Stellaris Dev Diary #181 : Threading and Loading Times

Stellaris Dev Diary #181 : Threading and Loading Times

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Okay,
Then I've obviously missed something somewhere.
DX12 and vulkan can both do low level (low overhead) resource and task management.
DX12 and vulkan can do graphics.

What do you mean by simulation thread, and how does that translate to dx11 doing something that opengl and vulkan cannot?

"Simulation thread" in this case refers to game logic simulation, not the graphical simulation. Stuff like "fleet A is moving from here to here, what's the best path". This isn't to say that some of these things cannot be written into "GPU code" but most of them do not require that high a degree of parallel calculations.
 

ProtoformX

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"Simulation thread" in this case refers to game logic simulation, not the graphical simulation. Stuff like "fleet A is moving from here to here, what's the best path". This isn't to say that some of these things cannot be written into "GPU code" but most of them do not require that high a degree of parallel calculations.

Sure, but this other guy's post was saying it can't be in vulkan and only in dx11.

My question was less about the details of code and simulation, and more about what capabilities dx11 has that opengl and vulkan doesn't.
That pdx would avoid using it,
 

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Sure, but this other guy's post was saying it can't be in vulkan and only in dx11.

My question was less about the details of code and simulation, and more about what capabilities dx11 has that opengl and vulkan doesn't.
That pdx would avoid using it,
I never said it couldn't be done in vulkan, only that doing so wouldn't deliver any benefits. And they are not "avoiding" using it, but instead the act of moving to another API comes with a cost in terms of programmers that need to understand and code for it, when they are already well acquainted with using DX. You risk introducing a lot of bugs.

Why fix what isn't broke or slow? Why waste manhours switching to a new API for nearly zero overall benefit? Yes Vulkan can do certain compute tasks, but it doesn't magically make it easier to parallelize things. That is still dependant on the code, the problem, and the abilities of the programmers. If they can't parallelize the game logic thread as is, switching to Vulkan isn't going to do anything to alleviate it.
 
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I never said it couldn't be done in vulkan, only that doing so wouldn't deliver any benefits. And they are not "avoiding" using it, but instead the act of moving to another API comes with a cost in terms of programmers that need to understand and code for it, when they are already well acquainted with using DX. You risk introducing a lot of bugs.

Why fix what isn't broke or slow? Why waste manhours switching to a new API for nearly zero overall benefit? Yes Vulkan can do certain compute tasks, but it doesn't magically make it easier to parallelize things. That is still dependant on the code, the problem, and the abilities of the programmers. If they can't parallelize the game logic thread as is, switching to Vulkan isn't going to do anything to alleviate it.

What you said was changing the API would be meaningless. But that's fine, I accept your argument that changing the API is problematic at each major step.
Programmers to learn, implementation (game coding), and retroactive change later on (patches+dlc).

However you've made a few errors.
Last I checked, DX API is windows exclusive, PDX titles are not. They're cross platform.
OpenGL and Vulkan are cross platform.

Vulkan is supposed to be much more accessible than opengl, and much faster. In the same kinds of ways DX12 is better and faster than 11 and 10 and 9.

Vulkan benchmarks have better results when compared to dx12. Maybe not more than 15%, but more than none.

While changing dx9 to 10, to 11, may not seem like major changes in software code; when contrasted against opengl/vulkan.
There are valid and nontrivial reasons for embracing vulkan.

But maybe it is as you say, the cost at the moment is much higher than perceived benefits from changing API to vulkan.

However my original question was separate to all of that.
What I was asking was- what can dx11 and 12 do that vulkan cannot?
 
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However my original question was separate to all of that.
What I was asking was- what can dx11 and 12 do that vulkan cannot?
Why Stellaris uses DX instead of Vulkan is not a question of features or performance, but rather the fact that by the time Vulkan was first released, Stellaris had already been a few years in development and was released like 3 months later. Switching to a different rendering API after the game is completed would be huge resource waste without much benefit.
 
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Isn't that interesting, other people don't get asked for sources, but I do.


What about across differing manufacturers of graphics cards? (NVIDIA, ATI, etc)

Good question. If we look at data like that; Should we also look at data for dx12 to see how they compare?


Aside from running natively on non-Windows environments, What can vulkan do that dx11 and 12 cannot?
I have no idea what vulkan can and cannot do, nor do I know what dx 11, 10, 12, and 9 can and cannot do.

Now, lets look at my original question.

...Has anyone asked why pdx is using dx rendering instead of vulkan?

My immediate response was

Because the game is bound by the simulation thread, not the graphics thread. Switching to vulkan is meaningless.

Now, looking at that answer, in direct relevance to that question.
Is it unfair to conclude KaiserTom was implying a difference of features? That dx11 offered something that vulkan did not?

Also that "Switching to vulkan is meaningless" suggesting again that vulkan is inferior, or at most equal.
Noone is challenging these assertions about dx 11, simulation threads, and whether switching to vulkan is meaningless.
Yet when I ask for further information about what each thing means, I get challenged and disagreements.


As far as sources go, I don't have an all encompassing broad spectrum quality list. But I do have things that are easy to find.

 
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Why Stellaris uses DX instead of Vulkan is not a question of features or performance, but rather the fact that by the time Vulkan was first released, Stellaris had already been a few years in development and was released like 3 months later. Switching to a different rendering API after the game is completed would be huge resource waste without much benefit.

While it's good to see people contributing constructively, my previous post acknowledged the cost of adoption.

I wasn't trying to trivialise that cost, nor was I ignorant of when vulkan was released- implied by my comments that vulkan is supposed to be more accessible than opengl.
Hinting that I knew opengl was technically better, but it was apparently very clunky and difficult to use. Compared to microsoft directx which might be technically inferior, but it's the mainstream thing, on the mainstream OS everybody knows, with plenty of thorough documentation and after-sales support.

I don't know enough about opengl vs vulkan codebase to know how they differ. Whether transitioning opengl to vulkan is an upgrade path similar to upgrading dx9 to 11.
However here, you've merely moved the goal-post of my original question.
Stellaris had already been a few years in development and was released like 3 months later.

If pdx have multi-platform games. Why do they use a microsoft exclusive API?


It's also bewildering to see people disagreeing with me, when most of the objections so far have been over things I've already acknowledged, or about things
that I haven't said.
 
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KaiserTom

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@ProtoformX Dude, you need to stop trying to push a graphics API that the game does not need. It will not accomplish much of anything and instead bring about many costs. Yes, the graphics threads may run a bit faster, but that means nothing when the entire game is bound by the game logic thread that Vulkan will not fix.

Is it unfair to conclude KaiserTom was implying a difference of features? That dx11 offered something that vulkan did not?

Also that "Switching to vulkan is meaningless" suggesting again that vulkan is inferior, or at most equal.
It does not matter whether Vulkan is better, equal, or inferior, because even if it is better, it will not make any performance difference in the game because the game speed is heavily bound by things unrelated to the graphics API; the game logic. Switching to Vulkan will not make the game logic run faster. It may make the individual graphics threads run faster, but that means nothing. Those threads are all ran on seperate cores from the game logic thread. The game is not bound by the graphics, at all. Stellaris is not a graphically intensive game unless you mod it to be. And even then you are still far more bound by the game logic. It does not matter if the rabbit gets across the finish line faster if you still need to wait for the tortoise to finish before continuing on.

When you posture that Vulkan should be used, it's up to you to demonstrate how that will make a meaningful difference in the game, considering developing it is not free. We are asserting that it is not meaningful to add at all. The game will not run any faster by switching to Vulkan. Hell, it won't run any faster switching to DX11 to be frank. But honestly, that was a free upgrade because they already needed a DX11 renderer for consoles. Migrating that over is quite easy since 99% of the work is done already.
 
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@SephirothWS ??
I'm failing to see a question here. You still also haven't given me any source information that I requested. A link to a Google Search isn't enough. Yeah, I could perform the search myself. But when you state information and make it sound like fact,
Vulkan benchmarks have better results when compared to dx12.
then I want to know where you pull your information from.

I am going to have to agree with @KaiserTom here though, you should not be pushing a graphics API the game doesn't necessarily need unless you plan on going to work for Paradox to implement the change as doing so is quite the expensive expenditure for little to no benefit as the game itself is bound by game logic, and not the graphics API.
 
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I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, the performance problem won't be solved with incremental improvements, you either attack the problem at it's core and solve it or go around it by changing the design of the game. So it looks like that from what you're writiing here, the performance thread will reach 140 pages or more in the next 5 years (now sits at 71 pages). Thanks but no thanks, can't be bothered...
The main problems with that are that (1) fixing everything completely is not realistically possible, (2) fixing most things and ensuring that the fixes don't come with bugs and other problems could be very time consuming, and (3) the content designers, artists, and various other people can't just sit around all day doing nothing.

As it stands, I never saw any of your customers complaining about loading times and even if the game took double the amount of time to load right now, without the beta patch I wouldn't care at all. What most of your players care about is how slow it plays near mid game/end game - and forum admins had to even isolate all those posts to a megathread, cause it was all over the place.
Me, as well as a fair number of other modders, and even some players that have a lot of mods, have been somewhat annoyed at very long load times. No joke, I've had it take more than 20 minutes. And typical load times are between 5 and 10 minutes. If this was reduced by just 50%, my playtime when modding could drop by up to 2/3.

As per the DD and the basics of threading are concerned, here's a free tip for you guys: have you considered having a local planetary buffer/stockpile? In that way you don't have to lock on the global empire stockpile for each pop, and you can parallelize all planets on n threads, with no lock contention.
Having pops lock global resources/values is a retarded/morronic design and coding decision, but the team that did that was working originally on a different and simplified specification and not the *thing* that came out to be known as the megacorp population system. So of course I mean no offense to them.
Please quote the exact location where they said they're locking the stockpile.

Considering that you're the same guy who disagreed with my findings in a repeatable, mostly scientific test, in favour of your findings from a single unscientific test, and then proceeded to tell me to add more pops to my test which uses 10,000 pops, I'd advise you to keep away from commenting on/about technical stuff.
 
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Me, as well as a fair number of other modders, and even some players that have a lot of mods, have been somewhat annoyed at very long load times. No joke, I've had it take more than 20 minutes. And typical load times are between 5 and 10 minutes. If this was reduced by just 50%, my playtime when modding could drop by up to 2/3.
Can confirm. I can go take a shit, come back, and it's half loaded.
 
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TomorrowsHerald

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Not with my modlist, even the smaller one I have back then.

Good point, there are still a few 1.9 mods out there, but I have avoided playing with them so far.
I just got the game to work, I don't want to break it again just yet!
 

McAwesome123

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Well, I'll just say that I tried testing a few mods a few days ago (3 mods, 1 of which was Unofficial Hive DLC, + 10 UI mods that I always use), and it took about 12 minutes to load from clicking start on the launcher.

And the error log said that the game failed to find the files for the Unofficial Hive DLC mod.
 

Ari Rahikkala

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@MatRopert A really quick note on that CppCon talk: You can avoid those potentially multiply-loaded texture files by simply maintaining a separate set, with its own lock, that you put those file names in and test for their presence in before you load them. It's unlikely to be a win significant enough to be worth implementing, but in pure performance terms it seems straightforwardly correct: You get rid of any duplicated work, and you avoid contention since you're not taking the same lock twice for each file you load.