Hey everyone, it’s time for your weekly update. During our Alpha backer weekend two weeks ago we discovered that the resolution of our planets wasn’t properly scaling up on 4k monitors. Upon further investigation we learned that not only were our planets not properly increasing quality based on graphics settings – but that all of our planets were actually being duplicated twice in memory. What that means is that even though each planet was only being drawn on screen once, like it should be, we were generating and caching the data for every single terrain patch twice. Fixing this problem had the obvious impact of doubling the performance of our planetary terrain generation and reducing our GPU VRAM consumption by hundreds of megabytes.
Now that our planets can be generated twice as fast as before, we decided to slightly increase their average quality. Unfortunately, increasing the quality of our terrain generation reduces the quality of our planets in another area – aliasing (flickering pixels). We have some ideas for reducing aliasing however we may not be able to schedule any graphics work until after we ship the Beta.
Fighting over a station in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant
We released another patch this week along with tweaking our HUD icons, adding dual controller support, researching HOTAS support, making some small improvements to warping, and ongoing texture improvements for stations. Last but certainly not least we’re happy to announce that we will be releasing the Alpha on Friday, June 15th. We appreciate your patience and we’re looking forward to bringing our Alpha backers into the development process. That’s all for this week, until next time.
Well that’s an awesome find! The generation already seemed pretty smooth for me (as in, no popping, which is impressive in itself), but if this gets even higher performance and quality then yay
Also… Alpha date?! We will finally have more peeps to tango with! Great job. I hope you’ll be blasting out the Alpha announcement on all channels a bit nearer the time - make sure they all know about it.
Small correction: dual controller support is planned for this week’s 0.2.7.1 patch, not in last week’s 0.2.7.0.
Performance on planets will probably be unnoticed. The performance and vram savings will get cancelled out by the fact that we’re scaling up tesselation/quality at higher settings. In “extreme” mode it might even be slower than before.
I’m intrigued that the engine has any limit . Is this an issue with the Windows API you use?
It’s not the end of the world because 3rd party software can be used to combine multiple physical devices into one virtual device, but you can’t expect most people to use that.
Although I’ve yet to purchase one (not having a gaming computer) I’ve followed it from the very beginning. Its come a long way.
Personally I still have a ton of force feedback joysticks and Hotas, some even brand new still boxed. I had held out hope back in the day that SC and ED would implement force feedback. But alas that ship sailed long ago. So now I’ve got several of every type of the best ever FFB sticks. Not sure how good FFB works in win10, I hear its hit and miss and MS just won’t really rework the drivers any more. I have tried emailing and speaking to the dept who would, but they just seem uninterested. Shame, as FFb could work so well these days if MS reworked the driver and core software for their MS FFB2 (red) sticks. Outside of driving games and some flight sims I had held out hope space games could also implement FFB.