Thursday, March 6, 2008

Twinity beta update

After the first adventures in Twinity beta, which I documented here and here, I focused my attention to other things for a while. But now that I've got a new laptop, I'm giving it a second try.

Back in January, I tried Twinity beta on a Lenovo Thinkpad T43 with a single Intel mobile Pentium processor and a slightly outdated ATI Mobility Radeon X300 card with 64 MB RAM on board; the machine itself had 2 GB RAM. On that hardware, Twinity worked, but performance was not great. Now that I've got this pretty powerful machine (Intel dual core Centrino, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300 card with 512 MB RAM on board, 2 GB RAM in the machine), I expected Twinity to perform better. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Twinity still feels sluggish, and often waits a little before responding to mouse movements. The mouse blinks a lot as well, suggesting lots of screen redrawing going on, perhaps partially causing the performance issues.

Another issue is that this version of Twinity beta, on this laptop, is much more prone to crashing than the previous combination.

Keep in mind that it's beta, so performance and stability improvements may and probably will come later, possibly after debug code is removed or the code is optimized, for example.

On a more positive note, I have seen some nice improvements, for instance the option to model your avatars' face on an existing photograph. Upload the required pictures, put the dots in the right places and Twinity will create a new avatar face for you, based on the information in the pictures. It looks promising, but I haven't seen the results yet; the process takes a very long time (in excess of 15 minutes), and unfortunately Twinity crashes each time before it's finished. A screenshot of this process can be found here at Flickr.

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