Weekly Roundup #47(ish)

It’s been yet another good week!

NPC’s can now leave local space – so after they have ‘done their business’ (in this instance, docked and undocked from the local station) they can choose a destination and head off into the sunset (or void, or ice world – as they choose!).

The Scene Context Manager can now repopulate local space based on a stations ‘rhythm’ – which is derived from how busy the station is, itself derived from the number of docking bays/ports and location within the trade routes. Basically, as NPC’s leave the station, new ones might come in to dock, if you wait long enough. The total population has a high and low period set over a daily cycle. Some stations will be deserted at certain points of the day (or the entire day!), others will be maxed out continuously, with some vessels having to park in orbit and wait their turn. The rest will fall somewhere in between.

Fixed missing markup on NPC vessels – an interesting timing issue when loading models meant the NPC vessel didn’t complete it’s setup – so had no engines, shields, or point lights.

Fixed a couple of screen space effects bugs, they were a frame behind so visibly ‘lagged’ behind their light source in the scene, and also they weren’t scaling (at all) as the source waxed/waned.

As NPC’s are now going to have to query their environment before leaping into FTL, I’ve added mass interaction indicators to the HUD. This renders a circle around a given mass to show how far away you have to be from any given object before daring to fire up an FTL envelope, or initiate a g-drive shift.

I finally laid a test/poc shader to rest, I was trying an idea for rendering objects as filled outlines, but it just won’t pan out – so I killed the poor thing before it started to suffer.

Another model was uploaded to SketchFab – and a few more being prep’d to boot!

Having upgraded to Windows 10, I installed (the frankly quite superb) Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, with a view to move across and finally updating my code. Since Intel’s HD5000 Windows 10 drivers have totally screwed the graphics performance on my Mac Air, I decided to run the new VS2105 Diagnostic tools to try and find any performance issues on my side which I could fix to help – as I’m getting 10-15fps (I was getting 30-60fps under Windows 8.1 with the same code). I found very little I could optimise (which is a very good thing!) but did find some interesting easy wins. One was the galaxy stars for the Galaxy Map – they were being updated every frame by the particle manager, however once they are created they can be ignored and don’t need updating all the while. So that was a major help, and it pretty much won back 15fps. So now I can at least fly around a playable game universe, until Intel finally agree their software is their responsibility, which I doubt will ever happen. (They have, yet again, refused to acknowledge it’s their fault, and insist it’s Microsoft’s fault – tbh, I won’t by anything with an Intel graphics chipset again, as this is the 2nd time they have screwed me over with falsehood and shoddy drivers).

Last, but not least – I’m nearly halfway through final final edits on Insurmountable Odds, though I really need to get a grip on this and finish it off sooner rather than later.

Wow, that seems like a lot! How can I do all this in so few hours a week? How? Because game dev’ing is obviously easy… LOL (cue manic, slightly insane and worrying laughter…)


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Author: Mak View all posts by

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