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Lag: Beta Testing Thanks

Yesterday we had an incredibly fast beta test for the platformer I’m working on.

Basically what is going on is the game levels are huge.  These levels reach about 12,000 pixels in length and another 8,000 pixels in height.  For a player that is about 100 pixels tall that’s a lot to deal with.  We ran a quick beta test to see what the framerates were for zero optimization playthroughs.  So far we learned a few things:

A)  Some people got framerates below 7 fps for some more troubling areas of the levels.  This was a huge problem.

B)  Some people got inconsistent framerates between 15-30 with an incredible amount of change.  This isn’t good either.

C)  Some were lucky enough to have consistently flawless framerates.  These people are lucky.

So what we did is went back through the engine, took a look at the spots that were causing problems, and making the correct changes to eliminate the trouble spots.  Between computers, Flash will run just about as fast as your CPU goes so that is why there is so much change between user A and B.  Between locations we were looking at different amounts of graphics and complexity in those graphics.

Because we can’t get a consistent framerate between computers we opted to find a consistent framerate within the game.  Overnight I have managed to bolster the framerate to a whopping 25-30 fps consistently in all areas; this is an increase of over 50-100% on most computers.  20 is about the lowest I am seeing but even that is good enough.

The problem isn’t so much the code but the way Flash works with artwork.  We have to make changes to the way Flash displays images in order to make the game faster and stronger.

Progress has been slow but steady.  There is so much left to do in this game but we know we need to get it done ASAP but we can’t overstep the major details.

Thanks to everyone who threw in their computers for a few minutes yesterday to get some readings back from the current unoptimized engine.  We appreciate it!

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