Update from December 17, 2023

    • Official Post

    Hello folks,

    Today, a build has been shared. The version of the build is 2023.1217, which is from December 17, 2023.

    In these topics, I will inform you about the new builds, changes and improvements. These topics also contain information about known errors, work tasks and short- and long-term work areas in the program modules provided.

    For builds with significant changes, I will create small update videos.

    The following innovations and improvements have been implemented in the current build:

    • An issue related to the initialization of DirectInput compatible devices and their input effects has been solved.
    • Some places in the user interface have been translated.

    The following issues are known with the build:

    • When nodes are sorted, the action is not yet reflected on the internal data. This means that the next time you load to shape, the order will be back to its old state. The function is still being changed.
    • In a few special cases, the material editor crashed for me. It is not yet clear whether there is actually an error here, or whether an external source of error has affected the system.
    • Multisampling for shadows was initially disabled in the settings. Currently, graphics cards are not powerful enough to use this feature in real time. But the problem is that the direction of the shadow is not correct.
    • If you move a window with a ComboBox to the edge of the viewing area and is fixed, the subordinate list will still continue to move.

    The following short-term areas of work are expected in the program:

    • A comprehensive sound framework for controlling sounds depending on environmental conditions such as season, time of day, temperature, sun height and much more.
    • Accordingly, a project layout for ambient sounds is created in FMOD Studio in the Content Developer Kit.
    • Based on the node sorting problem above, the function in the object editor is rewritten so that the selected nodes are placed first or last in the parent node. The action is transferred to the internal data.
    • Similarly, render sorting will be introduced for materials, similar to nodes. The function becomes vital when, for example, there are optimized objects, but the geometry sorting within the same node does not work.
    • The already prepared Lens Flare technique is activated. Some processing still needs to be done internally (geometric visibility test) and suitable sample textures and configurations need to be created.
    • makeMap will be able to decode encoded normal maps again. If you now convert normal maps to DDS textures, you can see the encoded data in the spheremap transformation.

    The following long-term areas of work are expected in the program:

    • The Shape Script API is being extensively expanded. Functions for controlling animations, anchor points, cameras, lens flares, materials, nodes, sounds, and the system are provided. The implementation of the Material API will take the longest because there are extensive pitfalls to consider and a render-to-texture framework will have to be integrated, for example for copying text into a texture.
    • The display of volumetric clouds, stars and celestial bodies is implemented. Until that has been done, the Sky boxes must be sufficient for such situations.
    • NVIDIA DLSS technology will be integrated when NVIDIA releases the ray tracing denoiser framework. The date for this is not known. Integrating the API earlier could cause architectural problems that can be avoided.
    • The texture resolution divider in makeMap is reduced from 256 pixels to 32 pixels.
    • The shared 3D models are not finished in will change in future builds. We share them to give non-modeler people a few content to try out the new train simulator.

    Available documentation and what's new:

    • Some of the documentation is still current as of August 2023. The changes from Train Simulator NEXT will be incorporated in the following days.
    • Many important tutorial videos will be created in the coming days and weeks. Overall, the documentation is a mix of information and process videos and linked accordingly.

    I hope you enjoy the new build for developers.

    Best regards,


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