Separate casino and arcade from plaza (sooner)

Now I know this is a planned optimization feature, but I’m concerned about its development dates and hope it’s not gonna take year(s) because the plaza has been pretty laggy for me ever since arcade’s 2nd phase release, and it’s going to get even more load when the second phase of casino releases. And it’s not just the plaza outdoors area suffering, as it’s worst in arcade: if the server is close to full (40-50 players) and the arcade has around ten people in, then in best case scenario I spend 10 minutes to enter it and then I have about 2 fps (in worse cases I crash or get thrown into main menu after half an hour of game being frozen).
I know my PC is average (GTX 1050Ti with AMD Athlon 870k and 8gb ram), but I hope that this game isn’t going to just rely on high end PCs (as I am not really sure that it’s even supposed to).
Thanks for reading

The Casino and Arcade are already graphically and CPU wise separated from the Plaza. They aren’t loaded or networking unless you are in the buildings. Having them in a separate server will not improve performance for your end computer setup. It will help with networking and result in possibly improved simulations, but that’s about it.

We’ve put a lot of effort into improving the Arcade performance since its release. Several major improvements to the overall CPU usage. We plan to continue to work on performance, but keep in mind that it is on the CPU end, not GPU end as of now.

2 Likes

I don’t believe locations in Plaza are fully separated in terms of perfomance because if they were, my experience in empty outdoors with 40 people in other indoors locations would be literally the same as playing outdoors in an empty Plaza server, but it’s far from that.
So, I really hope you guys have not dropped the initial idea to separate the arcade and casino from Plaza. After all, I doubt it would appear in the first place if you yourselves would absolutely believe that they’re already fully separated perfomance-wise.

What would the devs gain by lying about that?

nothing. Perhaps they don’t know that with their beefy PCs. I just share what I see y’know, so they must’ve been wrong about something

Uh…they’re wrong about how they coded their own game? Yeah, I really doubt that.

EDIT: Plus, I’ve seen it for myself. Every now and then, the Casino and Arcade will glitch when you try to load into them and you’ll just get dumped into the empty space inside the buildings instead. There truly is nothing inside those buildings initially. He’s not lying about that.

I know what you’re talking about. But as i say, the fact is that game does not run the same with and without people in indoors locations while I am outdoors. So it’s not me wanting it to be true (that’d be weird), it’s a sad fact (and no, it happens for me all the time and it’s not a coincidense because of some apps running in background. Believe me, I tried what I could to run the game better)
And as for “devs can’t be wrong about how they coded their game”: things often work not the way they were expected to, otherwise we wouldn’t have bugs

The thing is, it has been proven these locations are culled out in their entirety when you’re not there.
Hell I’ve been out of bounds and seen it myself; Casino, Arcade, Theater, all these places, all the things within them do not exist while you aren’t in the area to force load them in. Even players aren’t there. Including the logic and physics used in Bowling, Arcade’s machines, etc.

We can see lag comes from players however since plazas full versus empty are different, so then the issue is with players.
We already know disabling workshop playermodels increases and stabilises fps massively.
So we can draw it up to it being something related to workshop.

Many have speculated and many times have been confirmed by devs that the lag spikes primarily come from force downloading the playermodels on players, you can feel the lag when you first load in, and when newer players join and/or change their playermodel, you’ll get a hitch. I believe something like culling out players doesn’t force cull players who change their playermodel in an area they’re culled out, and instead still force download the playermodel onto you, causing the lag.

In addition, workshop playermodels do not have LODs, and there’s no system in place to optimise a model on the fly to reduce poly count. So playermodels are technically at their max quality at all times.

I could be completely wrong, but seperating these locations onto completely new servers doesn’t solve the issue, the lag would still exist since the issue isn’t on locations, it’s on players and workshop.

3 Likes

Yep. Exactly what I tried to tell him. Dude’s just in denial.

I’ll explain with more technical detail.

The Arcade and the Casino are in two separate levels. You can have multiple individual levels in one single world. In Unreal Engine, they have a system called Level Streaming. Level Streaming will stream in and out individual levels in real time. When a level is streamed out, every Actor (actors are what Unreal 4 calls entities, or objects in the game) is completely removed from memory. A level being streamed out basically does not exist until you stream it back in. By default, Arcade and Casino levels are streamed out, until you use the doors. When you use the doors, we then stream in the levels (Arcade or Casino, depending on the door). At that point, the levels are now put into memory and now you can see all the objects. Only one interior is streamed in at a time. And we also unstream the Plaza exterior while you are in the interiors. We also use this streaming technology for all the stores, you can see fake entrances to the stores if you look close enough. We use different methods to keep the artwork to be as seamless as possible.

On top of level streaming, we also heavily manage net distances. Net distance is a setting that you can control per Actor, allowing you to set the distance an actor is Net Relevant for. Net relevancy controls when an object should be networked for you. If an object is not net relevant, it does not exist and no networking of it occurs. The individual arcade cabinets and the slot machines for the Casino also use this. So if you are far from them, such as the Plaza, you will not receive any networking. we also reduce network updates if you are not playing the machines.

We also adjust Tick rates on objects based on distances. Tick rates are how often an object will “think” or run logic. While in the Arcade, certain games have to tick to update game loops, run timers, handle networking, or check for overlaps. For Arcade Tick rates can be a huge impact on performance, so we have various systems in place to ensure the tick rates only impact when you are near the machines, when the games are active, and also based on if you are the one playing it. Machines from a distance won’t tick as often and machines you are playing will have priority over other games.

And on top of all this, we have individual techniques for the artwork to keep quad overdraw, polygon counts, draw calls down. These all have impacts on GPU. Majority of techniques are use of LODs and careful use of shaders.

We also use net distance and our own animation rate limiting for players. So players who are in interiors do not network from a distance either. We also handle wearables as well from a distance, as wearables can impact performance a bit as they have to update with player animations.

So to sum it up… if you are in the Plaza, unless you are inside the Arcade/Casino:

  • Arcade/Casino artwork does not exist.
  • Arcade/Casino machines do not exist.
  • Arcade/Casino machines do not network.
  • Players in Arcade/Casino do not exist.

If we put Arcade into its own server, on the client side (your end machine) you would have no big difference in performance, but the dedicated server that runs Plaza will have a less to manage.

However, an Arcade server would most likely be full the majority of the time, which could lead to other issues has having 64 players in a small interior would negate any distanced based optimizations that we currently use, so we may have to set a player (or pet) limit to individual Arcade servers to have a decent experience for others.

1 Like

okay…
well, I do not have an explanation as to why server full of people in other locations makes me lag noticeably more while I’m in another.
Maybe that’s workshop playermodels, maybe it’s something else. What makes me confused is that I have not experienced as much lag in 2019,and it was less before arcade phase 2 release.
I can’t really test full 2019 Plaza perfomance, but maybe it was something else that was making plaza more light-weight back then comparing to now.
I’m just upset if no more optimization is possible. Recently we had an optimization update which looked exciting on paper, but it didn’t improve my (and my friends’) perfomance in the game, and sometimes it even felt like it became somewhat worse (maybe because of texture streaming initializing way more frequently now, but just guessing)