A way to speed up the loading of the map list

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Kerr Avon
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A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by Kerr Avon » Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:16 am

First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong forum, but I wasn't sure exactly where best to post this question. I am wondering if there is any way to speed up UT's loading of the game map list, as like most of us (I imagine) I have a lot of maps included. It's a very minor problem, but I thought I'd ask, as it made me wonder if there were any fan-made improvements to UT's engine, such as are available for the fan-made Quake 3 engine ports that take advantage of modern technology. I wish the Unreal Tournament source code had been released to the public, as id Software so generously did with the Quake 3 source code.

Thanks for any answers.

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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by ShaiHulud » Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:44 am

I believe Higor's XC_Engine adds faster map loading as one of its many features. XC_Engine is similar to what you've described, an enhanced set of core UT engine files. I haven't tried using it client side - I've only used it on our UT server so far. However, the new updated UT release (build 469) may have this capability built-in, I remember Anthrax saying that quite a few of XC_Engine's enhancements were being imported into the new build.

XC_Engine version 24 is the one to use if you're running Unreal Tournament build 432 or 436: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=13504

Or you could update to UT 469: https://github.com/OldUnreal/UnrealTour ... s/releases

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OjitroC
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by OjitroC » Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:46 am

The 469 patch does speed up loading the map list considerably - so worth trying for that and many other good reasons - links to it are in Global Announcements if you haven't tried it yet.

There are workarounds as well - I use a folder on the UT path which contains some 20/25 maps I'm playing at any one time and I move maps in and out of it as and when necessary - some of the other map folders are taken off the UT map path in the UT.ini so that their contents aren't read when loading map lists (especially the DM folder as that has a lot of maps). This solution is less necessary with 469 but I still do it for the other UT99 versions I have.

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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by Barbie » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:02 am

Reading the directory on every time is nonsense in my eyes and so I use the file MapListTemp.ini, which contains all map names. So MapVote does not scan the directories but reads that INI file only. If I add or remove a map, I have to keep MapListTemp.ini in sync of course. That is done by a script.
"Multiple exclamation marks," he went on, shaking his head, "are a sure sign of a diseased mind." --Terry Pratchett

Kerr Avon
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by Kerr Avon » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:11 pm

Thanks for all of the answers, everyone. I will try XC_Engine, and UT 469 (I take it there is no downside of using v469 for someone who only plays offline, against bots?).

I have in the past moved files in and out of the maps folder, as OjitroC, suggests, using a BAT file. It was a good solution. I've never used the file MapListTemp.ini, though, can that method only be used in MapVote, or is it available from the main menu/game engine?

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OjitroC
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by OjitroC » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:38 pm

Kerr Avon wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:11 pm
Thanks for all of the answers, everyone. I will try XC_Engine, and UT 469 (I take it there is no downside of using v469 for someone who only plays offline, against bots?).
No, there is no downside in using 469 for offline play against bots. I use it and I only play offline against bots and against ScriptedPawns (using MonsterSpawn). It may take a bit of trial and error by using different video and audio renderers/drivers to get it running as you would like, depending on your OS and system as a whole - but of course it may not and it may work fine without any 'tinkering' at all.

The only thing to be aware of and to take into account is that 469b (the latest) is a beta and is still being tested as it were with regular snapshots being released - you may find the odd bug but then again you may not. On the positive side the patch fixes a lot of bugs in UT and introduces new features. If you install it then I would suggest a close and careful reading of the Release Notes and Readme and also a look through the reported issues on the patch's GitHub Issues page so you have an idea of what bugs or other issues have been reported.

If you are going to use 469 and XC_Engine then you do need to look at the 469 documentation as that only works with XC_Engine v24 and below. Personally I would use 469 first and then add XC_Engine later once satisfied that 469 is working fine.

Remember to back up your system folder - you will then be able to play 2 UT versions (name one folder System as the one to be played currently and the other something else off the UT paths in UT.ini).

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sektor2111
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by sektor2111 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:37 pm

XC_Engine V24 doesn't work in any 469 version. V25 works in 469a and it does something in Editor from 469b but some results can be a bit... not really okay.

469b needs another XC_Engine, I advice you to not waste time with this (469b + XCGEv25).

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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by Forum|User » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:31 pm

sektor2111 wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:37 pm
XC_Engine V24 doesn't work in any 469 version. V25 works in 469a and it does something in Editor from 469b but some results can be a bit... not really okay.

469b needs another XC_Engine, I advice you to not waste time with this (469b + XCGEv25).
I still using V436. So, what's the best setup for UT right now? Or I should wait for the "final" patch release + XC_Engine?

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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by sektor2111 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:39 pm

Until a 469b or whatever "c" will be stable as a rock and... maybe something in ini will allow an extra-engine like XC or such with advanced iterators and capability to read all bytes from a map or a native XC_Engine as add-on(I have my patch plugins...), I'll stay with my 440 (altered of course) and XC 24. For me this combination looks good so far. I was expecting some features for Editor (not affecting game) like showing not only full reachSpecs content but even polygons and vertexes and capability to write a script for ALIGNING these and/or capturing non-colliding polys or non-coplanar polys... foreach AllObjects class "whatever" etc etc.

On Topic: I'm not really having a clue what is about in question. It's about maps lists Off-Line or On-Line ? On-Line is still a "time-wait" networking based and I don't get why maps would need to load in a blink... What is for this rush ? There is a speed limit anyway and this is hard-drive's reading speed after all.

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OjitroC
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by OjitroC » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:54 pm

Forum|User wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:31 pm
I still using V436. So, what's the best setup for UT right now? Or I should wait for the "final" patch release + XC_Engine?
There's no reason why you shouldn't use 469 now but it's up to you obviously if you want to wait. 469b is stable (though you may fnd the odd bug but, then again, you may not) and it certainly offers advantages over 436 especially if you have a newish PC and OS; but even if you don't, it works fine. You can try it out - back up the system folder then you can revert back to 436 or run them both if you want.
sektor2111 wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:39 pm
On Topic: I'm not really having a clue what is about in question. It's about maps lists Off-Line or On-Line ?
The OP says "I take it there is no downside of using v469 for someone who only plays offline, against bots?" and so is asking about speeding up the map list loading offline. It does take a long time if one has a lot of maps (in reality, it becomes impossible), as I found out many years ago and switched to just having a few maps to play at any one time in a folder on the UT maps path in the ini (with the folder with the most maps, the DM folder, off the path).

The loading time is considerably reduced by 469 - actually having just tested it, 469 loads 4,150+ DM maps instantly (literally) - with 436, basically 'forget it!' - I gave up after waiting 5 minutes - that's the difference in the performance on that.

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sektor2111
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by sektor2111 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:41 am

OjitroC wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:54 pm
4,150+ DM maps instantly (literally) - with 436, basically 'forget it!' - I gave up after waiting 5 minutes -
As far as I know there is some problems if number of map is like that - Who is playing 500 maps in the same day after all ? Some of these which I'm not using daily (old UNR junks not exactly maps) I've packed and stored elsewhere bringing them back when I have something to see at them... In other hand you can trigger reading folders before launching UT for getting a cache about files locations - it's what I do in servers for preventing that "first time long reading time" especially when machine was rebooted and it doesn't have cached folder's structure. Else... a drive loaded with a lot of useless files, multiple copies and others it moves slower in end.

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OjitroC
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Re: A way to speed up the loading of the map list

Post by OjitroC » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:28 pm

I would just point out that the OP is asking about speeding up the loading of map lists for offline play - most of the replies deal with speeding up a server's loading of map lists.

For what's worth - another test of loading a map list in offline play - in 436 loading my CTF map list with 750+ maps takes about 25 seconds, which is a long enough delay to be slightly irritating. In 451 with XC_Engine the loading time is 2 seconds and in 469 the loading of this list is instantaneous. As an aside, trying to load my 4,150+ DM list in 451 with XC_Engine (albeit not the latest version) results in a crash.