[1.14] DEVELOPMENT STATUS REPORT
I need to say something first:
We all at DarkSpace and Threshold hope everyone is well and that you take care of each other and are taken care of. Stay together through these weird times and stay safe! Almost everyone at xEnviro dev team have what is called critical proficiencies. Like myself as an IT consultant and with critical infrastructures to take care of. Needless to say, we have our hands full and it eats in to our time for xEnviro development. But we have and are not standing still!
One more thing before I dive in to this status update:
To anyone spreading the rumors that xEnviro won't work with Vulkan - please stop! You are either basing your comments on other peoples comments or you are basing it on a comment from last year by Ben, which was poorly worded at best. I have since commented on that (further back in this very thread) and if you follow Ben's blog he has since confirmed publically that xE and other weather programs will work with Vulkan. For some info on Vulkan, watch this:
We are in talks with Laminar. But we're not developing for Vulkan yet. xE will remail available for X-Plane openGL the entire X-Plane11 run. This update (1.14) needs to be made regardless. But hawt damn have we made progress. If 1.15 will be the Vulkan update remains to be seen. We are not relying on X-Plane upodates for our progress. So.. What have we been up to?
So far the changelog looks like this: (1.14t44) Added
High and medium altitude clouds based on forecast data. Semi full volume rendering allows for this in a larger extent now.
Surface snow drift effect. Changed the visuals on snow drift. 1.13 completely removed the default psychotic snow worms - we have implemented our own, but very different snow drift effect.
Illumination and shadows adjusted for low level sun angles. This is an X-Plane bug that we might have fixed now. Sunlight should still be blocked by Aircraft body at low sun scenarios.
Atmosphere and haze constants adjusted to better match reported conditions. We're still doing this as realistic as possible (As observed and wanted by real airline pilots) But some adjustments have been made.
Early discard pass implemented for better performance. One of several performance paths done. (SemiFullVolumeRendering Part)
Two stage drawing pass implemented for better performance. Another performance path explored and implemented. (SemiFullVolumeRendering Part)
Filter pass implemented for better performance and appearance. Even with this one we still have several performance paths to explore and test for future versions of xEnviro. (SemiFullVolumeRendering Part)
Noise mixing law for base shapes. Some basis code for cloud shaping for appearance of existing and new cloud types
Scattering and illumination model adjusted. Lights adjusted and configured for the new semi full volume rendering
Sector drawing logic changed to remove grid lines. Sectors are basically removed and thus draw distance increased vastly. (SemiFullVolumeRendering Part)
Wet and damp surface logic adjusted. Some instances showed wrong level of wet surface during certain conditions.
We are now in the last test phases. We're adding existing features back in and assembling the lego DeathStar back together and make sure its functions still work as intended within the build. (ignore low rez cut out on aircrfaft and artifacts/grain in clouds) So yes, a lot has happened since 1.13 - but your question is, of course, performance.
How much can you expect? It depends.
Oh no.... that dreaded answer...
But that's the way it is. It depends on so many things. The environment you choose to fly in affects your fps. How much is left of your GFX card to draw xEnviro? And is your cpu is loaded to the edge already? You will not see any increase in performance if you already have thrown heavy addons on your sim. Especially in higher resolutions. You will see the fps your cpu limits you to. One example is Orbx LOWI (Insbruck)
Some systems may experience just a 5fps increase but that should be the minimum you can expect on vanilla x-plane from 1.13 to 1.14. We have an average of around 10fps increase with the changes we have made. Some have 15 but I hardly want to even mention those. We might loose a frame or two towards the final build but all in all we're where we want at this stage. 1.14 will NOT be the last performance update!
We have more to explore! 4K users should see an improvement. We have taken several steps to ensure 4k users get better performance (As long as you have the HW to back it up! 4K is demanding even without throwing a fully dynamic environment on it!)
(Guess the POV height of this screenshot ) Alright. So what remains?
Shadows, cloud detail and "grain removal" and assembly of the parts that makes it look good basically.
Then we beta test. We will be looking for tetsers this time around. Applications can be applied in the Beta tester application thread under announcements. (do NOT send me PM's)
Thing is... we have something in place now that we are very proud of: SemiFullVolumeRendering (SFVR). This is a stage where the foundation of xEnviro is managable and set for further development and will give us the opportunity to implement what we want in the future. I'll let you all know once we hit 1.14b01 and keep you posted on updates.
I'll round this off here. Back to work