Spellcaster Studios

Make it happen…

Category Archives: Development

Shader quality

Just added a shader quality system to the game, so that some shaders can be customized for less-powerfull GPUs (like the one I have on my Mac). Currently, only the ambient occlusion stuff is affected by it (since the Mac seems to be sampling-limited). So, without AO: Maximum shader quality: Minimum shader quality: Not amazing, […]

More stippled alpha

Still working on the occlusion shader, trying to decide what looks better… So, we have two options: using alphas (left) or using a stipple pattern (right): I prefer the right side, but based on some informal research on Twitter and on my Facebook friends, everyone seems to prefer the left side… So, left side it […]

Occlusion on water

Still working on the occlusion on the water… The major problem is that this is very render-pipeline dependent. I have to render the water in the depth/normal pass, or else I won’t have decals, so I’m kind of stuck with what I can do with it… So, I decided to try a different approach: use […]

Cache issue fixed

So the bug I found yesterday was cache related… The planet (including the flow map) was being regenerated when I went back to the ship, but the associated areas weren’t, so they were still drawing the old data… Took me a bit to figure out, because I couldn’t do any debugging in debug mode, because […]

Not much time…

This is recurring nowadays… With my current work situation, and other personal issues, my time is pretty much limited to one hour or so of development per day, and that’s terrible, since that’s mostly the time I take to get “in the zone”. So I usually start development on a day, late at night, find […]

Crash analysis

Well, the crash I thought was gone wasn’t that gone… Took me a bit to track it down, but finally I got it down… At first, it seemed to be a memory corruption somewhere, but it only manifested itself on the Mac build. Activating memory guard and other helper debugging tools didn’t show any memory […]

More static analysis

Finished up the static analysis and fixed all of the issues, except a real no-issue with an external library… The crash I was getting on Mac seems to be gone as well, but I need more testing to make sure… As I’ve mentioned, my life has taken a bit of turn in the last couple […]

Static analysis

I just found a neat tool on XCode, a static analysis tool, which provides me a list of potential problems in the code (null pointers, unused code paths, etc), so I’m cleaning up the code to address these issues… There’s a lot of “false positives” (well, they aren’t exactly false positives, the problems might exist […]

Bug fixing: Mac Edition

Still working on finishing the Mac port… I found some performance issues, and after a lot of work I figured the problem is mainly the ambient occlusion. The Mac I’m using for testing is an i3 with a Radeon 5670 with 512Mb of RAM, so it’s not totally a surprise it performs terribly when I […]

Finally fixed!

This was a tough one to track… Ended up using GL Monitor to list all the calls and looking at them in detail, trying to figure out what was happening there… The problem was the redundant texture switch system. To minimize texture changes, before I set a texture I see if that texture is already […]