Monday, 6 January 2014

More Blog

Work

Spent the first two hours of Monday answering emails, Google talking, updating documents and effectively 'not' coding.  Hopefully I will get a few snatches of coding done before 6PM :)

Mainly preparing for a meeting on Tuesday, and getting a demo together that shows off the features added over Christmas. Had also been waiting for some terrain LOD seam fixes for BlitzTerrain but nothing materialized. I did receive some new terrain code a while back which makes the LOD code cleaner, so I am going to give it a few more days and then probably give in and make the fix (and learn the code while I am there).

Also have some more memory work planned, especially centered around the addition of many characters to the level resulting in a rather prompt crash on my system. I have a few ideas, so hopefully one of them will fix it.

All that said, I got an email from Rick with a list of feedback from the latest internal version so I decided to do some of those instead, including a scope effect for zoomed weapons, slower movement for crouch, larger ranges for enemies, faster gravity and a new shader quality level for vegetation so that flashlight works with a new MEDIUM setting.  The other suggestions are beyond the scope of a quick fix so those will be put on the master document.

I also received some media from my artist CB who gave me a tree in two parts so that the trunk could have collision but the leaves could be non-collision. Needed some work on the physics side of things, but it worked out very well. For entity makers out there, you can specify the COLLISIONMODE field with a value between 1000 and 1999 to chose a single limb for BOX collision between 0 and 999. You can also specify 2000 to 2999 for a single limb between 0 and 999 for POLYGON collision.

I had some more testing into the memory usage and leaking is much reduced now, but I am still not super happy with the division or resources. The empty map editor/test game system with basic data structures and assets comes to 700MB. About 400MB of that is the terrain system. Given that almost half my memory budget was being gobbled up, I decided to implement a feature requested by a few pledgers along the lines of a new flag which would effectively replace the entire terrain system with a flat landscape. My idea was that it would aid analysis of the memory usage by taking the terrain antics out of the equation.  I also wanted to see what affect this would have on performance. It still needs work, but it's coming to the end of the working day and a demo is due Tuesday so I will reverse this change shortly and resume Wednesday. Early results are very good though, with my FPS exceeding 600 fps and polygon count dropping to double figures.  Exactly typical of a scene with nothing in it, but allows scenes to be built from the 'void upwards' which might have it's uses down the road.

Play

As a way to combat interruptions, I received an abacus over Christmas with five rows of beads. Every time someone interrupts me, I add a bead to their daily tally as a form of silent recrimination. It's fatuous I know, but it makes me feel better.

More sea is flooding over the wall again today, and no sandbags from the council. Nothing I can do against natures own attack except sit back and enjoy the adventure of it all.

10 comments:

  1. Those are some bad waves! Stay High Stay Dry! ...Anticipating 005!

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  2. I hope when I arrive tomorrow that any tea you serve is not made from sea water!

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  3. regarding movement, it would be good, if the creator had the ability to alter walk / run speed settings, jump on / off / height-power, fly on/ off etc.
    this would greater flexibility on what game the user can create.

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  4. Will the flashlight be an item to pick up or will it be there for anyone to just press f.

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  5. I agree with Danny. These values could be set in the player start marker maybe?

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  6. LOL,looks like Rick will be posting here to keep his bead count low....

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  7. I actually love that idea Danny. To turn change player speed, jump on or off, crouch on or off, jump-height, ability to peek right or left, etc in the player marker itself would be handy and not complicated at all for the user.

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  8. Nice work again Lee,i see Leadwerks Arrives on Steam.Lets hope Reloded can do the same.

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  9. "replace the entire terrain system with a flat landscape"

    OR you could give us the option to remove the landscape entirely (like pretty much every single other game engine) and create levels more akin to the X9's levels.....I'm sure you have this planned, though :) Also would be handy to be able to change the terrain size.

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