Bright Engine v0.1.2a Released – Particle Revamp

April 5, 2018

As we said at the end of the last patch notes, we’ve taken a step back from terrain sculpting to focus on optimisation and general improvements to the Engine’s infrastructure. And so, the v0.1.2 update is coming in 3 parts, a, b and c. Each one fundamentally stabilises and improves existing systems so that Bright Engine remains at the highest quality possible as we move forward into the future. This update was our complete overhaul of the particle system, introducing more advanced capabilities as well as fixing a lot of the issues in older versions.

New Features

Particle Editor

The particle got a much-needed UI redesign along with a whole new suite of functions and capabilities that really push the limit on what sort of effects you can create! Animated textures now blend smoothly, particles can spin on their own axis and let’s not forget the brand new Timeline Editor!

You can now create complicated Particle systems with full control over how the particles behave over their lifetime while also having the option to still use the basic tools if you just want to quickly create an effect without needing to set up another bunch of settings!

Changes & Improvements

Particle Loading Speeds

The primary purpose of this update was the new particle system. However, that did lead to some reworks on the World Editor side of things. In v0.1.1, particles were loaded by the project, with the idea being that once they are all loaded in, it will drastically reduce loading times for individual zones for larger projects. However, as it turns out, it lead to some interesting problems with memory assignment, which resulted in a less efficient underlying system. So we changed it, and now particles are loaded up whenever a zone is so that only the relevant data is stored in the temporary memory, reducing ram consumption by about 2% (relative).

Bug Fixes

World Editor

  • Fixed a bug where pressing the done button in the environment panel caused a crash
  • Fixed a bug where changing settings in the particle editor sometimes didn’t update the data files
  • Fixed a bug where pressing the enter key in the particle editor would cause the Windows “Ding” sound
  • Particle Axial Spin now works correctly
  • Particle Alpha Strength now works correctly
  • Fixed a bug where changing the particle texture didn’t save into the data files.
  • Fixed a bug where particle textures were being flipped upside down.
  • Fixed a bug where deleted emitters in a zone were still being loaded in the virtual memory
  • Fixed a bug where creating a new emitter without renaming it would cause the Particle Editor to crash the next time it was loaded
  • Fixed a bug where adding a multiple of the same particle in the scene caused the particles to accelerate
  • Fixed a bug where loading a zone with a deleted particle caused a crash
  • Fixed a bug where selecting an Emitter which has a missing particle from the project and then attempting to edit that emitter would cause a crash

What’s Next?

With particles out of the way, we’ll be turning our attention to the 3D rendering systems, specifically Models and how they are drawn on the screen. We plan on bringing in an automatic instanced Rendering technique along with Model LOD support. We’ll also be doing a general sweep through some of the older systems of the engine’s core, such as zone loading, to bring down the loading times as well as increase the performance.

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