Late breaking news from the Clockwork Empire, delivered by heliograph: The Empire is Shutting Down!
Yes, at the behest of the thrice-damnable Whig Party, the iron gates of the Panopticon are shuttered, the Lord Palmerstoke Institute for Structurally Interesting and Extremely Sensitive Science has turned off the fumic extractor, and the mysterious clicking noises at the Empire Times are getting louder as the Editorial Board reviews its position on the events of the day. The Prime Minister is furious – all of this over the new healthcare plan, which his political enemies decry as Novyrus-Style Medical And/Or Beard Care. False rumours abound that a stout worker cannot choose his or her barber/chirugeon any more, and that death panels have been instituted to ensure that people die by any means necessary. Big, steaming government, encumbered by needless machinery, is interfering in the relationship between a doctor, his patient, and his leeches.
Lies, we tell you! Lies!
This brings us nicely to a Technical Status Update – what’s new this month? And how are the brave folks of the Clockwork Empires handling this upheaval?
Gossip. Throughout the Empire, word of the shutdown spread. This has occurred through our new historical event transmission system, wherein loyal subjects of The Empire may report gossip to each other, including the appearance of dead bodies.
Zones; Graveyards. Dead bodies, we might add, which could be buried in our new graveyard zones, if only we had the manpower to do so. Curse these wildcat government shutdowns! Note the high-quality Fringing around the site of the zone; this is produced by Shaders, wonder of the modern age, and which were not present in Recent Updates. (Also, particles now depth buffer correctly!)
Since bodies cannot be buried in time, owing to Shortages, they are now eaten by species of carnivorous animals such as… uh, death worms.
Tables. In the mess halls, pubs, taverns, and other venues of the Empire, the political doings of the day are discussed over meals consisting, at present, entirely of enormous baskets of raw cabbage. Incidentally, you can now grow things other than poppies.
Tantrums. Alas, the sight of so much death will now lead decent, hard-working folks to madness. Where madness lies, and without the (not yet implemented) means to hold it back, and tragedy will strike – here, with an axe, in the form of a homicidal rampage.
Men of Action, Joining Things. The sight of death, and the fact that the shutdown is now into its second hour, has led otherwise decent, hard-working folks to join alternative political factions. It all starts as a quiet invitation to join a new party, but stalwart political observers fear that the “Tekeli-li Party” has the potential to disrupt government with its new cry of “mankind must know their place in the universe.”
The Superconsole. Cited by the Whigs as a bloated example of wasteful government spending, the Superconsole is Micah’s rewrite of our existing debug console. We can now sort debug messages by type and perform interrogation of scripts in LUA with a JIT-style debugger. When asked to describe the Superconsole, Mr. Best replied, “Super, thanks for asking.” (It’s actually pretty useful!)
Terrain Texturing Rewrite. Unplagued by environmental standards, we used to have borders between biomes which looked liked this:
This unpleasant artifact was caused when multiple biomes interfaced with each other, and the shader tried to overlay them on top of each other. This has now been fixed by chunking the world into smaller pieces, figuring out exactly what combination of biomed must be drawn in this chunk, and using a shader specifically written for this purpose. As a bonus, our framerate jumped 20 FPS, meaning we’re now pushing 60 except when you hit a scene with a lot of trees in it. There is still room for improvement here, mainly with trees, but it’s a good thing. Now biome interfaces look like this, without blending artifacts:
This is exactly the sort of thing that the Whigs are crusading about. How will the shutdown end?! Will the normal, terrifying rumblings of the government resume? Or is this the end? Find out next week!