Well, it's been another week of development on Starlight Revolution.
One of the areas I focused on was planet generation. The old method relied heavily on the CPU, and thus wasn't really suitable for use during gameplay. It worked fine if I only generated planets during loading, but generating them at runtime led to a noticable stutter. I've completely rewritten this area so that it runs much faster- so fast, in fact, that it's entirely reasonable to regenerate planets on the fly. This is a major gain, because it means that I can do things like modify the look and shape of the planet due to comet impacts, orbital bombardment, and other ingame effects.
There are still many improvements to be made to the effect before it's satisfactory, but for now it's a solid proof-of-concept.
This week I've also done a lot of background engine work. One of the improvements I made was to switch from TinyXML to pugiXML as my XML library. I've done some profiling, and pugiXML actually runs noticeably faster even over the small set of XML files I load. As an added bonus, I find the library much more intuitive to use than TinyXML.
Other changes I've made this week involved loading game data from files, and some minor improvements to how I handle rendering text on the screen.
As always, feel free to drop me a line on twitter @JeckDev or leave a comment below. You can also subscribe to the mailing list for monthly email updates on what I'm doing. The first newsletter launched at the end of last month, so if you'd like to see what kind of content you can expect, you can check it out here.