View Full Version : Flickering yle and NPCS + Sound disortions

11-06-2002, 01:29 PM
In the last few compiles of my SP map I've had a really weird problem with Kyle and many of the other NPCS on the level (also doors) flickering. I had this with my last map for a little but it seemed to be down to fps, I improved the FPS and it went away - now I have a good FPS mostly, above 20 a lot of the time and often more, so I am very confused.

Some factors in this map that might be involved, I dunno...

:deathii: Lots of effects - flame effects
:deathii: Lots of NPCS at once - its an open kind of town map so there need to be quite a few at once (however, as I say fps is good and if it was npcs as the problem wouldn't that show up in low fps?)
:deathii: Few doors into buildibngs, so they are fairly open - but the walls themselves are all structural
:deathii: There is a big wall around the outside of the map - but the back and underside are caulked
:deathii: A lot of big NPC no go brushes (to stop people jumping the walls)
:deathii: Lots of custom textures

Any help would be much appreciated, it's making the map unplayable at the moment and I can't work out what the problem is.

11-06-2002, 03:56 PM
When ever you have a lot of models, effects, target_speakers, etc., then the models in your level start to flicker (I think it's because the game enigine can't display all the models at the same time so it alternates quickly through the models making it flicker.). Anyway, the framerate won't always drop unless you can see most of the models, otherwise the models just flicker. This is the reason why, in the official levels, enemies don't spawn until they'll be visible.

I'm not sure how you can fix the problem without you taking out many of your NPCs, so I'm afraid you're on your own there.

11-07-2002, 08:51 AM
Ah I see, thanks a lot man that's a big help, now I know what the problem is I can try to solve it.....

Anyone got a hammer?

11-07-2002, 08:54 AM
I guess it's important to learn the limitations of the engine, and this kind of partly explains why there were so few open maps, and those that were open were kind of just pseudo-open (you could only really do one bit at a time, one area at a time). I'll take out all the NPCS, then add a few at a time and look at what the engine can cope with. Thanks again Gab :)

11-09-2002, 01:14 AM
I've learned the problems of a very open level the hard way. My first JK2 level ( a SP level, I only do SP:D ) was a platform thingy on Bespin. At that time I didn't know about using caulk or about using detail brushes. When I finally tried to do a final build, I waited for around 3 days or so for it to finish calculating the visibility, and I finally stopped it because I didn't think it was going to finish anytime soon! Anyway, despite those glaring problems, I still was able to learn a lot of cool stuff, mainly how to make good cutscenes...

11-09-2002, 11:22 AM
I released three SP maps before I worked out what caulk, detail brushes or point combats were...I'm not quite sure how I got away with that now....come to think of it I still get some hate mail :)

You can't beat a good cutscene, it's my favourite part of the entire map making process, even if I'm not too great at it!

I think I've worked out how to split the level up a lot, I've devided each street into a kind of seperate section, with walls and a locked door leading to the next street. This has a number of advantages:

:deathstar: It means you can't run throguh the level in about 3 minutes
:deathstar: It means I only have to spawn enemies in each section at a time, and I klnow exactly where to put the trigger to spawn them (there is only one way into each section)
:deathstar: It breaks up how far and how much you can see at once, which will help with FPS
:deathstar: It fits well with the setting - if it's an occupied town then it wouldn't be all open walk-where-you-want for the inhabitants!

Haven't actually compiled it yet, but I hope it will get rid of the flashing NPCs and give the level more structure :)

To make it all work I'm going to have to give the player force jump 1 or none at all - my explanation = high gravity! :D

11-12-2002, 01:10 AM
Sounds good!

Now if I could only figure out why the number of light emiting surfaces in my level jumped from around 70, to about 700!:eek:

11-14-2002, 06:45 AM
Ah man :(, re-compiled the level and the flickering of NPCS and all other entities (ammo, func_doors and breakables etc) is still there!

I've closed the level in a lot, which means for each area of street I can spawn a number of NPCs there and then. This means there are never more than 20 or 30 NPCs in the level at once, absolute maximum. However, I've just compiled the level and all the entieis including the NPCs are still flickering!
This includes func_door and func_breakables.

I have a lot of custom textures in the level, and quite a few entities in total (912). There are a good few models (mostly small) of things like books, glasses etc. There are over 100 point_combats.

Any ideas what the problem still is?

11-16-2002, 02:56 AM
Hmm, not sure...whenever I try making anything really big that's different from the way the original levels were, then my level usually won't compile :rolleyes: , so for now I don't usually push it far enough for anything in-game to suffer tech-error stuff.

I would guess that there is enough stuff that it "sees" at one time so that things start flickering. This could happen if, because your level is still farely open, the enigine may still be processing stuff beyond your view point. Sorry, I'm being rather vague. If you put up some screens of your level in radiant, I might have more of an idea of what it's doing.

Hmm, I was just re-reading your post, it could be that even if you only have 20-30 NPCs (this shouldn't, by itself, cause any problems. I've spawned a bit more than that in the ladder level without flickering, just really bad framerate because of the amount of processing going on...), however, if you have many models such as books, etc., scattered around so that the engine would see very many of them, in addition to the NPCs, at one time, then you would see the same flickering. you could try replacing the book models with brushes, as far as I know, even a huge number of brushes would only cause severe framerate problems, and not flickering. Also try to do as much as possible with brushes, and only have things such as glasses as models. Like in the Nar Shaddaa bar.

Anyway, I hope this helped...

11-16-2002, 10:12 AM
The brush entity limit for SP is, I believe, somewhere around 512. This includes func_doors, func_breakables, etc.

11-16-2002, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the help guys, I seem to have sorted the problem out now.

I got rid of about 2/3 of the book/glass etc models, had the streets dicided into sections and I can spawn say 20 NPCs for each section and there are no problems with the flickering, and framerates are extremely good for the most part. Hopefully the solution will continue to work, just gotta make sure I don't go too overborad with the NPCs :) I also got rid of many of the func_breakables, I don't think I got over the limit for that, but it's good to know what it is so thanks :)

11-16-2002, 09:09 PM
Good info Emon! That's one less thing I won't be stumbling over.

I'm looking forward to your level, Kengo, most SP levels are just square rooms with a bunch of enemies.

11-16-2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Gabrobot
Good info Emon! That's one less thing I won't be stumbling over.

I'm looking forward to your level, Kengo, most SP levels are just square rooms with a bunch of enemies.

Thanks a lot man :)