Prevent slowdown in large levels

Discuss level design, whether in general or related to your levels
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Build Man
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Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by Build Man » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:11 pm

Ok, so I'm making a Metroidvania style level, and its huge. It's so big that now, running it makes the entire game slow down. It's not by much, but I'm not even half done and I don't want my work to go to waste because the slowdown annoys anyone who tries to play it. It's POSSIBLE that I'm just using PotatOS and it would run fine on a better computer, but I want to know if there are any tricks to reduce slowdown.

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Re: Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by Royalguard » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:18 pm

I remember from earlier builds, one of the biggest factors of slowdown in bigger levels, are the specific assets that are always active regardless if the player is on the same screen as them or not. The more instances of these such assets (which is more likely in larger levels), the more lag the level with probably have.

Some examples of assets that are always active are things like Footholders, or Weapon Block/Barriers. There are plenty more of them, but I can't recall all of them off the top of my head.

How well a level performs lag-wise is based on a lot of factors, be it how MMM's game engine copes with different things, how powerful the user's device is, how the assets are placed and used in the design of the level itself, ect.
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Re: Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by st8xafk » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:23 am

I've made a couple of large levels myself, so one trick I've found is adding more screen transitions. (Although this comes with varying levels of success. Sometimes, it can make the level run much smoother, and in other cases it doesn't help much.)
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Re: Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by Diamond Wolf » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:25 am

Be careful of how many screens are devoted solely to making the next screen over look right (which I used to do a lot), as each screen eats processing power.


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Re: Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by Hyenyaku » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:07 pm

Yeah I have some trick for that:
- Avoid using utility objects like crash wire, cracked boxes, X boxes, etc just for decorating. I mean, if you want to place them, make them useful.
- Don't spam too much enemies or gimmicks in one room, whatever you place in the level, make them have a gameflow-affecting reason to exist. (about this I think you have understood why)
- Use static background (ones that do not contain animations - Metal Man's background is an example that you should avoid in a large level)
- Avoid long rooms (rooms that include too many screens)
- Avoid having any screen that has the same border with too many other. Such compact setups like having a block of 9 screens arranged in 3x3 formation will always make the center one so laggy. If possible, try to make long rooms not have same border with too many rooms, too.
- Shorten any path if possible. Sometimes having players run through a boring long hall is not a good idea.
- [optional] don't focus on too much on non-acrobatic gimmicks. The wall and weapon blocks themselves are good options for making split-path/lock already.

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Re: Prevent slowdown in large levels

Post by DAS » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:32 pm

I feel like part of it could just be hardware. I have an RTX card in my PC, overkill but I use it for more than just MegaManMaker, and I have no issues apart from random crashing, but Yoshi2018 seems to have constant slowdown.
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