Thanks! I need to remember that every time someone asks the same question, for each of them it was the first time!
I do know what you mean that although the cars don't look any worse than before, and in fact look better now with the self-shadowing and improved lighting, they can start to stick out when everything around them is up to a more modern standard.
Anyway I am sure that Eric is very keen to update cars when the tracks are done. I believe he could update some of them and we could do another patch some time after the tracks release. It shouldn't be necessary to update all cars at once. Ideally the oldest ones would be done first. But I'm not saying that's what will happen, because it depends what comes up and what seems to be the best thing to do at the time.
It somehow seems a bit of an annoying question, because it is quite obvious that many of the cars need to be updated (have a look at the RB4 for the most extreme example) but we are on the tracks at the moment. There is only one Eric. He does one thing and then another. Not both at the same time. It is obvious that he would not have failed to notice that the cars and drivers could do with an update.
What I do keep saying, every time I get this question, is that the tracks MUST be updated before we can do a release of the new graphical system, because with the new system, the graphics and shadows are broken unless the tracks are updated. So if we released now, you would have a game full of bugs. But the cars are no worse than they were before. Therefore they do not stop us doing a release.
This means, the cars have a lower priority than the tracks. There is no reason to delay the release by several more months in order to update all the cars. It is a separate subject, though it is quite obvious that they need an update.
Thanks for the report of this annoying bug. I have fixed this in my version so it will be fixed in any future update. I don't know when that will be.
- Press T
- Click down arrow to open characters
- Select a different language code page (e.g. Japanese)
- You do not see the Japanese code page
- You see the code page for the last character in your line of text
Obviously I'm not just sitting here waiting for Eric to finish the tracks. I'm working very hard every day on all the things that need to be done, and I believe that once a month I might be able to think of one or two interesting things to say, maybe something I thought of or something I've been working on.
I'm just saying, although each progress report will be mainly some pictures of a track, I should hope to add a few words about something else, occasionally.
That is no problem and it is normal that message may come up sometimes.
More info for interest:
Sometimes a guest's ephemeral port for the UDP packets can change.
This port, originally assigned by the operating system, is normally used by LFS as part of the identification of which guest a UDP position packet comes from. But the port is ephemeral and the operating system (or is it the router - not going to think too hard about this) can change it at any time. If it does change, then LFS does a more thorough check to figure out which guest the packet came from and stores the new ephemeral port.
When we load an old track into the new lighting system, it does an auto adjustment for the light colour to try and look as close as possible to how it did before, though it does look a bit different because of the gamma corrected lighting. In most cases that is a better look, even without any manual adjustments.
But the new lighting system cannot be released with tracks in that condition, mainly because the shadows don't work properly with all the buildings. Some of them were built long ago when there was no free view mode and they would only be seen from track level. In those days we saved polygons and a bit of work by not always bothering with a roof. Now it turns out that doesn't work with the shadow system. The shadows are only cast from surfaces that are seen from the sun's direction. So every object needs a top surface. For example South City looks good with the shadows, but there are many places where the shadow is missing or there are various shards of shadows around.
So that means every track must be visited to do some fixes. The next thing is that we have shine on roads on some tracks now, and it would be quite inconsistent if there isn't any shine effect on road surfaces at another track, so it always makes sense for Eric to go and sort that out. But he is not comfortable with just updating a few textures here and there on an old track. He wants to do a better job, updating barriers and walls to have the right shine effect too. Then he sees old construction methods and things he wants to do a better way. Also he sees corners that need some adjustment, maybe they were too wide or there isn't enough detail or it's a corner that has caused problems while racing over the years. Sometimes things can be improved a bit for the open configuration support as most tracks were built before we had that system. All these things add up so he ends up doing at least several weeks on each track.
I think most of the questions in the thread have been answered by other readers.
Usually the specular reflections are not coloured. So I suppose that is a specular workflow though I'm not really sure about the terminology. Currently we do not have control of specular colour per pixel. A specular colour can be set for a whole surface and that can be used for a metallic effect (or another kind of coloured reflection, for example a window covered with a film of coloured transparent plastic).
I'm not really sure what a specular factor or a specular power is, but the BRDF naturally reduces the brightness of the shine and increases the spread if the roughness is increased.
Our shaders are using an approximation to a Cook Torrance BRDF with optimisations discussed by various authors. After quite a bit of experimentation we came to one that Eric was happy with and felt he had enough control over to get most of the effects he needed.
I was forced to implement fog in the shaders when I needed to move to shader model 3 and it doesn't do fog otherwise. So I went for exponential fog. It's nice because it allows fog to have some effect in the middle distance without reducing far distance pixels to 100% fog colour.
The layouts at Autocross should be compatible, though some of the areas are a few metres wider. So some changes at the edges may be needed.
At Aston there are quite a few adjustments, various corners have been improved, tightened up a bit in some cases, but most things are pretty much in the same place so I believe most layouts should work with a few adjustments.
I think I should be able to make old Aston layouts load with the extra 2 metres added automatically.
Yes, Aston has been raised to fix the area that was below sea level. I think it is 2 metres, so to make accurate comparison shots you can subtract 131072 from the Z coordinate (3rd number) in the /cp line.
We have been working on graphics most of the time since early 2017 and we can now show you some of the results. You will instantly notice the the new detailed shadows and shine on the road surfaces. Looking around, you will start to see that many more surfaces have some sort of shine level.
In this update we will show you some pictures of Blackwood. As a track that was recently updated, it didn't need many changes other than new textures and settings for the new lighting system. Some other tracks have had more extensive updates and we plan to show you some of those in a few weeks.
For me, having a good life and plenty of free time to do the things I like is far more important than being rich. If being rich was a high priority there are many other jobs I could have done, and probably would have had to work 9 to 10 hours a day and only have a few holidays a year. But what's the point in that? So I could wear a fancy watch or clothes with logos on them so other people would be impressed? I don't get it. Life has to be about doing the things you like to do, not wasting money on expensive crap to show off to other fools.
It's a good question. If I can get the graphics ready to a condition that is suitable for this release and could then get back on the physics so that is suitable in time for Eric to have finished the tracks, then this opens the possibility of working on separate physics and graphics threads. That would be a great help and the plan would be to combine this with some means of producing visual frames at the correct visual frequency for the monitor. That would either be by using a high frequency physics update that can be interrupted at any point for a graphical frame, or by using a lower frequency physics update that can be interpolated to produce graphical frames.
Obviously the graphics needs to be done then that would make it releasable, even with the current physics and it's possible this may happen. But I really hope I can sort out the new physics so we can move on.
Texture resolution is a good option. Deactivating shadows is also one but that is quite unsatisfactory as it would look worse than the old LFS. Maybe instead there could be options to reduce the range of the shadows or switch to a shadow method that accesses less shadow texture memory. There could be an option to avoid the specular highlights or skip the exponential fog. How much any of these options would help I really don't know as I have not got to that stage. But I think there are ways to improve frame rate without making things look too bad.
It may be possible for it to run on a really old graphics card that does not support shader model 3 but in that case I think it really would have the shadows switched off and no specular highlights.
NOTE: This option may or may not be a possibility and none of these are promised!