Reflex Changelog 0.31.x

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Reflex Changelog 0.31.x - Looks better, runs faster.

0.31.0, February 25th 2015

This update is now available for testing. To grab it, right click Reflex in Steam, go to the "Betas" tab and select "test" from the dropdown box.

For players, this update is primarily the first performance focused update. A huge part of this was our system for increasing scalability -- we now have very fine control over the quality of textures, effects, shaders, lighting, etc. From our profiling, players should see significant FPS gains compared to previous versions (even with higher detail visuals).

Under the hood, hundreds of hours of development has gone into our art pipeline. While we're not doing much with it at the moment, we're very excited about the power it gives us -- it makes customizing players and map textures extremely simple but extremely powerful. We're going to be doing some really cool stuff with this tech and we can't wait to show it off.

This update is compatible with existing 0.30.x servers so if you encounter any problems, simply revert back to the "main" version until we squash the bugs. Server admins should ideally update anyway but there's no need to run both main and test servers.

Server

  • Re-wrote server front-end to use windows forms instead of raw console. This should actually reduce CPU loads.
  • Fixed a bug where the servers Steam information was being updated far more often than it needed to be. This fix should also reduce CPU loads.
  • When using "callvote map", the returned map list is broken into multiple lines so you can actually read it.
  • Cleaned up failed to connect messages on both server & client.
  • Fixed bug where clients could get stuck in lag state indefinitely on map change (always connecting).
  • Added sv_startmode command.
  • Added server commands "mode", "kick", "remove". This can be used from the server console instead of requiring a vote.
  • Added callvote "kick", callvote "remove".

Client

  • Reduced required DirectX version to 10.0
  • Input is now sent to the server at 75fps (down from 125fps). This should lower the CPU load for dedicated servers with no noticeable impact for players (the server only ticks at 75fps anyway so the extra data was largely wasted).
  • Lightmap format has changed. We now store an extra colour for low end machines, instead of the expensive per-pixel lightmap information. Sorry mappers, this means you need to rebuild.
  • Ridiculous amounts of graphics optimisations (shadows, zprime, decals, gbuffer format, shader optimisation, normal blending). Players should see significant FPS increases across all video configs.
  • Created micro/macro texture architecture, giving us more detail, more customization and using less GPU.
  • Added Image-Based Lighting and removed previous broken reflection pipeline.
  • Added offline DXT1/DXT5/BC6/BC7 texture packer & compressor.
  • Added configs for different video modes. Until we've done our options menu, the easiest way to change video settings is to bring down the console, type loadconfig vid_X and then saveconfig to store the changes. Graphics presets are:
    • vid_high
    • vid_medium
    • vid_low
    • vid_hi_vis
  • Added lots of cvars to scale graphics for different hardware. Generally, 2 is highest quality, 0 is lowest quality.
  • Re-did every single material for the new macro/micro material system. Fun times.
  • Reduced the amount of maps we ship with (rebuilding and re-uploading all the lightmaps is tedious and our internet sucks).
  • Updated lava shader to something prettier.
  • Loading bar is now orange for no reason.


0.31.1, February 26th 2015

  • Removed bloom from vid_low.cfg.
  • Fixed gamma on micro material tints.
  • Restored energy conservation on IBL pass.
  • Fixed crash bug where r_effect_quality would cause a crash by deleting physics objects while engine is running asynchronously.
  • Fixed jerkiness! Buffered input that had not yet been put into network layer was not being applied on client-side prediction. This was in 0.30 too, but way more noticeable in 0.31 when we lowered max outgoing packet rate to 75Hz.
  • Fixed bug where input was getting dropped ( :( ) at certain frame overlaps between outgoing packet rates & client frame rate (this affected subframe too).
  • Pickup touch and pickup respawn effects have been optimised to be lighter on GPU.
  • Developer materials have been rebalanced (and are slightly more shiny).
  • Light_spot_small intensity reduced to be more usable with the new pipeline.


0.31.2, February 27th 2015

  • Increased max shadow count from 128 to 256.
  • Reduced shadow near clip from 16 to 2.
  • Lag & traffic meter now resets on server join.
  • Fixed (again) bug where outgoing packets wouldn't always be clamped to 75/second.
  • Adjusted lightmap gain settings to rebalance light closer to 0.30 levels.
  • Added point sampler.
  • Fixed sampler in macro texture for meta texture (filtering issues).
  • Fixed bug where objects were not getting lit by probes correctly in r_shader_quality 2.
  • Lowered intensity of all placeholder guns.
  • Reduced gloss default texture (again).
  • Adjusted lift_spot_sml intensity to rebalance light closer to 0.30 levels.


Known Issues

  • Player colours are broken (color0 seems to be multiplying through all colours).
  • One frame of rocket explosions is green (particularly noticeable when bloom is disabled).
  • Reports of video driver crashes and occasional freezing of client/server. Consider this a general stability warning -- huge amounts of the engine have been rewritten and we're expecting some bugs.

Fixed Issues

  • Changing r_effect_quality while there are PhysX objects about = BOOM. Careful when switching video modes when there are explosions etc.