Focus on Quixant: Getting ahead of the game with Quixant’s Game Optimization Guide

May 31, 2024 8:00 AM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
May 31, 2024 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • United Kingdom

In the world of gaming, optimization is a key element to achieving maximum game performance and enhancing the player experience, engagement and satisfaction, according to Quixant, a leading gaming technology provider.

Quixant has a one-stop resource to unlock that potential with their newly released Game Optimization Guide, a comprehensive and concise handbook which covers key techniques to equip games for top-tier performance.

James Simpson, Senior Architect at Quixant, believes that creating an immersive experience for players is a top priority in today’s market. Making players feel that they are part of something special should be the goal.

Quixant’s Game Optimization Guide presents practical tips to achieving that end, ensuring that players have the ultimate experience, that the game loads fast, and does not freeze, or appear incomplete, which could prompt them to look elsewhere for entertainment.

“Leveraging our Game Optimization techniques will enable you to increase the odds of keeping your players on the edge of their seats with smooth animations, special effects, and compelling storytelling, synced with LEDs to create an experience that makes them feel as if they are immersed in another world,” Simpson elaborated.

He continued, “Every game developer knows that optimizing game engines to meet the demands of the market and unique product requirements can be very challenging. That said, Quixant’s vast experience collaborating with development teams and game artists has led us to create a resource that tackles the challenges head on.”

The guide focuses on reducing load times by up to a third, optimizing texture sizes, memory management, organizing content into asset bundles, and harnessing the efficiency of particle effects.

With consumers in an era of instant gratification, they expect to have goods and services delivered in a timely and efficient manner. Simpson believes that games should be no different.

“Having a game load fast means the difference between having a casino guest play your game or leaving to find another,” he explained. “When things are slow, it is implied that it is not ready for ‘prime time’. You need to engage your players from the start and keep them for their entire ride. Anything taking over seven seconds to load will have players starting to look elsewhere.”

Quixant’s Game Optimization Guide provides guidance, such as adjusting audio settings by lowering the quality of audio clips and changing the load type to “streamed”, which can lead to a substantial decrease in load times.

Further, the Unity Profiler is identified as a powerful tool for identifying performance bottlenecks in games, which occur when the gaming system tries to move more data than it can manage at one time.

“It is like a funnel, in that if you try to pour liquid in too fast it overwhelms the container, making your system stall or seem sluggish,” Simpson said. “Game Optimization solves that equation by analyzing your data and constructing it to work optimally with your gaming hardware and overcome any potential challenges with your game.”

Quixant recommends to profile “early and often”, particularly on the desired device to identify specific areas that need optimizing. The Unity Profiler can also be used to analyze memory usage, CPU and GPU performance, and frame rates to ensure smooth game play across different platforms.

Simpson observed that as new engines are developed, such as Unreal, Unity and Godot, among others, how games are constructed has changed also.

“Gone are the days of having multiple layer prerendered videos laying on top of each other,” he added. “They took up massive amounts of data, which make loading times suffer. It is also difficult to make changes dynamically because the entire video must be re-rendered.”

Creating visually appealing environments for players is crucial. That is why optimizing texture import settings can make a huge difference. It is important to establish appropriate parameters such as texture type¸ max size, and compression, as well as efficiently using sprite sheets to reduce file sizes and improve performance.

Particle effects, which create dynamic visual effects while optimizing memory usage, are highly efficient and have the ability to save memory when compared to full-motion videos or large sprite sequences.

“By using particles, you can achieve the same effects with minimal storage, and can make changes in real time,” Simpson expanded. “An example would be if you made a video with the color blue, and you wanted to have the same video but in the color orange, you would need two videos. However, with dynamic particles and effects, you can easily change the sequence and see the results immediately.”

Other techniques the guide covers include the importance of efficient memory management and a deep understanding of how the game engine’s automatic memory management system works. It is recommended to manually trigger garbage collection at strategic points in the game to prevent performance issues.

Finally, Quixant recommends organizing game assets into asset bundles to optimize loading times and reduce memory overhead. Utilizing multiple asset bundles for different types of assets and keeping the sizes small helps to minimize loading times and improve overall performance.

If you would like to find out how you can leverage these tips and more to improve your player experience, Quixant’s team of experts are ready to explore your challenges, present solutions, and provide cutting-edge hardware and software solutions, along with support to enable you to elevate your gaming performance. You can download the guide here.