Ok, so for a few days I was working on graphics stuff for GTB, rather than gameplay. A lot of this came about because I wanted some GUI in there for issuing movement orders to units, and that is mostly done now. It also looks pretty nice too. The idea is not that you will generally be issuing movement orders, because like most tower defence games, your troops attack on rails, but sometimes there is branching, and you might want to ensure a certain unit goes left, or right, so you can give them an override-path manually. My current thinking is that in the GSB style challenge battles, this just isn’t an option, so it retains it’s hands-off style for that game mode.
A bit of profiling through a lot of doubt over my claimed 400% increase, and it looks like it’s a lot lower than that :( I blame Visual studio often not realising it needs to overwrite an exe when you change configuration. pesky Visual Studio…
However, my profiling binge did point out something scary (and slowdown-inducing) which was that in some average night-time battles, I was calling SetRenderTarget about 45-50 times a frame. Ouch! This was mostly stuff like searchlights and laser beams, that render to the screen, then also get rendered to a light map for later composition and niceness. They were handling this individually, rather than being batched as they are now, meaning less that 18 SetRenderTargets per frame, and several more of those will get optimised away soon. Many of them are essential, for selection UI, lightmaps, shockwave distortion and fog of war.
The ups-hot of this is that I can play fullscreen, release-build 1920 x 1200 res with all graphics options on, at night-time, with toggling night vision on and off, explosions, lasers, searchlights, unit selection UI and range GUI, path selection-GUI and the windowed UI for minimaps and unit selection…. All at a consistent unwavering 60 FPS, with fraps and windows media player running in the background.
Like GSB, this will be a game that really sells itself through videos of gameplay.
Also today I might peak at 9.5kwh of power from my little garden power-station. When that pesky tree gets trimmed, it should climb even higher. Oh yeah.