Another week, and another round of performance improvements while juggling the issue of keeping the visuals sweet.
I have sacrificed a few FPS, but managed to add a system which renders the details provided by normal maps into the terrain, in addition to adding specular as well. The trick is pretty neat and means it only costs near the camera, and as the terrain pixel gets further away it fades out the high definition normal surface lighting and reverts to a cheaper lighting formula.
The biggest kicker, and I will be striving to add it before I jet off is to separate the static shadows with the dynamic ones (i.e. shadows cast by dynamic moving objects like the character), so that I can cast a higher resolution shadow from the chappy and make him pop more in the scene. It will definitely be in the next Reloaded beta but I would have liked it to be in this version by now. Ah well.
I wanted to do a few more visual/performance tweaks, but time has run out for this week. It's now 3AM and I really need to add some 'secret sauce' now for the GDC demo next week. I can only reveal what that sauce will be at the event, but I can blog it in much detail on my return.
The GDC plan has been brewing for weeks now, and at last count my schedule is pretty packed and I hit the ground running on Tuesday AM and don't stop until Friday when the EXPO closes it's doors. If you are doing GDC this year and want to know which parties I am attending, the biggest one will be the YetiZen at the stadium. I will 'not' be attempting to drink my own weight in beer (as that would be fatal) and instead will be doing my part to remain sensible enough to tweet and blog my way through the week.
Thanks to the awesome crew at Intel, I will be on their booth every day of the Expo, doing a little talk on the magic of AGK and Reloaded, joining in several discussions on the next steps in technology and meeting a few guys and gals who might help us push our products during 2014. I am also attending a session on how to use the NVIDIA NSIGHT tool to deep dive my graphics engine and really squeeze every last analytic morsel out of what is going on. Such knowledge would have lead me to the cost of the shaders months ago! It will be a busy week, and I hope to learn a lot, and then return refreshed to continue the good fight.