As you may know, we had our monthly strategy meeting today, where we discussed all things Reloaded and looked at the various developments underway. We also looked at the internal BETA 1.005 version and the new additions made over Christmas.
One of the things we looked at was the steady work to move some classic model packs over to Reloaded. Not just through legacy support, but taking the models and applying the new transparency and collision modes required to make them work great with Reloaded. More news on this when it happens.
It was also decided that a fresh burst of essential core engine elements was also required for the product, and quick. The decision for the next 1-2 weeks will be to continue in this vein and add those missing ingredients that are preventing you from making a decent game. This means some basic scripting and logic, player, character and entity properties tied in and the various tweaks that will pull your game together. We won't be abandoning performance and memory work by any means, but we felt a few more core elements in place will make your time using the BETA much more enjoyable. When you see 1.005, you will see why ;)
We also made some decisions surrounding the game creator store, the construction kit module and the rift. More on these third party projects as they happen. We'd also like to start some competitions as well, but we'll reveal more about that through the main website.
As it was a meeting day 8AM to 4:30PM there was not much time left for coding, but I did dig out the old DBP module called Unity, which provides an out of the box, fully featured LUA scripting engine. We briefly discussed resurrecting FPI as a stop-gap but the agreement was that we should not waste time on old tech and put our energies to forward moving stuff. A simple LUA integration to get the basic scripts working was the sensible decision, and with this we can breathe some life into things like keys, doors, trigger zones, character and animal behaviors, item transactions and events, story devices and waypoint control. The plan is to get a LOT done in January, picking up performance and memory issues along the way.
As the terrain module is relatively separate from the main engine, we are also looking to see if we can engage a known coder (a non-Lee entity) to go in and make some fixes and optimizations that will drastically benefit overall rendering, including reducing terrain segments to flat quads and adding GPU occlusion when terrain is being completely hidden.
It's quite a list we have produced from the meeting, and if my inbox can stay relatively quiet I think I can make some serious gains in the weeks to come and create a more rounded experience for all users. Once we have this, I can return to a heavy dose of performance and memory work, and execute a few ideas I had over Christmas how I can squeeze a lot more FPS from the engine. Of course you could just use the SUPER FLAT flag and quadruple your frame rate, but that's a whole other debate ;)
Apart from getting drenched on leaving the gastro-pub, and finding some new sandbags on our front door (thanks councilor Denise) the most exciting non-work news was my amazing Welsh Black Beef Fillet Steak which came with it's own cooking grill due to the thickness of the fillet.
A very happy coder left the pub that day, and even found the energy to walk the dog then dive into two hours of answering emails and writing this ;)