Quick amendment, but consider voting in the Straw Poll here with your opinion on which girl you find most appealing based on these designs.
I wrote in a comment in my last post on how despite having made significant improvement to the performance of the game’s most demanding location, the school, further development of the location with new content being brought in has brought the framerate back down to unacceptable levels, and has led to the unfortunate realisation that there are some core architectural problems with the engine’s scene system related to occlusion culling. This would require some somewhat non-trivial rearchitecturing of this part of the engine in order to bring the framerate back up. Thankfully, I do have a set of plans for how this could be improved, and it is unfortunately going to result in some further delays, but I think it will be universally beneficial. I’m intending to take my proposal directly to the Godot community and discuss their feasibility as an engine mainline feature
On one hand though, I’m going try to focus on some smaller goals for the next update. Right now, I’m trying to address some problems which are present in the engine’s internal light baker, mostly stability issues resulting in crashes, but also missing features like the inability to correctly interact with translucent surfaces and raytracing from the skybox. There is also the issue of this feature’s massively high memory requirements (on my end, not the player’s), which has resulted in me having to recreate my toolchain to allow a 64-bit build of the engine in order to be able to use all the memory I have (8gb), but this may still not enough if the scene continues to grow in complexity, and if I can’t find a way to make this process more memory efficient, I may have to save up for some more RAM.
On the subject of less speculative work, while a lot of work recently has been dedicated to research as to what will be required for the new scene system, most of my other focus recently has more been on recreating early systems I had attempted with more knowledge and experience of the engine. As well as a ton of minor architectural improvements, we now have entirely abstract location loader which allows warping between the school and upcoming locations previously teased at before while retaining the state of higher level nodes in the scene. We also have improved physics, a rewrite of the title screen with some new UI theming, and new general-purpose ingame 3D prompt overlay system (to be used with interactive objects and the upcoming character dialogue system), early work on the character creator screens, and a complete rewrite of the developer’s console with a bunch of new commands such as noclip, setting and getting flags in the visual novel engine, and hooks into the new universal audio system which includes multiple volume controls for master, music, sound, and specific character voices. There’s also a ton of new 3D artwork ready to go in the engine but I’m still waiting for the right time to reveal the majority of it. A longer term goal I’m intending to tackle is creating a brand-new procedural skybox and weather system needed for the game’s timeflow system.
Something you’ve probably noticed in this post is the presence of the fantastic new character designs for the game’s cast, and my main reason for making this post was that I really wanted to share what these two incredibly talented people had made and hopefully drum up some interest in their own work. Check out their respective pages, they’re incredible, and I hope we can see more from them in the near future.
That’s all for now. The three near-term tasks I’m going to focus on right now are fixing and improving the offline lightmapper, adding in a completely generalised system for object interaction in the freeroaming mode, and finishing the character model I’d shown previously. I hope you’ll continue to follow this blog and thank you all for being so patient. While I don’t want to put out a build with such glaring performance problems, I may still do it if these issues can’t be resolved in a timely fashion, but I would still rather not have this form people’s first impressions.