and even offer technology in exchange for completing certain objectives for them(One or two unique techs, the rest will be default higher tier tech).    However if hostile will shoot on site.    If you manage to defeat them and take over the Ringworld new unique techs will be discovered for research that would otherwise be impossible to access.   

-The Fore-runners
An now distant cousin of the precursors.    These survivors of the invader's onslaught they have banded together in a great flotilla and travel the stars.    They have lost much of their knowledge and all that dwells in their minds is their very survival.    They are also however traders, and will give you higher tier tech and even Precursor cache locations for the right price.   



Welp that's all I can think of for now just wanted to drop this in here to get Steve thinking on some of the possibilities.    I think what is currently missing is an daunting presence of the unknown.    Space shouldn't be absolutely crushing filled with baddies that come in and nuke your homeworld.    But rather the player should feel he is coming into contact with civilizations wildly different, and usually way older than their own.    Creating an sense of scale and even survival amongst the stars.   

Of course the NPR suggestions could be recreated using Spacemaster presently, but also they can not be fully realized like they might be able to in Aurora II.    Cheers steve, good luck on development!
Posted by: MarcAFK
« on: December 16, 2015, 11:26:12 PM »

I recall someone suggesting there could be a noticeable performance increase if you pop the db into ramdisk before loading Aurora. At the moment I'm using a laptop that can't even handle the processor load so it's not worth testing :p.
Posted by: sloanjh
« on: December 16, 2015, 05:50:25 AM »

I've never attached a profiler to Aurora, but I was a professional game programmer for about twenty years. I'd bet good money that the performance issues on this game have very little to do with the choice of language and everything to do with using a relational database as the runtime store of game state.

Note that Steve already did a pass of optimization where he only saves to/from DB at the end of an increment, not during the small sub-pulses that the increment is broken up into.  And yes, this did result in a significant performance increase.  Not disagreeing with your overall thought, just pointing out that he's already gotten a lot of juice out of it.

John
Posted by: Jumpp
« on: December 14, 2015, 03:19:43 PM »

It occurs to me that another great virtue of this architecture is that it gives you an off-the-shelf browser for your runtime data. That's a huge deal. Picking through your data with a debugger isn't easy. Most developers will have several custom-built tools for the job, and it wouldn't be unusual to invest a few engineer-years in the development of such tools. That's the kind of luxury that a one-engineer team just can't afford, and I could well imagine sacrificing some runtime performance to get it for free.
Posted by: Jumpp
« on: December 14, 2015, 02:51:20 PM »

I've never attached a profiler to Aurora, but I was a professional game programmer for about twenty years. I'd bet good money that the performance issues on this game have very little to do with the choice of language and everything to do with using a relational database as the runtime store of game state.

The virtue of doing that is that you're perpetually in a saved state. Any crash at any point is very likely recoverable with only negligible loss of game state. That's no small thing, and we all surely know from other games the frustration of losing hours of progress because we neglected to save often.

(Another virtue of doing it that way is that if you're a database guy to begin with, and you set out to create a labor of love, you're just naturally going to build it like the apps you already know how to build. This will be a familiar architecture. And if it leads to some scratching of heads among your puzzled players, they'll just need to understand that a gift horse is a gift horse and that it's ungracious to examine its' mouth too closely or to talk too loudly about what one finds there.)

The cost of doing that, however, is utterly horrifying data access time.  I shouldn't be surprised if a bit of profiling reported that this executable spends 99% of its time waiting on blocking data fetches.

It's such an amazingly well-designed game that I happily put up with the poor performance. I do, however, from time to time wish it had been built differently.
Posted by: Thundercraft
« on: December 14, 2015, 02:30:48 PM »

Im interested as to what language you might be doing II in?
It's in C#

Steve
Aurora 1 is iirc. VB6 based which doesnt work well with Multithreading. One could try to make a C# version of just the pathing (and maybe parts of the database) and then let that be called by the VB6 part.

I'm not sure what the status is of Aurora II or Newtonian Aurora. But I was wondering if Steve was aware of the newer Visual Basic alternatives that exist today.

I ask because if I had written such complex software in VB6, I think I'd prefer to try to port it to a newer language that has the speed and features I need, but is still a BASIC variant that would require very little (if any) actual code changes.

Porting something like Aurora into C# must be a very time-consuming and daunting task. It's almost like rewriting the entire thing from scratch, right?

Both of the following are described as similar to VB to the point of being somewhat compatible and able to use a lot of the code unchanged. Though, I was also impressed by the features and being described as "easy to learn". Also, they are cross-platform, with support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. (From what I read, a lot of players would love to see support for Linux and Mac.)

One alternative I'd mention is now called Basic For Qt (formerly known as KBasic):
Quote
Qt® is the best C++ cross-platform toolkit available and Basic For Qt® is the easiest way to get cross-platform development without the needs to learn C++ as it combines the expressive power of C++ with the familiarity and ease of use of Visual Basic®. The Qt® API and tools are consistent across all supported platforms, enabling platform independent application development and deployment. Windows®, Linux® and Mac® OS X are supported platforms.
Quote
It is an open source project backed by years of continual development. The project is under active development and has a vibrant community.
KBasic - World's most advanced open-source Basic
Quote
...It is a new programming language, a further BASIC dialect and is related to VB.NET™, Visual Basic®, Visual Basic for Application® and Java™. It combines the best features of those tools and comes with built-in backward support for those tools and QBasic® as it is 100% syntax compatible to VB6, VBA and QBasic®.

Another language I would mention is now called Xojo (formerly known as "REALbasic"):

Xojo > Frequently Asked Questions
Quote
  • Can you port Visual Basic (VB) projects to Xojo?
Yes! The Xojo language is very similar to VB. We also offer a migration assistant to help move your VB5, VB6 or VB.NET projects. The migration assistant does not change your code, but it does move over the project, forms, etc., which gives you a nice starting point for converting your code.
  • If I am familiar with Visual Basic, will Xojo be easy for me to learn?
Yes! Xojo is a great multi-platform alternative to Visual Basic. Read more about it at our Developer Site.
Porting Visual Basic Applications to Linux and Mac OS X: A How-To Guide for Visual Basic Developer
Quote
...quite similar to Visual Basic. It could use much of my Visual Basic code unchanged, and it could read most of my Visual Basic forms.
[snip]...
...In addition, my ported application would include the native interface widgets required to look great. In Windows XP for example, I was surprised that my REALbasic application takes on XP themes automatically!
Also:
no developer gives tech support for mods. i don't see how modding should be different (or cause more problems) for aurora than for any other games.
Agreed. I'm not aware of any developer who gives support for mods. And, usually, there is a warning in support threads and on bug tracker pages that mods are not supported and that they should mention or list any mods that are used.
Posted by: letsdance
« on: December 08, 2014, 04:35:18 AM »

no developer gives tech support for mods. i don't see how modding should be different (or cause more problems) for aurora than for any other games.
Posted by: niflheimr
« on: September 17, 2014, 06:20:37 AM »

I really doubt open modding is going to happen anytime soon. The reason for that is that Steve doesn't have the time to waste on a billion bug reports made using modded versions of aurora.

Right now you can mod aurora to your heart's desire if you know a bit about decompiling VB6 ( which I do have to say , can be a beast at times ) and some access know-how . Just don't expect you'll get any support out of Steve for it. For example I'm using signature-increasing ECM , laserheads and 15x firecontrols in my current game - but I know that if I mess up I'm th one that's got to figure out what happened.

 
Posted by: letsdance
« on: September 09, 2014, 02:48:30 AM »

a request if/when you continue Aurora II: modability.

i assume, many of the values (research costs, tech tree, weapon damage etc) are in the database, and that's password protected. if you move all those values to a different database and give us access to that, we could mod many things. similar games have large modding communities and i think that's a huge benefit to any game.

it would be good for Aurora I too, of course, but i don't know how much effort that would be. it shouldn't be much effort if you keep it in mind from the beginning though.
Posted by: Valectar
« on: June 10, 2014, 10:09:12 AM »

Does anyone know what the status of Aurora 2 / Aurora Newtonian is? Is Steve working on it? I seem to remember from some of the other patch-notes that he was porting some features from Aurora Newtonian into Aurora, implying that he was working on it then, but I haven't seen any news or updates from more recently.
Posted by: Hydrofoil
« on: May 25, 2014, 07:41:13 AM »

To be honest, I'd rather see Newtonian Aurora than Aurora II, and improved Aurora I functionality is even better (though slowly shifting Newtonian Aurora concepts into Aurora I would be awesome too)

All well and good but id rather have a game i can play past 20-30 years before the time passing gets so slow you dont get anywhere any more.
Posted by: Gwyn ap Nud
« on: May 24, 2014, 04:24:11 PM »

To be honest, I'd rather see Newtonian Aurora than Aurora II, and improved Aurora I functionality is even better (though slowly shifting Newtonian Aurora concepts into Aurora I would be awesome too)
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