In the process of converting from FMOD, I fixed numerous lingering sound issues. One of the most major ones was a bug from the transition from sound files to sound tags. In order to allow our sound designer to swap out sounds at runtime, and also to facilitate localization, I added a .csv file that points from a sound tag string to the sound file name itself. All level and entity data, as well as the engine now only uses sounds by tag and not by file. Of course, there were still some sound sources using the old system, and they were not being attenuated properly, making some environmental sounds appear as if they were everywhere.
I also added a tiny bit of fake HRTF - basically slightly dimming the sound if directly in front of you, and dimming it more if directly behind you. Both effects go away as a sound is more directly in one ear.
One of the major feedback points from our alpha test was the lack of 'stuff' in the levels - specifically vegetation. Vegetation is nice, b/c it tends to have a lot of interesting surfaces to catch the light, it moves around, and can provide a sense of age when used to cover things normally not covered in vegetation.
Right now, we can have static entity plants, or burned-in triangular static trees, but neither are designed to move in any meaningful way.
So, I implemented a Jakobsen-style verlet constraint system. Right now this is only used as a particle system, and can be used to model ropes, springs, sticks, cloth or any combination of the above. Last night I got it into the engine and rendering ( although without lighting or shadows ), and even added world and entity collision.
Here is a shot of several pieces of rope, one of which is stuck on the forcefield.
My plan is to use the cloth for well, cloths like banners, and flags, but also for patches of ivy, and viny tangles, spiderwebs, etc.
For lighting, I have several ideas, but the one I'm sure will look good, but may be too expensive in some cases, is to do shadow raycast checks over several frames ( like the entities do ). Now the entities do this once per object per frame per light, but to get good results on a long rope, I suspect I will need to do all or several vertices. Perhaps just the rope ends and the cloth corners will be enough... we'll see...