Work In Progress / [LOCKED] The Cogwheel Chronicles: Volume 1 Mechastica

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cybernescence
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Posted: 30th Aug 2019 00:33
Thanks for the comments

So mostly have been debugging the game and seeing how much can be added without killing performance. Had a particularly long bug hunt trying to track down severe performance drops in certain parts of the game ... turns out it was hot spots of ray casts by lua - I rarely think of lua as dragging FPS down this bad, but it does in this case when instructing engine for intense CPU work (on my test machine ~ I5).

Also have been working on shaders, after a lot of time spent on updating the PBR, I've come back to cel shading - so have used the depth buffer to get strong, clean and predictable outlines and changed the entity shaders to light using a ramp texture based on N.L of light. Looks quite good now, so have included as a switchable option for the game. This also helps if performance is an issue as the shaders are less intensive to execute than PBR.

The depth buffer outlines you can see on the dragon, buildings, character etc. The lighting ramp is best seen on the 'Liquid Coal' sign to the left.



Cheers.


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Gtox
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Posted: 30th Aug 2019 06:20
Love the cel-shaded look.
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OldFlak
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Posted: 30th Aug 2019 07:43
Awesome, like that a lot...

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Posted: 30th Aug 2019 14:13
If you need any help optimising Lua scripts just holler.
Been there, done that, got all the T-Shirts!
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cybernescence
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Posted: 31st Aug 2019 02:26
Thanks guys and will do Amen, cheers.

Just playing around now with LUTs and shaders -

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3com
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Posted: 31st Aug 2019 08:45
Really nice
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cybernescence
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Posted: 1st Sep 2019 18:51 Edited at: 1st Sep 2019 19:31
Thanks 3com

So I started wondering why I couldn't use all that wasted space under the terrain - to reuse the sculpted (well imported) mountains as underground caves and vast caverns.

Turns out it doesn't have to go to waste with several assumptions & changes:

(1) Swimming needs to be coded based around engine waterline parameter (already had this)
(2) Hard coded restrictions in the engine prevent the player capsule from ever being below the reported terrain height (need to parameterise engine to allow this to be relaxed)
(3) The terrain mesh is culled on the inside faces for performance reasons (updates to engine to allow this to be changed required)
(4) A lot of the player mechanics always assume that the player will be above the terrain mesh (gameplayercontrol.lua updates mostly)
(5) There will be other things not yet encountered

However, so far so good, the player is now able to drop into caverns (below and made by the surface terrain) - no 'floor' of course but the water plane is there to catch the player. Entities can be placed here, but at the moment the engine is spitting these back out (it will be another safety feature to circumvent). I'm fairly sure a flat quad could be added so the inside of the terrain could have a hard floor rather than always water.

A boring screen shot, and might not look like it, but this is the player on the inside of a mountain range



EDIT: better picture, shows entity, lights and player in terrain cavern:




Cheers

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science boy
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Posted: 1st Sep 2019 20:16
Now thats game making gone wild. Thats some serious geniusout the box or terrain thinkng. If i had them zkills i could totally utilise the map
Then again you have endless terrain already working. You could make your own engine you know
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cybernescence
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2019 22:24
Thanks SB - Writing a game engine is serious graphics programming, I'm a long way off the skills for that

This interior of terrain idea has legs though - I've update the clipping function so you can temporarily mouse scroll the terrain height away so that you can see inside, place entities etc. I've added a setup.ini flag that enables the free flight camera to go into the terrain and also allow the placement of entities there. It seems to be coming together OK. I've almost got a cap to the bottom of the terrain so can use water or ground in there, but something clipping this new piece of terrain, collision works, but the rendering is flickering in and out.

It's pretty cool swimming in the inside of the caverns and all pretty much for free in terms of using no more world space. I'm going to see if I can fade parts of the terrain now so that can make tunnels from outside to inside (collision will still be there so a fast teleport will still be needed but it will appear seamless to player as long as can get view OK)

Cheers.

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cybernescence
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Posted: 5th Sep 2019 00:06
Can now paint holes in the terrain using the color palette, to see in from outside, and see outside from inside.

Stopped the new terrain 'cap' flickering, renders properly now so the interior of the terrain space has a rendered base and/or can use water as for exterior terrain.

I suppose if I added a terrain rotate command, could invert the whole thing now and have a huge flying island at any height at any world position





Cheers

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Wolf
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Posted: 5th Sep 2019 10:57
Amazing once again. In a way I am glad I couldn't convince you to use Unity. You are one of the few members who are a driving force in pushing GG forward.
cybernescence
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Posted: 5th Sep 2019 20:04
Wolf, I think I'm institutionalized . I'm making the prison more appealing so I don't want to leave

I honestly did not read this before thinking of the GG updates, but weird that it caught my eye the day after I did:



Cheers.



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cybernescence
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Posted: 5th Sep 2019 20:53
One of the reasons I started looking at the underground terrain was I was tooling about in the ocean in the nautiloid (tuning its behavior) and thought it would be cool if it could go into sub ocean level caverns and hideouts. Which it can now do.

However moving from above water surface to below makes the water plane rise (intersect) through the body of the sub killing the immersion (!) of being in a submarine. So now I need to find a way of reducing the opacity of the water plane dynamically around the position of the submarine, leaving the rest as is. This will enable the sub to surface and dive through the water without having to switch it all off and on which just looks odd.

Cheers.
3com
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Posted: 6th Sep 2019 16:13 Edited at: 6th Sep 2019 16:15
Quote: "I think I'm institutionalized"

LOL, we are like Tim Robin movie. Love that movie.
Making holes on mountains and/or terrain giving the chance to make caverns, even down the waterline, would be a nice go in GG.

Quote: " and thought it would be cool if it could go into sub ocean level caverns and hideouts. Which it can now do."

I want to do something like this since saw Tomb rider doing so, inside the temples.

Quote: "So now I need to find a way of reducing the opacity of the water plane dynamically around the position of the submarine"

Shaders, shaders...
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granada
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Posted: 6th Sep 2019 19:34
Great work cybernescence, always very interesting dropping back here

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Posted: 8th Sep 2019 15:19
cybernescence Man i am glad you are still here. you are an inspiration to all. cant wait for the day you decide to share your mods with us.
If i just had 10% of your programming skills , i think i would have smiled every day when i open my GG editor to work on my projects.
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osiem80
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Posted: 15th Sep 2019 13:19
The game is now 4 years in development it really motivates me!respect.
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cybernescence
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Posted: 15th Sep 2019 19:57 Edited at: 15th Sep 2019 20:00
Thanks guys, appreciate you dropping by and the comments.

I've got the water shader working now so lua can instruct it to create a transparent circle around any world x,z coordinate. This allows the sub to surface/submerge through the water plane without any intersect ruining the illusion. I suppose this could be also used to trigger wake effects and bow waves for ships and surface running (but for another day that).

Preben's new draw call optimiser is amazing - I was almost sure I'd have to abandon using this engine and move to unity because despite all and every optimization GG allows, frame rate was starting to chug. However with the DC oprimizer running, back in business.

I've adapted the optimzier to prioritize its optimization around textures first - so that if an entity shares a texture with another (and in Cogwheel many, many do as a way to save texture video memory) then these objects will be batched together first. Thereafter it will batch based on proximity as per Preben's original code. This won't make much difference to everyone unless texture atlas optimization is already being done or is planned to be done - if so then it does make a real difference on top of the other DC merging:

With no DC optimizer, peak draw calls: 983
With the 'distance/shader' approach, peak DCs: 747 (this is Preben's new code)
With the 'common texture' method, peak DCs 493 (this is texture batching, then proximity as above).

Some pics, so not a wall of text (new engine entity and showing the transparent circle in water). Now that underwater and underground caverns are a reality, changing the way 'fog' works under water, to match the color of the water and so it gets murkier the deeper the player goes. Surface fog now matches the skybox 'north' high MIP color as per terrain. Add some transparency at a distance and the visuals of vistas are coming on really well.





Cheers.

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Blacknyt46
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Posted: 18th Sep 2019 10:17
Awesome work cybernescence!
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cybernescence
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Posted: 19th Sep 2019 15:49
Thanks Blacknyt46

Prototype Mutoscope that when used by the player will run short snippet videos allowing game lore to be revealed ... ( not what the butler saw )



Cheers.


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Wolf
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Posted: 20th Sep 2019 20:13
Fine stuff! I'm really diggin' it!
cybernescence
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Posted: 21st Sep 2019 20:38
Thanks Wolf - that means a lot.

Re-textured/improved the player and hero characters, Isaac is less "Die Hard" now, Cathodia is dressed more like an aeronaut than ready for a tea party. Cogsbody has been rusted up somewhat.



Cheers.

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Wolf
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2019 00:09
Ah yes, they look more believable and ready for an adventure now.
Cathodias adorable skirt was a bit much

Kitakazi
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2019 08:39 Edited at: 22nd Sep 2019 08:40
I liked the skirt.
Bring it back.


But for real the new outfit looks great.
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cybernescence
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Posted: 13th Oct 2019 21:23
Lol, thanks

I wanted to be able to change the post process shaders on the fly (rather than be limited to the two in place now), so added lua:

SetPostProcessShader("effectbank\\reloaded\\post-stereo.fx",1)

Also, didn't like CogsBody, so changed to this:



And a tracker/crawler mech WIP:



Cheers.




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osiem80
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Posted: 13th Oct 2019 21:25
U got the gold pbr looking very believable
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Wolf
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Posted: 20th Oct 2019 23:36
I know its annoying when people ask this but is there a chance we see a beta trailer or a walk around a level some day?
I'd really like to see all these cool additions in motion some time.



-Wolf
cybernescence
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Posted: 27th Oct 2019 02:05
I'll get some video up soon Wolf

I've re-written the player swimming to use the physics capsule, it's much better now - though it did need a new lua command to fine tune it (SetWorldGravity) - which will come in handy for the barsoom levels too.

I also updated the in-game terrain loading to load associated entities (it was only loading terrain and grass before from the fpm and positioning anywhere in the world) and added the DCO to it, to keep silky smooth play. The memory seems to be paging in and out properly, so if I load one terrain/level part then delete and load another the memory is smoothing out. Still got a lot of testing to do to make sure this holds up with 16 different fpm's loaded on the fly, and I did hit a 'random' crash bug that took me days and days to find (this was in my added mods not GG stock code) .

All in all, it's going well, GG running better than ever and I can see much more of the game vision coming together now:

Cheers

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JC LEON
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Posted: 27th Oct 2019 06:22
great work so far... hope you could complete iit and to see it on steam really soon..
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Posted: 27th Oct 2019 20:56
@cybernescence, this is looking awesome - love the artwork\style.

The tracker/crawler mech looks cool, reminds me of starwars republic commando .....

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cybernescence
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Posted: 5th Nov 2019 22:50
Thanks for the comments and encouragement.

Lost access to the lovely new UI code - but kept busy with height map importer.



Cheers

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granada
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Posted: 5th Nov 2019 22:50
Always worth the visit here, fantastic work

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Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 18th Nov 2019 17:42
Good work Cybernescrnce, saves me a job ... awesome stuff
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Posted: 18th Nov 2019 21:35
@BOR your height map importer is great - needs fine tuning, but you should finish it and sell it - I would buy it in a heart-beat..

Check your thread

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cybernescence
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Posted: 1st Dec 2019 21:19
Quite a lot of work gone on with engine features and game in last few weeks ...

Engine:

I wanted flying islands and other terrain models to use exactly the same shader (apbr_terrain.fx) as used for the normal terrain so that lighting and textures look the same for caverns, overhangs and also as the shader is really good now at tiling and merging between flat areas and verticals (rock faces) given the tri-linear filtering updates (and it was always pretty good at this to start with). Took quite a bit of engine wrangling but got there in the end and it is well worth it. Preformed island meshes and lots of other terrain features look great now and seamlessly fit into the stock terrain.



I also wondered what the performance hit would be if I enabled shadows on grass, so did - and it makes a GTX 750TI cry, but the RTX soaks it up no problem ... so a feature to be enabled on 'ultra' settings only.



Finished up the terrain importer with smoothing and scaling sliders (sufficient for my game dev needs, BOTR doing also sorts of extra wizardry with his standalone importer by the look):



Cheers



GPU: GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER PassMark: 14817

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granada
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Posted: 1st Dec 2019 23:14
Your certainly adding a lot to the g g engine, fantastic work

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This project has come a long way since I last checked in on it. The girl is super cute and everything seems so fresh and unique. Impressive!
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outstanding work Cybernescence, this is one of the best projects for GG I've seen, amazing, gob smacked .....
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science boy
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Posted: 6th Dec 2019 20:51
I've actually ran out of compliments and praise. Means i adore this project it has my full support and never ceases to amaze me bet cyber will be probs immune to my comments by now. I am so itchin for this release this project is love dedication a lifes passion and so much maternal traits in this. I dont think you can actually release this due to the love and inability to let it go. But here is a good way to help do a sequel

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cybernescence
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osiem80
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Posted: 24th Feb 2020 15:55
Cant believe its made in GG :0
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Wolf
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Posted: 24th Feb 2020 16:42
Ha! Great meshes!! Love those outfits.
cybernescence
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Posted: 27th Feb 2020 15:09 Edited at: 27th Feb 2020 15:10
Thanks guys, I've got lots more updates to show, so will post again in a while.

@synchromesh - shader conversion and update attached ( I think - may not have worked)

Cheers.

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synchromesh
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Posted: 27th Feb 2020 22:43
Thanks cybernescence
PM sent .
The only person ever to get all his work done by "Friday" was Robinson Crusoe..
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cybernescence
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Posted: 7th Apr 2020 01:31
So lots of progress on both game and engine ... it's a complementary symbiosis development approach - the game needs a feature or improvement, so game development pauses as engine updates take-over. It sounds like it is a bit stop-start and choppy, and it is, but it's really interesting and I'v e learned a lot more about rendering techniques.

The GG Max 'sneak peaks' did distract me a fair bit though, in that I went down a 'not-strictly-necessary-for-game' bit of GUI tweaking:



However I did start adding a lot of the features I've added to the engine to be available by the GUI (rather, or as well as, setup.ini flags). This made testing s lot easier and I spent a few days on making GG run at different resolutions and also in window mode (this took a lot more effort than I thought ... delving into DXGI ResizeTarget for the buffer resolution switching):



Running the game at lower resolution, though stretched to fit the desktop monitor size, really wacks up the FPS with some loss of visual fidelity obviously. As does running in windowed mode.

I'm looking forward to seeing GG Max in September, not that I will be able to use it for Cogwheel Chronicles, but just to see the new terrain and rendering. As the source for Max is closed I won't be able to adapt anything for Cogwheel, so the engine branch for the game will continue as is, based on 'classic'.

Anyhow, it's back to actual game development next ....

Cheers.

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Wolf
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Quote: "It sounds like it is a bit stop-start and choppy, and it is, but it's really interesting and I'v e learned a lot more about rendering techniques."


It always kinda is to be honest. There is no way to get around it, no matter how prepared you think you are All part of the fun in a way.
I always see it as sort of a huge puzzle.

Quote: " I spent a few days on making GG run at different resolutions and also in window mode"


Quote: "Running the game at lower resolution, though stretched to fit the desktop monitor size, really wacks up the FPS with some loss of visual fidelity obviously. As does running in windowed mode."


I was wondering this. Do you know why it behaves so irratic?

Anyway! Really digging your interface so far. Looks cool and useful.



-Wolf

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Posted: 10th Apr 2020 00:42
Cybernescence what you have done so far with GG with all your mods in it, is just wow. I think if you could one day make all your mods that you have made so far in GG available to the users, then i think some users mite not even bother to use or buy GGMax. It would be fantastic if after your game is released , you could make a deal with Lee so he can swing some money to your side if you could make the mods available. i personally think your mods can make a big difference on GG Classic , and i am sure you even have mods that we don't even know about.
Again , Fantastic work . It is inspirational to a lot off us.

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 12th Apr 2020 10:16
Like Wolf said, it's always stop-start. I find that enough with making models and writing scripts, let alone what you're doing with basically having to write a modified game engine just for your game. Regardless, it's very impressive. Apart from anything else, I commend your stamina to stay on task for, what, nearly 5 years now?! Very inspirational.

AE
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Joined: 28th Jan 2013
Playing: Cogwheel Chronicles
Posted: 16th May 2020 14:22
Hello all,

(and thank you Wolf, PCS & Avenging Eagle for engaging recently, much appreciated),

I don't want this to be another one of 'those' posts that lament over GG's inability to service their game making aspirations, however I guess inevitably there will be some cross-over to that kind of sentiment.

I've tried really, really hard to change (update) GG to support the Cogwheel Chronicles premise and have made some huge strides towards that goal (forgive me for saying so myself) . It's been an absolute blast and I have enjoyed myself and learnt so much in the process I will be forever grateful to Lee and this community for the support in doing so.

In the last few months though, significant aspects have changed - the launch of GG Max which has closed down source code access to classic (and Max). This means I can no longer cherry pick the great upgraded performance parts of GG Classic & GG Max that Lee & Preben have made. GG Max as good as I hope it will be for everyone, will still not provide the features I need for the game I want to release - and with closed source I can't add them. Lee has stated the shader pipeline (from wicked engine) is most likely to be closed to developer update which is absolutely no use for my requirements, so this is all a pretty much a dead end (for me).

I've also been truly staggered, it's literally unreal, what Unreal are making available for game developers with Unreal 5, both from a technical point of view and the lifting of the commercial take they get to only those projects accruing over $1M. Unreal 5 is simply a paradigm shift in game making tech that can't be ignored. And their source code is completely open for modification if in the unlikely event it was needed.

So I'm calling it a day in using GG for Cogwheel, but will still stick around to see with interest how other projects evolve using it (there are some really, really good ideas and projects underway) and also to see how GG Max ends up in September and beyond.

Cheers !

[perhaps any passing mod could lock this when they get a moment, thanks]


GPU: GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER PassMark: 14817

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