On the CEL side things are looking good now. I have a nice working game which is almost finished. One thing that I really would like to do now is to have support for moving on moving objects. i.e. imagine an elevator which is in itself a moving object. When you go inside that elevator and you press a button it will go up or down. In the mean time you can still move on the floor of the elevator. For trains or other vehicles this would work too.
I started sectorizing the game level to get better performance but instead I got worse performance! The reason is easy. There are two sectors: 'inside' and 'outside'. There are about 10 portals from inside to outside (windows and doors). In the 'outside' region there is a landscape mesh object. This object will be drawn essentially 10 times (if 10 portals are visible). Everytime it will be drawn restricted to the portal area but still it means the landscape mesh has to do LOD and other setup 10 times. This is slow. So I started implementing a new feature in Crystal Space. Basically you will be able to enable 'noclip' for a mesh. When this option is set the mesh will not be clipped to the portal at all and it will also only be drawn once. That means that on the first visible portal the mesh will be rendered completely and all other portals to that same sector will just leave the mesh unrendered. This is all nice in theory and I even implemented it but now I have the problem of getting it to work :-/
I also got a new idea for a visibility culler. This idea was sparked from a discussion on the #Once channel. Basically they are having the problem that if you close a door (and the doorway itself is a portal) then it will still render the contents of that portal in many cases. The reason for that is that dynavis is not a perfect culler and the door object and doorway are very close together. This decreases the chance of dynavis culling the portal. Also if frustvis is used then no such culling happens at all. So I'm considering making a new culler that is very simple in nature and would only attempt to cull away 'complex' objects. A portal is a complex object since a portal represents an entire sector behind it. But other objects can also be marked as complex (typically as a function of number of polygons). I still have to decide on how exactly I would do the culling then. The end result should be a culler that is a lot less expensive then dynavis but would be able to cull away portals that are covered by a closed door.
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