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The possible advantage of a low FPS


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#1 IKSB

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:36 PM

I've been having a little debate with myself over the issue of what to set the room speed to in my games, so I thought I would just post the question here and get peoples opinions on it.

The question is this: Is it better to have a faster room speed or a slower room speed? Here is the way I view it:

High room speed advantage: Smoother, higher quality performance. A higher FPS makes the game apear smoother and higher quality.

High room speed disadvantages: You have a higher possibility of having lag issues on slower computers, which would be an issue in a high graphics game.


Slow room speed advantage: Less chance of lag due to graphics or gameplay.

Slow room speed disadvantage: Not quite as "smooth" looking as a higher FPS could be.



Personally, right now, I'm running my current project at 30 FPS because I plan to make it graphically powerful, so I want a little insurance for slower computers that they won't run slower than par, and I tend to do that in all of my games. But I was curious whether or not people think that is actually a good idea or not, whether my fear of lagging slower computers is really that big of an issue or not.
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#2 Yal

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:46 PM

My computer was manufactured in 2000 (found out yesterday eventing, in fact) and it's quite weak, since it can't run most of my GM games in the 50/60 frames I like to do them in... However, I've learned to write games that use up as little computer time as possible, and as a result I know my games will never lag on computers with at least 50% stronger processors than mine, and according to Moore's Law, all processors made after 2004 should be so strong.

So I never worry about lag (um, just so you know, I generally only use SNES-style graphics, which may or may not play a role in this) and try to make my games run in 60. Generally, I'd say that the higher the framerate is, the better the game (caps off at 60).

So, make those high-speed games, perhaps with an option to select between lowfi/hifi framerates and graphics (shadows, alpha) like most commercial 3D games do. As long as you don't push a NEW computer to the limit, it should be fine on old ones.

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#3 IKSB

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:10 PM

Yeah, that's the thing. My computer is fairly old as well and, while it isn't too slow (2GHZ) it lacks a decent graphics card, and I like making my games graphicially intensive.

BTW:

Anyone that says that D&D is easier to read needs to format their code better.

I'm liking the signature. :P
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#4 Nocturne

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:19 PM

Personally i use a room speed of 30... The difference between 30 and 60 seems negligible to me, and the coding/eye candy advantage is worth it...
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#5 Katuko

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:29 PM

I always set it at 60. My latest project, however, runs at 30 because the engine's so damn complex I think it'll need the extra power once I add fancy effects and such things.
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#6 Venomous

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 06:14 PM

I used to always use 30 as my room speed,but after trying 60
I almost always use it instead of 30. The game feels much more smooth
with 60. I have noticed that my games start to lag easier though.

So this is what I would do:

Use a room speed of 60 unless you are having problems with lag. Then use 30.
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#7 Zevti

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 11:32 PM

If you could make a system where the player can choose at which speed they want to run it at like Yal, then I'd say try using both. Like Katuko, I enjoy the 60fps, but had to slash it back to 30fps to preserve processing power. Though recently I've been cheating by placing the fps a few notches higher than those standards. Like for my game I claim that its 30fps when its really 32 so when it lags no one notices. That is if it doesn't lag below 27 fps.

Because you are the one constantly looking at the game, naturally you want it to crisp and smooth, but the player generally won't notice unless they can see the comparison, so you'll probably be safe at 30.
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#8 True Valhalla

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 01:59 AM

Personally i use a room speed of 30... The difference between 30 and 60 seems negligible to me, and the coding/eye candy advantage is worth it...


It's the same for me. I use 30 and I see no problems. If I were to run 60 FPS with my games too many people would lag, whereas at 30 FPS only people with old PC's may notice lag. I like particles + alpha =P
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#9 Adequate

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:42 PM

It depends on the game. If your game needs to look smooth, for example if the framerate has to live up to the graphical standard of the rest of the game, then go with 60.

If your game is less graphically oriented and more gameplay oriented, go with 30.
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#10 Zeddy

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:26 AM

If your game is less graphically oriented and more gameplay oriented, go with 30.

This is false. Smooth framerates do more than just look good. They also decide how quickly the player can react to any given situation and as such 60fps is a must in any fast-paced action game (as opposed to slow-paced action games such as cover-based third-person shooters).

Ideally, if you're worried about the game lagging then you should optimize your code and tone down/insert options to disable graphical effects rather than lower the framerate. Consider how smooth framerates both looks better and makes the game feel better to play while graphical effects only possibly looks better and can often obscure and distract from the game itself. In many cases (consider the fullscreen filters and motion blurring in the most recent Need for Speed games, for example) graphical effects can even be terrible-looking and a hindrance.

Now, extra-ideally you'd want to go for 120, but 120hz monitors aren't all that widespread yet.

I recall back in the PSX-era that I'd prefer to play imported games over the European versions even though my TV didn't support the format properly and could only display them in black-and-white. I didn't know it at the time, but European consoles had a framerate based on the European power network (50Hz, so the games were either 25fps or 50fps. This was due to the televisions getting their framerate directly from the power network. Consoles just kind of had to follow) while imported games would just make the console put out a 60Hz signal anyways (making the fps 30 or 60, all depending). I noticed. While I didn't really know, I could feel that something about my import version of Soul Reaver, black-and-white though it might have been, was better to play than my friend's PAL-version. The difference between 50fps and 60fps is so distinct, so important, that even a kid can tell it. What do you think that says about the difference between 30 and 60?

When it comes to graphics, higher framerates are more important than anything else. While graphical effects can get a couple of heads to turn, the novelty will soon wear off and very soon the player will find the effects to be either unnoticeable or intrusive. The lack of a good framerate could make the user tired of the game more quickly. They won't tell you this, and they might not even know it but the disjunction between reality and the choppy stream of images being presented to the player will tire them of a game quicker than they would from a game going smoothly.

So higher framerates are prettier, more immersive and makes a game smoother to play. Think very hard if your reason for lowering all of these qualities is good enough. (It's not.)
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#11 Phantom107

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 12:23 PM

Always go with 60 fps.

  • More immersive gameplay due to faster game response.
  • Smoother graphics.
Make customizable options so people with outdated PCs can still play on super-low detail.

However, there are exceptions. For example, Halo Reach uses a super smooth blurring engine so the 30 fps framerate will look like 60 fps. If you're a good programmer you should definately look into this.
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#12 ash47

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:31 PM

If you are really 'smart', you can dynamicaly have the user pick an FPS, or have the game engine pick an FPS at which it runs fine, or, like most modern games, the FPS should matter if it is coded correctly, set no limit...
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#13 Desert Dog

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 02:38 AM

I almost always use 30fps. I have tinkered around with 60 before, but lag is too much of an issue for me to want to deal with.

My current project runs at 30.
However, it's a 'sokoban' style maze, and I know sometimes people just want to move faster throughout the maze, so I've got a 'fast speed' option.. I don't run it at 60, because that speeds up the gameplay too much, but 50 is comfortably fast.

I there are a few of the 'better' GM games, which have the option built in, so people who are experiencing lag at a fps of 60, can switch to 30.
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#14 TemplarX2

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:27 AM

Personally i use a room speed of 30... The difference between 30 and 60 seems negligible to me, and the coding/eye candy advantage is worth it...


The difference is massive is for me. At 30fps the game is like on sleeping tablets, on 60fps on caffeine. :snitch:
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#15 TemplarX2

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:35 AM

I almost always use 30fps. I have tinkered around with 60 before, but lag is too much of an issue for me to want to deal with.

My current project runs at 30.
However, it's a 'sokoban' style maze, and I know sometimes people just want to move faster throughout the maze, so I've got a 'fast speed' option.. I don't run it at 60, because that speeds up the gameplay too much, but 50 is comfortably fast.

I there are a few of the 'better' GM games, which have the option built in, so people who are experiencing lag at a fps of 60, can switch to 30.


This is how it should be done. Both faster and slower computers should be accommodated. I've found out that changing port view to lower resolution allows for a higher fps. So those who wants a fast game but have slow comps can also go lower resolution as well. We should also bare in mind that computers are getting increasingly faster so the trend should be towards 60fps. Very old pcs should be ignored.
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#16 Desert Dog

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:27 AM

Very old pcs should be ignored.

...No...

If you wish, you can ignore old computers. It isn't that they should be ignored, but that if you plan your game at 60 fps, then you can expect possible lag on older machines... but then, it would depend on the game! A RTS with many units, or a complex 3d game would struggle on an old pc regardless of fps.. while a fixed view 'pacman' type game would run well at 60.

And I know some people who develop their game pretty much to the limits of their own computers... making them unplayable on other people's computers. :)

I generally design to make the game as accessible as possible for older machines. If your game doesn't run on an older machine, then *I* at least consider it to be the designers fault.
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#17 snowyowl

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:44 AM

30fps forever! My graphics card isn't that good, though it's only a year old, so I prefer to add alpha and particles even if it means making the game imperceptibly more jittery. (Also, I have once seriously failed at coding and made a game that runs at 10fps on my computer with a room speed of 30... and never understood why everyone thought it was so hard.)
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#18 bluesy_92

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:06 AM

You can put an option. What I do is, run the game logic at 60, and disable automatic rendering. You have an option that either renders every step, or every other step. 60 FPS and 30 FPS. Try that.
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#19 JAk HAk

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:21 PM

The other thing you can do is program accommodating controls into your game. For example, on a platformer, you might try allowing the player to jump even if he hasn't been standing on solid ground for the last one or two steps (assuming he ran off the edge and meant to jump). Something like this helps the controls to still feel responsive, even if your game otherwise isn't up to the task of maintaining 60 fps.

Personally, I don't develop games at 60 fps because I feel good knowing it'll still play well on a really old computer, but I appreciate a 60 fps game from time to time. Really, I think it's all up to the game designer to make the game feel good either way. With 60 fps, it's easier to make the game feel snappy (though not intrinsic) but harder to get extra pizazz going on. At 30 fps, it takes more work to get the game to feel as responsive and pretty, but you can do nearly twice as much with the game engine and effects. So, the choice is up to you then as to which of these is better for the kind of programmer you are.
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