For those that do not know what the Sins Optimization Project is, please click the link below and some descriptions from their original post.
The project initially started out as an idea to reduce the texture sizes, and poly counts of some models. Not just arbitrary reductions. The goal was to maintain the quality of Sins in game. To look like nothing has been changed at all.
I studied the Particle files, and textures. Many of the particle textures IMO were also way to high resolution. A reduction by 1/2 showed no visible difference in game in most cases. There were some exceptions where it did effect the appearence in game, and those textures were left alone. Remember the goal was not to reduce in game quality. Also all of the particle textures were changed from TGA format to DDS format, because DDS uses far less memory, and is much more efficient. The particles also utilize the mip mapping features of DDS.
The developers mentioned something about a Memory Leak. I heard that a leak can be caused by a file calling for something over, and over again if it is not there. Example a mesh file calling for a texture that does not exist. Vanilla Sins has MANY particle, and mesh files that do that. I removed all of the redundant entries that pointed to non existent textures in the mesh, and particle files. I also removed the entries that have lines like "C;\gs\main\datasource\textures\effects\aura4.dds", and just put "aura4.dds". This will default the search to the mods texture folder, and speed things up. Also various typo's were corrected in some mesh, and particle files. Some ships have mesh nulls that were miss-spelled. For example the Akkan had typos on its engine nulls, and flairs. The engine trail, and flair didnt show up in game. the Marza was missing its bomb nulls. All of this has been corrected as well. If there is a ship mesh file in the mod then it had something wrong that was fixed. Regardless if this caused a memory leak, or not these errors had to be fixed.
After the Meshes, Particles, Textures, and the User Interface were optimized, and some very obvious bugs were fixed there was a tremendous boost in game performance. Sins ram usage was greatly reduced. As of version 0.07 no game i ran ever went above 1.5 gigs on Diplomacy with maximum settings. Including Bloom enabled. Tested on Huge random multi star maps with 9 AI's. The 2 gig crash problem is solved. Our primary goal with this project is achieved!
What I would like to know is how much of this has been transferred over into the 1.2 Beta patch? The community has, from a Mod standpoint, done a lot of down in the dirt work to make larger games playable reliably online. I would like to hope that this effort has been rewarded by being included in some part in the official patch. Already I have noted the 1.5gig 'observed max usage' comments from the 1.2 Beta and between the TSOP Mod being comparable. Has anyone looked in detail at a comparison between these two excluding game balance changes? Thoughts?