"DarkPlaces Mark V" Release ==> Zircon Engine

“DarkPlaces Mark V” Release ==> Zircon Engine

The Zircon engine is a touchup of DarkPlaces with 40 small modifications, bug-fixes and slightly polished enhancements similar to the once upon a time “FitzQuake Mark V”.

Short list:

  1. Streamlined menu with scaling
  2. ALT-ENTER fullscreen/windowed mode switch
  3. Ctrl +/- adjusts console height
  4. Windows scaling fix (so menu is not off-center if Windows scaling is on)
  5. FitzQuake noclipping for mapping
  6. sv_cheats defaults to 0 for developers/mappers convenience
  7. Lower cpu when using the console
  8. “folder” “copy” “pos” commands

Pics: https://www.moddb.com/mods/zircon-engine
Download: https://www.moddb.com/mods/zircon-engine/downloads/zircon-engine-initial-alpha-release
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6e-S33CfsE

Hopefully some/all of these will get rolled into official DarkPlaces at some point.

Wow! This engine bring the same performance as Ironwail! Impressive. It is need to add more advanced graphics settings in main menu - water almost still by default, particles in DP style by default etc.

Thanks for giving it a test run!

Hi Baker7

some notes about the zircon…

I use darkplaces built from January 9th 2023, that is my reference point. In comparison with that version:

  • you somehow fixed these strange light/shadow bugs that occur in some levels. I usually test arcane dimensions level ad_crucial because one these bugs is in the start area where the trolley falls into the lava. On the left side there is a door that has strange diagonal shadow all over it and the same bug is visible on many surfaces in the hallway right behind the laser beams. In zircon all these bugs are fixed. I tested other levels with the same bug and they are all gone. Great :slight_smile:

  • I am working on HD textures so I really appreciate you fixed the liquid texture bug in DP. As of now darkplaces renders HD textures for liquid surfaces incorrectly - HD textures are static, they are not moving and you can’t change transparency no mater what you set in menu. In zircon HD textures work like expected.

  • I really like new player movement in noclip mode. I look up and go up. No need to use swim up/down keys. As I have said, I am working on HD textures and that means a lot of scanning through the levels in noclip mode to look everywhere for misaligned textures and other inconsistencies. New noclip movement behavior helps a lot.

on the other hand…

  • compared to above mentioned darkplaces version the performance of zircon in big levels is much much worse. I tested several massive levels like d2m8 from dwell or smej2m4 from smej2 and the framerate is very inconsistent. A lot of fps drops in complex areas and generally fps is lower in zircon. Tested on RX6600XT+Ryzen5600+16GB RAM.

  • some big levels wont load at all. Ad_sepulcher and ad_tears wont load - each one with different error message. Ad_sepulcher works fine with DP because it has some special built-in hack that disables some entities like torches to even enable DP to load ad_sepulcher. It is a dirty hack I know, but it works. The level itself runs smoothly. Ad_tears loads in DP, but DP doesn’t support protocol needed for ad_tears so there are some graphics glitches - flickering entities etc… It is not enjoyable experience. Darkplaces is definitely not recommended at this stage, but at least the level runs and fps /on my pc/ is around 40-60. I use 60 fps as a upper limit. In zircon the level crashes with some out_of_memory error notice.

  • simplified menu. I understand the idea, but some features are quite useful to have in menu - water transparency, particle quality, crosshair selection… these features are still there accessible via console. No reason to delete them from menu.

I like there is a development on DP front. I will do some more detailed testing. I really like you fixed that shadow/light bug visible on some surfaces. DP needs to incorporate at least that one.

some examples of shadow/lights bug On the left side zircon, on the right darkplaces.

https://www.imagevenue.com/ME162VDXhttps://cdn-thumbs.imagevenue.com/ea/fe/48/ME162VDX_t.png https://www.imagevenue.com/ME162VDYhttps://cdn-thumbs.imagevenue.com/e6/45/9e/ME162VDY_t.png


Thank you for the information.

At a minimum, I will make that menu available.

Where to download darkplaces january 2023 build? Any download link?

Jakub wrote “- some big levels wont load at all…with some out_of_memory error…”
Have the same thing - it is Engine just ignores startup command
…/zircon.exe -heapsize 1048576
How to change it?

Updated with access to classic menu.


What version of DarkPlaces does load these levels you guys speak of? I need the DarkPlaces build date and if it is 32 or 64 bit.

" January 9th 2023"

Is it 32 or 64 bit?

Also where did you get that?

Doesn’t work with rerelease version? I get only error messages or no messages

The version 2 has the menu addition, nothing more.

It’s a 64bit version. I got it from somebody on DP discord channel. It is pretty fast release, but it has several problems:

1 - light/shadow bugs in many levels. Usually small things, however annoying - now fixed in zircon. Funny thing is this - shadow/light bug is part of the DP for a long time. Back in the days we had both 32bit and 64bit release all you needed to do was use the other version of DP. Some levels were bugged in 32bit and OK in 64bit, others were bugged in 64bit, but fine in 32bit. Pure bizarre… I am not a coder so I asked people on DP discord channel and somebody from the development team compiled a new version on discord. From what I understand development of 32bit version is discontinued.

2 - already mentioned problem with HD textures for liquid surfaces. Also fixed now in zircon.

3 - unsupported protocol for giant maps like ad_tears or ad_ad_heresp2. Same problem in zircon.

4 - problematic support for transparent objects like lianas hanging from the ceiling. They are used a lot in Dwell for decoration props. DP loads these objects but, they act as solid objects when you shoot at them. You can walk through these decorations as well as enemies, but they block bullets and block line of sight of enemies. Dwell is based on Copper mod and the same bug is in all levels using Copper as a codebase. Strange thing is AD also use transparent textures for decorations and they work correctly. You can shoot through them in AD based levels, but not in Copper. Same problem in zircon.

5 - sometimes in big levels decorative objects like flags on the walls disappear. It seams like there is a distance limit for rendering these objects. It can be a button in the distance or a flag quite close as you can see on the screenshots. It is visible for example in smej2end level. Same problem in zircon.

https://www.imagevenue.com/ME16328Whttps://cdn-thumbs.imagevenue.com/a7/f6/e2/ME16328W_t.png https://www.imagevenue.com/ME16328Zhttps://cdn-thumbs.imagevenue.com/8a/48/d3/ME16328Z_t.png

Apart from these problems it is stable and much faster release than the last official built from 2017.

Well … this is where things get “tricky”.

If I use a DarkPlaces from 2022 source or later, within seconds my video card fan goes crazy and I have to shutdown DarkPlaces or my computer will do thermal shutdown I use very basic settings.

Something is royally fucked up. Several thousand lines of rendering code has changed … far too much to sort through.

I reported that as a DarkPlaces Github issue a week or 2 ago.

Also, the most recent versions of DarkPlaces source are SDL only. I don’t want to SDL.

If were only the SDL thing, I could live with that — but the fact the most recent “stable” version (which I consider to be the Xonotic 0.8.5) wants to set my laptop on fire — do I want to use that source code?

Of course not.

That’s weird… I capped fps globally in AMD driver app. My display is 60 hz only so I really don’t need more fps. And I also don’t want to stress my GPU for nothing. No thermal meltdown on my side. What laptop you have?

I would love to see your bug fixes in DP. Hope it will happen someday soon. Do you want to test my version? I can send a link with engine+dlls.

yes Id like to

hi, here is the link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/188kxRYkRg5S0_qjCSRRdE_i4wGofXaOf/view?usp=share_link


Got it, thanks!

one more thing: music doesnt work.

Do you mean cdrom or something else?