A few new effects implemented by the capable hands of the Source Code Project team make the game a LOT better looking.The most important one is of course the specular mapping. This is the first REALY NOTICBLE enhancement to the FS graphics engine so far. Oh, one tiny little thing, not sure if it can be dealt with though... Because of the vertex shading, the moment one of the
vertices of a highlighted polygon moves off screen, the engine stops drawing the highlight for the entire poly, this is particuarly noticeable of very bright highlighted sections of ships. Anyway, it's only a tiny thing, but I fear it could become annoying when you are flying close to a ship and only 5 or 6 polys are filling your view.
Another improvement are engine trails (a Freelancer-like effect). The good: it really makes things look fast! And the engine clipping is gone, so that you can't see the engines through the sides of the ship anymore! The bad: The trails are still super long on some capships even if they aren't moving. Not too much of a problem but it can look funny. On the other hand: I am sure this issue will be solved (if it is not already) by adding trails scaling.
About the current progress: as always a lot of new ships have been added: Constitution-class (transport), Waterloo-class, Midway-class, Khalaf, Korlarh and Olympus Starbase, just to name few.
I've uploaded two screenshots, one of which shows the Morningstar with the other without specular mapping.