Future of FS21 graphics?

Richard Dower
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Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Richard Dower » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:33 am

Ray tracing?, how can Giants improve graphics going forward?

It's great that those on mid range GPUs can have a good playing experience, but i wonder if folks with 2070 and above could be treated to an ultra quality mode with enhanced visuals.

I think farming simulator needs to be more multi threaded on the CPU side, as mid range is now 6 core and those sporting 8 or even 16 core should be able to take advantage of that.

What are your thoughts?

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this_is_gav
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by this_is_gav » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:45 pm

I believe Farming Simulator already is multi-threaded. Where one thread is used much more than others is because, I believe, all the script mods are loaded into one thread (so that poorly written or conflicting script mods don't completely overwhelm the operating system).

Graphics wise, it would be good to see things like ray-tracing would be nice (I'd imagine it would make a much better job of the awful flickering shadows on FS19), however currently it takes a lot of cooperation between Nvidia and the software developers, and such exclusive cooperation wouldn't be good at the moment (AMD graphics have generally performed poorly enough in FS, don't let's further separate them by tying features to one brand).

I'd imagine we'll be waiting until DirectX and consoles include solid raytracing support for all cards before most games developers start looking at it.

In one sense, FS is the perfect candidate for VR technology (sitting in cab, constantly checking on the implement behind you), but in another sense it would be a complete pain, literally, to wear a VR headset for hours on end, as many FS sessions do last for a long time. It's the sort of thing I'd try out, but I couldn't see myself using such a headset in FS in the long-term, so if that's similar for the majority of the player base, it would be a poor use of resources for GIANTS>

Personally I think the majority of the graphics features in the game are solid enough and a big step forward (except those shadows). What lets it down is the balance of the lighting (where I've long described it as looking "post-apocalyptic"), so for FS2x I'd like to see a more natural tone applied, and a sky with a bit more volume (not a usually endless sea of clear skies) - indeed a more varied sky would go a long way to improving the graphics and immersion of the game generally.

I've no idea how feasible it would be from a performance point of view (even on top systems), but doing something about the foliage circle around the player would go along way too. You can edit the XML files for much greater distances, but it quickly drags down performance.

Edit: What I would like removed (or limited to first person view perhaps) is the changing of brightness depending on where you're looking (eg towards or away from the sun). It just crushes the look of the game for me, and I find it difficult playing the game with such contrasting views, especially early in the morning or in evening time (hours farmers are still working usually). The game needs a consistent view (as FS17 had), an option or limited to brightness shifting only when sitting in-cab view (not third-person view).

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RODHA
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by RODHA » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:09 am

Richard Dower wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:33 am
...but i wonder if folks with 2070 and above could be treated to an ultra quality mode with enhanced visuals.
Good luck with that.

FS17 had 4K support for PS4 Pro. They removed that feature in FS19 with the excuse of "performance issues" on the hardware side.

However, that is lie with a long tail because my PS4 Pro's cooling system was screaming in FS17 at 4K and it is not even going above idle in FS19 at 3K. So, it is not a hardware performance issue it is simply a Giants mess up on their graphics engine.

And whatever the reason, if a game developer is taking a step backwards on the new version of their game then there is really not much to hope for the future.
PS4 / FS19

svkb
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by svkb » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:07 pm

I don't think FS is multithreaded, I monitor all 12 of my threads and only 1 is at or near 100% the others are all basically idle. Strange thing is a week ago when playing Welker my single threaded usage would max out at 60% cpu. Then Welker map got updated and now it's pegging a single thread. Not just Welker, even the default maps. Haven't figured that out yet.
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by svkb » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:21 pm

^^^ further to this, anybody have any ideas on why single threaded usage would jump up for no apparent reason? I tried a bare bones map with no mods other than the DLC installed and it was showing the same usage. Strange thing is that it's buttery smooth 60 fps even with 100% cpu so it has me questioning whether my rig is in fact using 100% cpu.

Thoughts?
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Riven326
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Riven326 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:08 pm

RODHA wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:09 am
Richard Dower wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:33 am
...but i wonder if folks with 2070 and above could be treated to an ultra quality mode with enhanced visuals.
Good luck with that.

FS17 had 4K support for PS4 Pro. They removed that feature in FS19 with the excuse of "performance issues" on the hardware side.

However, that is lie with a long tail because my PS4 Pro's cooling system was screaming in FS17 at 4K and it is not even going above idle in FS19 at 3K. So, it is not a hardware performance issue it is simply a Giants mess up on their graphics engine.

And whatever the reason, if a game developer is taking a step backwards on the new version of their game then there is really not much to hope for the future.
That means FS19 is better optimized than 17. That's literally all it is. Could it be better? Yes. Further optimization of the code would mean more headroom for performance. No anti-aliasing is a real bummer. But 1440p is still very nice on a 4k display.

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RODHA
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by RODHA » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:38 am

Riven326 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:08 pm
That means FS19 is better optimized than 17. That's literally all it is.
I agree. But there is another side to that story.
If the developer managed to optimise that good it also means the hardware should have no problems or performance issues whatsoever at 4K. If you can't manage to get 4K image even with that level of optimisation than it is clear as day that you messed up something in your graphics engine (on the PS side) and it just doesn't work correctly in that resolution. Which also means it is borken and you had 2 choices before the release. Dedicate the resources and fix it or take a step backwards with regard to your previous game. Guess which one is a cheaper option?
PS4 / FS19

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this_is_gav
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by this_is_gav » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:15 am

Remember that FS is a unique game in that the playable area is constantly changing. No other game has that.

You can argue "optimise!" but it's not like it's a just a button you press. Optimising any software package to a high level while keeping bugs to a minimum requires years of work and depending on how efficient the software is to begin with, there may only be so much extra performance you can extract. For example spending 6 months "optimising" a game for it to only yield 5% extra performance would be a terrible use of development time.

FS19 moved the bar forwards with regards to graphics features (though I won't pretend that I like how some of those features were implemented) but for it to remain playable across all platforms there needed to be a sacrifices elsewhere.

The game itself seems fairly well optimised from what I can see. It scales well with system power and is fairly playable even on decade old hardware while still looking good on modern systems.


svkb wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:07 pm
I don't think FS is multithreaded, I monitor all 12 of my threads and only 1 is at or near 100% the others are all basically idle. Strange thing is a week ago when playing Welker my single threaded usage would max out at 60% cpu. Then Welker map got updated and now it's pegging a single thread. Not just Welker, even the default maps. Haven't figured that out yet.
I'm certain FS is multi-threaded. Maybe it doesn't use all cores and threads (I know it's not easy to program to use between 2 and potentially 64 threads), but I'm certain it uses more than one. Monitor performance with and without script mods (don't just disable them, remove them from your mod folder). With a bundle of scripts one thread does look higher than others (as I said, I'm pretty sure that script mods are limited to a single thread, which will be why a single core or thread looks more loaded than others).

Richard Dower
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Richard Dower » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:32 pm

For higher end systems I hope draw distance can be increased in FS21, get rid of this popping in nonsense you see even on a 2080ti.

Maybe move to Direct X 12 or Vulkan, "shimmering" on trees needs to be tackled, increased draw distance and the issues of stuttering.

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Riven326
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Riven326 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:30 pm

RODHA wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:38 am
Riven326 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:08 pm
That means FS19 is better optimized than 17. That's literally all it is.
I agree. But there is another side to that story.
If the developer managed to optimise that good it also means the hardware should have no problems or performance issues whatsoever at 4K. If you can't manage to get 4K image even with that level of optimisation than it is clear as day that you messed up something in your graphics engine (on the PS side) and it just doesn't work correctly in that resolution. Which also means it is borken and you had 2 choices before the release. Dedicate the resources and fix it or take a step backwards with regard to your previous game. Guess which one is a cheaper option?
There are plenty of games on Pro that aren't 4k. Most are 1440p just like FS19.

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RODHA
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by RODHA » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:44 pm

Am I missing something here or are you just trying to defend Giants for no reason whatsoever?
Because as far as I'm concerned your above argument doesn't have anything to do with what I have been trying to say since the begining.
Giants took a step backwards and this has nothing to the with the hardware power of PS4 Pro.
Unrelated arguments you make doesn't change that fact.
PS4 / FS19

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Riven326
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Riven326 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:09 pm

RODHA wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:44 pm
Am I missing something here or are you just trying to defend Giants for no reason whatsoever?
Because as far as I'm concerned your above argument doesn't have anything to do with what I have been trying to say since the begining.
Giants took a step backwards and this has nothing to the with the hardware power of PS4 Pro.
Unrelated arguments you make doesn't change that fact.
I don't think they've regressed at all. I do think the game, while better optimized than FS17 overall, is not as well optimized for console hardware as it should be. No anti-aliasing and a 30fps cap is frustrating. Its the only game on the platform that has no AA and shows they just wanted to get it running steady and didn't bother much with optimization. 1440p is no big deal given that the Pro's hardware is best suited for that resolution. That's why most games are 1440p on the platform. 4k is nice in FS17, but it looks like a game from 2005. So it's hardly impressive.

I played FS17 recently after having played 19 for several months. It made me appreciate the effort Giants made with 19 to try to modernize the game engine and visual presentation.

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Shuffy
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Shuffy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:10 pm

really hope vr is included in the next series

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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by redglasses » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:18 pm

I think they need to focus on the game play before adding fancy graphics or anything.
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Re: Future of FS21 graphics?

Post by Stegei » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:27 pm

FS19 has many new rendering features that FS17 didn't have, like Depth of Field, Bloom, HDR, volumetric lighting, improved global illumination, alpha to coverage, etc. which simply take much more GPU power. And the performance cost of those features is mostly directly proportional to the number of pixels rendered. So, even though we did make many performance optimization since FS17, the PS4 Pro was still not powerful enough to handle all the new rendering features at 4k. So we had the choice to either reduce the rendering quality or reduce the resolution to 3k. We thought that reducing to 3k rather than reducing the rendering quality has a much smaller impact on the overall image quality, so we went for this approach.

A similar "issue" is with the shadow quality. Farming Simulator 19 has a larger shadow draw range and it has less flickering of the shadows when rotating the camera compared to FS17. This however comes with the draw back, that the shadows are slightly less high resolution, which most people see as a step back from FS17. However, when locking at the overall result, especially when in motion, I think the quality of the shadows is better in FS19 than in FS17.

As for the number of thread used. FS19 was developed with dual core CPUs still making up about 40% of the PCs in use, and about 40% with 4 cores. Dependent on the workload, FS19 can use up to about 3 cores fully and about 1.5-2 cores in the average case (if not GPU bound, which is actually the most regular case). The console version (due to the more low level access to the hardware), usually fully utilizes about 3-4 cores.
We are of course developing our tech further to use more cores to also move along with the trend of the players' hardware (although more than 70% of the PC players still don't have more than 4 cores).

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