Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2019]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shifty Geezer, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Entropy

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    What system generated the game footage? The youtube link didn’t say.
     
  2. Cyan

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    I asked the guy directly, not on youtube but on another forum, and he told me that the console footage was captured on a PS4 Pro
     
  3. Scott_Arm

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    Off the top of my head, I don't remember if any of the Unity ECS talks mentioned garbage collection. They just released a new incremental garbage collector in 2019.1 alpha. It allows you to split the garbage collection into intervals, so you don't get a single big spike in frame time because of gc. They mention looking into new methods of garbage collection in the future, including custom.

    https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/11/26/feature-preview-incremental-garbage-collection/
     
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  4. Shortbread

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    "It's early days for this one - both in terms of the quality of the code and our analysis of it, but we *did* play Anthem last weekend on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X (with PC to follow) and there are some interesting - and surprising - results. If the situation changes with the new demo, we'll be sure to let you know."
     
  5. OCASM

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    In their ECS framework they use structs for data so that they don't have to allocate memory on the heap. That eliminates the need for garbage collection. Another reason why it is so fast.

    As a related note, they've abandoned support for Monobehavior on their planned visual scripting tool. It's going to be ECS only.
     
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  6. tuna

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    So everything has to be static? Or has Unity invented some new kind of memory model?
     
  7. BRiT

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    They likely use stack memory for the structs instead of heap?
     
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  8. Scott_Arm

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    Just decided to read through the docs a bit. Looks like ECS data is not garbage collected. EntityManager does heap allocation in fixed sized chunks. EntityManager creates and destroys entities.

    https://github.com/Unity-Technologi.../blob/master/Documentation~/component_data.md

    https://github.com/Unity-Technologi...blob/master/Documentation~/chunk_iteration.md
     
  9. BRiT

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    Wow, memory chunking ... that takes me back to coding my own malloc carving memory system on unix in the late 80's using sbrk and brk, then using varations of it in the 90's.

    This makes absolute sense to keep using similiar schemes for high performance games.
     
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  10. Scott_Arm

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    Old is new again. The games industry switched to object-oriented programming in the early 2000s, and in the late 2000s they came to the realization that it did more harm than good, in many ways.There's been a slow shift away from OO and back to my performance, maintenance friendly architectures with a focus on data rather than code. C-like subsets of C++ are popular. Rust is becoming very popular because the language is data-oriented. You always have to think about data and ownership, and the compiler can enforce data and ownership rules. Jai is also data-oriented, but I'm not really sure how it works. We'll see when it comes out.

    Agree or disagree, here's a talk about the issues of object-oriented design in relation to games.
     
  11. BRiT

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    Switch 4-Game Analysis! Firewatch! Octahedron! Travis Strikes Again! Battle Princess Madelyn!

    Digital Foundry loves Switch, and in this special presentation John takes a look at four new games - three impressive indie releases plus analysis on the Switch port of Firewatch, a title that's received plenty of requests for coverage.

     
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  12. BRiT

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    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-anthem-demo-performance-analysis

    Anthem looks stunning but sub-par performance is concerning
    Demo code tested on every platform.

    Anthem was first revealed during Microsoft's E3 2017 media briefing, a climactic showpiece that demonstrated EA's Frostbite engine taken to the next level, with a level of visual fidelity and density we'd never seen from this generation of consoles. We were told it was running in real-time, we were told it was running on Xbox One X, all of which has made the last couple of weekends playing the demo fascinating. To cut to the chase: was the demo an accurate representation of the actual product's visual credentials? No. Is it a beautiful current-gen game? Yes, but there is a price to pay.

    Now isn't the time for a full-on deep dive into how actual code varies from Anthem's astonishing reveal - we may revisit this when we are in possession of the final product, as opposed to a limited demo. However, the core themes are all there - the multiple javelin exosuits, the benefits of co-op play, and the sheer height, width and depth of the play area. The reveal trailer and the materials that followed hinted at the symphony of destruction the demo delivers, but the feeling when playing can be extremely rewarding - yes, enemies are bullet sponges, but there is an immense feeling of satisfaction in juggling the recharge rates of your special weapons in piling on the damage, while the javelin flight mechanic works really nicely. And when your squad works side by side, maximising the destruction, tearing through the opposition is highly rewarding - it's a fun game overall, marred only by some lengthy and unfortunate mid-level loading.





    In the meantime, we've enjoyed playing the Anthem demo and eagerly await the finished product. This is a stunning game that has much to offer, but it's difficult to escape the fact that delivering visuals of this standard seems to come at a cost - and sub-par performance is definitely an issue for a fast-paced shooter. Indeed, with Xbox frame-rates dropping to the mid to low 20s in some cases, I'm reminded of late last-gen titles like Far Cry 3, where developer ambitions outstripped the capabilities of the hardware. This time around, we have the enhanced consoles to deliver more horsepower, but in this case, there's the sense that a better balance of resolution and performance could genuinely improve the quality of the Anthem experience.
     
  13. Cyan

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    Rchard Leadbetter has been heavily criticised by some people who isn't fan of Sony because of his rectification regarding Anthem in the article below. I watched a famous youtuber calling him a lot of ugly things and accusing DF of being biased, plus they showed "proof" of this in the video where Richard during the Xbox One X reveal gave the middle finger to the Xbox CPU. In addition, the guy said that Phil Spencer, in the presence of his lawyer, gave Richard a call and that Richard started crying, shat and pissed his pants -literal words- and started trembling, asking for forgiveness. It seems like Phil Spencer threatened Eurogamer with suing them, according to said youtuber. I could share the video but it isn't in english.....

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-anthem-demo-performance-analysis
     
  14. AlBran

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    You should find better things to watch on Youtube.
     
  15. Goodtwin

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    My only criticism of Digital Foundry is the volume of content. For an outfit as popular as theirs, I would think multiple performance test could be put out daily. I see a few other YouTubers who put out far more content, even if its not as in depth as DF. A lot of people just want to see a framerate stress test to see how the games framerate holds up when things get hectic.
     
  16. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    That's a pretty good idea. They could deliver a lot more content with some simple framerate tests, and carry on with their deep dives at the same sort of rate as right now.
     
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  17. AlBran

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    Video editing is time consuming, never mind playing the game multiple times to hit all platforms.
     
  18. Garrett Weaving

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    That's what they did when they first started out. Check out videos from 2013-2014, then later on their personalities started to get into the videos more and more and it eventually led to the point where we have video essays essentially. I for one wouldn't change a single thing, they're fantastic :).

    John is also doing phenomenal work with DF Retro, I can't wait to watch even more videos.
     
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  19. Goodtwin

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    I wouldn't do away with the more in depth videos they do now, but I would like to see more game footage captured and ran through the framerate test. Most of these wouldnt need to be more than 5-10 minutes of gameplay footage. Eurogamer/DF is not a small outfit, they could accommodate this without disrupting their current offering. If small youtubers like ContraNetwork can pump out videos daily, then I do not see a valid reason DF couldnt pump out a lot more performance videos, we do not need commentary for every video.
     
  20. Garrett Weaving

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    I believe DF are solo, as in they are not directly affiliated with Eurogamer. They are not as big as you may think, I believe it's four guys now (used to be four sometime ago too, but went back to three), there's Rich, Tom, John and Alex.
    There's only so much you can do and so many videos you can edit at any given time. They keep the quality of each video really high I feel, which is why I don't think you're going to see a scale back to smaller videos with frametime testing.

    The comment section on those vids though... Sometimes I wonder why they don't disable them entirely.
     
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