View Full Version : Performance Qs

March 21st, 2005, 22:46
I've been hearing some good things about this on EN, and from the screenshots and user comments alone, I'm really psyched. But the app isn't anything w/o people with whom I can play. And in my group, there are those who relish pain and aggrivation, and insist upon connecting to the world wide wait via dial-up. Which begs the question: how does this app function over a meager dial-up connection? Are all graphics (maps, handout, char portraits, etc) sent over the wire in their native format, or does everything come over compressed (i.e. do I need to be sure to convert any BMP/uncompressed images I happen to use to a more dial-up friendly format)? And in either case, are images cached locally, or would they need to d/l the same images each time we play? Will chat and other actions continue to go through while the dial-ups are downloading a large town map, or do we have to wait for everyone to synch up?

I think you see where I'm going with this, so I'll let the answers come forth.

On a side note, has anyone tried using this with Skype (or similar VOIP app) and what have the experiences been with that?

Thanks all.

March 22nd, 2005, 00:55

I did see at least one other person asking about using dial up but I don't remember them coming back to say what their exp was.

I don't know if the files are transfered compressed or not. I'm guessing not. But, you should be able to do a couple of things to minimize the pain. One is it 'preload' a image where it starts to send the image in the background while you keep playing. Two is to put all the image into a zip file and let the players down load them and unzip them into their images directory (asking them not to look at the images of course). Then when the image is needed it will already be there. I'm not sure if these are saved between the games. I'm guessing they are but have not checked.

I have seen posts from people using voice over ip software and they say it works well. Ummm, I doubt if they were doing it over dial up though. If you try to use voip AND send a file at the same time it may get kinda choppy.

I know we were able tos keep typing while a map downloaded. We just let the dm know when we had all gotten the file.


March 23rd, 2005, 11:54
The images are transferred in native format. The reason for this is that the program could never determine the correct way to compress the image, and the quality of the compression. The very essential idea behind the difference in GIF and JPG, for example, lays in the fact that photo-like images do better under JPG, and maps with broad areas of a single color do better with GIF. The bottom line, however, is that by taking an image in its native format, it is likely someone has already given the packing some thought, and it is in a format beneficial for transfer over the internet. BMPs and PNGs would be the exception, and if you know you'll be playing with people on dial-ups, you should convert them to either GIF or JPG beforehand.

The program does use separate connections to transfer images, so chat should still work decently while the images are being transferred. The images are cached based on image size and timestamp, so you don't need to transfer them every session. Also, because of this, like richvalle said, you could zip them and mail them ahead of time if you wanted, or start a background transfer while you chat away and show the image when it's ready.