June Update!

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Hello Xsyon Citizens!

Itís been quite a while since my last progress report. Things are coming along but there is still a little ways to go with the graphics update.

The basic DirectX 11 update is done with a few minor effects that need to be converted or improved. Setting up the code for the many different combinations of effects and settings has unfortunately been very time consuming. Iíve also converted most of the code for switching to DirectX 12 (and then 13). Most likely I will release the DirectX 11 patch first followed shortly by the DirectX 12 option.

I have set up conversion tools that allow me to modify the game world surfaces using World Machine which is a much better tool that Xsyonís proprietary world builder. The process of exporting is still cumbersome so I need to finish creating a tool to speed up this process as I believe I will be able to create a much better surface distribution which will make the terrain look better especially at a distance and be more realistic.

I have updated the old Speed Tree and spent some time trying to implement assets from the latest Speed Tree. Unfortunately, I canít afford the current Speed Tree SDK which is intended for large development teams. At this point, I will likely stick with the older version with some improvements (bump mapping on trees and more realistic textures) and try to implement newer assets in the future.

Iíve also updated the MySQL and Steam functions to the latest versions.

I need to finish setting up new options menus as some of the graphic options have changed and there are more interface and interaction options now available.

I am also working a necessary upgrade to the Xsyon website. Although the website functions perfectly well as is, the base forum software was coded using a version of PHP that is reaching its Ďend of lifeí. As the forum software was integrated with a back-end payment system and then customized this upgrade is not very straightforward. I am starting with an upgrade to the latest forum software and will work on integrated a payment and account system and then any needed customization.

While Iím wrapping these things up, I would appreciate some feedback on what you players would like to see improved. I am looking for requests that could improve the Ďquality of lifeí or playability especially for new players and that wouldnít require new 3D graphic objects. If you have any such suggestions please join in the discussion on the Xsyon forums.

I wish the graphics update wasnít taking so long but it has been a lot of work and some things Iíve worked on this year havenít turned out to be productive. Itís basically a rewrite of all the graphics code with additions and Iím working a normal 40-50 hour schedule these days unlike the past when I could often put in 80+ hour weeks.

Things are coming along though and once everything is up the latest standards I will be removing the Early Access tag on Steam but will continue improving Xsyon indefinitely.

I look forward to your feedback. Enjoy!