Yes, And No
It is true that I went for another walk today, but this time I came straight back and did not go to sleep :) I gave myself one hour before dinner to finish off the prototype with communal textures which will allow me to populate a single texture with many quad texture renders. It's now two hours and I've just finished the quad texture regeneration system and not even started on the communal multi-render stuff. Just goes to show how even a simple developer task can be broken down into small unpredictable extra work that had no previous time estimate assigned.
Imagine, a task that I did not even think about, and did not have a time estimate for, taking twice as long as the task I started to do. Now multiply that few hours with those in week, and then an entire project and you will get a sense of how an estimate and reality can differ. I set myself an hour as I was famished, and as I write this I am doubly famished. Will stop now and eat, then return to do the task I set myself at 5PM :)
In the two hours of quad regeneration work however I tracked down some bugs in the engine which caused HIGH and MEDIUM LOD objects to render over each other which was rather redundant, and introduced the system which only renders the quad texture when it absolutely needed to be done. I also found that I needed to update the quad vertices each cycle in order to keep the quad polygons rendering to the screen smoothly. Whether this will effect overall performance when we start locking hundreds of buffers, we will see, but I wanted to achieve super-smooth AND speed. When we have some real world levels to throw at it, we can then decide to keep speed and have the quads stepping along, or keep smooth, and sacrifice some speed. One of the many thousands upon thousands of tiny decisions that do into making a games engine.
Also got an email with a prototype showing some rather nifty player hurt, directional damage and blood splatting effects. I am now resisting the urge to play with that integration (five minutes work which is actually five hours work) and remain focused on two objectives. Finish the prototype for engine integration and solve the object popping caused by occlusion. I can then prepare an installer for some internal testing before a planned release for the weekend. I think you will like this update, we have lots of tweaks in there!