Coffee Diary 4/5/20


Hey Exanimates,

For some time now tools have been a big focus in development. Now we've also updated our material system to reduce the overhead of more complex materials, we're updating and remastering many important assets to take advantage of all this. As we're doing this a lot we're finding ways we can improve our tools further to streamline the process.

We are now generating weapons procedurally and testing them in game, but there's still work to do. New weapons will come with various new weapon related features, all the systems for procedural texturing are getting big upgrades, and we still need to work on the variable quality and conditions aspect of the materials.

Madoc was becoming frustrated with how complex designing materials that can age and degrade realistically is. Ultimately he added a new fully programmable function to our texture tools, which not only makes the tools much more flexible, but allows him to write code for systems like this and see the results of every step of the code fully interactively. This turned out to be a really great decision, it makes this work infinitely easier and we went from being very confused to getting some in game results within a day. We also fully implemented a new advanced image processing feature we needed for something else in about 10 minutes, and these feature will be hugely useful in developing in game visual effects and all sorts.

Work on trying to remove driver bottlenecks from our supersampling continues. There's quite a lot of rendering pipeline changes involved, and the drivers can be incredibly stupid and eager to sneak pointless overheads back in, but we're working through it and it looks promising.

As part of updated options screen we wanted to include some resolution options, but we thought it would be better to include a render upscaling option instead, keeping the user interface and various other things at native resolution. We tried to leverage our supersampling to get better results from the upscaling got some great results. With driver bottlenecks reduced, high resolutions take the front seat, and with this scaling in 4k we got a 70% increase in performance with barely an impact on visual quality.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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