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Level compiling - Need powerful computer?

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    Level compiling - Need powerful computer?

    I don't know where to ask about this, i hope here someone can help.
    My pc seems to have some problems and i'll probably need to do an upgrade soon and since i'm going to do it i would like to know if i'll need a powerful pc to end my project or if i can continue to use middle level computers to work on this stuff.

    I'm creating a game for ios, nothing special but when i build the first level with preview mode on the lights it tooks about 1 hour.
    I never tried to do a build in production mode and i don't know if it will take 2 hours or 2 weeks so i just want to know from someone who have some experience if i will need to buy something special. I just don't want to change now my pc and then find it unuseful in the next months when i will go on with my project.

    #2
    Building lighting can take a very long time. Make sure your lightmap resolutions are reasonably sized, baking lighting will increase exponentially with higher resolutions. Also, higher resolution lightmaps will slow your game down, especially for mobile.

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      #3
      It would be helpful to know your specs and a general guess at how complex of a level you have.

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        #4
        like Bjorn said, we need to know what you're running. I'm not sure your level of computer skills, but I will say that the majority of computers I come accross are running a ton of unnecessary services and auto start programs, and they don't have optimized settings. There are things you can check, such as system registry, INI, and config files to see if things are loading in the background, or if your computer is even clean. You'd be surprised how quickly active background processes can add up.
        I don't know a lot about Win7, but if you're on XP, I can list some things to check. Firstly, If you click Ctrl + Alt + del, click the processes tab, tell us what your process count is (bottom left of window), how many things you have running just curious? How much memory is in the system? Do you have indexing enabled on your hard drive, or a permanent swap file? things in your program/startup folder, your systray? If you don't know what I'm talking about, just ask. I'll number it.

        Those are a few things to look for. All that stuff eats memory, takes up CPU cycles. Not having enough available memory can cause extra writes to your hard drive and will also eat up CPU cycles that could have been used for rendering. Memory is KING.
        Not enough memory is like trying to build something and only having a tinny table to work on, you would have to bend down every time you needed a tool on the ground and that would take extra time. That is a personification of not having enough memory space for your CPU to work on it's data. Memory is king. If you can't add more, then free up what you have.

        James Ordner is also correct, building lighting can take forever no matter what you have.
        But I would start with cleaning up the system.

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          #5
          The more memory and better/more modern the processor, the better off you'll be with lightmass.

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            #6
            Thank you very much for the answers.

            My tipical level has between 130 and 190 meshes, 2 directional lightnings, one for the static objects and one for dynamic and from 4 to 8 point lights.
            They are usually smaller than 20000x20000 unreal units.

            @path-to-star
            I know enough about the architecture and behavior of pc, i have less knowledge about win 7 that i'm using but i try to optimize it as i can editing the register and blocking the unuseful processes.

            I asked this question because my current pc is broken and i need to buy a new one soon, i don't want to buy a pc now and in a couple of months find that i can't compile my levels with production lightings because it takes 3 days.
            I just would like to have an idea if that work can be done with a "normal" computer or if i need something professional.

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              #7
              The half built level that I am working on right now has 636 static meshes and 59 point lights and 1 directional light. And its is only half done.

              My whole entire rig was $725 USD in June. I have a i5 3750k 64 bit processor, 8GB of RAM and a P8 Z77-V LX motherboard and 1.2 GB of graphical memory. Thats with no graphics card what so ever, the on board graphics work just fine for now.

              Ill try building the level with lightmass and production lighting and Ill tell you how long it takes.

              EDIT

              I went and made myself lunch, so it could be anywhere between 9 minutes and 9 minutes and 33 seconds.

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                #8
                Thank you very much Bjorn, that is almost the pc i was interesting in.
                Asus p8z77, an i5 processor (something between 220 and 250 $), 8 gb of Ram pc 1660, a ssd hard disk and i don't know what graphic card.
                I was just scared that it could takes more than 5/6 hours per level but if you say so probably with my little and poor levels i won't have too many problems.

                It sounds strange to me that the first level compiling i do often takes 1 hour to me with a quad core phenom II X4 3200 mhz.

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                  #9
                  For reference, the level I worked on (seen here at 3:15) took about two hours to build at production settings with lightmass scale at 0.5.
                  My rig is Core i7 2600k with 16 GB RAM. So, yea, you want a fast CPU :P

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                    #10
                    Very nice level Xendance, my levels are really smaller than your because the project i'm working on is something similar to a tower defence.
                    Anyway i will pay attention to the cpu...but does the graphic card count something? Because i have an old 8800 gts that works great, maybe i can keep it and put another 150 $ of budget in the processor if the gpu doesn't count so much.

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                      #11
                      Your GPU has absolutely nothing to do with building your level, whether you're building geometry, paths, lighting, etc. It's all on the CPU and the RAM.

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                        #12
                        Aye, the GPU makes no difference when compiling your levels. And thats a very nice level Xendance, I had actually seen that video before somewhere.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Xendance View Post
                          ..took about two hours to build at production settings with lightmass scale at 0.5.
                          You can set lightmass to 0.5?
                          I thought one unit was the lowest it could be set?

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by path-to-star View Post
                            You can set lightmass to 0.5?
                            I thought one unit was the lowest it could be set?
                            At least on that version of the SDK you could set it lower. Helped to mitigate some weird lighting seams in relatively thin and complex meshes.

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