First screens of new update
The main design goal of the upcoming update 2.5 was to enhance the engine so that it will have better performance when having lots of light sources. The main reason for poor performance was that the engine used to have a traditional forward renderer. While that used to be a valid solution for fast rendering of most day-light parks (with the sun as the one and only light source), more and more users wanted to be able to equip parks with many lamps and such for night-time environments. Also newer graphics effects like HDR (high dynamic range rendering) and SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion) that are common in modern games were hard to add to the traditional rendering system. Something had to be done to fix all that. The solution was to turn the engine to a full deferred renderer. Basically all modern engines are deferred renderers by now, they scale much better with the number of rendered light sources and allow for a wider range of advanced rendering effects. Let me show you a couple of screenshots showing a few of the new features:
We see that having parks with many light sources is no problem any more. Framerates are not much slower compared to day time. The range of lights is also increased to infinity, so you will see all the lights up to even the farest distance. What else do we see on those screens, we see the new ambient occlusion effect (I created a custom implementation of SSAO, that is both efficient and also pretty), as the name implies, basically everything gets shaded by it. We also see a new bloom effect, and a harder to see new God-ray effect. Last but not least we see some of the new park objects created by Marco. There will be a lot new park objects. We will offer over 20 new park lamp models, around the same number of new fences and benches for all kinds of applications. Most of the new objects can be custom-colored. You will even be able to change the color of the light sources easily. More information coming soon...
[The NL Dev Team]