Well another high octane day of development boxes being ticked. Rather than one of those nice blogs with pictures and things, here is a massive rant with lots of pearls buried inside. We integrated the LUA and DarkAI modules today (or rather last night thanks to Ravey Night Owl) so that we have the basis of shifting all hard coded AI calls into the LUA script and making things MUCH more flexible. We briefly investigated the Channel 3 headphone sound issue, but was unable to find the cause so Simon has a mission to find more information before a fix can be made. We might have found a new character artist for our team, so more on that when we have tested the water and have something to show you. Added three new fields to the Player Start marker called 'Regenerate Rate, Regenerate Speed and Regenerate Delay', I will leave the purpose a secret but I can tell you it has something to do with health. Added a slider to the occlusion system so you can control how many polygons are chosen for the occluder render, which MASSIVELY improves performance as you dial it down to the scene you are working on. More optimizations possible but it's great to know we can leave this in and have you experiment with occlusion to get a good performance balance. We will be keen to learn your results from this in the next build. We replaced the redundant LAYER: status bar prompt with EDIT: which now tells you which IDE edit mode you are in, such as FULL or INSIDE, where INSIDE is a special new mode which lets you place smaller entities inside larger entities such as buildings. Added more flinch to enemy limbs when shot, we will see if this looks okay, or real bad. No more water sound when you die underwater and respawn at the checkpoint or start position. Shadows no longer disappear when objects are occluded from the cameras perspective. New models caused some new occlusion issues, but they where quickly solved. Created a new very small test script for the AI work to be used with a new Combat prototype which will allow the rapid development of the character AI, and even non-character entity logic AI too.
Finally, we briefly looked at creating a PVS (potential visibility set) system from the occluder to remove all real-time occlusion calculations and gain even more run-time performance but it would have taken 100 hours to bake the PVS data, so we decided not to add that 'feature' for now :)