Sebastian Explains Performance Improvements

Hello Commanders! 

There has been a lot of feedback about device performance in Homeworld Mobile. I want to assure you that we are aware of these concerns, and are looking to improve them in future updates.  

Players will be excited that the first set of major improvements are expected to roll out soon. While a 3D mobile game will always need a certain device to run smoothly, we want to provide a fun experience for as many players (and devices) as possible. Check out how the team handles device performance optimization from our 3D Artist, Sebastian!

HOW RENDER PERFORMANCE WORKS

How does rendering work?

When we load a turret into the game scene it consists of its base, the Barrel(s), and any extra parts as separate objects. We did this to easily manipulate the Turret and Barrels independently. We realized that this temporary solution led the GPUs into rendering each part of the Turret on their own. For a single turret we have two to three, or even more, Draw Calls. A Draw Call is a texture or mesh that is loaded and rendered. So, when you have several Turrets on your Flagship, Escorts, or on enemy ships, the result will be a lot of overhead the GPU has to work with to render. The fewer Draw Calls made, the better the general performance. 

RENDER IMPROVEMENTS

We are working on converting all Turrets to a new system to improve rendering. The system will merge all parts of a Turret into a single object. The object will move via a skeletal animation. Forcing the GPU to only render the Turret once, we won’t need that separation into single objects for moving the Barrels any longer. We hope that, especially in larger fights, this will improve device performance. However, the change to the system requires work from both our artists and our programmers. Several of our performance issues are a collaboration amongst several departments. Which makes tackling them sometimes even harder. 

WHAT’S NEXT?

To improve on the continuous work of optimizing device performance, the next update will include a completely custom post processing system. This system will render more quickly than the previous version.

Furthermore, we are working on some more complex tasks that cannot be rushed. This includes a new material shader system for several elements and an update to the entire render pipeline. All these things take a time to change, as well as to verify and to test. So please understand that improvements to device performance takes time. 

I hope with this somewhat longer text I was able to show that we are indeed working on some performance improvements while also working on new features and assets. 

We hope you are enjoying your time in Homeworld Mobile, and don’t forget to check out the latest news on how to join the fight!

Sebastian


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