The guy released a new version of his shaders. With the previous version I got maybe 1 FPS improvement and the differences were almost invisible even when swapping comparative screenshots. This new version is baffling instead. It makes a huge difference visually.
He keeps saying on his site that the mod only works if you use the full lighting render. I use object lighting and it still makes a huge difference, while going from object up to full lighting doesn’t seem to make any difference. Probably with this mod the full lighting mode becomes actually playable on top end PC, so give both a try and use the one works better for you.
The biggest perceivable difference with these new shaders is that the game looks much, much darker and the bumpmaps sticking out more. Also the lights look completely different, much more feeble but the overall impression is that the game looks even more “real” than before. Sometimes it nearly looks like you are staring at a photo and the way the light works seems to trick you believing so more than the vanilla Stalker.
So give it a try because it seems worth it. I don’t know if this general darkness is going to please most, indoors you get about the same light with the torch on that you were getting with the torch off before. And outdoors the lack of lighting greys out things way too much.
Also give a look to the FPS. I cannot believe that his optimizations make so much difference, maybe the lower lighting intensity is a trick? Could a programmer here confirm if my suspect could be founded (lighting intensity affecting framerate)? Outdoors the framerate boost is much smaller.
Yeah, poor topic title choice ;) I just wanted to talk about the mod.
Anyway, the way the lighting tricks you in believing the environment is amazing in STALKER. Going around with the torch indoors is quite an experience. The photorealism due to the lighting mode is stronger than games such as HL2 or FEAR.
It’s the format I think adapts better to a forum. Just 256 colors but only because it uses a palette, where the colors are then picked from the full spectrum. You may see some dithering in the worst case, but the colors are always faithful. JPG instead look smoother but with the colors washed out.
My screenshots look poor quality? I don’t think so.
The big difference with full dynamic is the sun shadows. Even if I had the hardware to run it I would still pick better framerates over minimal graphic improvement.
Oh, and now this guy plans to rewrite other parts of the engine, and maybe do something even for Oblivion (but is code open like that?):
The big master plan of float32 will be an entire recode of the XRAY shader engine, or at least as complete of a rewrite as possible. Currently, Float32 consists of mostly advanced lighting techniques and optimization in that department as lighting is generally the big video card killer. lighting is the basis of everything we see during the day, thus why i chose it first, alongside the fact that it is my favorite area. So, this means currently that everything you see in current version of Float32 is done completely in the shaders by the advanced lighting. No texture changes or fake bump mapping contrast changes have been made at all. As you can see in the above planning I posted that Float32 will mostly continue with lighting changes at least for the next release anyway, then changes will start happening in other areas.
I don’t have any intention to stop Float32 with just Stalker only as i have also future plans for other games such as Oblivion for one example and any neat upcoming titles that catch my eye. I am hoping if Float32 becomes a great success with Stalker that it will then become a multi-game project!
If I turn off sun shadows using these new shaders, it seems to turn off the sun – daytime looks like night. Or very, very overcast. I haven’t tested it, but with object dynamic you still get the suns illumination, but no shadows?
I may have messed up my user.ltx file or something, I dunno.
Yeah but that’s the thing, isn’t it? The people making the game don’t actually have any free time. They have a list of things they need to do in order to ship the game. As much as devs would always love to go back and tweak to infinity, there comes a point where you just have to say “fuck it” and finish the game.