Wolfe Games has finished GLSL-based normal maps and depth maps, and P.U.R.E. (Purify Unify Reclaim Exterminate) will be utilizing them in the next release of the game, dubbed version 1.3.
“This is a feature that we’ve been working on for nearly six months, with the coders from the Spring Engine. Normal maps and other shaders are a big part of what makes modern games look and feel modern,” according to Greg Wolfe. “We are very proud to have achieved this technical breakthrough, which will allow the game’s visual quality to become modern almost overnight.
“Best of all, we’ve distributed the source code for our shader, which is GLSL 1.1-specification compliant and runs on both nVidia and ATi hardware that meets OpenGL 2.0 standards (anything from a GeForce 6800 upwards, basically- even very old hardware) under the GPL, so that anybody willing to use GPL source may use it.
“The shader, which I co-wrote and debugged for ATi along with Kloot (a Spring Engine lead developer) performs alpha transparency, glowmaps, normalmaps, specularity control and reflectivity in a single, low-impact shader. This is about as sophisticated as any shader for current-generation graphics gets, and we intend to add an additional set of alternative shaders to perform alpha transparency with depth sorting and Fresnel effects, as well as shaders that use the “texture2″ specification of the Spring S3O model format in novel ways.
“This is just the tip of a very big iceberg.”
Two new races will be added to the game as well, one called Space Chickens will be feature-complete, and a new race, tentatively named the Wolfoids. Sea combat with Resistance and Overmind warships dueling it out with giant guns and explosions can be expected as well.
No word yet on a release.