My Tuesday, such as it was, bobbed along quite nicely until I hit a document that would choke an elephant. Turns out Rick got his hands on a beta version and proceeded to rip into every facet, producing a list worth of Wordsworth. Not a surprising list, and in many ways welcoming to have everything in one place, but a shock to a system that had a simple save/load system to add in.
Looking at the list, I decided to shift my focus and get some of these little niggles ironed out of the version I would present Wednesday morning.
Keeping a working copy to once side (of course), I proceeded with a decent pace to make some small corrections. Among them allowing entities to deactivate their cull so single sided polygons could be drawn, making the start marker actually work in test game mode, ensuring the player does not penetrate the water (as underwater action will be the subject of a post-V1 series of feature additions), stealing the W,A,S,D keys in the editor to double up as scroll keys which makes the bouncing from editor to test game much friendlier. I dare say a handful more of these small considerations, and every little will help for the final editor presented at the end of the month as a beta.
As we're almost to the point of not being embarrassed about our screenshots, I have posted another one for you which I title simply; 'barren'.
The general feedback received over the last few days have definitely been absorbed into my brain. The two highest vibrations are from the necessity to activate Anti-alias filtering by default on future scenes to soften the jaggies (as they are commonly called). The above shot has been post-render smoothed so you can see the general effect of jaggy removal (sort of). The other one, though extremely expensive from a real-time rendering point of view, is the advanced depth of field technique which not only 'blurs' the distance but subjects each pixel in the scene to a process of expansion based on light intensities. The result is a VERY convincing camera effect that is almost indistinguishable than that used in the movies. I have yet to delve into this technology, and my gut feel is that it won't be fast enough, but I am willing to check out some more links and downloadable items so I can performance text them if they are out there.
Anyhoo, almost out of time now. Wednesday won't be overly productive from a coding point of view, but I should return from the meeting with a clear list of objectives and priorities which I might be able to chronicle for you. The general feel is to create a good beta for the end of the month, and the more edges we can smooth off, and functionally pleasing we can make the editing experience, AND the resulting games created in test game, we should be in a pleasing place. I can also report the new graphics card came today which means I can do some quick performance testing before the end of the week, and find out which of my amazing shaders are stealing all the cycles. I only hesitate to install it now as I have a demo to prepare :)
P.S. To save me some time, if anyone can dig out a few links to quickly setting a DX9 app up for multisampling AA, post it here :) Also, if anyone knows the math for working out the actual 3D position of a coordinate from the combination of an overhead 2D mouse coordinate and the terrain under which the 2D pointer is apparently touching, post that too. I am sure my brain can figure it out by trial and error, but maybe there is a simple formula out there that can save me a few minutes (or hours) :)