How I cut GTA Online loading times by 70%

Interesting read on how GTA Online player t0st got elbow deep into disassembling GTA Online to fix its poor loading times.

After taking a minute to load the common resources used for both story and online modes (which is near on par with high-end PCs) GTA decides to max out a single core on my machine for four minutes and do nothing else.

Disk usage? None! Network usage? There’s a bit, but it drops basically to zero after a few seconds (apart from loading the rotating info banners). GPU usage? Zero. Memory usage? Completely flat…

What, is it mining crypto or something? I smell code. Really bad code.

One of the culprits as he found out: a poorly-implemented JSON parser locking up a single CPU thread as it tries parsing a 10MB JSON file.

Fascinating to see how he’s practically touching in the dark, yet still finding clues and being able to solve them.

Let this be a reminder to not take common tasks/libraries for granted, and also question them when running into performance issues.

How I cut GTA Online loading times by 70% →

Update 2020.03.15: Looks like Rockstar has been paying attention as they will incorporate (the spirit of) these fixes into GTA Online, and have also awarded t0st “Fuc u” 10,000 USD through their Bug Bounty Program.

(Via The Verge)

The making of Grand Theft Auto

Rockstar Games is about to unleash GTA V, the latest installment in its multimillion-selling Grand Theft Auto series. But before the hype, Hollywood voice actors and three dimensions was the game that started it all in 1997. Unloved, hugely delayed and plagued by bugs, GTA almost didn’t see the light of day. This is the story of how a small team of developers at DMA Design saw their vision through and kickstarted a gaming revolution

Oh the memories! I was 13 when this game was released; and fooled around with it quite a lot (some remainder can be found here) — remember Junction25, M1, Cops, and GTA Cars? I surely do!

Grand Theft Auto Classic WebGL

Before you get too overly excited by the title, no this isn’t a full recreation of the 1997 DMA classic. Instead it’s a WebGL tech demo put together by Niklas von Hertzen as an experiment, to test out the creation and performance of large static environments. It works by loading in the original GTA map files which are now freely available, parses all of the data out of them and re-creates the city in WebGL driven 3D.

Several of the game objects are also present, and a basic collision system allows you to teasingly walk around the city in pedestrian mode. I guarantee you’ll walk up to a car and try to get into it, but alas that won’t do much right now.

Having fooled around with GTA (Classic) quite a lot back in the day — remember Junction25, M1, Cops, and GTA Cars? — I’m quite stoked to see this kind of awesomeness!

GTA WebGL Demo →

(via creativejs)