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That goddamn fps / frametime jitter / stutter

User is online   Zaxx 

#1

Okay so for the last couple of years I've been having this weird issue with EDuke32 (and now all EDuke32 based games / source ports including Ion Ma... Fury, NBlood and the RR source port) where after saving or loading a game sometimes I get weird frametime jitter that I can only solve by repeatedly saving / loading a save file until it goes away only for it to randomly return later. It was reported by a few people on the Ion Fury bug report thread on Steam too:
https://steamcommuni...01877493495283/
https://steamcommuni...52426722438085/
(The solution posted at the second thread doesn't work for me though it may be useful for troubleshooting.)

I also posted a few videos on it a while back:
https://www.youtube....h?v=TXpBORvKWhM - starts happening at 11:24 at the autosave
https://www.youtube....h?v=0nOW9p4rPqw - starts happening at the autosave at 7:11
If I want to reproduce it basically all I have to do is keep mashing quick save, sooner or later it will happen, it looks as if suddenly your fps was cut in half.

Since it's affecting every single EDuke32 based title I thought I'd open a thread about it here. Any clue on what can be the cause of this?

Quote

Specs:
Win 10 64 bit
i5-9600k
GTX 970
16 gigs of DDR4 RAM
SSD


Tested on the currently latest synthesis (7789) with Duke 3D, still happening sadly.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 13 July 2019 - 12:58 PM

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User is online   Phredreeke 

#2

Does it apply to the software renderer as well? I get stuttering in SWP with Polymost but it goes away if I switch to software renderer.
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User is online   Zaxx 

#3

View PostPhredreeke, on 13 July 2019 - 01:01 PM, said:

Does it apply to the software renderer as well? I get stuttering in SWP with Polymost but it goes away if I switch to software renderer.

That's interesting actually: back when I had the game on an HDD I could reproduce it in the software renderer too but since I've switched to an SSD I can't. The only difference I can notice is that when I'm using the software renderer saving is so fast on an SSD that I don't even notice the usual hitch while with Polymost there is still a noticeable (but of course very short) hitch when saving. That makes me think that the bug may be connected to that slight pause in gameplay somehow.
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User is offline   Radar 

  • Zionist Shill

#4

I used to have an FPS jitter problem that would go away if I changed the FPS limiter value.
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User is online   Zaxx 

#5

View PostGaydar, on 13 July 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

I used to have an FPS jitter problem that would go away if I changed the FPS limiter value.

Yep, that can fix it for me too but I found saving to be more effective and less bothersome (and changing the fps limit is no permanent fix either sadly).

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 13 July 2019 - 03:00 PM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#6

Replaying Duke 3D in EDuke32 now maybe presented some new hints on this.

The thing is that I get frame pacing jitter in Duke 3D after looking into a security camera but it's a bit different. You look into the camera footage and there I guess the camera movement animation is at a lower framerate than the gameplay itself. That's fine and how it should look like of course but when I go back to the regular gameplay I get this weird jitter that's only affecting part of the screen.

I didn't try to capture it on video because chances are I'd get absolutely nothing visible so I'll just try my best to describe how it looks: here's a random screenshot (it's not mine, it's from World Tour, the purpose of this is just to illustrate what's happening):
https://i.imgur.com/lAJ4QDe.jpg
There's a part of the screen I've highlighted in purple (it actually can be anywhere on the screen so the placement of it here is just an example): that part looks like as it's being rendered at a lower framerate than the rest of the screen.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 17 July 2019 - 07:08 AM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#7

Well I couldn't catch the visual part on video but RTSS's (and the game's but that's hard to read) frame time display indicates that something is going on:


This post has been edited by Zaxx: 17 July 2019 - 07:44 AM

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#8

View PostZaxx, on 17 July 2019 - 07:06 AM, said:

I didn't try to capture it on video because chances are I'd get absolutely nothing visible so I'll just try my best to describe how it looks:


In some games there is a problem related to No Vsync, if there are explosions in the game looks like that walls and floors will shake in a weird way, but only human eyes will notice it, indeed if you record it, it won't appear on the video (idk if recording with an external device will be the same eg: smartphones).
So, what am saying may sound simple and stupid but, try to turn On Vsync and change the framerate limit values if needed.
I can't guarantee that this will work but, it just need a pair of minutes to try.

Also, this happens with some old eduke32 versions?
(i don't have this problem, i can only guess)

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 17 July 2019 - 08:47 AM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#9

Yeah, I know what you're talking about (stuff like camera shaking making screen tearing more noticeable), it's not that.

As for the ED32 version: always the latest (currently 7800).
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User is online   Zaxx 

#10

I was casually looking around for similar stuff being reported here and I found this:
https://forums.duke4...tevsync-issues/

At first glance it doesn't look like that he's talking about this stuff but this was a clue:

Quote

Some times it starts smooth and stays like that for a few minutes. But then it starts to stutter randomly. It doesn't matter where i am, the same place that was smooth before may stutter later.

Also this:

Quote

I even tried locking it with Riva Tuner Server. It doesn't work either. But the weird thing is that Riva Tuner shows steady 60fps even when the game stutters horribly or locks itself at 30fps. Riva Tuner thinks the game runs at 60fps at all times, no matter what's happening on screen. So there is something really wrong with this engine on my system and i just can't fix it.

I tried locking the game with RTSS and just like he says it's reporting correct frame pacing all the time even when it's obvious from what's happening on the screen that something is horribly wrong. So if you want to get accurate readings only after locking it with the in-game limiter will RTSS give you those.

Also: "r_maxfps 0" doesn't solve the issue, even when I let my CPU to fry and play with 1000+ fps it's the same jitter. It's weird to say the least.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 18 July 2019 - 05:19 AM

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User is online   Mark 

  • Honored Donor

#11

View PostZaxx, on 13 July 2019 - 12:56 PM, said:

Okay so for the last couple of years I've been having this weird issue with EDuke32 (and now all EDuke32 based games / source ports including Ion Ma... Fury, NBlood and the RR source port) where after saving or loading a game sometimes I get weird frametime jitter that I can only solve by repeatedly saving / loading a save file until it goes away only for it to randomly return later. It was reported by a few people on the Ion Fury bug report thread on Steam too:
https://steamcommuni...01877493495283/
https://steamcommuni...52426722438085/
(The solution posted at the second thread doesn't work for me though it may be useful for troubleshooting.)

I also posted a few videos on it a while back:
https://www.youtube....h?v=TXpBORvKWhM - starts happening at 11:24 at the autosave
https://www.youtube....h?v=0nOW9p4rPqw - starts happening at the autosave at 7:11
If I want to reproduce it basically all I have to do is keep mashing quick save, sooner or later it will happen, it looks as if suddenly your fps was cut in half.

Since it's affecting every single EDuke32 based title I thought I'd open a thread about it here. Any clue on what can be the cause of this?



Tested on the currently latest synthesis (7789) with Duke 3D, still happening sadly.

I watched those 2 videos and it looks to me like a mouse shake, not screen jitters from the renderer. Maybe thats why the framerate doesn't change in the riva monitoring.
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User is online   Zaxx 

#12

The problem with those videos is that you really can't see much of what is happening visually: there is something weird visible as you've said but it's just not a good representation of what it looks like when the game is actually being rendered on screen.

As for the framerate not changing: that's normal, my fps is great, what you should look at are the spikes in frame times. For 120 fps it should be at 8.33 ms but when the game starts to jitter it goes lower as if the game would output more frames than it's supposed to. For example in the latest video I've posted you can see that once I look into the security camera the frame times start to spike to around 5-6 ms and that doesn't stop after I stop using the security cam.

The thing is that I would be actually happy if I had fps drops or something because then the cause of the problem would be clear. :D What boggles my mind is that apart from this stuff EDuke32's frame pacing is solid so it seems like there are some bugs in the engine that weren't caught so far but they can mess up frame times on certain configs.

So far I've ruled out my monitor since it's a very standard 60 hz screen that's actually closer to that refresh rate than most other monitors, measuring it is giving me results like this:
https://i.imgur.com/fEZzS0J.jpg
+ as I've said removing the fps limit doesn't solve the jitter.

As for my hardware I've had significant hardware changes since first encountering this and it's just not going away. Fully different machine, same problem. :D

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 18 July 2019 - 11:00 AM

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#13

View PostZaxx, on 17 July 2019 - 09:10 AM, said:

Yeah, I know what you're talking about (stuff like camera shaking making screen tearing more noticeable), it's not that.

As for the ED32 version: always the latest (currently 7800).

View PostZaxx, on 18 July 2019 - 10:59 AM, said:

The problem with those videos is that you really can't see much of what is happening visually: there is something weird visible as you've said but it's just not a good representation of what it looks like when the game is actually being rendered on screen.

Out of curiosity, i've tried to record on a smartphone, some "weird" effects on another game that won't get visually replicated by videos recorded directly with a software on PC and... on the smartphone these things are fully replicated (so, i guess on other external devices as well).
Obviously this won't solve the problem, but, if you want, you can record and upload another video, to show exactly what is going and, hopefully, someone else experienced on this stuff may solve the problem.

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 19 July 2019 - 11:23 PM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#14

Thankfully I could talk to pogokeen a bit since my last post here and he said that they could replicate the bug and figured out what's causing it so eventually it will get fixed. So no more videos. :D
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User is offline   Hendricks266 

  • Weaponized Autism

  #15

We've made some commits about this.
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User is offline   Striker 

  • Auramancer

#16

Glad someone it was able to be figured out. I guess I was one of the "lucky" ones who couldn't reproduce it, though believe me, I've tried. Stuff like that is really hard to nail down when it only affects certain setups.

This post has been edited by Striker: 07 August 2019 - 04:39 PM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#17

Tried r7918 and I could still reproduce the problem both by quick saving and quick loading a save. :(
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User is offline   Hendricks266 

  • Weaponized Autism

  #18

Is there any difference if sound and music are both off?
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User is online   Zaxx 

#19

Nope, no difference.
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User is offline   Striker 

  • Auramancer

#20

Damn, guess I spoke too soon. :\
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User is offline   TerminX 

  • el fundador

  #21

View PostZaxx, on 07 August 2019 - 05:07 PM, said:

Nope, no difference.

I wonder what the exact problem the game has with your system is. There's really no difference between the current builds and older ones for you? The average time variance between frames is practically cut in half on my machine...
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User is online   Zaxx 

#22

I meant the difference between playing the game with sound / music on and off. When it comes to the big picture the game definitely seems to be smoother now but since this issue was always pretty random for me I can't really say anything conclusive without more playtime. So far though the in-game frame time indicator seems to be a lot more stable and the frametime hiccups after looking into a security cam seem to be a lot less intrusive too. When I say that the issue is still there I mean that I tried quick saving and quick loading again and again and sometimes that jitter that is only solved by saving or loading a save again still happens.
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User is offline   TerminX 

  • el fundador

  #23

OK, if it's not fixed now I give up.
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User is online   Zaxx 

#24

It got worse now: now the game doesn't lock to the value you set it to, instead it's a bit below that and the result is periodic stutter because of the unevenly distributed frames. I think you should revert this because it will cause problems for people depending on the monitor. Fractional frame capping can be great but the best value depends on the monitor's true refresh rate as explained here:
https://forums.guru3...12#post-5380262

I think what you have here is just a bug, not an issue with the frame times per se, at least to me it looks like that the framepacing is great now (I mean it was yesterday :D), there's just some weird bug somewhere that messes with it sometimes when saving or loading happens.

Also: 7939 and 7940 is crashing for me a few seconds after loading a map (tried it in both the original game and the WT stopgap I'm usually playing on, both crash) so 7938 was the one I tested the frames with.
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User is online   Phredreeke 

#25

Isn't there an FPS adjuster for that?
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User is offline   TerminX 

  • el fundador

  #26

I'm starting to feel like something is wrong with your computer, man.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/294452336640786432/609329337308807188/unknown.png

The dip is when I alt-tabbed to check the frame times. I played the entire first level of Ion Fury without any big spikes. The engine has literally never run as smooth for me before as it does now. If you have a GSync monitor you don't need to do any of the shit in that thread...
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User is online   Zaxx 

#27

I've had this problem on 3 different hardware configurations, man.

And nope, I didn't say that the frame times are wrong, I just said that now the lock is not where it should be (it was there yesterday, it was perfectly smooth apart from the bug happening). A GSYNC monitor is great but that feature is designed to correct these mistakes by adapting your monitor's refresh rate to the game so you'll never notice if the lock is not at the correct refresh rate.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 09 August 2019 - 11:38 AM

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User is offline   Jim Rockford 

  • Banned on Rigel

#28

Is anyone else having this problem?
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User is online   Zaxx 

#29

Yep, it was reported a bunch of times since the IF preview campaign came out but since a lot of people don't notice stuff like this I honestly think everyone has this stuff, it just very much depends on the user to notice it.

Well, all I can say is that I gave all the info on this I could and apart from the bug that happens sometimes when saving or loading the game it ran super smooth yesterday. Now it doesn't since the frame limiter behavior was modified in 7937. I don't want to argue about this anymore since that wouldn't help and there really is nothing else to say, I just hope that pro dudes like Digital Foundry will be able to give some good feedback on it when IF comes out so it could be understood better.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 09 August 2019 - 11:55 AM

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User is online   Zaxx 

#30

Anyway: anyone else experiencing crashes in 7939 and 7940 or that's just me too?

Edit: If I turn the sound off the crashes stop happening.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 09 August 2019 - 12:07 PM

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