The Trouble With Physics
Having explored the myriad solutions to my immediate problem, that is, to ensure the player did not fall inexorably to his or her death upon starting a level, I had a wonderful time discovering why this case of affairs was so. The good news is that I found the exact piece of code responsible, but the bad news is that the solution was entirely evasive. I have not given up, but it takes a fresher brain that the one I adopted Thursday to solve it.
Fear not, however, as many of the items required of me have been completed in time for Friday's update. The only hold-out is the mystery of the random vertex glitches suffered by the character and weapon animations, which both relate to something in the shader bone matrix system. This is the origin of my search and hopefully the solution. I often vex against bugs that are impossible to reproduce, but this is the rare occasion where a bug can be reproduced perfectly every time but the cause (and subsequent solution) is as illusive as a midnight thief.
My hope is that Friday gives me enough hours to solve this perplexity, but in the meantime I can report that the vast majority of little niggles are gone (at least as far as my immediate list is concerned). Some of the fixes are very minor, but being able to scroll left and right when placing items on a table really count towards the feeling you get when using the software and a small adjustment can mean a great deal. I am sure a full catalog of fixes will be reported on release of the update ;)
On a personal note, these new glasses are giving me grief. I've gone to bed three nights in six with a penetrating headache, something very uncommon for me. I am tempted to solder my old glasses (which snapped in the mid-section) and continue with my old perscription, but who knows what mysteries are contained in the eye, and perhaps these headaches are just my brains way of adjusting to the 'correct' focus between me and the monitor and keyboard. I will try them for another week and if this persists, consult another optician for a second opinion. I don't think it's required that every day of coding should be accompanied with a nighttime of pain!
I would have liked to have done more today but perhaps I burned out my brain cells the night before. The good news is that you're getting 95% of the intended release, and if I get a flash of inspiration between this sentence and the final upload, you will get 100% :) I suspect vertex buffer or bone matrix constant buffer corruption, but without a more aggressive analysis I won't know which. Seems like the perfect time to break out one of my per-frame GPU analysis tools, and see how versatile they are. I'm old school, which means writing everything yourself, including performance and graphics analyzers so it will be interesting to hand over the detective work to an outside agent and see what results we uncover. If I survive the ordeal, I will report my findings Friday.
In the meantime, thanks for your eyeballs and keep one of them trained on the downloads page when a Friday update is winging it's way to you. I did say only Gold pledgers would get new content, but I simply could not resist including the new sky and bridge pieces so everyone can play around with the new stuff.