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Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project

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Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project.

This project is intended to investigate as many potential options for continued development and overhaul of the rendering engine of FreeSpaceOpen (FSO) as possible.
This will involve researching existing engines, the requirements of FSO and the requests of people involved in modding or coding for FSO.

There are a number of goals of the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project:

* Generate documentation for the FSO engine and components thereof
* Investigate and evaluate rendering frameworks
* Investigate, evaluate, write, modify and collect tools to enable coders, modders and artists to work more efficiently
* Generate interest in the FSO engine and hopefully bring new artists, coders and modders into the fray
* Develop future planning, directions and libraries for the graphics components of the FSO engine
* Efficient use and provision of resources available
If you know of a graphics coder or a talented technical-artist (someone who is able to understand the needs and wishes of both the artists and coders), point them in our direction!

Whilst this project is officially examining the the rendering engine of FSO, we are open to discussing other components of the engine and how they inter-relate.
This is NOT a requests forum or a help forum - posts containing requests (where not clearly asked for by the team) or requests for help with modding will be moved into the appropriate forum boards.

We are expecting significant discussion on the HOW and the WHY of engine components. Keep the politics OUT and the technical reasoning IN.

We are currently recruiting team members falling into the following categories:

* Significant graphics or platform coding and documentation experience (C and C++ desired but if you have coding experience with other languages we will help to move you to that platform)
* Significant and established software architecture knowledge and/or experience
* Significant FSO modding experience
* Experience with other 3D engines
* Significant 3D math experience or knowledge
* Significant art experience
* Established research and report writing skills
* Established documentation preparation and production skills
This is an extremely ambitious project - we need people who are dedicated to the project and willing to come with an open mind and significant technical skills.

PM portej05 to join the project!


First question:

We've already had an ambitious project like this, Ferrium. What's the guarantee that this project will not die, just like Ferrium did? I see this is "an extremely ambitious" project. Extremely ambitious projects have a tendency to aim at heights that are impossible to reach with fan work - however dedicated it is.

Second question:

How will you release your work? Will it be one big SCP build that you release yearly, or is it something like the SCP nightlies?

The first requirement is clearly to document how the current engine works in detail.
Even if that's the only thing that comes of the project, it is most definitely worthwhile.
- There's a lot of very obtuse code in there, which is preventing or delaying a lot of useful work.

By documenting everything, it opens up the ability to refactor the existing code.

This is what I see this project as being - not a replacement engine, but a refactored one.
Once it is refactored, we have an engine that runs identically to the old but is much easier to maintain.

So by isolating the sections of the engine, it makes it possible to add features and apply bugfixes or other improvements to individual engine modules.

The E:
Documenting it is certainly one of the very first steps. After that, after we have gained a picture of just how interconnected the whole thing is, we can see about separating it into a more logical layout.

Comparing this project to Ferrium is probably a little unfair. Ferrium was intended to be a complete rewrite of the engine, whereas this is intended to be an overhaul of the engine. Just from that alone, we have a better chance of success. There are two bolded goals in the original post - those are the partial success criteria, although I'd hope that we can achieve a lot more.

This is not going to be a totally separate project from SCP. The large amount of research referenced is to acquaint the team members with current engine and design technology and methodology. It is intended that this project will replace the current rendering engine (read the FAQ for why the rendering engine is a focus at this time).

Additionally, this project will be driven by a technological focus. Whilst we have not lost sight of things like retail (data) compatibility, etc, we do have a lot more freedom than within the original engine.


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