Since our last blog we have been working tirelessly on optimizing Desolation: Earth's network code to support a high volume of online players. We had to re-design the way players take damage, and the way weapons are handled in the engine. We decided it was best to tackle the network side of things first, as it was our biggest hurdle in the previous engine. Frostreaper is still working on fixing some of the jittery movement you see sometimes in FPS games amoung several other tweaks.
While Frostreaper works on the network side of things I have been working on polishing our current maps with new shaders and textures. Optimizing textures, audio and objects is also a priority because we want as many people to be able to play the game as possible on their PC. As a little side project I am also working on the Ranking system. While we want Desolation: Earth to be close to the roots of original Multi-player FPS games, we believe ranks are a positive goal because they give the player something else to work towards.
Look kind of familiar? We based the old rank emblems off the original Soldier Front. Purehate is cooking up some awesome new rank insignia's and many more than the original planned 50. Purehate is also working on a our finalized menu and GUI work.
In the original engine working with shaders could make a seemingly easy task an absolute nightmare. On certain maps even simple specular bumb shaders would kill performance. Unity allows us to manage things like high-resolution textures and shaders easier so that we can monitor the impact that they have (not much usually) they do however help us with achieving the visual goal we set out.
So after all the visual tweaks are done to the maps and the network code is squared away we will be shooting for character animations and the best part... weapons! Keep an eye on the forums I might just leak some screen shots of the weapon progress.