A strange thing using the Ultrabook as a daily coding machine, not being able to reach for my mouse and relying on arrow keys so small you need laser guided fingers to hit them :) Still, it's quite liberating, and in a way forces me to think more consciously of users who use these types of devices as their main machine. Which I think is a good thing to be thinking about!
We now have a shader panel in the software which can control terrain, entity and vegetation shader levels. That is, select from a range of techniques from HIGHEST which is everything plus the kitchen sink down to LOWEST which is the most basic rendering path you can imagine. I have read the comments about whether time should be given to the lowest of the low systems, but I figure this low end work ultimately benefits the high end result (as it will get faster as small corrections and refinements at the basement level iterate upwards to the lofty heights we enjoy in mid-range land).
Almost completed my exile from the office, and should be writing the next blog from my PC beast. I am pretty confident BETA 1.004 will deliver sizable performance increases for those who have yet to see their FPS value budge. I DO think it's important that lower end users can run at a decent speed, and get to enjoy game creation and play back, even if their visuals are not as drop dead gorgeous as the high end ones. Let's face it, users invest in spending LOTS on high end equipment so they CAN see better bigger faster visuals. Once the majority of the Reloaded community is off the ground and flying with the software (and not stuck in the mud at 10 fps), we can then address the concerns over visual touches and tricks to recover those aspects you feel are important at the low end. You can probably sense my approach to working, in that when I say top priority is given to performance, I pretty much exclude all else to that end. I was reminded of this fact by Rick on Tuesday, in that I am even excluding features that used to work (and the fixes that would remedy those changes). Rest assured as soon as shader panels and quads are in and working fully, the remaining time will be spent triple checking everything that used to work still works, and we have a successful 'positive' update ;)