All aboard the Hype Train!!

Welcome back to this months blog! Now that E3 is over and done for, we can have a break from the hype train! There have been many little bugs vanquished this month. The programming has focused on fixes covering the following areas:
  • RSS is working again
  • Thread pool causing the game lock up on quit
  • Performance - level of detail for terrain and shaders
  • Backend scripts - an on going saga
  • mod.io integration for mods

Mapping on the frontier

On the mapping front, we decided we should take the plunge and work on a new giant sized map. Our decision for this was to push the engine and tools to the limit of what we want to be able to do in the game. And from there we can easily scale down the map, test the tool pipeline, and test for areas that need performance improvement.

What did we find?! Well, we found a few issues. First our new terrain pipline is working very smooth and is much quicker. Next we found performance lacking, so have started implementing a LOD (Level of Detail) system for the terrain rendering.

And finally, we found the tools for placing cities and resources on the map was labor and time intensive. So this month has been mostly dedicated to fixing this area with new tools. This will also help out mod developers and those of you who want to tweak values in the maps.

Some other Art changes:
  • Level up and down effects
  • New city assets
  • Map pipeline/tooling changes
  • New foliage assets

New terrain and water
Old terrain for comparison

Chillax time

Finally, its been a long time since we have have a good long multiplayer game due to constant breakage and feature changes. We have had a fun multiplayer game for a few hours the other week. It was a nice break from all the work, and a chance to test all the changes for the last few months.


Refactor

So one of the big jobs we have been smashing out this month has been a big refactor of the game code. Refactoring is kind of like spring cleaning. Now that we have had some hands on time in the Godot engine. And we have learnt the way of the Jedi, we now need to go over out old code, and hide any evidence we were Godot noobies. This has helped us add some new features in while were on the refactor journey. As you can see from the screenshot above, the terrain (and water) is looking much nicer compared to our old smear terrain. The menu is looking much nicer too. Here are a few pictures of a programmers note pad showing some trigonometry and maths from the refactor of the camera code.


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