Mod News

HDR In The Wild! | WDB #86

freeworlds_2016-10-24_00-09-23This week saw the release of a major patch, including HDR rendering and many other additions and fixes. Today’s post features the patch notes in full, as well as an array of images collected from the community showing off all the new graphical delights! Download the game and see for yourself!

Development Updates

Before we even get to the notes, we need to show you the fantastic upgrades that have been made to our engine. These upgrades are built on the back of a game that came out in 2003! That’s thirteen years ago. Think about that while you’re salivating over these. Better yet, download the game and see for yourself!

HDR Gallery

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The notes this week are quite extensive, so take your time and read through them all!

Patch 84 – Now in HD… R

Kalis’s Log

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed Gladiator SD’s chase camera
  • Fondor no longer has an oversized atmosphere
  • Fixed broken astro droid, Corellian militia, stormtrooper, NR soldier, dev team, and sith lord runs
  • Astro droids take up 10 cargo space now
  • Swapped purchase locations of repulsorlift parts and starship frame elements
  • Increased T-Wing maneuverability from 67.5 to 70 (par with Avenger or X-Wing)
  • Adjusted ordnance prices to better match economy
  • Removed MC30’s rear ACM launcher
Ships Available for Sale
  • Nebulon-B available for purchase at KDY Deponn Yards (17M)
  • Action VI available for purchase at KDY Security (8.5M)
  • Type C Freighter available for purchase on Kuat (10M)
New Engine Effects
  • Starchaser
  • A-9 Vigilance
  • T-Wing
  • Marauder
  • DP70
  • Container Transport
  • BFF-1 Bulk Freighter
  • Modular Conveyor

FriendlyFire’s Log

  • Readjusted collision damage scaling
  • Specifically adjusted collision damage with asteroids to be more potent
  • Fixed hyperspace cooldowns being incorrectly calculated
  • Potentially fixed server crash relating to wrecks
  • Upon unexpected disconnection from the server during hyperspace, the player should be automatically teleported back to their location before the jump instead of getting killed
  • When a player is killed, their ship respawns on base with 10% hull strength instead of 100%
  • Hyperspace calculation speedup has been altered and is now active if:
    • The player is at least 5k away from hostile NPCs
    • The player is at least 30k away from hostile players
  • Carriers will allow docking even if the carrier is enemy with the player as long as they are in the same group
  • Gravity well intersections now display the sector coordinate of the intersection itself with an expanded coordinate range
  • Fixed Gladiator docking hardpoints
  • All systems have new stars with new illumination settings
  • Fixed planet shadows
  • Upgraded shader compiler: better/faster shaders!
  • Altered player ship update packets to more accurately track movements, but with a minimum time between updates to prevent server overloading
  • Game is force closed when the client hook is unloaded, minimizing the chances of the game getting stuck on closing
  • Fixed very common client crash when a ship would vanish while still owning fire event sprites
  • Major graphics engine upgrade:
    • Now supports high dynamic range (HDR)
    • Uses the ACES filmic tonemapper
    • Supports gamma correction
    • Uses automatic exposure adaptation
    • Redesigned G-Buffer to use a depth pre-pass, which could improve performance on certain machines
    • Increased bit-depth of starspheres, improving quality
    • Switched illumination model to GGX
    • Redesigned every render element to use the now expanded illumination range
    • Stars now use approximate sphere area lighting
    • Beams now use approximate line area lighting
    • Shadows now use percentage-closer filtering (PCF)
    • Upgraded glass rendering
    • Unified ambient lighting
    • Redesigned hyperspace starsphere
    • Completely new star rendering, which includes an actual star surface, a corona-like effect, and a large glow
    • Completely new bloom rendering
    • Completely new color correction automatically based off star color
    • Completely new far-field asteroid field rendering which displays thousands of individual sprites mimicking asteroids seen from afar and lit properly
    • Adjusted engine exhausts while cruising
    • Fixed long standing atmospheric scattering intensity problems
    • Fixed planet mesh interpolation problems
    • Planet atmospheres now get approximately shadowed
    • Engine exhausts now have random variations in shape and texture to make them look more natural
    • Major changes to hyperspace shader, making it more robust and prettier
    • Fixed beams displaying differently when against the starsphere versus an object
    • Resolution scaling is now available and can render the game at a different resolution than the UI and final display resolution
  • F1’ing in while in space will trigger the hyperspace in effect
  • All ships spawning in near the player will appear to be hyperspacing in
  • Fixed hyperspace acceleration problems with large ships; all ships now accelerate almost instantly in hyperspace
  • Fixed UI numerical values overflowing their text area when the value went below 1
  • Hyperspace tunnels are more difficult and start twisting faster, proportional to instability
  • Hyperspace tunnel lengths and ship speeds have been tweaked to improve the sensation of speed when using larger ships
  • Undock camera now properly transitions to the third person view camera
  • Collisions now have a speed limit relative to the ship’s own max speed
  • Fixed “weapons hot” message showing up when throttling up with the mouse wheel even when Shift wasn’t held down
  • Print Screen now saves a HUD-less, unscaled screenshot by default, with Shift+Print Screen saving the final screenshot with the HUD
  • Fixed potential client crash if the current docking target vanished (e.g. carrier)
  • Fixed issue where attempting to enter cruise while the throttle was limited to 100% (e.g. during a docking sequence) would make wing animations get stuck in cruise mode
  • The “unsupported graphics card” window should no longer appear
  • Added a lot of safety checks to prevent divisions by zero throughout the client hook
  • Relaxed range constraints for missile lock-on
  • Near plane is now closer to the camera if in cockpit view
  • Added carrier relative positioning: while docking with a carrier, ships will start moving relative to the carrier’s location instead of the world when close enough to it, provided the carrier is moving faster than the ship’s top speed at 100% throttle

Patch 85

FriendlyFire’s Log

  • Pruned some unused configuration settings
  • Star glow now fades out at the edges of the screen properly
  • Removed normal map bias; this will cause increased flickering, noise, fireflies and Moiré patterns, but will improve detail
  • Redesigned render component load/unload system; game should now alt-tab properly

Bug Submission Reports

Additionally, we now have a standard bug submission report form. Filling out all the required areas should give the developers a good place to start with regards to fixing player issues and nailing down any pesky bugs. Follow the link below:

FW:ToW Bug Report Submission

Community Links

Recruitment for the New Republic and Empire are open! Send your applications to Kalis and/or Volume_9 and they will get you sorted right away. 

Want to get in touch with the devs and join the community? Join our Discord Channels! Click on the links below:

For the latest development videos, please check out our YouTube Channel! Or, visit us on the Freeworlds Forums, Facebook, or leave us a comment or question here and the developers will respond! We also have a Steam group that’s updated weekly with our news posts, and our community is always welcoming new gamers!

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