The last two updates have been pretty sparse, so this week I'll take a little more time to explain where we are at.
First, a portion of the team has now moved back to bugs, which is good. As much as we want the performance to get better, we also need to fix actual gameplay issues too.
Right now we are tracking 20 bugs identified by SPCT or QA. 2 of which were determined to be duplicates. 4 of which were checked in as fixed by Friday, which leaves 14 unaddressed bugs.
Second, there are two overall issues we are still working on - Lighting and Performance.
For lighting, we've narrowed down the lighting issue to a system in Unreal 3.5 that handles "Indirect" lights. This is a process that gets pre-processed and packaged when we ship the game. It looks like because Reloaded never turned on Day/Night, they also never tuned indirect lights that are largely only visible at night. Part of the team has now started diving into these tools to work through all our maps to fix this.
For performance, I've started to realize there is no silver bullets - something that we'll find and fix that will make the game suddenly run great. However, the good news is that we've tested Asylum across a number of systems, and APB 2.1 runs that district better or at the same frame rate as APB 1.20 (Live). We have spent months getting the engine to take advantage of more cores.
Here is what APB 1.20 Asylum looks like on an i7 with 12 logical processors.
And here is what APB 2.1 Asylum looks like on the same i7.
Other districts are more hit or miss right now, but using Asylum as a benchmark, we started looking at differences between the other districts to help us narrow down the remaining performance issues. We started to recognize very specific areas where frame rates went down significantly, and that didn't happen in Asylum. Unfortunately there are so many areas in this engine that simply weren't finished sometimes I feel like we're looking for a needle in a haystack.
Or as it turns out this week: a blade of grass in a park
For those playing at home, I'll give you a little sample of what we deal with on a weekly basis.
Here are two screenshots. If you look specifically at the foliage, can you spot a potential issue?
The foliage in the top shot (APB 1.20) is set to only render very close in. You can barely see it from where the screenshot is taken, and that is on Maximum settings.
The foliage in the bottom shot (APB 2.1) can be seen all the way across the district. In fact it has no draw distance limit set. That means 2.1 is currently rendering thousands of tiny polygons that each cast shadows on each other while the scene elements cast shadows onto them.
The team started working on this Friday, and will be cleaning it up this week.