Hello SD community.
I wonder are there any new about the new graphics engine ? I would like to help out with the new graphics but as I am no c++ programmer I would like to provide content. That brings me to a few questions that need to be answered:
- Wished graphics level
It's nice to have a target when you do something. I am asking you how beautiful do you want SD's graphics to become ? Like rfactor, GTR2 ? I think that GTR2 is a minimum, I would aim at Race07's graphics. That has a bad side effect for people like me with low configs but honestly people who want to play nice games should invest in gear to run these.
I think SD should be rebuild for modern hardware and medium to high configs. Why ? Well I think it is pointless to try to base SD on depraciated things which wont run well on modern hardware and which won't run any better on old computers.
- Wished graphics features
Define all the features that are going to be available in the new graphics engine.
Then define what is default and what is going to be optional. The features which I think could be:
+ Real time reflections
+ Evolutive skydome (day-night and weather changes)
+ Realtime shadows
+ More realistic lights on cars (headlights, backlights)
+ Multiple shaders on one car model
+ Completely editable shaders for 3d models in special files in car folder
+ Realistic interiors
+ Onboard dashes
+ Turning steering wheel
+ Animated suspension arms for open wheel cars
- Well defined specifications for car models
By that I mean defining max polycount for car models, max texture sizes and defining a clear data structure for cars (most probably reuse the old one, which is very good, but add stuff depending on necessity). I think using 25k polys for car model (3d wheels included) open new realism perspectives which could massively improve driving experience and pleasure. Same with more detailed textures and multi shader possibilities (one could make a decent non reflective dash for example).
I have been experiencing big differences of performance depending on which trak I played. Corkscrew looks nice and runs well but on forza which is no better I get 5fps max. I guess part of this problem is the amount of trackside crap. Reducing that could improve performance without affecting too much the gaming experience. For example make trackside people optional.
These are just a few ideas and comments to try improve and open up a debate to define a clear feature list for the new graphics engine. I think if core devs and content builders work together to plan and define the structure of SD it will improve its quality. I also think that SD needs now a real debate on its future audience, who is your target, what are your long term goals and then try to define the features to implement and that not just for the graphics but for all parts.
At last I would like to say that the devs should turn towards the future, base SD on modern hardware and modern expectations because by the time it will be coded, things will already have changed quite a lot. It is in my opinion the only way to provide a package that will not be depraciated.
Before I end, I would like to thank all the guys who contributed to SD 2.1 which is still a cool sim even with little imperfections.
Don't be shy give your opinion to this message !