04 November 2008

Last week's work

There has been something in the last week that significantly reduced the time I spend working at EL. That something is Fallout 3, a game I've been waiting for almost 10 years.
I ordered it off Amazon and got it delivered on 28th, and ever since then I am playing it like a maniac. Usually, I don't play video games, maybe I spend 50 hours a year playing video games. But Fallout 3 is way too addictive, and I think it is the best game I played so far.

Anyway, this past week I almost finished the server programming for horses. We tested them on the test server a few days ago, and there are very few bugs left, so if everything goes well, we'll have the client update sometime in December. And as expected, everyone who tested the horses loved them.

Regarding my optimizations, I finally finished setting up a local FreeBSD machine for my tests. This test machine is an old laptop, a Pentium M 1.7 Ghz with 1 GB of RAM. I had some problems with the standard FreeBSD install, so I used PCBSD instead.
So today I ran the server for the first time on my FreeBSD test machine, and I've noticed something perplexing: It is orders of magnitude faster than the machine we currently use for the main server!
That machine uses an older Xeon @3Ghz (made in 2004 I think), and runs FreeBSD 6.x and gcc version 3.4.6 [FreeBSD] 20060305
My laptop test machine thingy runs FreeBSD 7.x and gcc version 4.2.1 20070719 [FreeBSD]
On the main server machine, an empty (just the AI) server takes about 1% CPU. On my laptop, it takes 0.00% (!) CPU. Now, you might think that an empty server shouldn't take more than 0.00%, but the thing is, there is a lot of AI (over 1.3K entities, most of them moving around).

This is very strange, and I am not sure why my laptop is so much faster. It could be that GCC 4 does a much better job, or the new FreeBSD is much better at handling stuff, or maybe the main server machine is not configured properly? I'll have to ask my host to do a few hardware tests, and possibly update the OS as well.


Blogger roger said...

Another Fallout fan! I still have to wait to get mine.

4/11/08 13:55  
Blogger Radu said...

Yeah, Fallout is, along with some of the Ultima games, the best RPG world out there.
I thought that Fallout 3 will suck, being a 1st person game and being made by Bethesda, but I was wrong. I'd give this game a 9.5 out of 10 (there are a few small bugs, like your dog will sometimes got hrough walls), and you can't trade equipment with your party members.

4/11/08 14:23  

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