PREVIEW1

Maniaplanet 4 #Preview 1 – Performance and rendering

Hello everyone,

After three months of development on Maniaplanet 4, it’s time now to start our preview phase. Until the release of the beta, we’ll be posting previews, highlighting the key elements we are working on. For today, our preview 1 focuses on performances and rendering in Maniaplanet 4. Hope you’ll enjoy it.


Maniaplanet 4 will show major technical improvements to the Maniaplanet engine and especially on:

  • processors and GPU performances,
  • building blocks optimization,
  • loading times,
  • lightmaps rendering.

All theses changes will result in a faster and more powerful Maniaplanet system which will enlarge player’s possibilities of creation and offer a better gaming experience.

Better performances

We’ll switch the engine’s graphical API from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11. This change added to a better use of processors (especially multi-core processors) will allow better general performances in Maniaplanet 4.

As you can see in these pictures, there is a visible gain of frames per second***:

You can also count on an improvement of performances and a better framerate in Virtual Reality.

Building blocks optimization

In Maniaplanet 4, environments blocks will be optimized to reduce the size of maps and their loading times, framerate and lightmaps computing times.

1/ Blocks size will decrease.
You can see in the table below, the block size variation between Maniaplanet 3 and Maniaplanet 4*.blocks-size-table

2/ In Maniaplanet 4, depending on the distance between the block and the player, the LOD (level of details) displayed on the block will vary.

3/ The quality of blocks modelisation will change too. If you choose “Very fast”, blocks will slightly be of lesser quality than in Maniaplanet 3. But, the “Very nice” option will ensure a better quality with no additionnal ressources than before.  At last, in some situations, non visible sides of blocks will be deleted.

Maps faster loading times

Maniaplanet 4 will significantly improve maps loading times, mainly during the first loading**. These gains on time are possible thanks to:

  • operations taking advantage of multi-core processors, such as decals generation or script compilation.
  • several modifications made on the very process of loading maps,
  • the increase of datas precalculated when you open an environment.

Further more, it is notable that this loading time optimization comes with a greater computer data storage which will accelerate loading times between maps.

The table below gives examples of loading times. Durations are estimated and vary with computer configuration and alpha status of Maniaplanet 4. Here are averages after 3 tries.

MP4---loading-times

Lightmaps rendering

Lightmaps rendering will be changed in Maniaplanet 4, following the upgrade from DirectX9 to DirectX11. For now,  lightmaps rendering varies with the map itself and the quality of selected shaders. At that moment, lightmaps rendering is optimized for “day” maps only. We are still working on this subject to make this optimization available on all moods, the objective being to to get lightmaps with a quality at least equal or superior to the one in Maniaplanet 3.

lightmaps

*Maniaplanet 4 is still in Alpha, numbers can change at the release of the update.

**PC configuration used to calculate loading times:

  • CPU : Intel Xeon W3550 @ 3.07GHz
  • GPU : Nvidia Geforce GTX 480
  • RAM : 24Go DDR3
  • Resolution : 1920*1080 @ 60Hz
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro
  • Maniaplanet settings : Very Nice

***Work in Progress