Here are my system specs for reference:
- Intel i7-920, 4 physical cores + hyperthreading, 2.66GHz
- NVidia Geforce GTX 760
- Samsung 850 Pro SSD (load times are nice)
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
Let's start off with what you probably know already: Neptune map has terrible performance issues and could use a complete rework. On Neptune we both get constant 25 fps and it drops even lower during fights. That is really not acceptable. We tried analyzing these performance issues and it's rather strange: licking the wall, or looking out of the window into nothing does not lower the performance impact. It only gives like 3 extra fps.
We did notice though, that if we stay still for like 10+ seconds, there's a sudden rise in fps whereever you are. It went up from 25 to 45 and even 53 for me. So obviously it's probably movement that generates these performance issues. Whatever you do with your own ship (e.g. I noticed the Talon moving it's thrusters as it flies - a poor algorithm calculating their position might very well hit the CPU hard with this) hits like 25 fps. We were both using different ships.
Another and probably the most likely culprit is the map itself - poor meshes. Vertigo looks excellent and has the best performance out of all the maps. It gives me solid 60 fps on max. graphical settings with occasional drops to 55. For a UE3 I would still expect it to perform better, but this is an excellent starting point. Considering this, it might be worth taking a closer look at game assets of Neptune.
As someone who studied computer graphics, I have a few ideas, that might cause these performance hits on the level itself:
- Do check whether the models have a lot of small and/or extremely obtuse triangles (any angle > 90° and extreme cases > 120°) or concave polygons. Some game engines have a problematic response to a large number of extremely obtuse triangles because of the way rendering works with a GPU, though I'm not sure whether UE3 does have such problems (I'd expect not).
- Reflections: Neptune has a lot of surfaces with reflection. I have experience with UE3 and know for a fact that it handles reflection very poorly compared to UE4. They should be used only sparingly. UE4 uses a very different set up for creating reflections, so don't worry about trashing the current setup, because you will have to do that anyways.
This map is okay for the most part. Solid 60 fps throughout most parts of the map. However, it does drop to about 30 in the area with the ships! Again, I noticed that there are some reflective surfaces around these docked ships. This continues to confirm my suspicion that it's the reflective surfaces that cause trouble on Neptune.
Although this has nothing to do with performance, I would really suggest toning down the amount of fog in the lower part of the icy cave in that map. The sauce is way too thick
The best map. Period. Good performance everywhere (with occasional drops to 55 fps), nice visuals (the lava surface looks especially nice) and probably the most interesting map layout. Truly a map meant for a 6DOF game. Excellent job.
The part where the fps slightly dropped was around some smoke I believe (not at lava, but at vents).
I'd also probably suggest toning down the post-process effects and colorization in the lava just a little bit. Also the waterfall shouldn't slow me down. Just push me down.
- Resolution change - The way resolution is changed in this game is very weird. When I change my resolution (in fullscreen mode) it cycles through all the resolution quickly (few screen flashes) until it arrived at my resolution. Look at the console log confirms this, as it shows all the resolutions up to my choice (1080p).
- Resolution UI - After changing my resolution the UI in the menu defaults back to 800x600. HOWEVER, that is not the actual resolution. The game correctly changed my resolution (e.g. to 1080p), it's just the UI that failed to update.
- Weird/delayed projectiles - I'm not sure if this is intended or because of latency, but almost all the projectiles (Mag, shotgun, lasers... actually all the weapons) fire particularly late IF fired continuously. The first shot is always accurate and spot on. However, all other shots seem to be a bit delayed. E.g. as I move to the side with my ship, the laser projectiles start going down the path I originally aimed at that position and look like they are fired out of thin air. Again, it might very well be just that I'm stupid and this is how it is intended to work, or maybe it's an optical illusion on my side, or maybe just really high ping, but just something I noticed.