Your opinion about maps with map-wide assets

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@arma473 said in Your opinion about maps with map-wide assets:

The solution is probably to download the files in chunks. I have no idea how difficult that would be to implement in java, e.g. if free pre-written code already exists for it. This is something that I like about Steam. The download can stop at any time and start up later, no problems.

This would require turning downloads into a true background task that would continue even if the client were closed. It also doesn't necessarily solve the issue as people still would not be able to join a queue or game until the download had finished fully.

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@exselsior said in Your opinion about maps with map-wide assets:

I'm also still not seeing the issue with having people be forced to download the maps before queuing.

The issue boils down to the fact that the chance that you get one of these troublesome maps is rather low when you queue and so it would be bad to lock someone out of the queue just because one map in the queue has an issue for them when they may not even ever play it in the queue.

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@sheikah said in Your opinion about maps with map-wide assets:

@exselsior said in Your opinion about maps with map-wide assets:

I'm also still not seeing the issue with having people be forced to download the maps before queuing.

The issue boils down to the fact that the chance that you get one of these troublesome maps is rather low when you queue and so it would be bad to lock someone out of the queue just because one map in the queue has an issue for them when they may not even ever play it in the queue.

That's where the low res version of the troublesome maps comes into play. Low res version should solve the issue of the larger downloads failing and bring them more inline with the size of the other maps. Now when they queue they don't have this awkward long wait for them to download any new maps before a match starts which helps mitigate one aspect of the issue of matches just not starting.

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True but a solution probably should not be dependent on having a high and low res version as it would require a pretty extensive overhaul of how we do versioning for maps for very little benefit.

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@Sheikah Completely agree, but I was thinking more along the lines of what @Jip was saying about a manual way to handle that. Sounds like it's only himself and one other person really doing this so far which makes a manual implementation on their end a lot easier to manage

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Okay then I had just misunderstood what you meant.

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First of all, I love the screenshots with all the detail, they look gorgeous

Now-could a dev weigh in on how feasible it is to have low-res maps/standard res be auto downloaded for everyone?

Is it possible to tweak the current system to download the higher res textures automatically only if the download can complete within a specified timeframe without glitches? ie without causing the black and red bar effect mentioned

That way higher res textures can be downloaded for any client that can handle them without any intervention by the user and the players with weaker internet connections are spared the complications brought up earlier? This would obviously benefit from the better compression methods mentioned above as well

I speak only as a user and no dev experience, does this sound viable?

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@majortrouble It's technically possible to that, but far more work than it's worth. Like what @Sheikah and others who are more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to FAF development are saying it's a lot of work for a very small subset of maps and it isn't really feasible for that reason. I think the only way we'd see something like this is a manual process like Jip was talking about.

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I've looked into the discussion and I agree in general that maps with a lot of custom assets (and therefore take up a lot of bandwidth) is more damaging than good for ladder. Solely because it can cause a match to appear to be stuck for the majority, where as a single person is still waiting for a download to finish. And since my aim is ladder, I need to change my approach.

Another issue that I want to mention from the mapper perspective is updating the map. E.g., if I want to make a minor change to Autumn (add the cliff build locations) I immediately add 200 Mbs to the server and everyone's personal storage. On top of that - all those people with a slow connection have to download essentially the same map all over again.

@harzer99 thank you for your suggestion, I was not aware of the size difference. It is quite large in practice. I've been able to reproduce them with Gimp. Sadly though, I can not reproduce it with my automation pipeline and therefore it would involve a lot of manual labor near the end of an iteration. Therefore I can not make use of it. In practice, when a typical 10x10 map is 5 Mbs, reducing from 80 to 50 Mbs per texture is still not sufficient anyhow.

I've decided on doing the 'you can download the HD files yourself' approach as that is the only reasonable solution to the problem. Any other solution is essentially asking someone to solve the problem for me. I'm not entirely sure how this will take shape. Do people have suggestions for services that can store and make available relative large amounts of information (think in terms of 10 - 100gb)? I was for example thinking of making it part of my website to cut costs through my company - but that is less community friendly especially when other people join in on the journey.

@FtXCommando I think you need to add in a map-size limit to the ladder selection. I'd personally not allow any map that uses more than 50 Mbs, as that can already take more than a minute to load for someone with a slow connection. I noticed this during the testing for tmm when a map of 38 Mbs was chosen and people were already wondering if things were broken. In practice without having BlackYps telling you that it has nothing to do with the matchmaker it may cause the entire match to dissolve before it starts. I don't know if it would be difficult to add in, but maybe a similar message in the client when uploading a map stating that anything above 50 Mbs is not appreciated in general.

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Imo, I would rather see the maps being forced to download once a month than cut down on the quality of the delivered work to the client. As in you have to download all the maps in pool before you actually get to join the Q.
I know that coding is gonna be the hardest part here but I really do think that making it possible would bring FAF one step closer to other games on the market which clearly don't let you play unless you have the most up to date version of it. Even more when it comes to one of the more important components of said game modes.

Also I don't think that downloading the map pool once a month is gonna be such a hassle, even for an older game like this one. Like if folks are fully capable of downloading 100s of GB a month to play stupid CoD then worst case scenario of 1gb per month for FAF shouldn't be such a big deal even for those with slower connections.

Though maybe I'm just to accustomed to waiting at times a day or two to play games after updates, from when I still had pos internet. And don't see it as much of a problem as long as it's done before you are allowed to join the Q under the guise of game update.

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You are forgetting that some map downloads fail consistently for some people. As long as this is happening, forcing people to download the whole pool beforehand is off the table.
Sadly we didn't find a way to reproduce that issue yet. So I don't think it will change anytime soon.

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If I may put my two cents in:
If we do “Gimmick” Matchmakers. The restrictions here described would also limit doing some Gimmick Mods as Gimmick Ladders (SCTA bias warning). And by extension, while I understand the issue a quick pedantic question:

How did these people install FAF downloads orginally? These largers map downloads I imagine are not larger than the original FA install or the FAF code bank installs. I do believe the issue Jip talking about is Genuine (and Jip may correct me here, but wasn’t I one who brought this concern up?).

But I feel the core issue should be noted, and converstation broaden. Espacially if core issue is that download package too large. Which if and when gimmick ladders happen, the gimmick chosen mods or otherwise might have same core problem

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@dragun101 I have no idea who brought up the issue originally.

If you want this to be looked into a broader fashion then we need to find someone where the anti virus was the reason the download failed.

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I think it was me who was complaining about it along with someone else in the VC during testing of three versus three and four versus four match making. I am still will stand by the original statements that i have made.

While your maps are pretty and your work deeply appreciated if it comes at the cost of player enjoyment due to unable to load into a game or preformace issue then it might be the time to tone down the amount that it goes into making a single map for the sake of players... If no other viable solution can be found that is.

I was on mobile (tho still good and viable) connection that day i still feel that map should not take over 5 min to download since i "almost" never expect it to. We should maybe more go gradually about increasing the map size to see where the viable limit is where map makers are gonna be happy and players gonna be less annoyed.

One side question that i have, does increasing the amount of decals increase the loading time for the map?
I am starting to feel that some newer map have "bit" longer load times.

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@hinthunter

If done right then the loading time is not affected. An example of when it is done wrong: if the dds file is not a power of two size-wise then the game has to resize it and that takes time 🙂 . Make sure they are always a power of two and things are good.

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Looks very nice.

Don't really know about the rest of the discussion as I don't use the matchmaker.

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I personally like these maps and appreciate the efforts put into giving the player a more aesthetic experience. Although I must say that I have a good internet connection so I cant relate to the issues other people are facing.

I also would like to share that I used to play supcom back in 2011 and I discovered FAF three years ago and I must say that I was very impressed with the maps ..so great job 🙂

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I personally really like playing on such maps in custom lobbies, as they can look really cool, but I also think there whould be a different variant for them for matchmaking, without such assets. Essentially the same thing Valve tried to pull with CSGO back in the day, where they had different versions of maps for competitive and casual.

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What about a compromise?

  • DB only has a boolean field for each map that means "a high res version of this map is available" or not.
  • Client shows simple button in map details when high res version available
  • Button links to some forum thread whith explanation how to manually download and replace the normal map with the high-res version
  • DB value must be set somewhere, maybe checkbox in map upload dialog?

Alternatively, maybe the low res map could simply save the information itself somewhere in the map files instead of the DB, but the client would then have to read the map files to gee that information.

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I think any solution that involves development time (of others) is out of the question. Sadly, having a low-res and a high-res version is essentially me making two different maps that just look a lot alike - but one is a monstrosity and the other is quite decent. Especially when I do not put in effort for the low-res version.

I'm currently experimenting with what shape this would take. E.g., can I still have a decent-isch map when I limit myself to 80mb / map, and having a high res version (which is 800mb) without making essentially two maps? The former will still compress to something smaller - aim is 50mb for downloading.