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.
Orbiting a gas giant at sunrise
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.