Post news RSS TSOP for Rebellion is DEAD,... but.....

TSOP for Trinity (Original Sins, Entrenchment, and Diplomacy) is still very much alive, and kicking.

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Way back when Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment was released some people may, or may not have realized that Sins had a MAJOR problem. When the game reached 2 gigs of ram usage (no matter how much ram you actually have, or how "leet" your system was) Sins would crash. Most of the time with no warning. It is hard coded into the game.

Sins of a Solar Empire is a 32 bit game. So of course it can not use more than 2 gigs of ram. However unlike some other 32 bit games that can load, and unload assets on the fly. Sins will load almost ALL of its game assets at game start. There are a few exceptions like some sounds, and particles, but pretty much all of the games textures will load up, and STAY LOADED until the game ends, or you crashed. Which ever came first.

I studied this problem, and devised a plan to deal with it. Using the lessons I learned when I modded Homeworld. The Sins Optimization Project was born.

Sins: Entrenchment consistently ran over 2 gigs of memory when at max settings (causing mini dumps, and crashes). The primary culprit was the Textures. I suspected some memory leaks too, because the ram usage kept rising even when i lowered the graphic settings. Our primary goal for TSOP was to keep the memory usage below 2 gigs of ram at maximum settings. Without sacrificing the graphic quality of the game. We systematically looked at every texture in the game, and asked "does this texture really need to be "X"resolution when a "Y" res texture (reduced by 1/2) would produce the same results? In many cases the answer was YES. There was no need for a 1024 res particle texture for an effect that didn't show up as more than a dot in game. Of course if we reduced a texture, and it looked terrible in game we reverted it back to its original resolution. In some cases we completely made a new texture, and re-uv-mapped it to the model to eliminate excessive texture waste.

The game used primarily TGA formatted textures for the particles. Now I will not argue the quality of TGA. TGA is superior. However DDS format produced "almost" the same quality with one important advantage. Mip Mapping. Strategic Texture Reduction Plus converting ALL of the TGA textures to DDS format alone produced a HUGE improvement in memory usage. TSOP was released, The proof of concept was established, The crashes all, but stopped, and Ironclad/Stardock took notice.

We didn't stop at just the textures. In the gameinfo folder we discovered MANY errors in the mesh, particle, and entity files. For example a particle calling for a texture that does not exist. Miss-labled mesh nulls. File path locations that for sure did not exist on your computer. Updates were made, Errors fixed, Game improved even more. The 2 gig issue was gone. Our goal with TSOP was achieved.

By this time Diplomacy was released, and the latest updates for Diplomacy included some (but not all) fixes from TSOP.

The first release of Rebellion took some of the lessons learned with TSOP, and incorporated them into Rebellion. I made a version of TSOP for Rebellion, However as Stardock, and Ironclad vigilantly updated Rebellion, and the 2 DLC's TSOP pretty much became obsolete, because Stardock, and Ironclad fixed ALL of the issues, and Optimized the textures as much as can possibly be done.

So as of now i am declaring TSOP for Rebellion DEAD. There is no longer any need for it.

However i uploaded TSOP for Trinity. TSOP is still very much needed for Trinity (Original Sins, Entrenchment, and Diplomacy). For those that still play Trinity.

I made TSOP as a Stand Alone mod for Vanilla Sins. So that you can play vanilla sins with improved performance, and not having to worry about the 2 gig crash issue.

Some may argue that the Large Address Aware patch would fix the problem.. I will argue NO, IT WILL NOT. Sins will still crash. Even with LAA activated. All LAA does is it gives 1 extra gig of ram for Sins to use. When you use up that extra gig, you will still crash. Especially in Original Sins, and Entrenchment, because of a memory leak that was never fixed. Plus it is Hard Coded into the game. If it works for you then great, but don't argue that it will stop Sins from crashing, because it will not.

Anyway, Enjoy the Trinity versions of TSOP


anyhow thanks for your efforts

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I say thank you gents. Every time a particle effect reduces it's memory footprint an angel gets it's wings. :)

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