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Hello Dark Mod team and community, long time listener, first time caller here... I recently ran into a problem with TDM 2.06 when I upgraded my Radeon drivers to 18.12.2. I can't remember what driver version I had before that (I don't upgrade too often) but I was able to run GLSL and soft shadows with the same hardware I have now, but the upgrade broke these shaders. Besides rolling back my drivers, I can work-around this problem by entering "r_useGLSL 0". I held off on reporting this problem because 19.1.1 was getting ready to release and I was hoping the new drivers would fix this, but sadly they have not. The way the shaders glitch out is interesting, walls are only lit by half and usually along a diagonal line or a curve that doesn't match the light that should be cast by the source and meshes are sometimes cut into quarters or lit in . Sometimes things aren't lit at all despite being directly in view of a light source, and look like their normals have been flipped inside-out or something. Normal maps and speculars are also not working. Besides being ugly, you can't always see where pools of light are being cast until you step into them and your light gem tells you you're visible, which inhibits gameplay. In every other respect, the game seems normal, but broken lighting in a Thief game is a problem, so I'm playing 2.06 in "2.05 mode" for the moment. Here are some examples: - from "Sir Talbot's Collateral" with GLSL on (broken) and same scene with GLSL off (old lighting working correctly) - "Heart of Lone Salvation", GLSL on and GLSL off (please pardon the missing book on the table) I'm using an AMD Radeon R9 390 Series, 8 gb of GDDR5 VRAM Intel Core i7 2600K at 3.4 GHz Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit 16 GB of DDR3 physical memory On the Dark Mod wiki there's mention of creating a game profile with Surface Format Optimization turned off, but that did not alleviate the problem. Have you guys seen this before? I think the developer Stgatilov had a similar graphical problem and reported it here: http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/19752-tdm-205-weird-graphics-on-nvidia/ But his problem was on 2.05 and with Nvidia hardware, not AMD/ATI.
I hope this isn't a useless thread, just thought it would be constructive to let everyone know about it. I was looking up some TDM related concerns, and accidentally stumbled across another fork of the idTech4 engine. It's called fhDOOM, and it seems to have a lot of neat graphical improvements over the stock engine. eXistence/fhDOOM There are definitely things in there that TDM could consider grabbing! Some important ones highlighted on their front page: Modern renderer based on OpenGL 3.3 core profile. Any up-to-date engine should have this as a norm.Parallax mapping. Not sure if we have this already... I only know the original engine had simple bump mapping.Soft shadows. A heavily desired and long awaited feature.Alpha textures affecting shadows. This allows light to shine through textured grates, which is a very beautiful improvement.Soft particles. This one we already have now however.An example of the old lighting system (ours) versus lighting with shadow mapping (fhDOOM): As the obstacle to new features is almost always finding someone willing to code them, discovering those improvements for our engine is a goldmine... since unless they conflict with any of our changes, I assume they should be easy to just plug into the code. Can any of this good stuff please be considered for inclusion in TDM's version of the engine?
I recently saw a post about the functionality of the idTech 6 engine, which brought this suggestion to my attention. It's actually a simple and trivial improvement, although I can imagine people missing it and not thinking about its absence. Also keep in mind I don't know the lighting code of TDM, and everything I say is purely out of observation. Like most engines that use dynamic lighting, TDM tends to have considerable performance issues when a lot of lights are rendered at once. This is often because of shadows and possibly other calculations. A common way to prevent extra computation in the renderer is caching all lights, and only updating each one when necessary. Meaning either the light itself has moved, or something is moving in front of the light. If both the light and the geometry it affects are static, there is nothing to recalculate, which offers a significant performance boost. TDM has a serious problem here: Even if the engine already knows how to cache lights, every torch has a moving light source! If you look closely at a torch, you'll notice its shadows constantly bob around. While this makes sense aesthetically, it also means that light will be recalculated each frame... even if the torch is mounted on a wall and no physical object or NPC is currently moving within its radius. Since most maps use torches and have areas where characters don't walk in front of them, I see a notable performance improvement being lost here. My personal suggestion: First of all, does idTech 4 support light caching for static lights + geometry to begin with? If somehow the original engine didn't have that, I definitely think it should be patched in! Once that's solved, I believe moving light sources for flame based lights should be controlled by a cvar; If people are okay with the performance loss, they can enable that to get bobbing shadows... if not, disable to allow torch lights to be cached and improve overall FPS. An idea to compensate for the visual loss: Can't we use an animated light texture to simulate moving flames altogether, as well as pulsating brightness? The light bobbing looks pretty extreme anyway: In real life, candles have a smooth flame that casts a neat shadow, and shadows don't always move that chaotically even when it's a noisier flame like a campfire.