Salomonsson.se
Jul 28 2016

TLDR - Part 4: Component filtering BLAZING fast with macros!

Made a huge optimization in the way Seagal filters list of entities that contains specific components!

Using the macro I’ve written two days ago as a base I now use bitflags instead of multiple for-loops and several Std.is(classA, classB). I now just use simple bit-flag comparison as the macro auto-generates a unique bitflag for each component class, and the result is stunning!

I actually had to go back to my old test and change the number of entities from 10,000 to 100,000!!!

The critical part is the last test, taking 0.0469 seconds
The optimized code! 0.012 seconds! Thats 391% faster!!!

Note 1: Both test 2 and test 3 took 0.001 seconds when running 10,000 entities. That’s why I had to increase the number of entities.

Note 2: Test 2 now takes only 0.007 seconds with that huge amount of entities!

Note 3: Running identical test 3 with 100,000 entities on Edge gives an approx time of 0.049 seconds, even slower than my own old solution…

High fiving myself

Jul 26 2016

Haxe Macros, Part 1

When reading up on the Edge-entity system in the post about TLDR I got an idea on how to speed up my Seagal enging a lot using macros.
The problem is that macros is a subject with few tutorials and resources online, and it seems a lot of people are afraid to look into it.

I will try to explain what macros are, some good places to start learning more, and a cool example that I’ll expand upon to improve the speed of Seagal!

READ MORE >>
Jul 22 2016

TLDR - Part 3

I’ve downloaded and tried a new exciting ECS-framework called Edge. The interesting thing about it is that it relies heavily on haxe macros to generate code at compile time that will remove of the costly runtime type checking.

I did a similar test to test number 3 in my TLDR - Part 2. Only the third test was interesting to me.

And look! It’s taking between 4 and 5 milliseconds here as well! That was surprising, I really though you had to try hard to be slower than my current implementation.

However, using macros seems super interesting. and I just got an idea on how I could use macros in seagal that might speed the matching up quite a bit!

Jul 11 2016

Shader Week 1, Conclusion

The source code for all 7 days can be found here: https://github.com/Tommislav/unity_shaderweek

It has been a successful and interesting experiment, commiting 7 days to shader programming. As I’m on parental leave I could only spend about an hour a day for this, but I think I managed to get quite far!
Apart from what’s visible here, I spent 3-4 days reading or researching, but did not count those as I wanted visible examples for each day.

One problem with only having about an hour a day, and only doing tutorials is that you don’t get much time to modify/experiment/fix bugs. But I early decided that my focus this week would be learning, and that I will do a second shader week where I experiment and create my own shader effects instead.

To conclude

  • I have learned a ton!
  • Need a second shader week, where I write my own shader effects
  • A superb resource for learning shaders is this link: http://www.alanzucconi.com/
Jul 11 2016

Shader Week, Day 7

Last day on my shader week. Not sure what to do when a friend of mine suggested that I do a “wobbly water shader”. Well, I guess you could do it pretty simple by using a displacement map as in day 2, so I used another approach manipulating the vertexes with a sine-wave instead.

I used this tutorial as base
http://www.alcove-games.com/opengl-es-2-tutorials/vertex-shader-for-tiled-water/
but re-wrote it in CG

Jun 30 2016

Shader Week, Day 6

Todays shader tutorial was about keeping an offscreen buffer which we can update continually.

http://www.alanzucconi.com/2016/03/02/4539/

In the image to the left we invert the colors every second.

The right image was supposed to be smoke, but the tutorial was very math heavy but thin on how to do the implementation. So I skipped the smoke tutorial and made a script myself that draws a circle at the mouse position (cursor not visible in gif) and fades the image by 0.9 every frame.

Good thing the cursor isn’t visible though. Somehow the mouse X/Y-movement was inverted, and coordinates messed up.
But not enough time to fix tonight, as I’m only using an hour a day.

Jun 29 2016

Shader Week, Day 5

Finally started on vertex and fragment shaders again!
http://www.alanzucconi.com/2015/07/01/vertex-and-fragment-shaders-in-unity3d/

Using a GrabPass to grab a texture of what’s underneath we can manipulate whats underneath.
The red rectangle is just taking the rgb + r*1.5, applied to a quad.

Underneath we’re using a bumpmap to apply something that looks like glass.

Very cool, but a lot of new concepts here. Will have to play around with this more. But now I’m out of time for today…

Jun 29 2016

Shader Week, Day 4

Still playing around with surface shaders from this link:
http://www.alanzucconi.com/2015/06/17/surface-shaders-in-unity3d/

We got two new knights. One with extruded vertices, and a pink one.

The pink one uses dot product to calculate the light for each fragment, as we’ve written our own lightning implementation.

Jun 26 2016

Shader Week, Day 3

Today I started with a tutorial series that seems to be very elaborate:

http://www.alanzucconi.com/2015/06/10/a-gentle-introduction-to-shaders-in-unity3d/

This tutorial starts with an overview, and then goes on to surface shaders. I decided to start from the beginning, but did not manage to complete the surface-part in just one hour.
The Vertex/Fragment-part comes afterwards and is the part I’m looking forward to.

Knight number 1 (from the left) is the original. Free model from Asset Store

Knight number 2 is a surface shader that only sets the albedo property (base color).

Knight number 3 uses the texture data (but no specular or bumpmap or other fancy things)

Knight number 4 uses the built-in worldPos input variable to paint a circle - based on distance from a point in world space.

Jun 21 2016

Shader Week, Day 2

First of all: installed Visual Studio Extension to get some basic autocompletion when writing shader code. An improvement!
https://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/ed812631-a7d3-4ca3-9f84-7efb240c7bb5

Second, was looking for how the sampling of pixels was working and found CG documentation:
http://http.developer.nvidia.com/Cg/index_stdlib.html (look for tex2D-function)

Apart from that, I finished off the tutorial from yesterday (interpolated colors into the rendered texture), and then proceeded with applying a shader to the camera for full screen effects - using OnRenderImage(src, dest) and Graphics.Blit(src, dest, material).

Finally played a bit by adding a displacement map, distorting the entire screen. Simple stuff, but still funny!

Jun 20 2016

Shader Week, Day 1

I have collected a number of interesting resources for starting to get acquainted with writing shaders in Unity, so I have decided to devote an hour a day this week to start going through them (I think I can manage an hour a day, but not sure… I’m currently on parental leave with my two 11-months twin girls. I’ll do as best as I can).

Here are the resources

After this first hour I’ve gone through the first Shader101 in the top link. Simple stuff. Drawing colors and/or a texture to a quad. With and without transperancy.

However, the tutorial lacked depth. And I spent the rest of the hour trying to find out more about the sampler2D-class used to sample pixels from the texture to the quad. Without luck.

However I found an interesting link on how to make Visual Studio better at writing shader code. Will look at it tomorrow! https://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/ed812631-a7d3-4ca3-9f84-7efb240c7bb5

Jun 19 2016

2D platform engine in unity part 13 - Tagging and Rushing

In tonights short coding session I added two new components.

A tagging system for entities.
Unity already has a way to add a tag to gameObjects, but for me “tagging” means being able to add several tags to an object, which Unity does not support. Something can be tagged both as NPC AND a Human.

Second, I added a new (very simple) AI-component that will rush towards player or NPC if standing in front of it.
It utilises the tagging system to get a list of all entities tagged as either “player” or “NPC”, check direction and distance, and start charging!

As you can see, the Hedgehog speeds up if either NPC_Joey or the player is in front of it (although the graphics does not flip correctly yet).

Jun 11 2016

2D platform engine in unity part 12 - Patrolling AI

A while back my friend Steve asked me if he could use my old platformer engine for a game he wanted to do!
I was very happy to see it come to use!

The engine is open source btw, and can be found here: https://github.com/Tommislav/unity2dPhysics.

But tonights short coding session involved a fix to the physics system to detect when someone is “over a ledge”.
The hedgehog enemy in the image above will switch patrol direction if either hitting a wall, or getting over a ledge.

The guy with the white hat is my old AI, who just moves in random directions for a random amount of time. In my last post he was a red box. Steve has drawn and animated him quite nice!

May 08 2016

TLDR - Part 2

Starting designing my little game engine, I decided I wanted it to run on top of my existing ECS (Entity-Component-System) I made a few years back called Seagal. However - after started drawing a bit of system design on a piece of paper it became clear that I would require a HUGE deal of entities, components and component fetching. Looking at the code it became obvious that it was written for developer comfort and not the amount of speed that was required.

But that was just my gut feeling. What is better? Data!
So I started writing a few performance tests:

My test suite consisted of
* 10.000 entities
* each having one TestComponent1 and one TestComponent2 attached
* the tests are run on a windows build in release-mode.
* on my stationary computer with an i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40 GHz, Win8.

So bootstraping the whole system, and adding the 10.000 entities with its components took 2 milliseconds. Not all to interesting, we will probably not add so many components during a game session. Rather during start-up.

My second test was to ask the system for an array of TestComponent1’s, disregarding which entity they belonged to. It took 2 ms for 10.000 entities.

In my third test I do three things:
First I query a list of all entities that has both TestComponent1 AND TestComponent2 (in this test suite that means all of them).
Then I iterate through all entities, requesting a reference to TestComponent1 and after that another reference to TestComponent2.
That took 4 ms.

I was surprised to see the third test be only 4ms. I know I have a ton of possible improvements I can make. The look-up is not very efficient, and I do not cache the result so any subsequent calls would redo all that work even though nothing has changed.

Before I can go on I want to see if I can speed my ECS framework even more. Meaning that the next couple of posts will be about Seagal before continuing with TLDR!

Note to self: I found this existing ECS-framework for haxe that seems really interesting! https://github.com/fponticelli/edge

May 03 2016

TLDR - Part 1

So, I’m currently on parental leave for 6 months.
I hadn’t planned on doing any programming. I thought taking care of two twin girls 10 months old would take 100% of my energy, but I figured I get an hour here and there every now and then that I could devote to some programming.

I need a project!

TLDR stands for Tommys Ludum Dare Resources… or something. Not quite sure yet.

It’s going to be a 2d game engine built in haxe, on top of openFL and my previously built entity framework Seagal. A small engine, that I can leverage on when doing game jams such as Ludum Dare.
And I’ll be starting from scratch.

Here is a list of some things I figure would be nice to have in the engine. I might add or remove stuff as time passes.

  • I don’t want it to be tile based. I want everything to be freely placed and rotatable.
  • For that I need to write some fancy collision system. Both broad and narrow phase.
  • Need to work a lot on making this debuggable. A lot of places where stuff can go wrong.
  • In-game level editor will be needed.
  • Game objects and animations.

Wow, that’s a lot. I think I’ll stop there for now. We’ll see how this turns out.
Today I’ll start on setting the project up.