Merry Christmas or happy holidays as you celebrate. I’ve been reticent this year due to long-standing issues with Long Covid. I’m still here though!
I’ve been making progress with A-Spec First Assault and some of the changes made with A-Spec I have brought them into Absolute Territory.
The update came in two parts, due to a couple of things overlooked. The big takeaway is an improvement in FPS when flying through asteroid and mine fields and (hopefully) less micro jitter overall. I improved the floating origin system. If you flew really far out you’d notice weird wobble effects which are now fixed and were the whole reason for such a system in the first place.
All this came in time for the Steam Winter sale. Pick up Absolute Territory with 75% savings.
2.4.1 Release (20221223) Overview – A couple of things have been overlooked since the last patch
Fixed – Spawn positions are off while progressing through multiple nav points in a mission Fixed – Missile decoys were not included in the floating origin
2.4.0 Release (20221222) Overview – Big fixes and performance improvements
Fixed – Default Flight View Perspective set to Last Used will always start in 3rd person view if the player died in a mission Fixed – Frame Rate limit was being ignored when setting graphics quality to medium or higher Fixed – A cause of object jitter when the player was rotating their ship Fixed – Target health bars show above the player’s scores during in-flight Fixed – Target health bars showing above the player’s gunsight during in-flight Fixed – The FPS counter remains, after being enabled during a mission when the player restarts the mission Fixed – The mouse flight cursor showing above the control bindings screen Fixed – MLRS missiles will no longer collide and explode with each other when launched
Amend – Physics update is now linked to the game Frame Rate limit Amend – Frame Rate limit ’15FPS’ option replaced with ‘Monitor’. Which will use your monitor refresh rate for the frame rate Amend – Removed the refresh rate values from the video options screen resolution dropdown list
I recently started looking at performance optimization applicable in Unity. Doing Google searches showed out-of-date tests (much like this could be if you are reading in the far future).
I’m specifically trying to determine which type of loop (For Vs. ForEach) is the most efficient to use as 1) referencing GameObjects and 2) modifying a value.
For these tests I’m using Unity 2020.3.19f1 LTS on Windows 10 with an i9-10850 CPU with 16GB RAM. For updating values, the GameObject position was changed. I ran the test seven times and used the average to come to a conclusion. This is more as a reference rather than the “be all and end all” of which case suits your best. Basically, do your own tests to see how each case would suit your own needs.
Without further ado, here is are my test results iterating an array of 100,000 GameObjects:
Editor For v ForEach Times in Seconds
Editor For v ForEach Time differences in Seconds
Player For v ForEach Times in Seconds
Player For v ForEach Time differences in Seconds
First off, Unity Editor has a lot of overhead and is going to be always much slower than a build. Testing in Unity Editor will help determine if there are easy performance gains. When you want to get more realistic values you need the Player build used by players.
Comparing Timings between the Editor and Player build when reading elements in an array
Comparing the Editor to the Player build, and reading values from an array timings move from the 100ths into the 1000ths of a second. Setting values is much slower than reading values measured in 10ths. Modifying elements in a list has a performance cost, so don’t update elements needlessly (much like you shouldn’t in any kind of game loop, i.e. Unity’s Update()).
Reading elements in an array
Does it significantly matter if you are using a For or ForEach loop when reading elements in an array? We are talking 10,000ths of a second. Not a significant difference between the two. If you want the fastest iteration possible then ForEach wins when reading elements in an array.
Comparing Timings between the Editor and Player build when writing elements in an array
Modifying a GameObject value has its performance cost (probably more due to using the position Vector3 array which is a struct) and the difference is 2/100ths of a second, and significantly more costly than just reading values.
Writing elements in an array
ForEach is 15/100th faster than For. This difference is not going enough to worry about on its own but ForEach is faster and the best choice for getting as much performance as you can.
A last-minute thought, quite literally, any garbage collection from using a For or ForEach. Several years back ForEach generated garbage, then an update improved its performance. This experiment has not taken this into consideration and could make a considerable difference in how much Garbage is generated and thus make Garbage collection run more frequently, slowing performance and increasing frame hitches.
Testing on a variety of target machines could impact performance differently.
Using Mono scripting backend could impact performance differently.
TL;DR: ForEach was faster than For in this experiment. That alone should not influence any decision-makingprocess.
Garbage collection was skewing the results. The first time you access the .transform for a GameObject Unity generates garbage.
I got around this by just doing an initial iteration before testing the times. From some initial testing ‘For’ won 4 out of 7 times in the 1/100th’s of seconds.
Based on this there is not much potential for performance gains. It’s best to choose for or foreach based on the needs of the project.
This garbage generation on first time accessing the transform may be worth noting for anyone who pools gameobjects.
Digitum Software is pleased to announce a new tactical space simulator combat with fast and manoeuvrable corvettes to hulking warships armed with sophisticated yet traditional style weaponry known to modern military.
Experience first-person tactical space combat in A-Spec First Assault. Fly corvette class warships, customize your load-outs, and do battle against opposing forces where ship positioning matters.
Keep your enemy against your strongest side while you attack their weakest. All warships use a quadrant damage model covering the front, right, rear, left sides. Positioning your ship is just as important to protect yourself as it is in attacking your target’s weak sides.
Familiar present-day weaponry The majority of weaponry available will be familiar to present-day and mountable on turrets with limited firing arcs.
Prestige Prestige Points are the main currency used to purchase new ships, weapons, and modules upgrades. Earn Prestige by completing mission objectives, taking down opponents, and avoiding damage to your ship’s hull.
Warship Customization Customize your ship’s weaponry with a range of projectile and missile turrets. Turrets slots have a maximum supported size and fitting the biggest guns in each slot is not an option.
Enhance the abilities of your warship by fitting modules. Modules will have an impact on offensive and defensive ship systems and crucial for gaining an advantage during a fight.
Subscribe and Add to Wishlist to stay up-to-date and not miss out on development news and opportunities to play preview builds for A-Spec First Assault
2.2.0 Release (20210912) Overview – Early enemy fighter weapons feel less overwhelming due to the fast firing rate
Amend – Track IR anchor point made same as VR
Amend – There are now two versions of the laser bolt cannon (Rapid Firing and Standard)
Amend – Vomitoria and Drosophilia now use slower firing laser bolt cannon
Amend – Updated weapon lore entries for the laser bolt cannon variants
Amend – Updated the 21 Absolute Territory missions to include the new standard laser bolt cannon. Added briefing text highlighting when new ships are made available. Added briefing text to make known about experimental laser weapon being available in mission 20
Amend – Wave and Gauntlet to include the new standard laser bolt cannon
Amend – Removed Tutorials as a campaign item selection (they are still available under Simulator menu). They no longer have skip dialogue, since all tutorials are available and there was no need to skip
2.0.1 Release (20210820) Overview – Tunnelling can be disabled in options and an unsupported TrackIR implementation.
Added – Auto Exposure and Ambient Occlusion Postprocessing Effects
Amend – Gameplay scene lighting adjusted to use the Skybox instead of constant color.
Added – Toggle Tunnel Vision when using VR (Options > Game > VR Tunnelling
Added – An experimental and there not officially supported (I reserve the right to pull this feature at any time) Track IR implementation
Amend – Press CTRL-F12 to recenter the VR headset in the main menu and in flight
An important developed note on the current Track IR implementation As I don’t own any Track IR hardware I cannot reasonably test this myself and has been classed as experimental and officially unsupported. If you enable Track IR the experience may be sub-par or entirely broken. I will do my best to work with any Track IR users willing to be guinea pigs and provide relevant feedback towards improving the implementation. That is no guarantee that Track IR will become an official feature in the game and I reserve the right to abandon any further development on it.
Enabling Track IR The command-line argument “-trackir” will be needed, I recommend you create a shortcut to the Standard game exe on your desktop and add the argument in the target box as exampled below.
Absolute Territory is a futuristic single-player mission-based space dogfighting with the familiar feeling of good space sims. Fly 21 missions with a variety of search & destroy, assault, patrol, escort, and scan objectives. Choose from several space superiority fighters, customize loadout from over a dozen weapons, manage power settings, and use directional thrusters like an elite pilot.
Ship and Weapon Selection
Chose your ship type from fast-moving glass cannons to slow hard-hitting tanks. Outfit your chosen ship with a variety of deadly weapons. Make sure you chose both ship and weapons wisely to enable the completion of your mission objectives.
Dogfighting with arcade-sim mechanics
Engage in gripping dogfights with Newtonian physics. Arcade forces are used for an arcade-sim experience, allowing for responsive controls to pull off hair-raising maneuvers making yourself a harder target for enemies. AN RCS computer will compensation for all directional changes, turn too hard and you will but yourself into a slide, or worse find yourself a sitting duck while your ship adjusts speed. Fight against a variety of enemy ship types from light to heavy fighters, transports, and large warships.
Absolute Territory is not pure arcade or pure sim. Its arcade-sim.
Distribute power across engines, shields, and guns for an advantage over your opponent or get yourself out of sticky situations. Power to engines gives faster acceleration and increased top speed, for shields faster recharge rate and overcharging, and guns for faster recharge rate for longer sustained firing of heavier weapons.
Advanced flight mechanics
Engage slide, match speed, and directional thruster mechanics to keep your target in your gun sights. Warships and transports are not defenseless and come armed with flak turrets. Use component targeting and de-teeth these ships of their turrets. Then move in for the kill.
VR and Standard mode
The recent 2.0 update added VR mode. Use this to your advantage for improved situational awareness in the cockpit. Identify the biggest threats with a glance before turning to engage.
Absolute Territory is available direct from Steam or you can take advantage of Green Man Gamings Best Ever Sale with a minimum of 20% off, and still get a Steam key. But if you have earned XP from buying other games, you’ll save more. It says I would personally save 36%.
The latest title update brings VR, a host of visual enhancements, and much more.
Allow me to introduce you to this huge title update bringing all-new VR mode! For those without VR headsets, there is a host of visual improvements and upgrades to pleasure your eyes.
To VR or not to VR?That is your choice. Make it a good one 🙂
VR provides a first-person experience piloting every starfighter available to fly. Each fighter has a 3D modeled cockpit to look around for improved situational awareness.
Warp to new horizonsTo keep you firmly seated in your cockpit, warp speed has been invented for transitioning to new areas during multi-staged missions faster than the speed of light.
A range of visual enhancements brings increased fidelity to the original graphics along with:
Increase fighter texture quality for all Endophora fighters.
Lighting improvements for explosion effects.
16 new skyboxes (updated in campaign, tutorial, waves, and gauntlet modes) along with their own unique lighting
New Graphics OptionsPCs have always been synonymous with configurability. 2.0 brings a wide range of video options to configure to either increase performance or increase visual quality.
The Enhanced Graphics option brings greater flexibility for increasing performance at the cost of visual quality or increasing visual quality at the cost of performance. Or you can just keep it disabled and use the default settings for the chosen Overall Quality setting.
You can disable all camera shakes if you suffer from motion sickness.
Field of view provided in Standard mode,
Longevity brought to Waves and Gauntlet with ship selection. Test your flying skills with all 6 Imperial fighters along with full weapon load-outs.
Gauntlet now provides shield recharging and ammo restock at the end of each mission.
Wheres the rest?Check out the latest patch notes for the full list of new features, improvements, and bugfixes.
Absolute Territory started the Chinese New Year celebrations with a sale and what better way to end the celebration with a 40% off weeklong sale! Read on if you would like to know more about the upcoming VR update and other features and fixes?
Plans are in progress for the next major update for Absolute Territory. Along with performance improvements and video options to improve performance on potato PC’s, there will be an optional VR mode added to Absolute Territory, a new alien cockpit, campaign story changes, and improved missile-seeking behavior. Read on to learn more.
Optional VR Mode
For the last couple of months, I have been putting my efforts into adding optional VR support. It turned out to be more challenging than expected, but it’s coming along nicely. You will get to fly your space fighter while looking around a fully modeled cockpit in VR for all flyable fighters.
A new alien cockpit model has been added for all the flyable Endophora (Enemy) fighters if you choose to fly them in a custom mission. Basically, all space fighters now have a 3D modeled cockpit to look around in both VR and non-VR.
For improved readability and comfort in VR, all menus and the majority of hud elements have been added to a curved surface. The curved effect means you don’t need to strain your eyes when looking at corners of the menus. A menu scaling option has been added to increase or decrease the size of the menus for individual player comfort.
For certain cockpits, decorative panels which took up too much screen space have been removed. Flying the Argonaut now provides a much larger area view than before for your unobstructed viewing pleasure.
Flying through Hazard (Asteroid/Mine) fields will feel much smoother than the last update with code optimizations. For those still struggling with FPS on potato PC’s additional video options have been added to improve frame rates when flying through Hazards. The biggest gain will be seen by lowering the Asteroid Field Debris Density or turning it off.
Missile Seeking Behaviour Improvements
Missiles are better than ever with improved seeking and target re-acquisition logic. Missiles requiring a front-facing lock type (i.e. Heat Seeker, Image Rec) on a target have increased tracking the closer to the target preventing any last-second veering off bringing significant accuracy improvements.
Missiles entering a holding pattern (spinning around in circles) while they seek a new target will now use their full-throttle setting when a new target has been acquired and actively seeking. On the downside, you can no longer drag race your own missiles.
Is that all?
No! The above I can talk about in detail as they are already functional. Plans are afoot for more, including:
Improving lore and storyline progression to give the campaign more meaning in that aspect.
Various bug fixes and improvements to the ship selection screen and options menus.
Option to disable screen shake for those who suffer from motion sickness (Always disabled in VR)
Click to continue mode for transmissions. Which will be especially helpful for playing through the tutorial.
Showing the difficulty a campaign mission was completed on.
Improvements to The Gauntlet simulator mode (health and ammo regen to be added) to focus more on combat instead of managing ammo and fuel reserves.
Feeling the need for more missions?
Did you know Absolute Territory comes with its own mission editor? Use the same level editor used to create the Absolute Territory campaign missions to create, play, and share custom missions to the Steam Workshop.
This powerful level editor allows you to create conditions and instructions which respond to the player and other in-world events with an easy-to-use interface with plenty of help to get you started on the F1 key.
If you just want to jump into new missions visit the Absolute Territory workshop, subscribe to existing missions, jump into the game and choose the mission from the Simulator under Workshop missions game type.
I know there are gamer who have they preferred places of purchase. Therefore, I am pleased to announce Absolute Territory is available on the Humble Store. As any Humble customer expects, purchasing Absolute Territory on the Humble Store will provide you a Steam key.
To celebrate, Absolute Territory is on a limited time sale with 25% off until the 1st February 2021.
Welcome along, pilots, to the latest news update for Absolute Territory. It’s just been over 6 weeks since Absolute Territory was released on Steam amidst hundreds of improvements and enhancements over several updates.
Today, I’m happy to reveal some of the new features that will be making themselves into the next update.
There will be 45 Steam Achievements to unlock across the Absolute Territory campaign and Level Editor. 43 of these are for the campaign, ranging from completing each mission, completing the campaigns across higher difficulty levels, and specific actions and objectives.
The 3 achievements in the Level Editor will help guide you from creating a simple mission towards discovering the tools to design more complex and compelling adventures to share on the Steam Workshop.
How good of a pilot are you? Now you can find out! Steam Leaderboards have been added to Squadron and Gauntlet game modes, replacing the local leaderboard. You are no longer competing against yourself. See how you stack up against your friends and the rest world!