Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Update Day

Our First Update

I can announce we've just released our first update to the BETA, which goes out to all pledgers. You can find it in your My Products section alongside the main BETA download dated the 8th.  The software will show you all the changes that have been made via a prompt at the start, and you will find a summary on the main website.


A lot of the changes are mainly tweaks, and additional sliders to help with performance. I have also added a LOW FPS detector, which will allow you to instantly select better settings for lower end graphics cards.  I also recommend you check out the new drop down items in the World Settings, which is still my favorite feature of this update.

DarkSHADER Update

We have also updated the DarkSHADER product for those users who own it, which will now allow you to take the terrain shader from Reloaded and tweak it from within the tool. I suggest that you are comfortable with shaders before embarking on checking this one out though, as it can get pretty technical.

More Tweaks

I had half-planned to do more character AI work for this update so the enemies where a little less silly but I just about ran out of time. The new update improves characters marginally, and they can no longer shoot at you from an insane distance. The next update will contain more fixes in this regard so that characters can be shot every time and that they are aware of where they are and you are during combat.

After some basic AI fixes, I plan to look closer at my shaders and see if I can create some low-end shaders that can be switched too from the graphics panels. When I saw one report from a user running only 33K polygons at 10fps, I began to realize that a few systems out there will really struggle with the pixel shader 3.0 files I am using. Stepping them back down to PS2.0 level might provide a huge speed boost with only a marginal loss in visual fidelity.

Signing Off

Another fix was to restore the desert textures, which we had overlooked with all the fun of our new lush terrain.

One option was to pursue entity and shadow batching to reduce draw calls, but on reflection I decided reducing the shader size was going to yield more performance so batching can wait a few days.  I am rather pleased with how the LOW FPS warning worked out, as even on my PC I can create some levels which are pretty hungry and a single click will bring it back up to playable speeds.

With more of the essential tweaks complete, I have bought myself a little performance tuning time for next week. I would be tempted to use the weekend for such a pursuit, but it's been a crazy few days and a day off might be in order.  Pity the weather does not agree with me at the moment!


  1. Great release!
    I found a few bugs I posted in the forum.

    A question... concerning the ability to cange terrain type (desert, lush, winter). Would it not be great if you had a brush for this? I mean so you can be able making high mountains with snow up high, but green grass down below?
    It would look very nice :)

  2. Thanks for the darkshader Update,
    will take a look at reloadeds terrain shader
    and ofc thx for the newest beta, great work you did there

  3. Love the new tab options - with only 5 mins spent with it - LOVE IT! Getting 60+ FPS and so nice to hear sound now :) Have to get the kids to bed so that I can play more lol!!! Have a great weekend - thanks again!

  4. "I began to realize that a few systems out there will really struggle with the pixel shader 3.0 files I am using. Stepping them back down to PS2.0 level might provide a huge speed boost with only a marginal loss in visual fidelity."
    How about both? The lowest slider option could turn off 3.0 and turn on 2.0 ? Is there any drawback aside from a little larger file size?

  5. Just so, I think maybe three shader techniques LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH with the lowest being nothing more than diffuse painting ;)

  6. I got subtile flicker all over the screen when running game, any other have that problem? In editor it´s all fine. I did not had this problem in the previous beta.

    Win7 Pro, 8 Gb ram, i5 intel, GTX 760, 24" widescreen...

  7. Nice update with the sliders and controls though they make little difference to performance in the get to the river level where entities exist. I am getting about an extra 2fps when accepting the prompt of low fps and selecting yes to auto optimise. I was getting 22fps and now 24fps tops. In a new empty level there is a big improvement from 24 to 34fps but then there's nothing in the level.

    Is it my imagination or has the Terrain (world size) been reduced down?

    "The new update improves characters marginally, and they can no longer shoot at you from an insane distance." What insane distance is that? Enemies never shot at me from any insane distance from any version of FPSC I have seen by default. Reloaded enemies are lucky to see me and shoot at all much of the time. Please allow for users to control the enemies attack ranges and do not hard code restrict the flexibility of users to manage the attack ranges. If the player can see the enemy at any range and shoot the enemy then the reverse should be the case as in real life where humans can indeed see enemies and shoot them at extreme ranges given the correct weapon type with such range killing potential. I want to be able to kill and enemy at any range and vice versa as in real life up to the extents of human sight ranges with addition of telescopic sights in such cases. I don't want to have to walk up to a distance where I can kiss them or they me as now before they start shooting - I want to kill them.

    On the subject of weapon and weapon scope why have I lost the ability to be able to adjust the screen settings to avoid/adjust horizontal image distortion completely? I am now left with Player hands and weapons (Most important of all image) squashed up in the vertical and cannot correct that at all using the sliders as I could do previously? Now the scope end of Rifle weapon and player hand are squashed in the vertical or egg shaped in the vertical. The weapon is one thing bad enough but player Hands too? You can see this also markedly on the pistol weapon. No way at the moment to adjust this to display correctly on my monitor as I could with V1.001.

    Additionally the hands (animation) on the Rifle weapon leave the weapon behind so that needs checking. I will post a screen shot of this at the forum.

    Thats it for now.


  8. FOV-settings seems not to work at all any longer.

  9. I can confirm object collision is awesome. Working really well. Good fps near 200

    When you gonna drop the water on us ( not literally) :)

    Am impressed with reloaded so far.

  10. "Would it not be great if you had a brush for this? I mean so you can be able making high mountains with snow up high, but green grass down below?"

    I should think everyone would like to have the ability to paint the terrain with a variety of textures detail in areas of their choice and this is requested a lot. Paint paths, snow on mountains, stones, shingle, carpet flowers, lichens, rocks and an almost endless potential for diverse detail on landscapes and terrain environments.

    I am not sure the current terrain system will allow more than the two textures so you may be stuck with that which is a great pity. Lee may be able to answer that.

    Without that diversity, the two texture restriction available is a big drawback for Reloaded clearly as there is no way to achieve the same diversity as expected in today's game environments and available in some other engines or terrain systems, unless you add thousands of entities for detail in Reloaded which may not be a good idea.

    I guess you could try adding more variety of detail to the actual two textures available in your paint programme but that is not likely to be a very successful option as I doubt you will have control of where the detail would appear.


  11. There is a technique called texture splatting, which provides an infinite number of textures painted right into the terrain. I figured though that everyone would agree performance must remain not priority for now, and then we can start adding stuff to slow us back down again ;) As a tip, press keys 3,4,5,6,7,8 as this is the full range of paints you can use.

  12. Hi Lee,

    That sounds great. The keys you mentioned 3,4,5,6,7,8 dont have any textures available to them and work now do they as if I press those keys I don't see anything different show up anywhere?

    Anyway don't worry about the texture things for now and stick with the performance.

    Some really good things in the update. Auto terrain and optimise, improved player movement and so on - quite a few things thanks and there is some fps improvement and thats good as opposed to less fps.

    Looking good all round.

    Thanks again.


  13. 4,5,6,7,8 I meant :-)

    Don't you ever sleep?

    2.17am and time for bed soon.

  14. Some would say I sleep too much :) When I am up, I work, when I am down, I sleep. Right now I am up, hungry and winning. Just fixed all the weird character AI problems, you can shoot, they can shoot back, they don't do silly things and the player has a blast! Just looking at the weird vertex corruption issue on the shotgun now..

  15. Lee: I was going to suggest texture splatting on the post before last but forgot. What is the disadvantage of using such a system? BT is designed to use a single giant texture, so I would think it can't be that bad. It's kind of expected these days that you have _at least_ 4 different textures per terrain.

  16. yah the characters for some reason would kick me from far away and sometimes shoot me without facing me to do so. Not sure if anyone else is experiencing this

    1. Yes I am having this problem too :( and my guns are glitching as well, the animations are all messed up!

    2. Yes, I get hit from enemy when he is inside a house, firing through the wall. And he is not even facing me. I thought it was kind of fun :) The ultimate weapon like... hit every time ;)

      Also I can not place characters on top of buildings. Well, I can place them in the editor, but in game the sink through.