Update 0.8 - Ship Manufacture and Many Lights!

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Update 0.8 - Ship Manufacture and Many Lights!

Postby MrBenjammin » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:52 pm

Update 0.8 is uploaded and available! This update brings 2 main features to Sky Nations. The first is being able to create plans and duplicate your ships and the second is a whole new rendering pipeline as well as the usual fixes and suggestions.

Ship Manufacture
Ship Manufacture in Sky Nations is quite simple. First of all you need a plan of your ship. You can get this by crafting 8 Scan Nodes. Placing these in a large cube shape, with each Scan Node at a corner with a space in the middle big enough to fit your ship in. This will allow you to scan the ship. Scan Nodes do require power, so make sure you have an energy relay hooked up to the particular node you're accessing them from. When you go to scan your ship(by right clicking the Node) you have a choice to save it to your Personal plans. These are only accessible by you or save it to your Nation(if you're in one). Nation Plans are accessible to anyone in the same Nation.
Once you've got a plan of your ship. You'll need a Ship Constructor, this can be crafted with 4 Steel and 1 Burntout Core. Simply place it down and hook it up with an Energy Relay and you're ready to manufacture your ship. One thing to remember is you need enough space above the block for the ship to fit! The cost of producing a ship is based on the sum of the materials it was made of. These are the same prices Merchant cat goes by. You do not need to match the materials that you used to make it. However you need to match the ship's value. To do this you'll need to place a crate or crates adjacent to the Constructor and fill them with materials to make up this value, this should be materials you no longer want as they'll be used(destroyed) during the ship's construction. Depending on the value of the ship it will take varying amount of time to complete. If power runs out it will pause so make sure your constructor is adequately powered. If you leave the System while construction is going on and it becomes unloaded the construction will fail. So bare that in mind. Another important note is that plans do not contain the contents of blocks. For example the contents of your Crates or Mass Generators are not recreated.

Deferred Renderer
On to the second big change. Deferred Rendering! One of problems that's being biting away at me for awhile is that we could only have 16 lights effecting one object at once. This meant the game had to grab the nearest 16 lights to an object and nearest to you then do it's best to prioritise them. Unfortunately a chunk(32x32x32 blocks) whether it be a ship or a piece of land is an object. So you'd find when you had a lot of lights in a small area many would shut on and off depending on how they're prioritised and you'd get sharp edges like this:
This is no good! This is where converting SN to use a Deferred Renderer comes in. Without getting too much into the technical side this basically means we can do lighting as post process and have a whole lot of lights effecting everything in screen space without the limiting factors we had previously. These lights also look much nicer than they ever have before.
This was a bit of monolithic task to change basically how every game object is rendered but I think it was definitely worth it. I also took the time to adjust and upgrade a lot of the existing graphical effects in Sky Nations such as Bloom which now dynamically adjusts to day and night to prevent it whiting out during the day! I've added experimental dynamic shadows and a new sun and moon too!
For a full list of changes to SN checkout the change log below. The server files are already available via the download page. The client will be automatically updated via Steam or the Launcher.

Server hosts with scanned ship plans(created with Scan Blocks, these can only be admin spawned and weren’t implemented fully previous to 0.8) will need to delete the plans from GameData/Plans/ before starting their server with this update.

  • Added Ship Constructor block. The Ship Constructor will build ships from plans created with Scan Nodes. To build a ship with it you must have an adjacent Crate. You do not need the same materials the ship is made of, however you do need to match it’s value in materials. The value amount available to the constructor is displayed in it’s window as well as the cost of the ship plan. This allows you to create duplicates of your ships much easier. Constructors can only be used on land and require power. Time to build is based on cost: (cost / 20) * 2000=ms. Recipe: x4 Steel and 1 Burnout core.
  • Scan Nodes are now available. You can scan ships by arranging 8 of them in a cube around a ship. These will create plans for personal or Nation use. Craftable with: 4 Steel and 1 Burntout core = x4 Scan Nodes
  • Rewrote SN’s entire rendering pipeline. Sky Nation’s now uses a Deferred Renderer allowing it to draw many dynamic light sources at once(such as Lanterns!). Lights also now have much better attenuation and effects block faces based on the direction they’re facing. This is a really big change to the renderer which effected at least 50+ different shaders so there maybe some rendering bugs, please report these so I can fix them ASAP.
  • Ambient light direction is now based on the Sun or Moon depending on time of day.
  • Added new Sun and Moon. Moon is still a work in progress. A lot of how the sky is rendered has also changed. The cloud floor now mimics the colours of the sky.
  • Improved lighting for screenspace objects(things like weapons in first person view).
  • Bloom now adapts to day/night and is much less blown out during the day.
  • Added experimental Dynamic Shadows. They are off by default but can be enabled via the Graphics tab in the options menu. They are a work in progress.
  • Items/blocks dropped on the floor are now lit correctly.
  • Added Power Display that can be connected to any Energy Relay like a machine and will tell you how much energy is available at the given relay and how much is used on the way to that relay. Recipe: 4 Copper and 1 Burntout Core.
  • Dispersion generators now produce 400 land energy(Missile Pods require 50).
  • Missile Pods now require power to function.
  • Mounted repeaters now go transparent when mounted to them so they are easier to aim without blocking user sight.
  • Added cancel button for parachuting. By default it is Left Shift, can be rebound in key bindings. You can only parachute ONCE per fall. So you cannot open it again after cancelling until you touch the ground.
  • Updated parachute hint text to grab key binding from Keybinding and for text to flash.
  • Removed screenshake from firing shotgun.
  • Added new shotgun model.
  • Shotgun now has a higher fire rate at 0.5s instead of 1s. But does half the damage per pellet(5dmg).
  • Bullet based weapons now break Glass and do 50 damage to Hard Glass.
  • Dispersion Generators now play a sound effect when active.
  • Added new model for Mallet.
  • Turrets per system are now capped to prevent over-turreting hurting server performance. The default cap is 64. You can change this in Server Settings.xml with <MaxTurrets> tag. Existing turrets will not be affected but you will not be able to place anymore if there is more than the cap.
  • Small Optimizations to many shaders used in SN. Cleared a lot of unused shader code and branching statements from existing shaders.
  • Removed F4 screenshot button. Use Steam’s built in one.
  • When you’re disconnected from a server abruptly you’ll now be shown an error message in the lobby with a reason.
  • Game now starts at desktop resolution and fullscreen the first time it’s started.
  • Bloom is now default on.
  • Storage Crates now show their wealth at the top of the panel.
  • Update Lidgren.Network library which should improve latency for those suffering severe latency with only 100-200 ping. However this may mean very poor connections might have difficulty connecting to the server.
  • Fixed exploit where gate beacons were mineable.
  • Fixed not being able to mine through respawn chamber glass blocks. So you can now mine when you’re inside one.
  • Fixed jitter on missile turret turning if powered when angle sum became too high.
  • Fixed cut grass texture for icon.
  • Fixed various bugs with energy relays.
  • Fixed tank expansion for waste not being calculated correctly(Large tanks would not work).
  • Fixed muzzeflash lagging behind gun positioning by a frame.
  • Fixed missing sound effect when firing Artillery Cannons.
  • Fixed blurry sampling on dropped items and item previews.
  • Fixed FXAA not actually being disable-able.
  • Fixed FXAA and Bloom not disposing their respective render targets when toggled off.
  • Fixed some Bloom targets not resizing with resolution changes.
  • Fixed a bug where options wouldn’t always apply to live game session after clicking save.
  • Fixed crash from item sculpter.
  • Fixed Wedges being unclimbable on rotated ships.
  • Fixed engine resetting resolution even if it was already the same. Resolution and device will only be reset on changing to different resolutions.
  • Fixed UI elements becoming unresponsive/unusable whenever you Tab close Message Box popups.
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