This is more of a development blog entry and less actually news, but I think some people might be interested in how the development of Blade of Agony is currently proceeding. First of all, after turning the development and testing more private and less focused on sharing unfinished material with the community, things got a bit calmer. This doesn't mean that we weren't making progress at all. At the moment I am working on the third mission of chapter 3 which will focus on a small town setting heavily inspired by Medal of Honor's Snipercity with a few more surprises, twists and turns in the plot and a very interesting final battle towards the end of this mission.
Being in contact a lot lately with Graf Zahl were I finally have the feeling that I reached the limits of GZDoom as a port to create semi-modern projects like this. The screenshot to the right has been made by Nash who has actually a pretty decent machine but still, the FPS counter drops to 15 - 15 frames on a modern machine that runs a game more than 20 years old. Sounds crazy? Well, it's obviously possible. The main problem here is the wide open area, the town with all its houses, trees, actors, lines, sectors - the GPU and CPU have a lot to do each single cicle and that's what happens if the engine isn't made for settings like this.
With the help of Graf Zahl, improvements have already been made but it is already clear now that Blade of Agony won't work well with older rigs... or at least not fast. Sure, in our development team we discussed already a few times what to do: Reducing the amount of sectors, changing the setting, aiming for something smaller to make it also available for people with older systems. But in the end, we are not doing this primarily for everyone else, we are doing this mostly because it's fun for us.
When drafting new maps for the project, I don't imagine "What runs well" but I imagine "What plays and looks cool". Sure, if it would slow down my system as well, it would be different, but that's another story ;) Anyway, stay tuned, follow the development thread over at ZDoom.org where you will still find interesting replies from time to time.