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Welcome to Oolite 1.86. A new release with lots of features and enhancements. Together with the significant number of stability fixes applied, we hope and expect you will get even better and smoother gaming experience. Check out some highlights:
- Overhauled Planets
- 8K UHD Support
- "Easy Start" Option
- Customization, Scripting Improvements and Additional Features
Probably the first thing that you will notice in this release, is how the planets' look has been thoroughly upgraded, receiving the following enhancements:
- Shader-based atmosphere effects. Atmosphere scattering effects have been implemented and the planets have a new moving clouds layer applied. The combined result can lead to some very interesting new planetary vistas and adds a lot of... atmosphere to the game.
- New ground textures generator. A new and improved Perlin 3D based algorithm is used for generating the textures for planets. Ground detail is enhanced and features like mountains can now be identified from space. The new textures generator is available at the highest graphics detail level.
- Lowered the default ambient light in all systems to a quarter of its previous value. With the introduction of the new atmospheric scattering effect, we found that a lower ambient light was improving further the way planets look. The unlit side of planets is now actually dark, creating a more realistic view in space. You can still adjust ambient light levels for each system if you want to though, just like before.
8K UHD Support
Ready for 8K gaming! Ultra High Definition 4K resolutions are becoming standard for games. We have, therefore, taken an extra step and raised the maximum screen resolution reachable by Oolite to 7680 x 4320 pixels. Reports received from our testers indicate that Oolite loaded with expansion packs easily hits 200 FPS at 4K on an NVidia GTX 1070.
"Easy Start" Option
An alternative starting scenario is now offered to those Harmless Commanders being intimitaded by the game's entry difficulty level. In addition to the classic start at Lave with just 100Cr, you will have the option of starting the game at Tionisla, which is of considerably higher technological level, with ten times as many credits. Spend them wisely and you will be able to equip your ship quickly so that you can survive those first few tough encounters. You will still need to fight a lot and fight hard though!
Customization, Scripting Improvements and Additional Features
For this version, we are providing expansion pack creators with a plethora of scripting enhancements. New events, new methods and more control over game object properties are made available. In addition, more customization options for the player ship's HUD are delivered, making previously unachievable HUD designs now possible.
But that's not all. Listening to Commanders and Engineers requests, while anticipating some more, a variety of quality of life features have been added too, such as High-DPI support on Windows, HTTPS support for expansion packs loading, mouse wheel control for changing speed when piloting your ship using a mouse (Windows / Linux), a new option to launch the game in silent mode and more.
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