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A thousand ships

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I've started to work on a combat gameplay prototype. This prototype should hopefully be done in the coming weeks ( hopefully mid-March ) and its primary purpose will be to test:

- the networking module with up to 25 players in the same battle
- the 3D engine with level-of-detail
- different possible configurations for controls ( keyboard + mouse )
- the combat gameplay mechanics

Today, i've loaded JoeB's ship 1000 times. Initially the framerate was pretty bad ( 15 fps ), but i discovered that the gears of the ship counted for 32 independant objects ( so that they can be animated later ). "In Flight", the gears are invisible since retracted into the hull, so i removed them from the model and reexported it as a single object, and got a framerate for around 125 fps. The model is 7200 triangles, which means the scene weights a total of 7.2 MTris. Thanks to LOD, the per-frame polycount is closer to half a million polys.

Of course, with "only" 25 ships, the framerate skyrockets ( around 500 fps ). It's not even funny.

A basic video of the 1000 ships scene can be found here:
1000 light frigates

I've also started to optimize the planet's heightmap / noise generator and the procedural algorithms. They make heavily use of Perlin noise. I cannot really improve it since i'm already using an optimized version of the noise. However, i've started to implement a cache for the noise functions, and i'm expecting improvements in the 10x to 50x range. More on that later.
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Just a FYI: your movies seem to play just fine on my clean preinstalled Dell with WinXP SP2, telling me I have yet a lot to learn about game development [wink]

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