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Memory Leak in Source Games?

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January 21, 2005 2:34:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life.counterstrike (More info?)

One striking difference I find in comparing Source games with other
games is the gradual decrease in performance with time...until a point
when the game crashed.
Not only with games like CSS or HL2 or HL2DM, even the SDK suffers the
same gradual lagging and then freeze up of the whole system.
Now whenever I play Source games, I feel an insecure feeling which I
never feel with games like UT 2004 or Far Cry which give you an
acceptable and solid feel of stability...
It's not fun to play a game when you wonder which second around the
corner it is gonna go belly up on you.
I never know how Source games will run without STEAM also running in the
background...We can never tell, STEAM could be the culprit of that
memory leak and overall unstability of Source games?
January 21, 2005 4:18:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life.counterstrike (More info?)

dan <nemo@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:41EFA56C.3B6E550D@nowhere.com...
> One striking difference I find in comparing Source games with other
> games is the gradual decrease in performance with time...until a point
> when the game crashed.
> Not only with games like CSS or HL2 or HL2DM, even the SDK suffers the
> same gradual lagging and then freeze up of the whole system.
> Now whenever I play Source games, I feel an insecure feeling which I
> never feel with games like UT 2004 or Far Cry which give you an
> acceptable and solid feel of stability...
> It's not fun to play a game when you wonder which second around the
> corner it is gonna go belly up on you.
> I never know how Source games will run without STEAM also running in the
> background...We can never tell, STEAM could be the culprit of that
> memory leak and overall unstability of Source games?
>
>

I agree with you although I've not tried HL2 or Source.
Valves games in a lot of respects do not seem as stable on systems as games
engines from Id etc.
My opinion is that this is partly because Valve have never really written
their own game engine from scratch they just started basing all their code
on Id's old Quake1 and 2 game engines.
Having been a programmer I know this can cause problems due to the fact it's
often difficult and tricky and very time consuming to understand everything
that another bunch of programmers have written.
Adding your own stuff to it and modifying it heavily requires an intimate
knowledge that often is only gained by trial and error and study over time,
given that most code is largely undocumented.
In my experience it can be an nightmare working with code that others have
written. It's often much easier and more stable to progress if you've
developed something yourself from scratch.
All sorts of previously unknown issues arise when you try and modify stuff
that you haven't 100 percent knowledge of.
Source is Valves first game engine written from scratch(supposedly). I
wonder if they've based any of it on chunks of their old stuff for time
saving purposes? They were, after all, under massive pressure to get HL2 out
as it was fast becoming another Diakatana in terms of promises.
Game engines, in the 3d shooter area, need to hit the market at the right
time in order to compete or they get quickly rendered obsolete by the
competition.
Another sign of Valves lack of programming integrity for me is that they
release many more patches than the other developers like Id etc.
This can be regarded in two ways:

1. The programmers are constantly fighting with the code to get it stable.
Often this can be like trying to put out a bush fire. You put out one
problem area only to find another and another and can often create more
problems with the patches themselves.

2. Valve just love to keep everyone as up to date as they are. Keeping
everyone near the 'coal face' of development with Steam patches. - I am very
cynical of this one!

Number 1 looks bad for developers and number 2 only works if the patches
significantly improve things.
Either way I don't like the whole Steam concept.
It just comes across as an excuse for not releasing stable and thoroughly
tested code.
The thing I like about the other developers like Id is that they really aim
and head for a Final Release patch, which to me seems like a better goal to
have than this open ended Steam tripe. This is because aiming for a final
release puts a greater emphasis on a goal of stability and code integrity
rather than just releasing poorly tested stuff just to keep up an image of
being at the cutting edge of everything.

Uzi
January 22, 2005 3:09:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life.counterstrike (More info?)

I totally agree with your very thorough analysis and explanation about the
nature of Valve's source game.

Compared to numerous games I played, many have technical problems on their own,
but objectively, I found far too many problems with Source games by my own
experience and across numerous complaint on different message boards and forums,
not only Steampowered.com forum.

The patches sometimes create more problems, subsequent patch fix problem by
previous patch while itself create more problem and the whole thing is a vicious
circle.

Does STEAM make programmer complacent? They believe that they can fix the
problem on the fly therefore little effort was put to optimise codes, the
mentality: "Lets' release the game, get's some money and then STEAM is
established, we can fix problem readily as it arised?"

Is Valve overwhelmed with the extent and seriousness of the problem?

By checking the console while playing Source games, I realised there are lots of
content missing including meshes, shaders, even sound files missing...

There are many more glitches which I hope will be addressed gradually by Valve,
but gamers have been expected to play games straight out of the box, this time
they have been pushed out of their comfort zone too far, and if not for the
excellent artistic design of Valve's games, I think users will drop them anytime
due to the technical problems arising in their games.




Uzi wrote:

> dan <nemo@nowhere.com> wrote in message
> news:41EFA56C.3B6E550D@nowhere.com...
> > One striking difference I find in comparing Source games with other
> > games is the gradual decrease in performance with time...until a point
> > when the game crashed.
> > Not only with games like CSS or HL2 or HL2DM, even the SDK suffers the
> > same gradual lagging and then freeze up of the whole system.
> > Now whenever I play Source games, I feel an insecure feeling which I
> > never feel with games like UT 2004 or Far Cry which give you an
> > acceptable and solid feel of stability...
> > It's not fun to play a game when you wonder which second around the
> > corner it is gonna go belly up on you.
> > I never know how Source games will run without STEAM also running in the
> > background...We can never tell, STEAM could be the culprit of that
> > memory leak and overall unstability of Source games?
> >
> >
>
> I agree with you although I've not tried HL2 or Source.
> Valves games in a lot of respects do not seem as stable on systems as games
> engines from Id etc.
> My opinion is that this is partly because Valve have never really written
> their own game engine from scratch they just started basing all their code
> on Id's old Quake1 and 2 game engines.
> Having been a programmer I know this can cause problems due to the fact it's
> often difficult and tricky and very time consuming to understand everything
> that another bunch of programmers have written.
> Adding your own stuff to it and modifying it heavily requires an intimate
> knowledge that often is only gained by trial and error and study over time,
> given that most code is largely undocumented.
> In my experience it can be an nightmare working with code that others have
> written. It's often much easier and more stable to progress if you've
> developed something yourself from scratch.
> All sorts of previously unknown issues arise when you try and modify stuff
> that you haven't 100 percent knowledge of.
> Source is Valves first game engine written from scratch(supposedly). I
> wonder if they've based any of it on chunks of their old stuff for time
> saving purposes? They were, after all, under massive pressure to get HL2 out
> as it was fast becoming another Diakatana in terms of promises.
> Game engines, in the 3d shooter area, need to hit the market at the right
> time in order to compete or they get quickly rendered obsolete by the
> competition.
> Another sign of Valves lack of programming integrity for me is that they
> release many more patches than the other developers like Id etc.
> This can be regarded in two ways:
>
> 1. The programmers are constantly fighting with the code to get it stable.
> Often this can be like trying to put out a bush fire. You put out one
> problem area only to find another and another and can often create more
> problems with the patches themselves.
>
> 2. Valve just love to keep everyone as up to date as they are. Keeping
> everyone near the 'coal face' of development with Steam patches. - I am very
> cynical of this one!
>
> Number 1 looks bad for developers and number 2 only works if the patches
> significantly improve things.
> Either way I don't like the whole Steam concept.
> It just comes across as an excuse for not releasing stable and thoroughly
> tested code.
> The thing I like about the other developers like Id is that they really aim
> and head for a Final Release patch, which to me seems like a better goal to
> have than this open ended Steam tripe. This is because aiming for a final
> release puts a greater emphasis on a goal of stability and code integrity
> rather than just releasing poorly tested stuff just to keep up an image of
> being at the cutting edge of everything.
>
> Uzi
!