Here are 4 major issues with the current public build:
1. Shadowmaps. They're still broken on more than half the hardware that can run Spring. This is a joke. Shadows are a basic feature on any engine these days, and the engine can't even do simple shadows from a single light source.
And shadows are such an important part of the visual experience of a game that lacking them makes the engine look downright quaint.
2. Pathfinding. Pathfinding changes should probably be reverted to 9 months ago, when it was working about as well as it ever has. At that point, Units could use reverse movement, two turning styles, and everything worked pretty well- the only thing that was obviously awful was local steering code.
Look, guys, I understand that heatmapping was a grand experiment, but the cure has been worse than the disease, and I haven't heard anything here that suggests anybody knows what's wrong or has a plan yet.
I guess that would fall under "communicating with game devs"
3. There is something wrong with SSMF. Right now, in tests over here, SM3 is performing better, at least on this hardware, and turning off map rendering entirely results in huge performance gains. I'm not even going to guess what it is, but I'm fairly certain about causes now.
4. Sound. I would like the changes to sound reverted. It's ugly and it's also fairly CPU intensive. What we had before, with Auswaschbar's additions, was stable, useful, controllable and nice. What we have now is muddy sounds.
None of this should have never passed basic QA. All of these things are important issues that make the engine substantially worse. And there haven't been major features that can distract us from this- for the vast majority of players and game developers, hardly anything new has been done.
But apparently nobody is actually doing QA since I quit, largely because I got tired of listening to people whining at me for bringing things up that needed to be said. I've decided that since I'm going to Unity after this, though, that I'll just say what needs saying, and forget about worrying about whether you like what you hear.
There needs to be a QA process. It needs to involve testing with multiple games. It should be performed by somebody who will look at the engine like a player, instead of just checking stuff off on a list.
The fact that the "release manager" can't be bothered to do that job means that we probably need a new one, or that somebody else needs veto powers over official releases so that we don't have embarrassing results like this. It's very unsettling that the engine has degraded so badly, and yet the person we've put at the helm seems to be calmly oblivious.
If I wasn't planning on leaving as soon as I can, I'd probably ask the saner developers if they would like to fork this engine, with a focus on getting all this stuff fixed instead of blathering endlessly about MT changes which should not be done until the engine is where it was 9 months ago.
And if I were Licho, I would be doing it right now, instead of hoping that things get straightened out in time for his commercial project's debut.
There is no better way to convince me and others to jump ship than to have a release like 82.6 and then make bland statements that suggest it's all fine when anybody who played games on this engine a year ago would disagree.
The fact that this stuff isn't even on your agendas is very disturbing. It's all vital, it's stuff that's been known to be broken for months or even years.
Please get focused on the right problems, or we'll eventually get an MT Spring that is at least partially broken on > 60% of all hardware, performs poorly, plays poorly, and sounds like it's been dipped in a well of deep tar, largely because the people signing off apparently are too lazy to do the most rudimentary review. And then it will be "too hard to fix", and that will become the excuse forevermore, and the engine will become even less attractive than it is right now.
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