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Author Topic: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?  (Read 4704 times)

guitarxe

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Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« on: September 24, 2012, 10:36:39 am »

I just recently tried playing minecraft again after not playing for more than a year. The first thing I noticed was that it would immediately crash shortly after loading. Turns out that now even vanilla takes more than 2gb of RAM and requires a 64bit version of Java to run now.
That was never the case! The game used to take up a lot less than 2gb of RAM.

So now I'm worried about DF, cause it seems like the two games share a similar development process. Do you ever worry that DF might go the way of minecraft and just keep bloating and bloating until it becomes nearly unplayable? Even now the biggest cause of fortress death is FPS.
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pisskop

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 10:40:37 am »

Minecraft?  Maybe your comp is off.  I run it fine.  In fact, the game is slower than my comp... stupid blocks are supposed to disappear after I mine them once, not three fraqqin times!

Also, this topic is alive already, here.
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Starver

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 10:53:08 am »

I'm not worried about FPS death, at the moment.  I play on a not-very-recent machine, often up the PopCap (200 to 250, IIRC, but something like that) and the inter-cavern spaces (from 5 to 20, again IIRC, but I know what I do when I'm configuring a new version's new Worldgen parameters), and so technically should be suffering more from FPS problems than someone running it vanilla, yet have never had to turn off temperature/run on 2x2 embarks/etc.  Perhaps I'm used to a slower game, of course  I remember a significant speed-up, perhaps between 40d and its successor, where suddenly everyone was running around much quicker, and perhaps I've now managed to make it work back down at a speed I can mentally handle.

I do get significant pauses in game-play when migrants (or others) wander on-embark, when I suppose the quantity and quality of the new arrivals is being 'rolled up', but that doesn't matter too much (and can be a nice indicator of something "about to happen").  Pauses in Minecraft (I've only played up to 1.8beta, no idea about newer) are a lot more awkward, especially when precision pouring magma or dealing with a hostile of some kind.  If I was every playing multiplayer, I could imagine it being even worse, but I've never done that.

Aside from this, there's the memory loading.  I'm rather of the school of thought that switching to 64-bit does (in a like-for-like background engine and a benchmark amount of data) actually use more memory than the 32-bit one, so that might be the problem.  Of course, if values that are 64-bits in size (or can be better handled, that way) are in with the data, then you've got to make the move.  But if Toady can keep things 32-bit and doesn't need to change it, I can see it working on our more archaic architectures still for a good while, and the bloat not be too unmanageable at all.

But, we shall see.

(Still, the way I play it's mostly on pause while micromanaging, anyway, so who knows if I'd notice lag.)

((Oh, and I just came across this thread, and wasn't aware of the other thread (unless I'd posted in there but it's really old and now inactive), and not yet checked out that link, my ninja-friend.  I'll look at it later, but right this moment just post this here.))
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sadron

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 10:54:05 am »

Minecraft's fine, your computer just sucks.
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martinuzz

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 02:41:57 pm »

I managed to play DF down to 10 FPS on my previous laptop. For me, 10 FPS is the limit below which I really cannot enjoy playing. That was 10 FPS, with about 60 dwarves. I must say, I'm pretty happy with my new laptop. Finally I can have 200+ populations again without needing to worry about significant slowdown. I cap my FPS at 50 max though, I don't like it any faster, because so much is happening in my average fortress, that any faster speed would cause me to miss out on funny moments too often.
I am really glad I finally got a new pc that can handle DF properly again though.
That being said, in response to the OP's worry. Do I worry that DF will become so bloated that only the happy few with an absurdly powerful rig can play it? Nope. I've played DF for five years on a semi-old (it was 3 years old, 5 years ago) to very old laptop. The first three out of those 5 years I never had much complaints about FPS. If this trend continues, I'd need about 1 new pc every 4-5 or so years, to keep up with complexity-induced FPS drops. That's not too bad. Most commercial games push you to upgrade / renew your pc every 2-3 years.
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ExecratedDwarf

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 02:54:40 pm »

Minecraft and DF are similar in that they were independent developers, but that's about it. Due to minecraft being a graphics based game and DF being ASCII based the development cycles are wildly different. Minecraft suffers its sluggishness and glitches from the simple fact that Java is not a programming language designed to handle that level of complexity. Not to be harsh, or to sound like a jerk, the fact is that notch doesn't know how to do anything except make simple games in java. When he realized he couldn't handle the responsibility and finally passed it on to parsson and the other employees of mojang it was too late to switch languages. Toady appears to be well aware of his limits, and since he's not trying to turn DF into a pay to play game he's able to take as much time as he needs to implement new features and fix the old ones. As time passes and the games core features need more processing power he'll find a way to ensure it doesn't disrupt any of our !!FUN!!
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thrush_titan

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 03:21:37 pm »

RAM is extremely cheap, I don't see why anyone would care about memory bloat
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Kilroy the Grand

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 04:07:39 pm »

I'm not worried, toady hasn't even optimized the game yet.
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Scow2

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 07:50:01 pm »

RAM is extremely cheap, I don't see why anyone would care about memory bloat
Not that cheap, and software has a low hardcap on how much it can use. Any RAM after 2 or 4 GB is never used in a 32-bit system.
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doublestrafe

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 08:12:02 pm »

All my forts die of fps. There's no reason to worry about it getting bloated. It's already bloated.
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krenshala

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 08:22:59 pm »

RAM is extremely cheap, I don't see why anyone would care about memory bloat
Not that cheap, and software has a low hardcap on how much it can use. Any RAM after 2 or 4 GB is never used in a 32-bit system.
Its 2Gb per "file" due to it being a 32-bit system.  Swap space (the "page file" in  Windows) gets around this due to the fact its writing to disk and only reads/writes so much at a time.  I'm so glad I switched to a 64-bit system (and 16G of RAM).  32 bit apps still are limited to 2Gb of space at a time, however, even then.  Its fun being able to have two instances of DF open at once, plus the browser, LibreOffice, plus however many terminal windows I need, and still have lots of free memory left. :D
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Kamamura

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 07:16:30 am »

Actually, 32bit application can address larger than 4GB memory thanks to PAE:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension

However, Windows XP have a hard-coded limit, and the OS you run must support PAE, which I think both Windows 7 and modern Linuxes do.
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Replica

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 07:27:31 am »

Even now the biggest cause of fortress death is FPS.

Well there you have it, you answered your own question all neatly in the OP.
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pixl97

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 08:07:29 am »

-Actually, 32bit application can address larger than 4GB memory thanks to PAE:

Not exactly true, read the article you posted. A 32-bit app has 32-bit pointers which can only count to 4GB before wrapping. The kernel goes in to a 36-bit addressing mode that allows the OS to see more then 4GB. DF would have to have its memory handling rewritten to handle 64-bit pointers and on a 64-bit OS to use any more memory. There is a good chance this would make DF much slower, for two reasons. First, my assumption is, that there is fine tuned code (hacks) that allow DF to run fast in the 32-bit environment. These would have to be redone or removed which would hurt performance until fast 64-bit methods were created. The second it increased memory usage due to the doubling of pointer size. In many applications you see binary size and memory requirements jump 25%. This doesn't  even factor in the time increase in writing code if you have to have two code bases because of hand optimized code.

If you are really worried about too much bloat in DF, it has a great feature. Modability. I use the Masterwork mod myself. Cuts tree and leather types down to just a few. Knocks out piles of stone types. Because it takes out so much without ruining the spirit of how DF works you get the same game with higher FPS.
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Noodz

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Re: Do you guys worry about DF getting bloated?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 08:22:04 am »

The fact that minecraft runs on java is what limits it's power. Toady rolls on good old C++ if i'm not mistaken.

There's also the fact that once Toady ports DF to 64 bits and implements multithreading, i think plenty of currently idle processing power will be used. Pathfinding/temperature/weather eat up a lot of cycles, but will eventually get moved to their own thread. Once that happens, methinks fps death will be postponed till much later.
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