I did some coding at the weekend, and made a little break-through with the 'Get To The River' level which now runs at over 100 fps (hurray!) on LOWEST. It was my goal and with some careful grass optimization was able to push it over the edge. I also made other performance improvements such as hiding the duplicate static entities when LM objects where in play, and lowered the pain on the reflection system today as well so it's now even faster. Ouch!
I posted this on the forum to show the difference across the ages, and also to try and pinpoint why the feedback I am getting from the alpha testers suggests that visuals have gooten worser. After balancing the GTTR level with the new sliders and lighting equations, this is what I ended up with:
Don't worry about the 92 fps, it's well over 100 fps when you create a standalone version of this game. Notice how I've matched the colour balance with the early V1.0071 shot, and improved the detail on the HUD weapon since V1.009 shot, and the grass is actually better in this one that the first shot. The HUD weapon is slightly different as I discovered the V1.0071 engine reversed the light direction of the weapons, so that was fixed up too.
I also experimented with the new static baked lights. Ambient occlusion is still O.T.T but you can start to appreciate the power of a few static lights for interior scenes using the pre baker. This scene has an off-white light on the ceiling and a small static green light over the barrel to give it a radioactive look.
Spent half the day transcribing bugs from the forum to the work sheet, and now have to go through and prioritize them before I can actually start some fixing. The good news is that the alpha testers are being very thorough which means a solid V1.009 for you when the time comes. Going to give the doggy a walk now while it's still light and then return this evening for some actual fixing and to tick off a few more DONE items.