Thread updated and rewritten 21st October 2010. Remember, this guide is a work in progress. Thread needs updating again, but I don't have the time at the moment; will do it soon. Since Reach has been released, the biggest downfall to potentially amazing maps, seems to be Framerate issues (lagg) when played with the maps Optimum amount of players. So, I thought it would be helpful to have the community compile a list of things that cause Framerate issues, and how to avoid these issues. By sharing our collective knowledge, the quality of maps is bound to improve. Contributors: CzIz Jupiter Titmar HarisSales1996 Ladnil The Framerate of your game on a Forged map is determined by what objects you, and only you*, can see on screen at the given time. Objects that have no affect on your Framerate are either completely (100%) blocked out of view by another object/natural geometry** or off-screen*** (behind you). * The amount of players in the game does not directly affect framerate. However it does affect the server connection. If you are playing with 16 players, the game is bound to be running slightly slower, which may create a little bit of lagg. However, 8 players with excellent connection, with have a much better experience than 2 players with terrible connections. ** If the tiniest corner of an object is poking through a wall or is just showing from around a corner (and therefore is not completely submerged), the game has to render the whole object. *** If the tiniest bit of an object can be seen in the corner of the screen, the game has to render the whole object. Remember, some objects are more complicated than others and have more polygons (faces) than others, therefore these have a more dramatic affect on framerate. Although the general rule is the objects you can see at any given time is what will affect your framerate, Halo Reach's engine is very clever and it has a way of making objects further away look less detailed and therefore easier to render (using less processing). Therefore as a general rule, the closer an object is to you, the bigger the affect it will have on framerate. Objects and other things that have a negative affect on frame rate [Click Spoiler for Extra Advice/Alternatives]: Light Orbs Spoiler Lights use a lot of processing power to render, therefore have a massive affect on frame rate. If your map is struggling with framerate, these should be the first things you remove. There are alternatives to using lights. Most objects come with a under-used feature that colour-codes the object. This feature can be used instead of light orbs to identify a bases team colour. You can also use other objects to provide a landmark to indentify between area's too. My favourite method is to phase dices or golfballs or other toys into the walls or ceilings. You could then have a 'dice' room and a 'golf' room instead of a 'purple' room and a 'gold' room. If you're going for that professional look, it doesn't have to be toys; you could make a diamond imprinted into the wall or circle or diamond or triangle using various objects. Background Geometry Spoiler Although things in the distance take less processing than nearby objects, being able to see detailed complicated places like the Island or up Mount Forge still require a lot of processing, especially if you can see the whole thing*. Therefore, if your map might struggle with framerate when made, take this into account before you start making it, and think of how you can place your map so that high detailed geometry is not going to be a problem. If once you've made your map, there is nothing else you can do, you could always just place a colliseum wall to block off the view (in certain circumstances, a single colliseum wall could block off the whole view of the island, if placed well), although there is probably more aesthetically pleasing ways of doing it. * Bare in mind that, although further away objects require less processing, you have a wider view of the area, so there is more objects/geometry to be processed. Amount of Objects Spoiler This subject was briefly touched on in the previous section (next to the asterisk). It it has already been mentioned that the detail of objects and the amount of objects in view affect framerate, but it is important to mention that you should be careful when placing objects. Could you create the same feature using less objects and objects that are less detailed? Please note, by detailed, I am referring to the amount of polygons; textures have little to no affect on framerate. Windows (and shield doors) Spoiler It is important to realise that objects with transparent features like windows and shield doors, mean that every object on the other side of the object has to also be rendered, effectively doubling how much has to be processed by the game engine. When using windows, you should think carefully, is this window actually important for gameplay. If not, replace it with a solid wall if framerate issues do creep up. There is not much you can do about shield doors; if you need them, you need them, but it still good to know that they have an effect. Z Fighting Spoiler Z fighting is a in-game term used to describe when 2 phased objects line up 100% perfectly and the game engine is unsure which face to show over the other. (as they are on the exact same co-ordinate. It therefore flickers between the two. Not only does it make it ugly to look at, but it does undoubtedly have an effect on framerate. Only phase 2 objects over each other if necessary, and when you do make sure z fighting does not occur. If it does, adjust the object by a very small amount so that you do not have this issue. In Halo Reach, tiny bumps aren't really noticeable like they were in Halo 3, so don't worry about it affecting gameplay. Also there are a few objects that have z fighting within themselves. There is not really much you can do about this, but it is useful to know. These objects include: - 3x3 Tall - Stunt Ramp (Hardly noticeable) - Bridge, XL This is just a start. I would really appreciate if the community gave a helping hand to educate us all in how to create maps with near perfect frame rate. The following things may or may not have a significant affect on frame rate and need further investigating. Advice is welcome. - FX - Gravity Lifts/Man Cannons - Nature Objects (Due to their irregular shapes) - Teleporters There may be other things with a significant affect on framerate that I have yet to notice or think of. Please let me know. Also feel free to add extra information or advice to the points I have already made. It would be amazing if the community really got together to overcome Framerate Issues once and for all. Just on a side note, IF this thread catches on, and gains a lot of information, it would be helpful to have it stickied for future reference. I will keep this thread updated regularly so that you don't have to scroll through pages to find information. P.S. If I seem to be taking a little long to update the post, give me a nudge via Private/Visitor Messaging. Also, if any information is incorrect, or hard to understand/not explained well, please do say, and if possible reword it yourself so I can copy and paste it straight in. --- People complained in Halo 3 about low budgets, claiming forgers would know the limits of the maps they can make and not go over-top as to cause too much in-game lagg. So in Reach, Bungie listened, and allowed a much larger budget, with the knowledge that there will inevitably be maps that go overboard and cause lagg. Now people are complaining, saying why give us that budget if we can't use it all (eh hem, hypocrits). The thing is, we can use it all, BUT you have to know what you're doing, and how what you are doing can affect frame rate, and that is what this thread is here to guide you through. Bungie wouldn't have given us a budget we couldn't use. Thread updated and rewritten 21st October 2010. Remember, this guide is a work in progress.