Release Notes for Build 142

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Release date: October 9, 2007

  • The Tool Manager has been renamed to the Plugin Manager. The Tool class is now the Plugin class, the ToolMgr class is now the PluginMgr class, and the Tools folder is now the Plugins folder.
  • A new feature has been added to the in-game interface panels that allows an impostor image to be displayed beyond a given distance instead of the set of elements in the panel. This can improve performance considerably when many panels are visible at once. The impostor image will cross-fade with the real panel between two distances that can be set in the Get Info dialog under the Panel tab. An impostor image should be a 2D texture so that mipmapping is supported. It is possible to change the impostor image from a script using the Change Settings method.
  • A geometry detail level bias and shader detail level bias have been added to the Get Info dialog for geometry nodes. These are specified in units of fractional detail levels. A value of 1.0 means to use a detail level that's exactly one level lower quality than would normally be selected. Negative values can be used to keep higher detail at farther distances.
  • A detail level bias setting has been added to remote portals and panel cameras. This value is added to the detail level that would normally be selected by the engine (in addition to per-geometry detail level biases) and can be used to boost performance when rendering reflections, refractions, or panel cameras.
  • A simple QuadEffect class has been added to the engine for cases when you just need to render a single billboarded quad. It has a position, radius, color, and texture. It gets rendered in the sorted transparent effect pass.
  • Calling the Entity::SetRootAnimator() function now causes the new root animator to be invalidated, so it's no longer necessary to invalidate it through a separate call to Animator::Invalidate().
  • Added settings to the DoorController in the demo game that control the opening speed and closing speed of a door, the time that a door stays open, and whether the door is initially open or closed.
  • Added a generic rain particle system to the demo game. Also added a new setting to the burning rain particle system that controls what percentage of the rain drops turn into flames. (Note that setting the rain intensity and burning rain percentage too high in combination can result in the flame particle system periodically running out of free particles.)
  • Implemented a fallback mechanism for missing fonts. If an attempt to load a nonexistent is made, then the default GUI font is loaded in its place.
  • The middle mouse button now pans viewports in the World Editor.
  • The Collada Importer now recognizes any empty node whose name begins with MARKER_ as a locator marker. This will prevent an empty leaf node from being deleted during import. When the marker is imported, the first 7 characters are stripped from the beginning of the node's name.
  • The Graphics Manager now allows three texture quality settings, and this is exposed in the Graphics Settings dialog in the game code. The high quality setting causes the highest-resolution mipmap to be used, and the medium and low quality settings remove the top one or two mipmaps, respectively. Any mipmaps having a resolution higher than that supported by the hardware are also removed.
  • Added an icon to the multiplayer game that appears over a player's head when he's typing a chat message.
  • Made some adjustments to the weapon code in the demo game so that shots are no longer fired parallel to the line of sight, but instead in a slightly bent direction based on how far away the target in the crosshairs is. This precisely aligns the projectile's destination with the center of the crosshairs.