6.12.2: Hardware Survey

In this forum we discuss the future of Ren'Py, both bug fixes and longer-term development. Pre-releases are announced and discussed here.
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mugenjohncel
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#46 Post by mugenjohncel » Tue May 31, 2011 9:49 pm

SilentWolfie wrote:BUT,I also find it relatively strange about asking OpenGL, because shouldn't any modern day PC be able to run it? Also, it's not really the users who need to worry about the graphical thingy, it's the developers! The marketing team are the ones who need to warn/tell users that they need a system which can run call of duty to be able to play this renpy game!
That may be true for first and second world countries but "not" in third world countries... a large chunk of PC users here are buying either Low Powered PC/Laptops, Underpowered or Underpowered Second Hand Units even to this day...

I too ran into such problems myself when I purchased 15 units of various specs when I opened my satellite office in Makati. Since this is for office use only, I put more emphasize on getting the newest "but cheapest" PC's around... and BAM... there it goes... even though I purchased them brand new... some of them have difficulty running Ren'py in OpenGL even though they have Core-Duo processors, 1 Gig of Mem each... and a err, built-in video card (the reason why I begged for Renpytom the option to allow developers to force the game to run in Software Modo for everyone especially for me since my game keeps crashing back then... until Renpytom, blacklisted the Built-In card in the MOBO) As a developer... I wanted my OELVN to run on as much systems as possible. A guaranteed run at the expense of quality is better...

@Renpytom: What was that line of code again I needed to add to force the game to run in software modo... I lost the original script I had when me HD crashed...

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#47 Post by Jo'ogn » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:18 am

@PyTom - Say, you drop the software mode and someone makes a very simple VN/KN without any fancy shader/transformation/font effects. Now there is PC that doesn't have the GRFX hardware "necessary", would that keep such a plain VN from running on such a computer as well?

Or put the other way round with future RenPy even the plainest KN would ask for a (certain) state-of-the-art grfx hardware?

Or put yet again differently: if someone wants their game to run on PCs with the lowest possible hardware requirements to what RenPy version would they need to fall back? For I certainly do not need to most up-to-date Renpy2064 in order to make a decent game.
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#48 Post by jack_norton » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:29 am

As I said, I really believe the only problem is on PC (since linux/mac have GL as only HW acceleration possible). If you get DX working (even DX7-8, it comes from windows XP/Vista, everyone has that) you won't have to rely on software mode at all, and still be able to do nice effects :)
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#49 Post by 0ion9 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:56 am

As I said, I really believe the only problem is on PC (since linux/mac have GL as only HW acceleration possible)
Sure, I have Linux, OpenGL, and a card that supports shaders. Until I found the RGB* option in the BIOS, My OpenGL performance was still slug-like
(for example, just showing the default cube in Blender, panning round it was like.. 5 fps. For a flat shaded cube :!: )
.. The point being that OpenGL being standard != an actual good OpenGL setup (you may not have good drivers, or a good configuration, by default, at this point in OpenGL's development.)

BTW, you might confuse people if you contrast 'PC' with Linux. Since Linux mainly is run on PCs :) 'Windows' or 'Win' works, IMO.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#50 Post by PyTom » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:42 am

0ion9 wrote:(you may not have good drivers, or a good configuration, by default, at this point in OpenGL's development.)
OpenGL is 19 years old. OpenGL 2 (with shaders and such) is 6.5 years old, more or less. This is fairly mature technology. At some point, I have to say "if your computer isn't able to run Ren'Py/OpenGL, there is a problem with your computer." - otherwise, I'll spend an inordinate amount of time making fixes to the older software renderer, or being held back by it. I don't want to do this rashly, and I would like to figure out how many people will have problems and ensure that's a very small number - but at this point, a system that doesn't run OpenGL is misconfigured.
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#51 Post by 0ion9 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:25 am

PyTom wrote:
0ion9 wrote:(you may not have good drivers, or a good configuration, by default, at this point in OpenGL's development.)
OpenGL is 19 years old. OpenGL 2 (with shaders and such) is 6.5 years old, more or less. This is fairly mature technology.
I completely agree :)
.. Except for the part where that implies that SUPPORT for OpenGL is as mature as OpenGL itself.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#52 Post by lucy » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:21 am

I have a suggestion...

Why not develop a separate stand alone program (name it "The Renpy Worldwide Hardware Survey Program.exe) and ask people who are making games in Renpy to ship them with their game (voluntary of course)... of course you wouldn't want this stand alone program to run by itself otherwise people will really be suspicious... so instead, request to put a small description in the readme that comes with the game stating...
Inside this game is a tiny program called The Renpy Worldwide Hardware Survey Program.exe located in (name of directory/folder) whose purpose is to (insert long explanation here) and the data collected will be sent to (name of server/person)... rest assured that we only collect (state the data collected) for (re-insert long explanation here)... and this is voluntary...
Of course, being voluntary and the fact that one has to go through the readme file to even be aware of the existence of The Renpy Worldwide Hardware Survey Program.exe will definitely affect the integrity of the data that will be gathered and will definitely be biased and will ignore a large chunk of the sample out of the survey (you know, those people who don't even bother to read the readme) but nevertheless... data is still data and can still be used to assess the whole scene (with some marginal error)...

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#53 Post by jack_norton » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:38 am

Today an user posted in my forums:
I play Planet Stronghold on a desktop PC with a Core i7 860 2.8 Ghz CPU, a Radeon HD5870 GPU and 8 GB RAM.
When playing in windowed Mode I experience extreme lag and stuttering, however when I switch to Fullscreen the game runs smooth.
asked him if he used GL or software rendering. I really cannot believe that PS runs so badly on such insanely powerful computer! My own testing computer is half powerful as that one and I can play the game just fine... I don't understand what can change running windowed/fullscreen for performance point of view ?

edit: turns out was the AERO thing of Windows7:
"I just made a quick test, switching to the basic Windows GUI without the transparencies and stuff, and it works! Planet Stronghold runs just fine in a window!"
Last edited by jack_norton on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#54 Post by Lyra Lacrimosa » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:17 am

Personally – I think y'all are overreacting a bit. As a gamer and (admittedly new) developer, I really have no problems with giving out information which is essentially harmless. As long as it's just a few hardware specifics, what's the big deal? I'm honestly still amazed that someone would write something this good and then offer to give it away. Compared to that, sending a few simple statistics back at the end seems like a very reasonable request, especially since without them, you might have to keep unnecessarily maintaining a complex part of the software.

That said, a standalone program might be the best idea, since I wouldn't want my users' last experience to be "Can you send a random person all sorts of data on your computer hardware and playing habits?". Still, as long as you don't get carried away with it, sending back some basic, anonymous information wouldn't be troublesome at all for me.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#55 Post by Aleema » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:19 am

Lyra Lacrimosa wrote:Personally – I think y'all are overreacting a bit. As a gamer and (admittedly new) developer, I really have no problems with giving out information which is essentially harmless. As long as it's just a few hardware specifics, what's the big deal?
The big deal was that using Ren'Py as a developer would've given other people's choice away, not just mine. Not cool.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#56 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:57 am

I like the idea of a separate program. It just feels more honest to me. You may still have the same problem of people not choosing to participate though, but honestly, I don't think you can do much about that and still come off as above-board.

I say update Ren'py. You've said it yourself - you are spending an inordinate amount of time maintaining old code. It is hampering you taking the program you supply for FREE to the places you want it to go. OpenGL is old and mature tech. Continuing to provide support for computers that don't run it is - I'm sorry - silly. If someone has a graphics card - ANY graphics card, in EXISTENCE, they can run OpenGL 1.0.

I feel sorry for all the 3rd world computer users, but that isn't your problem.

The answer is simple - you already have all past releases of Ren'py available. Make a clear and hard division between the "old" Ren'Py and the "new" Ren'Py. If developers and game makers want to continue to cater to the ancient PC community they can make their games with the older versions of Ren'Py. Just make clear where that cut-off line is.

The fact of the matter is that it seems people are hung up on treating Ren'Py like a hardware locked development environment - it isn't. All developers and game makers should be giving necessary specs for running their game anyway. That impetuous is on them, not you PyTom. All you need to do is make sure that we, the developers, know what the recommended specs are for each new version of Ren'Py, and we can take it from there.

I for one hunger for the possibilities OpenGL brings to the table and I'm more than a little annoyed at it's implementation being held up because some people can't run it. It isn't like we're talking about adding Direct X 11 or Shader Model 3.0 here. If someone has bought a new computer in the past 13 years, they can run some form of OpenGL.

It should be up to the developers and game makers to choose what audience they are going to support and whether or not the new features of Ren'Py bring enough to the table for their game for them to be willing to leave behind the tiny fraction of the potential market they would lose. Fact is, we can't wait until everyone is on-board to move forward. If all developers were like that, we STILL wouldn't have graphics cards.

Just my thoughts and opinion on the matter.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#57 Post by 0ion9 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:34 am

Just to be clear, I fully agree with the above.
Requiring OpenGL *is* the right thing to do -- that's quite unambiguous IMO.

My point was merely about factual correctness (OpenGL support doesn't necessarily == sane OpenGL support, no matter how much you mess with drivers and OSes and BIOSes.)

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#58 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:39 am

0ion9 wrote:Just to be clear, I fully agree with the above.
Requiring OpenGL *is* the right thing to do -- that's quite unambiguous IMO.

My point was merely about factual correctness (OpenGL support doesn't necessarily == sane OpenGL support, no matter how much you mess with drivers and OSes and BIOSes.)
Well, yeah. But that applies to pretty much any part of these complex, Rube Goldberg-style magic machines we call computers.

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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#59 Post by jack_norton » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:16 am

That's the problem, how do you know how big/small is that tiny minority?
I honestly think is IMPOSSIBLE that nowadays someone can't run a game in openGL. Yet I have many posts / emails with people with problems with it, and are all person on Windows. That's why I was posting that if Renpy gets also a DX version, I think pytom can discard software rendering IMMEDIATELY :)
Sadly on Window if you have DX you're 99.99999999% sure to have zero problems, while with GL... it's not so safe.
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Re: 6.12.2: Hardware Survey

#60 Post by PyTom » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:18 am

My general thoughts are that I will improve things so that they run on a Intel 945-class netbook. My new netbook runs GL slowly, and I want to study why. I will probably also add support for DirectX 9, and maybe some sort of optional hardware survey that is more prominently displayed to the user if Ren'Py detects it is running in degraded mode. It would be a couple of releases after that before I can consider dropping support for the software renderer.

The hardware survey has slipped to 6.12.3, at least.

In a similar topic, I'm considering dropping support for PPC Macintosh, as it's been 5 years since Apple ceased selling them.
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