Say hello to Chronos!

Uh oh.... What's going on here?

Uh oh…. What’s going on here? (Click for full sized image)

Who or what is Chronos?

That’s a good question…

But first lets digress a little…

Many moons ago I tested Ancient Armies with a full Macedonian and Roman Army. The results in terms of performance was a bit of a let down. The whole game ran like an arthritic slug… 😕

I had known ahead of time that there might be issues as Ancient Armies has to perform many calculations for the high fidelity Line of Sight system. The complexity of these calculations is compounded by the fact that the terrain supports infinitely zoomable bezier curves. All of these calculations can suck up valuable processing time.

Luckily, I had designed the system to run with 30 second turns. This mechanic provided me with the option to add a turn processing phase later on should it be needed…

As things had turned out, it was most certainly needed!

Turn processing in action. (Click for full sized image)

Turn processing in action! (Click for full sized image)

The processing occurs when a turn is kicked off. By conducting all the heavy mathematics before the turn, I have effectively taken the load off of the system during the critical phase of animating the battle.

The result of this pre-processing is a super smooth frame rate regardless of battle size. As an additional bonus it also allows Ancient Armies to run on very modest machines.

Battles that used to be impossible to play with the old system are now gobbled up with ease on the new one! 🙂

However, as cool as this new functionality is, by far the coolest new feature brought to the table is the ability to watch full battle replays!

Ancient Armies now supports full battle replays too! 8O (Click for full sized image)

Ancient Armies now supports full battle replays too!  (Click for full sized image)

With Ancient Armies, one can now replay an entire battle and easily be able to navigate around that recording to re-watch certain sections.

This provides a means for players to save their most glorious moments! These recordings can even be saved with Line of Sight turned off (after the battle only) – even where Line of Sight was turned on for the actual battle! I’m sure that this feature will lead to a few surprises when players get to see what really happened in their battles!

So back to the original question…

What’s Chronos?

To put it simply, Chronos is a generic subsystem library that can record and play back pretty much anything… As such, it can be re-used for many other applications!

There you go – mystery solved!

Writing about turn processing, silky smooth animation and replays is one thing, but I think a video will paint a 1000 more words… (Best watched in HD)

Not bad for a few days of work! 😎




6 thoughts on “Say hello to Chronos!

  1. Rob, impressive as always. I really admire what you are doing here… and full battle replays? Incredible. Haven’t watched your video yet, but I intend to this weekend, I am open to being blown away. ;o)

    Keep up the great work!

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