C3 on Mac - your experiences

Post » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:10 pm

Hi there!

I just started programming my game in C3 and even though it works smashingly well on PC's and even Android Remote Previews, my one year old MacBook PRO with 16 GB of Ram etc. stutters and spouts whenever going Fullscreen with the Game. It has some basic lighting and overlay effects as well as two particle effects on the test background, but it's at a Resolution of 256*144. The problem happens only when i set the fullscreen quality to "high", which i really want to do since i want to use Webfonts to support different languages. It doesn't really work all that great on "low" quality fullscreen mode either if i'm honest but oh well...

I already opened up a Bug Report on the Scirra Github but i'm guessing there's not much they can do about it even though i think there should be a way to optimize this for the platform. And, yes, i tried every browser, my drivers are updated, etc. Other games work perfectly well on my computer, i'm an Interaction Design Student, i use it for 3D Modeling/Rendering, After Effects, Premiere Pro etc. never had a Problem. Of course, my uber super Gaming PC will be faster at those things but the Mac surely isn't too slow for a small Gameboy Resolution Game with some Effects...

Especially since it worked perfectly well on PC's and even on my Android Phone via Remote Preview... I'm kind of desperate, since i was even contacted by the Apple App Store who took an interest in my Game for Promotion and i've told them it would be out for Mac as well, since i work on Mac and i mean... if it works on a standard Windows Computer it shouldn't have a problem with Macs either...

Any Ideas?

BTW, here's the link to the Bug Report: https://github.com/Scirra/Construct-3-bugs/issues

Thanks!

Joel
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:47 am

I have a 2014 13in i5 16gb MacBook Pro Retina and used C3 on it occasionally (whenever i'm closest to my Mac). Haven't had any issues with it so far. The projects i've worked on are set to 320x180 with high quality settings with point sampling. Don't havent any stuttering any issues whatsoever on it. I use to run C2 on it through VMWare on the Mac, which even then it ran surprisingly well - perhaps about 10% slower though but not very noticeable. On native OSX with C3 the performance is pretty much on par with the PC.
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:17 am

@Cryptwalker Ooo that sounds promising :) Could you maybe try my file in the Bugreport for me on your Mac whenever you get the time? That would be awesome! Maybe there is a problem with my Macbook i just can't put my finger on it yet :S
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:13 am

So i loaded up your project on my MacBook Pro and my Dell XPS (9560) and ran them side by side on C3. I had to add a full screen toggle to the game as I don't like manually resizing it in preview. When it ran, both were pretty much identical. Didn't see any lagging or stuttering but i did noticed a slight one when the game just loaded initially. Didn't occur after that but i've seen this before in my projects too. However, it could just be my imagination but it appeared to run slightly slower when in full screen mode.

Hope that helps some.
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:30 am

I'm fiddling around on some projects on an iMac 24Gb RAM, i5 at work, and I didn't notice any lag so far. Although I'm not really using any effects, and blend modes etc.

Are you able to reproduce the problem in a clean project, to identify if it's any particular effect that's causing the slowdown on your Mac?

I tested the c3p file in your bug report and no slowdowns for me, so seems very strange.
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:50 am

I havent noticed any issues running my game, however for me its the editor. When i reach around 1000 events the editor begins to lag and menus take a while to open. I filed a bug report but they didnt seem interested in investigating since i couldnt provide a way to reproduce, though i submitted a profile.
I think it has to do with this blog post https://www.scirra.com/blog/ashley/35/layout-is-the-next-frontier-of-web-app-performance about how slow the layout is. A result of their decision to put the editor in a browser. I just have to put up with it i guess. I turned off menu effects and things, and there was a recent update to the layouts which may have helped.
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:48 am

That is really weird... I updated to the latest High Sierra OS now as well but unfortunately that didn't help... It's only relevant when going full screen, when i play back the game in about half the size it works fine on Macs. It ALWAYS works fine on Windows and works slightly better when i change the Macbook (2015, i7, 16 GB RAM) to a lower Resolution...

Could you try this file (current version of the game i'm working on) too, if possible? Really sorry for asking, but THANKS A TON for all your help!!!

Removed File since i fixed the issue...
Last edited by joelmayer on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:04 am

I'm trying to narrow it down, what the big performance killer is and funnily enough, the main problem seems to be my vignette layer which is only a png image with darkened corners :S

Might there be a less heavy way to do that?
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:29 am

Okay, i think i narrowed it down even further... i disabled "Use High-DPI display" in the project settings and though it still doesn't run as smoothly as on Windows especially when there's text drawn on screen i experience a small lag, it's already much better than before... I'm gonna play with the effects stuff a bit and see where i can optimize maybe making tha Vignette half the size and scaling it up on start of layout or something...
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Post » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:11 am

This is just another case of poor fill rate performance. We see people running in to this a lot.

Intel GPUs (which most MacBooks have) have pretty low fill rate capacity. The project provided uses two force-own-texture layers, and enough content is displayed to count as another fullscreen draw, and then there's usually the overhead of a fullscreen draw to copy the game to the display. So it's at least 4x fullscreen draws per frame. On a high-DPI 2K display, one fullscreen draw alone will copy 3.7 million pixels, or around 14.7mb of data. The project does that four times, so it's about 59mb overhead per frame. If you want to reach 60 FPS, that means 3.5 GB/sec of GPU bandwidth.

Presumably the Intel GPUs have a memory bandwidth lower than 3.5 GB/sec, so you can't hit 60 FPS.

This is nothing to do with the fact your game is "only" 256x144: once you enable "high quality" fullscreen mode, it's rendering everything - including every layer - at full-whack 2560x1440 resolution. That's what "high quality" fullscreen mode is for! For this kind of game you really ought to use "low quality" fullscreen mode to avoid wasting GPU bandwidth - since that really will render the entire game at 256x144 (which is so small the performance overhead is probably negligible), then stretch the game up to the full-res 2560x1440 once at the end, meaning there is only 1x fullscreen draw overhead. That's probably at least 4x more efficient than your current high-quality fullscreen mode approach.

By the way this is nothing to do with HTML5, browsers, Construct or anything else - you've hit a hardware limit. A native app would perform the same. 3D games are designed to perform minimal overdraw so don't tend to run in to run in to fill rate limits so much.

Since a lot of Construct users end up having trouble with this, the new C3 manual's performance tips section was recently rewritten to focus a lot more on fill rate.
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