3D planets

The planet pictures are now being rendered in real-time 3D, and even though it’s not perfect yet, the new system is FAR superior to the old one which used pre-rendered frames. (it’s very smooth and a lot easier to work with too) The performance loss is also quite minimal on any modern system, even though the initialization of Direct3D slows down the startup a bit. I’m going to release the next version quite soon, but first there’s some work to be done with the planet textures, because some of them require little modifications before they can be used with the new system. Our artist is also working on higher resolution textures, but they won’t be added in until later. Unfortunately, because of this new direction in development, I haven’t been able to work with the core engine very much, so the public beta will be somewhat postponed. Anyway, it will be released as soon as possible, which will most likely mean sometime in May.

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