Please note that the new shaders unintentionally use real-time shadows, and trees are missing due to upcoming new environments.
While this build features no new gameplay elements, I have managed to increase the frame rate by 15-20% and cut the file size down by half (by two-thirds for the webplayer, even). Now that’s progress!
To achieve this, I upgraded my terrain system to the newest version, Terrain 4 Mobile Black Edition. This has some great new features that I can use, such as billboards for grass and small plants to detail scenes, as well as better editor controls. I’m currently using the demo version of the system to compare and benchmark. The demo has a bug in the shader I want to use, so in this build and frame rate benchmark I’m using a more complex shader than I need to. Obviously I’ll be grabbing the full version for the next build to increase performance even more!
Another optimization I did was removing all unnecessary assets from my assets directory. Over time I’ve accumulated some really great systems, models, and textures. Unfortunately, whenever Unity switches build platforms–from Android to the Web Player, for instance–it re-imports them (to optimize for the platform). Before cleaning it would take me over two hours to build a Web Player demo for you guys and switch back into Android development. Now it takes 15 minutes.
I also found out how to turn on anisotropic filtering on floor textures to make them much more sharp. It adds extra calculations to their rendering, however, which reduces the frame rate by about 5%. In the end, I’m not sure if I like the effect because it brings clarity to all parts of the screen, which makes the overall world appear more empty. The new terrain system’s billboard system will help me fill those areas up with objects that are cheap to render, so it’s kind of a toss-up. Let me know if you notice the emptiness effect, and if you like the sharper textures overall.
Lastly, I’m going to be including compiled Android installation files in every demo from here on out. You’ll find the download link on the Web Player demo. At this point I know few people will actually take the time to install the demos to their device, but hopefully this will change