As some people over at a forum I’m active in noted that they wouldn’t be able to play Projekt “W” cause their graphics cards don’t support shaders, I decided to spent some time on implementing a renderpath that works without shaders. Especially the globe uses a more complex shader and recreating something at least similar with the fixed function pipeline wasn’t that easy but in the end I got something that works on old cards and still looks good enough. This actually means that the former lowest-end card for Project “W"no more is the Radeon 9700 but that it’s also playable on a GeForce 4, with the limitation that the card needs 128 MBytes of VRAM. I tested on an Athlon XP 2600+, 1 GByte of memory and a GeForce 4-Ti4400 (128 MBytes VRAM) and with lowest possible details and at 1024x768 it ran with about 40fps which should be enough for a turn-based strategy game. The screenshot in this news posting btw. was taken exactly on that system!
But this is also good news for owners of old cards that are capable of doing OpenGL shaders but that are actually too slow. This mostly includes the Radeon 9500,9700 and 9800 as well as the whole GeForce 5-series that has a bad shader performance. So you’ll be able to start the game without shaders if performance with shaders is too bad on your system.
And I also shouln’t forget to mention that I did put some more work into the AI of the game and I’m almost 100% happy about it (at least for now, I may add some more things for the final relase). The AI has now different personalitites that are changing certain factors and are assigned random if you start the game. This means that no game plays the same and after “watching” some CPU-only games it really made a difference and the outcome was very different each time.