First I apologize for making a promise that I couldn’t keep. However I still believe Beta is within the original time frame I estimated but other things got in the way, as usual. Anyway, enough about that.
The goal is still the same, the next release will be the Beta release for DaggerXL. Everything is up and running again and I’ve started to get back to the project, which is coming along fairly well. The next release will still be the Beta – which means NPCs, quests, dialog, shopping, spells, guilds and so forth. Later I’ll talk about progress on the game and such but first I’ll talk a bit about support plans.
The Linux version will not be coming out with the Beta. While the engine supports Linux now, my new computer does not… Well its a long story but suffice it to say that I have issues to work out before development on the Linux version can continue. This is something I’m planning on doing but I’m not going to delay the next release any more then I already have because of it.
I’m shelving the software renderer for the next release and am going to focus on the OpenGL side of things for this release to save a little time. The software renderer will become available with the following release instead so it won’t be shelved for long. However, for those with older systems, I will still be supported fixed function hardware with a reduced feature set. Below I’ll list the major OpenGL versions that will be supported:
* OpengGL 1.2 - simple renderer with single textures and basic OpenGL fog. In terms of lighting this will be the least faithful renderer compared to the “vanilla” game – but there is only so much that can be done without shaders or multi-texture support. Only the first terrain LOD will be available, limiting the view distance to the same range as supported by the software renderer (see the last video to get an idea how far that is). You’ll be able to decrease the view distance to get performance on really old systems. This mode should support GPUs all the way back to the GeForce 256, released in 1999. Intel Integrated graphics should be fully supported from 1999 on (as well as other integrated chipsets that support OpenGL).
* OpenGL 1.5 - this is basically the same as the above but adding support for multi-texture and Vertex Buffer Objects. This will allow for faster rendering and slightly better lighting but will otherwise be the same as above. GPUs made in 2003 or newer should be able to use this mode.
* OpenGL 2.1 - this adds shader support, which will allow the lighting and fogging to look close to the original. Effects like Bloom will be available as well. Cards from 2005 and newer should support this mode. [for NVidia owners: GeForce 6000 series or newer]
* OpenGL 3.1 - this will be the “fully featured” renderer. This renderer will feature view distances of greater then 100km as well as the highest quality rendering. GPUs made in 2007/2008 and later (depending on brand) should support this mode. So if you have a discrete GPU and bought your computer in the last couple of years, you should be able to enjoy the game with maximum quality. [for NVidia owners: GeForce 8000 series or newer]
If you have any concerns or questions about support for your GPU or computer, please let me know. Unfortunately I cannot guarantee performance on really old systems but I can at least make sure the XL Engine runs and have settings you can turn down to help eek out the performance you need. In previous builds many people had performance issues in areas with lots of lights or foliage – that should no longer be the case with the Beta.