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    Hello players,

    sorry for the long time without an update. There was a lot of smaller technical stuff, as well as some research and other projects which made it hard to talk about specific things. What I can do, however, is give you a summary about the upcoming items we'll be working on for the Universe update in the following months:

    • Graphics Engine Update
      • Switch to deferred rendering for dynamic lighting: Deferred rendering will greatly increase the quality of rendering as it allows for a lot more light sources than forward rendering. The nice thing about this is that it will be possible to use the prebaked information as part of the deferred rendering to simulate ambient occlusion. And since even deferred rendering has limits in terms of light amount (around 50-100 light sources), we can use the prebaked system in a LoD system being able to still show unlimited amount of lights without slowdown.
      • Optimizations:
        • An all new backwards LoD system that will decrease the number of polygons very significantly.
        • Fast treebased occlusion culling, so areas that wouldn't be visible can be discarded before drawing.
    • Block container revamp
      • This is basically refactoring how block types, rotations, etc are handled. This will make it much easier to deal with bugs and to introduce new blocks.
    • Block Engine Update
      • The load system for sectors will be revamped. The goal is to preload data more efficiently, so that sector changes would be virtually unnoticable.
      • Saving and the block save structure will be revamped to be more efficient and safer (more guards against data loss/corruption, as well as features to prevent newer players from losing work due to a ship getting blown up (automatic versioned save feature on ships))
      • Moving all block data to direct memory, as well as possibly moving more expensive functions to native c++ code (lighting calculation, saving/loading)
    • Audio System
      • Research completed on best designs. System will make it possible to live edit sound effects ingame
    • Particle System
    • AI
      • AI Collision System
      • AI LoD (Collision sphere sweeping)
      • Crowd AI (AI positioning without fighting over space)
      • AI behavior layering (macro actions like getting to a position in the universe and micro like fighting against another ship)
      • AI mission system
      • AI behavior
    • Universe recreation
      • New structure
        • Hirachial Region System
        • Region ownership system
      • New NPC structure
        • overall NPC behavior
      • Place of Interest creation
      • Key area creation
      • Area specification
      • New stellar objects
      • New planet injection
      • Difficulty flow (for single player)
      • Event System
      • Void System
    • Population system
      • Low level NPC population
      • Population resources

    I'll be talking more about each item during and after it is implemented (some of which are already partly done)

    Thanks you for playing StarMade,

    - The Schine Team