If you want your game to be a success, it has to be fluid, even after hours of use. We'll briefly describe simple optimizing techniques as a first approach, which might be improved specifically for each project later on. In fact, optimization can be done at every level, including in the graphics and sounds. The techniques shown are related to project management.
Even though all main scenes are "self contained games", there are many things we don't want to load more than once. For example the inventory items, the HUD, the main character, etc. To avoid this, we can keep a list of preloaded scenes in memory for the duration of the game. Theses scenes are loaded using a thread at the start of the game, and we make sure they're loaded before the first game starts.
To add scenes to your preload list, use the file game/scenes_cache.gd with a const array named "scenes" containing a list of your scenes:
const scenes = [
During a game cutscene, it could be useful to preload a resource before it's needed, to speed up the game loading. For this we have the Esc command
queue_resource, which sends the resource to a load queue on a separate thread.
queue_resource "res://scenes/next_scene.tscn" false
cut_scene player open_door
cut_scene telon fade_in
cut_scene telon fade_out
Queued resources are unloaded after the main scene changes, but not before the next scene is loaded, meaning you can use this to start preloading the next scene, or to preload resources contained in that scene.
When the second parameter is true, the resource is put at the front of the queue.
Sometimes an item or the main player can get too heavy with many animations. This section will discuss how to split the animations into many scenes that can be loaded on-demand, or preloaded at an appropriate time.
Suppose you have a big animation for your character that you only want to load when necessary. Your animation has a number of frames, either on a sprite sheet or multiple files.
First, make a separate Sprite or AnimatedSprite node with the frames for this animation. On your animation, make the node visible at the start, and hide it at the end of the animation. If the animation loops, make sure other animations make this node invisible when they start. Remember that in a game we might not always know what animation will follow another, so it's better to prepare for all combinations.
Once your node contains all the sprites, save the node as a separate scene using the option menu option Scene > Convert to > Subscene... Once your node is a subscene, you'll see a folder icon next to it in the scene tree panel. Open the folder, and check the option Load as placeholder. This will cause the new scene to not be loaded when the main player scene is loaded.
Outside of the device/ directory, you'll find the file tools/item_placeholders.gd. Using the menu option Scene > Run Script..., run this script on the scene. The script will find all the placeholder sub-scenes, and match them with animations that use them, and store this in thePlaceholdersproperty of your item or character.
Now, when your scene is loaded, the placeholder scenes won't be loaded. When an animation is played from an Esc file, the script will know it needs to load the placeholder before playing the animation.
If the placeholder scene takes to long to load before playing the animation, you can combine this with the queue_resource Esc command. You can also use the queue_animation command, which looks up which placeholders are needed for a specific animation, and queues them for you:
queue_animation player open_door
say player "I better open the door"
cut_scene player open_door
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