Bit of a mish-mash today, but a significant one in that I followed some Intel engineer advice and now my engine can use up to 4GB of system memory. It's still a Win32 application, but thanks to a 64-bit friendly flag for modern operating systems, I can use the full 4GB address range from here on in. This means that levels that would crash out due to lack of system memory will continue on their merry way and more immediately, it means I could successfully run the GPA Frame Analyser from Intel:
The magic flag in the executable project was called LARGEADDRESSAWARE and even though it's been available since Windows XP, it proves that programmers always have something new to learn.
Unlike my enemies, who are now hiding their heads in sand bags, I can almost see the finish line for a first version of this product as more functionality is added to the mix. Currently finishing off the MEDIUM and HIGHEST shaders to match the light balancing of the LOWEST shaders which look great now, and then Thursday I tackle multi-level loading from both the WIN ZONE trigger zone and also a new LUA command so you can move to new levels via scripting too. I dare say loading the new levels will be the easy part, and preserving game state data across the levels and player will be the mystery grey area I am not fully dreading yet.
In other news, just had a death-match with the latest multiplayer, which now has realistic ragdoll impacts based on bullet direction. It has a raw game play to it that I think will be very contagious when we release this part of the software, and any doubts about it's rightful place in this project will be dispelled. It is SO much fun, and when you can modify your levels and re-play within 'minutes' I think a new kind of social experience will be born and a great foundation will be established for the Reloaded universe moving forward.