Just as the question of Zombie quality has been raised at the end of last week causing a freeze on those assets, a new question has been raised on the quality and completeness of the Jet Pack collection due for release as part of a special incentive scheme. To answer this, I have created a quick Jet Pack demo and distributed it to my alpha testers to get some opinion and feedback on whether it represents a suitably juicy incentive, and whether it's something the community wants in it's present state. While I wait for the results of this, I have frozen the release of the Hot Fix which would enable the Jet Pack to 'fly' as it where, mainly due to any additional code that might be required if the verdict is a resounding 'no'. Early feedback suggests 'yes with conditions' but we need to give them some time (one Earth revolution).
In the meantime, work proceeds on our competition announcement which will include videos of the winners and links, and looks set for a release Tuesday.
I can also share some images on new assets being produced to extend the modern day asset library, and also to help me flesh out The Escape demo with more interesting scene items. More to come next week as our artist is on a well earned break in the highlands!
Had some time at the weekend to play with the new V1.009 Importer, which allows you to import existing entities, mess with them a little, and export them as brand new entities for immediate use in your level. Here is my silly soldier statue, and had I a stone texture to hand it would have completed the look but I only granted myself ten minutes to be silly that day.
I have also vowed to really focus on performance for a few days this week so that V1.009 can include a sizable speed boost for fans of FPS. In addition to improving the speed of the terrain and grass shader on the LOWEST settings, I also added a rather nifty optimization which uses the hardware occluder of the GPU to poll how many water pixels are on the screen, and if there are not very many, or any, I reduce the water reflection detail and content right down to bare minimum. I do this dynamically so the closer you get to water being rendered, the higher the detail you will see reflected in the water. To give you an idea of speed improvement, the old GTTR level on my machine originally ran at 51 fps (V1.008), and after some shader tweaks ran at 59 fps, teasing me to find an extra 1 fps gain in the code somewhere. After my dynamic-water-detail trick, I was getting 66 fps! Not bad for day one ;)