We have always put little attention to graphics in Screeps, since this is a rather niche game for programming nerds. In terms of technology, the game engine has been a simple set of SVG objects moving across the web page. It allowed for rapid development without distracting on complex visual components, but it ruled out any appealing visual effects (like lightning). Besides, this approach suffered from subpar performance when a lot of objects were on screen. So it’s time to change that!
In this update, we are excited to reveal a full-blown graphic engine for Screeps based on WebGL and PixiJS. It will allow you to:
- Leverage your machine’s GPU even in the browser to significantly boost performance without any lags when scrolling.
- Save your laptop’s battery juice since GPU is much more energy-efficient for this task than CPU.
- Add new visual effects to enrich the game atmosphere and yet retain our usual relaxing, abstract style.
In the picture above, you can see some samples of how the new renderer transforms the game when activated. The new feature is beta so far, so to activate it, opt in using the checkbox in the Display Options section of the right panel. Not all features have been 100% migrated to the new renderer yet, and bugs are possible, but you can get a whole new impression of the game right away!
Please inform us about any issues you encounter here in this forum topic.