Having discovered Microsoft PIX (six years too late) I found it would crash out when I gave it my full engine. Turns out PIX is not the most stable creature at the best of times, but it took me seven hours of coding to find that out. In the process of 'making my code work with PIX' I cleaned up a huge amount of small DirectX errors which where there since October 2013 but silently failed in the driver. Having debugging modes set to MAX I could see all the dirty laundry of the app. It's now much cleaner.
I still cannot use PIX for the engine, but I can use it for all my smaller prototypes so it will still be a valuable tool when writing new techniques. I am also holding out for a version of NSIGHT that actually works too, but that will probably be down the road (or never) as I am not sure they care much for DX9 support these days.
On realizing I was not going to see my scene through PIX, I created my own depth scene debug view so I could see the hidden depth information from my occluders, and would you believe, I discovered the 'why'..
Those cyan colored shapes in the top right are 'supposed' to be my building occluders. Yes that's right, the ones that are rotated all over the place with scaling gone screwy. Seems I have found the reason why some of my levels work and some show no occlusion activity. You cannot hide behind a building that just rotated underground ;)
It's 3AM again so no time to go in and fix it, but the great news is that the fix should be very trivial and then I will have objects that don't suddenly disappear, a constant occlusion rate no matter how many objects in the scene and an excuse to move onto adding terrain to the depth map and solving the polygons for the physics terrain floor (related work).
Between compiles, I also managed to integrate a new installer script for the beta which means your BIN and DBO files will be removed when you uninstall, temp files removed and your precious levels and contain retained. Just as the installer should be.
I also fixed a bug which caused levels with more than 100 unique entities to crash out, and added physics code to prevent objects from penetrating any surface which should please the placer of small keys :)
A special thanks goes out to DVADER (and R4D5) for helping fix the Reloaded scaling issue! R4D5 ran off into the scene before I could thank him, he's hiding somewhere...
Also received my new UPS today which should provide 10 minutes of back-up power in case of total power failure (allowing me to save my work). Turns out it needs C14 cables to connect my devices, so not quite ready to set that up. With the new one in place, I can move the smaller UPS to the main router at the other end of the house which should provide power and surge protection for my telephone and broadband too, even when grid power goes. Neat!