At the end of September, the Planetside dev team downed tools on new vehicles and whatnot and instead dedicated all of their staff to OMFG: Operation Make Faster Game. Following a four-hour update process in the dead of last night, you can now take advantage of the first framerate fruits of their efforts.
Creative director Matt Higby tweeted that of all the game’s continents, Indar had benefited from the most environmental optimisation.
“I doubt you’ll notice a major difference on Indar specifically, though,” he went on. “Most of the performance gains aren’t related to the zone updates.”
In fact, SOE have optimised the game in several major areas – including its animation, physics, occlusion and UI.
“Our user interface is incredibly complex,” explained technical director Ryan ‘codeForge’ Elam in a post in September. “It may look simple (on purpose….It’s actually a heck of a lot MORE work to make something look simple!) but there are many tens of thousands of lines of code running all the time to keep that data fresh.
“However, now that we’ve had over a year to manage its functionality, we see areas where we can reduce the per-frame overhead and have it to give you the same data, but cost less to do so. We are actively optimizing the minimap and hud to reduce per-frame time to as little as 10% of what it currently is.”
SOE have taken time out from pushing the game ever forward specifically to tackle long-term optimisation issues like these, which require a long ‘soak’ time – so expect some serious improvements in performance.
“These optimizations DO improve everyone’s life, not just the low-end machines,” said Elam. “They are significant increases in performance that will change your gameplay for the better.”
Will you be hopping back into the game to test out Elam’s assertions first-hand?