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Digital Foundry: Hands on with the Destiny PS4 beta

Zombie James

Banned
Dec 28, 2005
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-vs-destiny-ps4-beta

Unfortunately, the beta version of Destiny continues to show signs of an uneven spread of frames, which while averaging out at the promised 30fps, produces a judder sensation to lateral camera movement. As a shooter played largely from the first-person view, the camera pivots more aggressively than most games, making this issue easier to pick out. It's very much playable, but we feel Bungie is doing itself a disservice given its in-house engine is clearly capable of pushing out a rock-solid frame-rate.

The outlook isn't wildly different for the Crucible multiplayer experience. Having played domination matches on the Shores of Time temple stage, plus across the lunar base seen in First Light, it's clear fluctuations between 16ms and 60ms are an issue for controller response here too. These are the only maps in rotation as of writing, though an additional pair of online arenas are promised.
So, it still has the same performance issues as the alpha, no changes. Disappointing. Lock if old.
 

Zombie James

Banned
Dec 28, 2005
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I'm just not seeing/feeling this judder at all.

It looks and plays buttery smooth.
I can definitely feel it at times, but maybe I'm just sensitive to this stuff. I think they also need to add better anti-aliasing. The aliasing artifacts distract and bother the hell out of me.
 

Van Owen

Banned
Aug 2, 2009
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Yeah, I definitely still notice the judder. Hope it's ironed out before the final release.
 
May 6, 2014
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Let's all try to keep in mind that this build was most likely forked about 3-4 weeks ago and is older than what they're currently working on. Additionally, this beta test is probably more about Bungie working on netcode and their servers than the engine itself, which is why performance isn't up to their standards yet.

I don't think we have to worry about retail having many performance problems.
 

Summer Haze

Banned
Jun 10, 2014
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I can definitely feel the skipping of frames, or whatever it is, every now and again, it's a little distracting at times. I hope they sort it out before launch

.
That and the terrible aliasing are its main problems.
C'mon man, that's pure hyperbole. It's not terrible, at all.
 

manual4

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Jan 10, 2014
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Let's all try to keep in mind that this build was most likely forked about 3-4 weeks ago and is older than what they're currently working on. Additionally, this beta test is probably more about Bungie working on netcode and their servers than the engine itself, which is why performance isn't up to their standards yet.
well...
However, as Destiny's September launch draws closer, it's a little disappointing that the frame-pacing issues are still present - we saw them in the E3 debut at the Sony conference last year, they were still present in the alpha and it's surprising to see this obvious judder persist into this more advanced code. We're still hoping that Bungie can fix this before the final code is unleashed.
 

EL CUCO

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Oct 31, 2013
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Beta is performing noticeably worse than the alpha so this does report does not surprise me.
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
Jun 9, 2004
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They really need to get this judder issue under control but I suspect that won't happen. Halo 3 and ODST both suffered from the very same problem and it was NEVER patched or even addressed.
 

BigDug13

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Dec 20, 2006
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That and the terrible aliasing are its main problems.
Can a game running at native, pixel-matching resolution really be considered to have "terrible" aliasing? Having aliasing is one thing, but I usually reserve the word terrible for games below native resolution with no AA.
 

Thorgi

Member
Jan 19, 2013
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Yeah, the frame rate when running around the Tower was pretty uneven. Especially when around several humans at once. Nothing game-breaking or experience-ruining, but I'd prefer it to be smoother.
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
Jun 9, 2004
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With all the technical jargon they spit at us, Digital Foundry does also make their fair share of assumptions sometimes.
It's a safe assumption, though.

The problem has been present in each version of the game shown and, as I noted above, the same problem plagued Halo 3 and ODST. I fear it will make it into the final game as well and possibly never be addressed.
 

Concept17

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Jul 23, 2007
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Didn't notice these things in Alpha, and likely never will. Game ran and played more smoothly than 90% of released games, especially FPS.
 
May 6, 2014
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It's a safe assumption, though.

The problem has been present in each version of the game shown and, as I noted above, the same problem plagued Halo 3 and ODST. I fear it will make it into the final game as well and possibly never be addressed.
I sure hope not. I'm staying optimistic that Bungie will have all of these issues mostly taken care of by release.

EDIT: Ugh, post fixed. My grammar is horrible in the morning before I've had my coffee.
 

bombshell

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Oct 23, 2013
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I'm not sure I understand.

It averages 30 fps, as in it's a locked 30 fps, but it still judders?
 

Orayn

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Jul 4, 2010
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The frame pacing stuff was definitely noticeable but didn't detract from my experience too much. It would be great if we got a response from Bungie confirming that they were looking into it and intended to have it fixed for launch.
 
Jul 22, 2007
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I wonder if the controller lag they mention will differ with the Xbox One version - bluetooth vs. wifi direct?
it won't, or else it would be mentioned during every single multiplatform game comparison.

I'm not sure I understand.

It averages 30 fps, as in it's a locked 30 fps, but it still judders?
I'm not exactly a pro at this stuff, but if it's averaging 30 FPS then it has to be going over 30 fps at times to compensate for when it goes below, to get to that 30 fps average. If it is capped at 30 then it can never go above 30, thus it cannot average 30.

I wonder what type of tearing solution they're using.
 

Hawk269

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Aug 22, 2005
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That and the terrible aliasing are its main problems.
Exactly how I feel. The IQ just seems very noisy and not very clean. While I am having a blast with the game, the judder is still there and does impact the enjoyment of the game when it happens. Also panning the camera around causes it easily. I am really surprised they did not implement a better AA solution. It is definitely not a showcase visual game, so I see no reason why some better AA cannot be implemented.
 
May 11, 2008
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They really need to get this judder issue under control but I suspect that won't happen. Halo 3 and ODST both suffered from the very same problem and it was NEVER patched or even addressed.
Yep this - I knew I'd heard that before. It's like they don't see it.

I can percieve the judder. It doesn't ruin the game by any shakes. Destiny is wonderful, but if they locked this down it would definitely feel better to play.
 
Nov 20, 2008
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I have a feeling it's tied to the network connection or something.

I will be doing all kinds of crazy stuff and the frame rate is smooth and then other times it's a little jiggly. Might have to do with the server loading in other player groups to that area and also subsequently spawning those drop ships and other entities.

Hopefully it can be smoothed out for launch. I'm still having a blast though and will pay it regardless.
 

-griffy-

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Apr 14, 2012
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I'm not sure I understand.

It averages 30 fps, as in it's a locked 30 fps, but it still judders?
Because each frame itself isn't on screen for the same amount of time. So frame 1 is up for 16ms, and frame 2 is up for 60ms, frame 3 16ms, frame 4 60ms. That's where they judder comes from even though the framerate is 30.
 

Summer Haze

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Jun 10, 2014
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Yes, it is. That very first building you enter where you're walking along those metal grates make it painfully obvious that what they're using isn't good enough.
Terrible must mean something different to me then......

I see a game with an 'ok' AA solution. Terrible, to me, would mean there are jaggies everywhere and the IQ is shit.
 

Blimblim

The Inside Track
Jun 8, 2004
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I'm not sure I understand.

It averages 30 fps, as in it's a locked 30 fps, but it still judders?
You console outputs 60 frames per second, whatever happens.
A perfect 30 fps games would look like this:
1122334455667788 (every frame is displayed twice)
A not so perfect 30 fps games would be like this:
1112334445677788
Still 8 frames in the same time, but some are displayed 3 times, others once.
 

nelchaar

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Dec 6, 2013
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Can a game running at native, pixel-matching resolution really be considered to have "terrible" aliasing? Having aliasing is one thing, but I usually reserve the word terrible for games below native resolution with no AA.
C'mon man, that's pure hyperbole. It's not terrible, at all.
I am normally not that bothered by aliasing, but in this game, I can really, really see it, and I just find it so jarring. Probably because the art style and the environments are so beautiful that I want to enjoy them with solid IQ. This is just a personal opinion.
 

Orayn

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I'm not sure I understand.

It averages 30 fps, as in it's a locked 30 fps, but it still judders?
A 30 FPS game is supposed to display each frame for two of a standard display's refresh cycles, which happen 60 times a second. Destiny will sometimes let a frame stay onscreen for an extra refresh, which causes the next frame to stay onscreen for only one.

What it should be: (Each number is a unique frame)
Code:
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
What happens sometimes:
Code:
1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
It "maintains 30 FPS" in the sense that you still have the right number of unique frames per span of time, but yeah, the frame pacing makes it look less smooth than it would otherwise.
 

Garrett Hawke

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Jan 24, 2014
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The summer drought is taking it's toll on DF too, I see.
It's pointless doing tech analysis on pre-release code. The worst was when they did an analysis of the GTA V PS4/X1/PC trailer though... like that was filmic aspect ratio for a start, and probably had little in common with what the game will actually look/run like.
 

YaMoBeThere

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Oct 27, 2013
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I feel like this is the sort of situation where you make a mental flag and move on, for a "beta" two months prior to full launch the game looks and feels pretty great.

If the issue happens to persist after the game's launch, we can call come back be like "Wow DF totally called it" and realize that Bungie consists of human beings after all.
 

nelchaar

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Dec 6, 2013
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A 30 FPS game is supposed to display each frame for two of a standard display's refresh cycles, which happen 60 times a second. Destiny will sometimes let a frame stay onscreen for an extra refresh, which causes the next frame to stay onscreen for only one.

What it should be: (Each number is a unique frame)
Code:
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
What happens sometimes:
Code:
1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
It "maintains 30 FPS" in the sense that you still have the right number of unique frames per span of time, but yeah, the frame pacing makes it look less smooth than it would otherwise.
Excellent explanation. I feel this should be in the OP to help people understand what judder is, and why it happens.