1.) When I run counterstrike, any audio I have in the background goes really quiet, I can't see an option in the menu to change this, how can I change this?
2.) When running Hammer, doesn't matter if I am not running anything else at all, the performance in Hammer keeps going up and down, for 20 minutes it will be FINE, then for the next 20 minutes it will be REALLY slow moving in the viewports so slow that sometimes I can't move around in the 3D viewport, what is affecting this?
3.) What is classed as good frames per second in a map and what is bad?
4.) What exactly is portal flow? Which option do I have to tick in the compile options for it to compile portal flow at all? What affects how long it takes for portal flow to compile?
1)probably due to the in game VOIP which brings everything down so voices can be geared. Its a default setting in windows. I'll get more details when at work. 2) can be next to anything. Defrag, antivirus, indexing, etc. Check your performance manager to se what's getting used during those times. 3) 60+ is good. But that is very computer specific. Just optimise well and completely. rather then say "if my comp can Handel it so can yours"
4) this is a biggie, and is fundamental to all maps. Its the number one reason most custom maps suck. Portal flow calculates which portals can see which other portals. Portals are the area where two visleafs touch. Visleafs are convex volume (of air) in side your map. Every world brush breaks the interior of your map into these volumes. A simple square room should have a single visleaf in it. If you are in a visleaf, its contents (textures it touches, entities, etc) are rendered. Likewise, if you can see the side of a visleaf, ie through its portal, its contents are also rendered.
EDIT: I gave up trying to type on a phone. Can't seem to place my cursor anywhere, it keeps jumping back to random locations.
If you, say, have a sphere in a simple 6-walled room. Lets say you made it with a power of 32. That's 32 sides per axis, or around 1024 faces. I think. Anyway... This world brush will split the interiour of the room into multiple visleafs - about one per face. That's suddenly 1024+ visleafs in a simple square room! Now, when it comes to potal flow, each visleaf needs to know what other visleafs it can see. This means calculating if visleaf one can see visleaf two, or visleaf three or ... visleaf 1024. Then if visleaf two can see visleaf three, four, five... Suddenly the numbers get crazy big: likes millions of calculations. If this sphere was made into a func_detail, it no loner breaks up the interior, and we're back with one simple visleaf.
You should always use "Normal" for VIS option. If you're using FAST just to speed up the compile, your map isn't optimised at all. People use FAST as a lazy way to make the compile take less time before publishing.
I'm yet to see a optimised map take longer than (5) seconds in a portal flow. No map should take much longer.
(Aside) What annoys me about people who think about "optimisation" is they think it's all about area portals and hint textures. It's REALLY not. 95% of optimisation is good brushwork and func_details. Oh and a good skybox, but that's good brushwork anyway.
for more info, see my FAQ at the top of any forum.
Advance tip: Brush out in DEV textures. Then make the brush NoDraw. Then texture the sides you see.
Reason: Dev textures are easy to see in game, so obvious if you missed one. NoDraw is less easy to see. NoDraw the whole map forces you to texture the map as you make it, when you should be spending time, early on, on brushwork and layout.
Texture optimisation is a small portion too. Portal flow (or more visleaf creation) is where it's at.
Ah shit.. my map takes ages on portalflow, in fact i think it got stuck last time I tried. I have made most things into func details, put the nodraw texture on sides that the player can't see, but there are still hundreds of faces that are textured that shouldnt be, because I did not make the whole map in dev textures, it's like, the first brush I made, I textured it correctly, and then just kept duplicating it so there will be loads of faces that you can't see that still have textures, I'm gonna bite my desk in half if I try to go through the whole thing to fix it now. I am so embarassed cause like, I guess the map looks ok but the vmf if terrible probably made it all wrong well at least I didn't use the carve tool...
@herbarb do you have the csgo sdk? Zeph so you won't be able to optimize it cause you don't have cs go sdk hmmmm... Do you have an instant messaging program I could discuss with you about letting you borrow my steam account if I get to know you a bit better.