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Flamingpie

Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator: a few bits of information

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Chris, the developer of Deadstick, came on Discord last night and shared some bits of information. I copied and pasted (and edited) most of his remarks and replies to make things easier to read and follow. It's a bit random but it gives some nice new information. 

Trees
Deadstick contains 2.3 billion trees. Up close they are fully 3d and animated, we have 3 lod levels so trees are 3d but decrease in complexity as the radius gets further away from you. Beyond a certain threshold we use imposters and beyond that we render them on to the base terrain mesh which then fades out as you get closer so you never see trees painted on to the ground. But you see trees as far as the eye can see.
Tree placement is done procedurally using our own tools and take into consideration various rules such as underlying surface type, slope, altitude, daily sunlight etc. Each tree that is generated then also has to be tested against other foliage items to ensure it’s not colliding plus other colliders - buildings, runways etc. Same theory for rocks, grass etc We can then handpaint/fine tune as necessary.
The big hurdle we have been facing is build times to generate these things to iterate to good quality. A full terrain tree build quickly took in the order of 15 hours. Which isn’t very practical. We’ve had to invest quite a bit of effort in improving workflow so that we could get that down to much shorter build times to iterate. If we decide we don’t like the distribution of a particular surface type we tweak a number and then wait another 15hours to see the result. With a fairly large effort we’ve got that down in to the order of 3-4 hours which is much more manageable.
Every tree has its own collision, they are all individual as far as the physics engine is concerned. The collision is somewhat dependent on the type of tree/foliage but they use capsule colliders so it’s mainly the trunks you need to worry about - we aren’t doing any crazy real branch deformation/interactions

Clouds
Clouds are fully volumetric so no issues with billboards rotating/popping in vr. Similarly with trees, fully 3d.

Hardware
Unfortunately I think it’s fair to assume that Deadstick isn’t going to run on integrated graphics sadly. We aren’t quite there with specs yet, partly as we have been held back by the terrain which plays a huge part in performance. We are making full use of both cpu and gpu so the good news is your hardware is being fully utilized, the flip side is it raises the bar in terms of gpu beyond anything integrated (it’s possible it may run on some, I must admit I’m somewhat out of the loop with latest integrated chipsets, but if it does I’d expect it is the exception rather than the rule). I’m purposely being vague on committing to specific hardware yet because I’m keen to see the results on a wide range of machines first.
We are doing a lot of streaming from HDD so an SSD will certainly help yes, but not essential.

Q. Can you lock the game to a control device, or is remapping done by detecting the first input?
A. Input system is designed to be as flexible as possible so you can map as many devices as you like. (Or at least that’s the theory.) I often chop and change between keyboard + mouse, joystick/hotas and gamepad in a single playthrough. If you can see your devices in joy.cpl then you should be good to go / map as desired.

Q. Is force feedback implemented ?
A. Not yet sadly, I’d love to asap but unfortunately higher priority items for now.

Q. Will this be a living world as well, meaning the animals will roam freely, or within confines of certain boundaries?
A. That’s the long term intention, it will feel fairly static at early access, other than other aircraft, but we will add more life over time.

Q. As far as the modeling, is PBR being used, thought i saw someplace previously about this?
A. Yes it is.

Q. How’s ‘seeing’ other players going to work when weather isn’t synced? We’re going to be lining up on opposite ends of runways?
A. It’s a possibility but with prevailing winds shouldn’t be that much of an issue. Radio always available to coordinate - hard to know for certain until we start to really test the beta multiplayer. With regards to griefing, we have options for collision/non collision. I suspect we will be adding a reporting system at some point also.

Q. I understand why you’ve gone the way you have with multiplayer, but idk how it’s gonna work when I’m skud running with clouds at 500’ and the other guy has VMC.
A. Ultimately it’s about giving players the choice - if you want to turn it off you can, if you want to play in free flight and always have synced weather you can, personally I think the positives of seeing other aircraft and being able to chat over the radio outweigh the negatives. But for sure there’s going to be some teething around it, as there is with multiplayer in general. Remember these are remote locations / remote strips so there aren’t going to be long queues at taxiways with players battling to all get off the ground at once or skies crawling with aircraft. We’ll strategically limit aircraft per server to get a nice balance of remoteness/player contact. For free flight it’s a little different as you’ll want groups that can have fun together. Single player will def be a thing. Internet connection not required.

Q. Can we get out of our planes in mid air, if so, can we jump into another player’s plane, ala the Just Cause series?
A. Jumping out, not swapping aircraft.

Q. Will steam workshop be a thing at some point after beta completes?
A. Steam workshop yes- we will start with fairly simple support - custom liveries etc then expand from there.

In addition: here are a few behind the scenes screenshots of various objects that Chris posted:

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Interesting. I've kept my eye on this and will continue to do so.

Thanks for the update.

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