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Track replays constantly do not work properly...


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Hi, I've experienced the same phenomenon over and over in DCS with both the older and newer versions of the A-10 series in regard to track replays.    Specifically, sometimes they work perfectly, whilst an equal number of times they function corruptly.    With corrupt experiences, the replay will show an aircraft attempting to target vehicles that don't exist, ignoring the actual targets attacked and destroyed during real-time missions.    Additionally, the flight path of the aircraft will very frequently be non-nonsensical, with my aircraft rolling inverted and crashing into the ground instead of replaying a level attack run to targets.   

 

I've experienced this for years now and just assumed track replays were buggy and unreliable, but I wanted to query other users on here to see if they experience the same kind of behavior.  

 

Thank you.   


Edited by Ballinger French
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My experience was that replays were sometimes good, sometimes bad when I recorded them on my very old PC, where the CPU and possibly the I/O was bottlenecked. With a newer PC, they started to work fine almost all the time, and I haven't had any problems in recent times, though I admit that I only record very short tracks for specific purposes nowadays, and not 2 hour long tracks to relive an earlier flight, as I did on my very old PC.

 

Since tracks are actually a replay of all recorded inputs into a mission, you can probably imagine that the slightest mistake during the recording, or during the replay, might throw the replay off the tracks.

 

I assume that a kind of snapshot system that saves the full state of the mission every couple of time-units would improve track reliability, but would blow up track sizes and require a lot more I/O, potentially degrading the actual game performance.

 

Fast forwarding during a mission or during track replay drastically increases the risk of replays going bad.

 

Video producers who use replays to create great looking videos, but who have problems with framerates, also sometimes play tracks at half speed or so to increase DCS performance, and then speed the whole thing back up during video editing.

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17 minutes ago, Yurgon said:

I assume that a kind of snapshot system that saves the full state of the mission every couple of time-units would improve track reliability, but would blow up track sizes and require a lot more I/O, potentially degrading the actual game performance.

 

Well, we have TacView, which records all telemetric data of all objects in the mission. If they connect both systems, and add to TacView information about liveries of the planes, etc. and made it into a replay system it might work.

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28 minutes ago, Yurgon said:

My experience was that replays were sometimes good, sometimes bad when I recorded them on my very old PC, where the CPU and possibly the I/O was bottlenecked. With a newer PC, they started to work fine almost all the time, and I haven't had any problems in recent times, though I admit that I only record very short tracks for specific purposes nowadays, and not 2 hour long tracks to relive an earlier flight, as I did on my very old PC.

 

Since tracks are actually a replay of all recorded inputs into a mission, you can probably imagine that the slightest mistake during the recording, or during the replay, might throw the replay off the tracks.

 

I assume that a kind of snapshot system that saves the full state of the mission every couple of time-units would improve track reliability, but would blow up track sizes and require a lot more I/O, potentially degrading the actual game performance.

 

Fast forwarding during a mission or during track replay drastically increases the risk of replays going bad.

 

Video producers who use replays to create great looking videos, but who have problems with framerates, also sometimes play tracks at half speed or so to increase DCS performance, and then speed the whole thing back up during video editing.

You may be on to something here.   I'm using pretty old hardware by today's standards.   

1 hour ago, Foka said:

Just a DCS things...

Yes, after doing some research on the topic, MANY ppl have had the same issue going back several years.    Arggggh.    How else can one enjoy the new BRRRRTTT sound without using replay?   🤨

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After having a lot of issues early on with track files I have come to understand that the  harder my computer is working the worse the track file is.  Flying over the desert in the Persian gulf my track files are perfect.  The harder my computer works to keep up with the graphics, the more likely a control input will fail to be recorded resulting in a bad track file.    Flying over Haifa on the new Syrian map my track files are an absolute mess.

 

Tips for better track files are, 1.) pick areas with low ground details on the map and missions with few units to control, keep your graphic settings manageable obviously. 2.)  Never start on the ground in the parking area.  A slight error recording a control input will mean you will never see your aircraft taxi accurately enough to make it to the runway. 3.) If you want to record a video off of your track files, better to make several short track files rather than one long one.  That way an error recording an input early on does not corrupt everything that happens afterwards. 

 

Of course you could spend a lot of money on a top of the line computer which would also solve the problem.  People with these sort of computers have been known to say, "there is no problem with track files, they work fine"...

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1 hour ago, Foka said:

Well, we have TacView, which records all telemetric data of all objects in the mission. If they connect both systems, and add to TacView information about liveries of the planes, etc. and made it into a replay system it might work.

 

That would certainly be interesting. Especially if there was a synergy effect. Right now, I believe just installing TacView easily eats up 10 FPS in every mission. Buddies with various types of bottlenecks have had to remove TacView until they could solve the problem (sometimes just waiting for a DCS patch, sometimes throwing more hardware at the problem).

 

Losing FPS to a better DCS recording, and losing more FPS to TacView in parallel would be bad, but right now, TacView is waaaaay too valuable to me not to use it on every mission. So if there was a way those two would share the same kind of data pipeline and work together instead of in parallel, that might be a big performance boost (except probably for those users who don't use TacView and who never record tracks, which I figure is probably by far the largest part of the player base 🤷‍♂️).

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One thing to keep in mind is, that a track does record initial environment setup, settings and most importantly for the player/client the controls input. Replay is actually the same mission starting then feeding those recorded inputs into the simulation. Any kind of update to the flight model, the use of dynamic weather, changes to environmental behavior, etc. can and often will cause the recorded inputs to generate issues when replayed after those changes.

Any hickup or missed input, either during recording, or replay (often caused by time acceleration) are likely to break the replay.

The reason we still have and use the tracks is, that when used to record short tracks of bugs and issues it is helpful to spot things like switches missed during startup, procedures gone wrong or even help ED devs to quickly debug issues. It can help to create videos and review missions to some extent, but it is not intended as an in-game video capture of sorts.

If you want a small video clip from external view or a nice "remembrance" of a spectacular fight/bomb run, try to run the replay directly, don't accelerate time and use a normal video capture to gather material.

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Shagrat

 

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