Real-Life crap is still ongoing, but I'm going to be easing myself back in shortly so expect updates and releases to start coming more frequently soon.
First of these will be the full 1.8.8 release of DirectQ. This isn't really too much evolved from where I left it off, but does contain a handful of extra (important) fixes and features. That should happen any day now.
Next block of work will be some RMQ stuff. The cat is now out of the bag regarding what needs to be done here - yes, we have a map which completely blows apart the standard 64k clipnodes limit. And yes, this is totally legit and not on account of the usual suspects.
Obviously RMQ has now gone beyond the capabilities of the Quake BSP format (in reality it had done so a good while back, but some heroic efforts reined it in), so a solution of some description has to be found. It's worth noting here, by the way, that both HL BSP and Q2 BSP also have this same limit and so are not viable options. So what is to be done? Answers on a postcard, please.
Following that, or perhaps at the same time, I'll likely be doing some work on MHColour again. It's about a year or so since the last release of it, and I've had a few requests for some features that seem reasonable, so it's probably timely. This isn't something I'll make a definite guarantee on though; look on it as "I'll fit it in if I get the chance".
Doom 3 Source Release
With the recent announcement that the Doom 3 source code will be out later on this year, I guess one thing that people might like to know is whether or not I have any plans to do anything with it. Right now I can't say, it's far too early and I would definitely need to review the code post-release to determine if anything in it interests me.
One thing I did have an idea to do was to make a dumbed-down renderer for it; one that could run reasonably well on older, slower, not fully-featured hardware. OK, Doom 3 already has such a renderer, but my idea was to add some features such as baking the bumpmaps and specular maps into the diffuse textures, which would give quite reasonable visual quality at higher performance on older hardware. Possibly using D3D, possibly using OpenGL.
All of this is pure speculation of course. Like I said, I'll need to wait until I get my hands on the code and have a read over it before I can make any decision. The only thing that is certain is that if I did undertake a major Doom 3 project, something else would have to give way.
What this does highlight is an issue with more modern source releases. As rendering functionality moves from engine code to game content - in the form of shaders - it becomes more and more difficult to do meaningful source ports (at least so far as the renderer is concerned). Oh sure, I could do a D3D9 port with HLSL shaders, but it would be only useful for running the original game. If a mod (and I think this is even the case with RoE) used different shaders then any port I might make would be useless for that.
So the real value of the Doom 3 code for me would be a source to mine for ideas, and I'll most likely leave the more exciting work with it for other people. Things like soft shadows, better multiplayer, bug fixes and performance enhancements will most likely be early features, and I look forward to seeing what people come up with.
On the other hand older game source presents more opportunities, and updating old classics to run on modern operating systems is both worthwhile and fun. In other words I'd probably chew off my right arm for a copy of the original Tomb Raider code.