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Get the patch!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Macintosh' started by JoAT, Jul 14, 2006.

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  1. lateralis

    lateralis Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
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    so I got the patch working last night. no real noticeable speed jump but I attribute that to the epic speed warmonger game I used as a guinea pig. around 1800 and I have MANY MANY tanks/marines/infantry rolling around. (and dammit, if saladin gets that spaceship before I wipe him off the map I'm gonna be salty, but I digress)

    sounds are WAY better. no cutting off anymore and I do hear some of the "battle just finished" sounds, but not anything during fighting.

    also, when issabella was bombarding my fortifications, I don't usually hear it during the turn but rather, once it's my turn I get a long scroll, each accompanied by the bombard sound, while I'm doing all my stuff. I assume it's related to the speed issue or possibly having "don't animate enemy moves" turned on.

    keep up the good work!
     
  2. thanar

    thanar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
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    Location:
    Kozani, Greece, EU
    I bought Civ4 OS X version last week to play it on my brother's MacBook (plays great after the patch), but also thought I should give it a try on my iBook G4 (1.2GHz, Radeon Mobility 9200).

    The game is somehow playable, with fps ranging from around 10 (around 500AD, large map, graphics to low) to over 30 when there is lots of fog of war around...

    Tried a few different graphics settings and noticed that when turning on animations, enabling high-quality textures etc, the game would run slower, but not noticeably. That said, seems line it's the objects' complexity that's the culprit.

    This seems like a designer bug in the 3D engine of the game, one that I don't think will ever be addressed, but I can always hope: There seem to be no low-complexity 3D models for the far away views. That's a feature I can't understand why it hasn't been implemented, since this is a common tactic in 3D programming (did some OGRE programming a while ago).

    I would also like to propose a mod that modifies just the 3D objects with simpler ones. That way, I believe the game would scream even on G4s.
     
  3. enkiduMT

    enkiduMT Chieftain

    Joined:
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    I know I am underspec on one machine and at min cpu/vid card for another, but I think it plays pretty darn well considering!

    some suggestions for speding things up:

    - delete perspective!
    man the calculations the vid card must go thru to just angle all the lines for a 3 point perspective... make it just two for folks who wanted this turn based classic to play on their olde machines (otoh, ya gotta buy new iron some time)

    - make a super fast 'snap to' setting
    the camera doesn't accelerate out from the last viewpoint/unit, it immediately snaps to the new location, with (perhaps even a toggle to switch this off?) a minimal deceleration or glide into the new viewpoint

    - low res texture set?

    - low res polygon set? or on the fly (game launch?) simplification of models by a user selectable preset # (1/2, 1/4 etc)

    - turn off edge scrolling? with a snap to minimap rt click, the arrow keys could be used for fine adjustments

    - some sort of miracle pre-processing? mb for folks who have a low vid card, but enough juice elsewhere?

    - $25 off your next mac video card upgrade! =)

    fun game so far, just won my first space race victory
     
  4. Brad Oliver

    Brad Oliver Civ3/4 Mac programmer

    Joined:
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    Civ4 does not push out a huge number of polygons in normal gameplay (the leader heads are a different story), so lowering the vertex count is not going to have a huge impact.
     
  5. thanar

    thanar Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Kozani, Greece, EU
    enkidu,
    deleting perspective wouldn't do much, since the 3D-engine would remain the same (unless you are talking about a re-wright and not just a few tweaks).
    low textures as implemented right now seem to work just fine.

    Brad,
    could you let us know of the mean number of polygons and meshes in a land unit? I believe there are way over 50, from what I can see when zooming in. This kind of detail isn't needed for far-away viewing, since when almost every viewable world tile has an object on it, things easily get quite frustrating...
    Anyway, you could make a test and lower the vertex cound quite a bit to clear this one out, if it's easily feasible, that is.

    [edit]
    Brad,
    I did some more testing and it looks like my iBook handles leader heads polygons real-time when the map is centered into an area with lots of FoW. Also, I get over 20fps in full zoom in map areas with lots of detail. Also tried to count the polygons on a tree, I believe there are around 10 of them (times the number of trees in a regular forest tile... and voila!), but do corrent me if I'm wrong...
     
  6. Skippy_Kangaroo

    Skippy_Kangaroo Prince of Denmark

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    How are you measuring fps? I haven't seen anything that would allow me to work it out.
     
  7. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

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    My question exactly!!!
     
  8. thanar

    thanar Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kozani, Greece, EU
    You can measure fps just by experience. "over 20 fps" usually is when no irritating frame skipping occurs. "under 10 fps" is still playable, while "under 5 fps" is when you start having second thoughts about whether you should continue playing or not.

    Just as a sidenote, I moved over to 1000something AD and things have begun to render somehow slower. "under 5 fps" was the situation almost 50% of the time... :sad:

    Just as a second sidenote, Brad, I noticed extreme VM activity when exiting the game (along with the current VM size growing by 1Gb); could there something be leaking? Been playing for 2 hours with no problems though (apart from the slowness, sound issues and globe view)...

    Keep up the good work!
     
  9. wiglaff

    wiglaff Warlord

    Joined:
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    If you can get the Blue marble terrain mod to work (I think it is now mac-compatible) then you could probably use the low-resolution version of that terrain set.

    IMO that mod improves the terrain appearance greatly, and for some it also improves performance a bit.
     
  10. Skippy_Kangaroo

    Skippy_Kangaroo Prince of Denmark

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    There is a tedious option that would allow you to benchmark that.

    In the .ini file there is an option for a framerate cap. If you play around with that you could see what it looks like at various framerates. I tried a cap of 30 and 5. At 30 I couldn't tell any difference from uncapped. At 5 I could see a sort of flicker during scrolls of the map but wouldn't say the game was substantially different in character. But I suspect that if you are performance constrained to <5 fps it would look different to putting a cap on screen redraws. YMMV.
     
  11. thanar

    thanar Chieftain

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    Location:
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    The max fps clamp doesn't seem to work for me. Tried setting it to 5, but I could still see over 20 over simple terrain.
     
  12. floppymoose

    floppymoose Warlord

    Joined:
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    EVer since I applied the patch, my dual 1.8GHz G5 (geForce 5200, 1.5 gig ram, 10.4.7) has played better except... After some amount of tme the game will suddenly get very choppy. When this happens I don't see both cpu's being pegged like it used to, but it as even more choppy than it was pre-patch. Quiting the game, relaunching and reloading will fix the problem.... for a while. Then it comes back. Anyone else seeing this? You know it's happenend when suddenly the scrolling becomes choppy when it hadn't been before.
     
  13. girtholomew

    girtholomew Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
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    41
    I've now applied the patch. I have:

    20" iMac
    2.0Ghz Intel Core Duo
    X1600 w/ 256mb VRAM
    2gb RAM

    i.e. the top-spec iMac at the mo.

    Running:

    Huge Map (Earth)
    18 Civs
    windowed at 1400 x 900 (?)
    AAMP = 4
    All settings maxed

    My observations:

    - it runs NEGLIGIBLY quicker but doesn't really run at an adequate (i.e. smooth) level when zoomed or in globe mode (Yes, huge map with 18 civs but still...my machine should be able to do better given that there aren't many more powerful Macs out there, are there? I truly pity others now :( !)
    - music and ambient sounds galore; issues with battle-sounds still; some clipping of sound effects; one loud, loud pop when exiting a negotiation
    - turning 3d graphics settings down doesn't seem to make any difference to smoothness of unit movement or scrolling

    What are the experiences of other 20" core duo people?
     
  14. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

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  15. Brad Oliver

    Brad Oliver Civ3/4 Mac programmer

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    You can get a rough estimate of the framerate by installing the Apple developer tools and running the OpenGL profiler. It provides a framerate counter for apps it sublaunches.
     
  16. Skippy_Kangaroo

    Skippy_Kangaroo Prince of Denmark

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    MacBook Pro here, basically the same machine as yours. I've run the Earth Scenario with 8 Civs - the same map as you but with fewer civs and notice the severe slowdown towards the end. Not unplayable, but really pretty clunky.

    Thinking about it, the number of civs shouldn't matter - just the number of things that are on the map. The AI only comes into it moving to the next turn. They aren't active when you are moving. Or are they?

    It also surprises me that the larger the map, the slower it is. I mean, you can only see so much of the world at any given time. I guess they are keeping it busy animating all the mines and trees on the opposite side of the globe. But is that really necessary? Is performance better by keeping all that stuff going in a buffer rather than generating it on the fly when you actually move your view to see it? I would have thought the slowdown would be negligible between a standard and a huge world because you see the same amount of terrain on either.
     
  17. naib

    naib Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
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    Location:
    Austin
    I've been holding out for a patch to pick up Civ4. For the sake of experimentation, I tried a quick game before installing the patch. Didn't bother with the audio, but it was pretty choppy. I'm not sure I gave it enough time pre-patch(i was pretty excited).

    Post patch I guess it's better, but it's still pretty choppy at low settings. I'm not sure if I'm dropping frames or not. Even at the beginning of the game, I find myself waiting to see red to end turn. The interface seems snappy enough, but scrolling is hard to watch. it's a little better zoomed out.

    G5 2x2.5
    one gig ram
    ATI Radeon 9600 XT 128

    Perhaps I was expecting too much?

    My fans are usualy pretty quick to spin up running CPU intensive stuff, but I'm not even hearing them running Civ4. Figure that one out. Haven't checked the usage yet...

    Wow, that's weird. I can't believe I remembered my password.
    (I'm normally pretty chatty I swear):crazyeye:
     
  18. ejday

    ejday King

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Burbank, CA, USA
    Holy Cow!
    Man, that's a serious case of "lurk"!

    Well, you saved your first post for a great place.
    Welcome! (I guess?) Yes, definitely "Welcome!" (even if you have been for four years!)
     
  19. waltham845

    waltham845 lurked in the forum

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    Location:
    New Mexico, Colorado
    @Alan
    per your question I do have blue marble installed, but I think monaco27 has already given you the answer you seek....
    It would be really cool to run GOTM with the bluemarble mod installed. I was able to run the American Revolution mod and bluemarble with no problems at all. hmmmm...
     
  20. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    United States of America
    I fired up my new iMac today for the first time and, after getting Safari set up with my bookmarks and whatnot, performed an update via the "Software Update" under the Apple menu.

    My machine shipped with 10.4.4, and the updater brought it up to 10.4.7, updated QT to 7.1.2 and also loaded updates for 10 other programs. Last, but not least, it upgraded my firmware to 1.0.

    Here's my question: Did I get the right 10.4.7? According to the System Profiler, my version is 10.4.7 (8J2135). I don't want to do anything with Civ IV until I'm sure the OS is the proper version. FWIW, the OS updater was 215MB; I say this because I noticed on Apple's update site that there's another 10.4.7 update that's roughly 133MB. Both were posted June 27. I'm assuming the latter is just a standalone update for the OS, where the one I got updated not only the OS, but other programs as well.

    Any insights are, as always, most appreciated!

    Gatekeeper
     
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