The Roadmap

Future of T3D, are we heading the right way, what's next and what's coming.

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by JeffR » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:25 am
So, while we've obviously discussed a lot about what's being worked on, what the plan for 4.0 is and other future-looking notions, we haven't really laid down a specific plan - a roadmap.

So, having mulled on it for the past bit, I figured I'd go ahead and hash out the near-term plans to lead us to 4.0, and then what we expect to be done in the builds following. Obviously, it's merely a roadmap, not ZE GRAND PLAN TO END ALL PLANS and so timings and what-happens when can shift around, but I think it'd be fair to say this is what we're shooting for.
  • 4.0
    • August
      • Get the initial build of PBR done, and locked in and merged.
      • Get module-ifcation of core directory of BaseGame template finalized and in.
      • Initial framework of the RenderPipeline stuff brought in and running - merely replicate existing render path, no changes to rest of render code or materials/shader system.
      • Begin some of the suggested Clean Core work - reorganizing and compartmentalizing files better.
    • September
      • Focused push to convert all game classes to E/C and GameObject instances, and flag the originals as deprecated
      • Get module-ifcation of core directory of BaseGame template finalized and in.
      • Begin module-ification of tools directory.
      • Begin focus on polishing up workflow, making Asset Browser the pipeline focus.
      • Make BaseGame template primary template
      • Begin integration of Assimp into art workflow.
      • Finalize decision if Material refactor will be in for 4.0 or not.
    • October
      • If we're doing the Material refactor for 4.0, this would be the main focus - streamlining and standardizing the render pipe via the new material system.
      • Begin building out examples and Rapid Prototype Kits
      • Have the platform stuff finalized and cleaned up, having SDL as the main platform layer
      • A few of the in-progress tool additions such as CSG can get more attention to try and lock in.
      • Begin designing out asset store in earnest to act as a focal point for examples, RPKs, addons, etc
    • November
      • Emphasis on QOL improvements, bugfixes and beginning of testing/polish phase.
      • Establish RC builds, test aggressively.
      • Any last minute additions missed prior can get focus during this time.
    • December
      • Release!
  • 4.1
    • Emphasis on render pipeline work - fully fleshing out the customizable render pipeline.
    • If Material Refactor didn't go in for 4.0, it'll go in here
    • DLLs, plugins, etc go here.
    • Possible rework of the terrain system.
  • 4.2
    • Look into overhaul of terrain system - Virtual Texturing and more flexible LOD system.
    • New render API system, Vulkan
4.0's been cooking for some time, not least of all because of how much it improves and changes, but once it goes out the door, we should be in a position to push updates out at a much more regular cadence, as a lot of the required groundwork for other changes will be done already.

Also, I think we can look at doing a 3.11 build of a "Everything that's not a major overhaul change" sendoff build to bridge the gap between 3.10.x and the major changes going into 4.0 like PBR and the like somewhere around the end of September.

Again, this is just a tentative plan, there's no guarantee this is exactly how it'll go, but I think it's fairly reasonable to shoot for, and it lets you fine folks in the community have an idea of what to try and target. If there's something I've missed that should be specifically called out on the list, or a question of when X would likely fit in, feel free to mention it below. As we progress, we can mark off the bits on the roadmap here so people can better keep a head about how things are progressing.
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by Julius » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:37 pm
Sounds great.

The new camera stuff you mentioned previously and possibly related VR improvements fit also in there somewhere?
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by Johxz » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:41 am
Sounds good bro! :)
Steering Committee
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by JeffR » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:04 pm
@ Julius Yep, that'd be part of the initial RenderPipe work I mentioned for August. Pulled the associated code back out and got it working against devhead again, so on that side of things, mostly just need to do a codereview of it and add a few bits and bobs I wanted to make sure were in there on the first go(like being able to add type masks to the cameras so certain cameras can filter out what they render in a simplified way)

Would also note that the modulification of the core dir is mooostly done, just gotta give it the run-through, cleanup and make sure everything feasible is documented/has comments before that bad boy goes in.

And if you want ongoing progress about the PBR work, feel free to pop into the discord, me and Az are hammering on it pretty much daily :P
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