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UpdateMay 25, 2017

You won't see anything new visually for this game. Under the hood a lot of new code was written, and the old, simpler code was ripped out. But it wasn't intended.

Progress? Sort of.

During the last week of April my hands were killing me. I was in a bit of a panic as well. Gave my library of books to the goodwill. You an go to the goodwill in O'fallon Missouri and find books on quantum computing and philosophy of law. I don't miss them. You never own anything longterm anyway.

In Conga I ended up doing a lot of work that wasn't needed. Consequentially, I introduced bugs that I couldn't figure out what was wrong. A lot of stuff wasn't rendering. Quite the shitshow. I broke it, and I wasn't motivated to fix it. I didn't make any progress for 3 weeks.

Except play FFXV. I got to play a new game for the first time in like, a year? That was nice.

Conga is a more advanced system now, but it took a while to get stable. It still doesn't have what Vault engine had (10 years strong). I may never work on Vault again. There's a lot of life problems in the way. Conga however will make progress.

Changes

I ported the deferred lighting path from Vault, which save for a lot of headache wasn't really needed. In the end I figure I will probably go the same route Minecraft did and light each world block individually with forward rendering, instead of make all those computations in screen space.

However, if we want lots of beautiful lights in Conga, we got 'em.

Not proud of that, but I AM PROUD of the shader system. I've written 2 OpenGL shader / render systems in the past. This is my 3rd system, and it finally gets everything right. Save for the technical details, it makes creating shaders a lot easier. And it's only a handful of C++ classes.

Further, Unity games have a folder a structure with a lot of "stuff" in them. Conga resource files are lightweight. I mean most of us are familiar with that folder that Unity dumps out. Mine is pretty straightforward.

Also, Unity has an odd shader system which seems to have a lot of '#'s. The unity shaders aren't much different from OpenGL shaders beyond that. (I am not experienced with Unity shaders) but in Conga it's easy to modify the shaders. You can edit the shader source right there without having to do anything that is Engine specific. All shaders are separated by function. The shaders are individual files. You can also #include other shader files into them.

The same goes for the 2 other external files. I made them generic and easy to modify.

Terrain Optimization

I added a lot of "under the hood" stuff to the terrain. Mostly optimizations that make it easier to understand.

Some stuff has bogged the system down in debug mode, but in Release mode I get a true runtime speed.

For example Conga used to take up 2GB+ of memory. Now, it only takes up 200MB or so. That's thanks to changing the hierarchy to an octree, and pruning the tree. The only problem with adding the octree is that now that I've added a tree structure we can't go back to the "tiles" like you'd see in Rollercoaster Tycoon. We need to use perfect cubes to represent the world, such as Minecraft.

Also, we now have a 64-bit build.

Great success.

What's Next?

The future of Conga is going to consist of getting the tree generator to work. Right now I have some terrain bugs that need to be worked out. And I plan on changing the object sprites to be 3D instead of 2D billboards. Mostly though, the editor is what needs to be finished, as I've decided to make this game more based on the editor than anything.

I still have about 4 months if I stay in my current house, but I am planning on selling it. If it sells quick I could get me a few more months before "the end." But I may slump in poverty to keep wallowing on it. You know.

Maybe I'll put the house on craigslist or something.

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