Development Update – April 2021

Oi folks, here we are again after a rather eventful month this time.

Quite a few things happened in March, including some new releases, plan-shuffling as well as new updates being worked on but let’s go through it one by one. Also since some of you might wonder, most of my screenshots using vanilla textures are actually using the resourcepack “Vanilla Normals Renewed”, which you can distinguish by its pretty much complete shaderpack support.

Kappa Shader

As some of you may already know, Kappa Shader v4.0 has entered the public testing phase on my discord server, which in turn means a full release should happen fairly soon. Initially I wanted to wait a bit until some of the new OptiFine features are backported to the more popular old game versions (for example 1.12.2) but since the “when” is barely predictable I decided against waiting any longer as the pack is now also almost complete, aside from minor bugfixes and adjustments.

Some of the additions it recieved in the last month include support for “The End”, the fabled nether smoke (this time alsomuch nicer looking), proper rendering of weather particles (finally) as well as a bunch of settings and bugfixes. Thanks to a separate lite version being redundant now, the singular codebase also makes fixing bugs and adjusting things less of a hassle. A detailed overview of all the changes and improvements will be given in version 4.0’s launch blog.

As always some of the additions are showcased in the gallery above.


KappaPT has had a very successfull launch a few weeks ago, with an almost unexpectedly well reception (although you’re always your own biggest critic eh?). Since then it has recieved numerous changes and additions which were enough to be covered in its own mid-monthly blogpost (Link). The update cycles won’t be as crazy in the future but I’ll try to release updates in a reasonable frequency so you don’t have to wait months for new stuff.

Some recent additions have especially improved the filter behaviour as well as the responsiveness of block emission. There is still a lot of work to be done though, especially when it comes to performance. The latter currently suffers from performance losses on nVidia GPUs in some scenarios, which I wasn’t able to figure out yet. I am hoping to iron that issue out with a mild internal refactoring that consolidates the data flow and framebuffer attachment usage once the lighting part of the pack is mostly in a solid spot and not changing around a lot.

As some people have asked for worldspace reflections, I am currently focusing on ironing out the lighting before I move onto the next big feature so it’ll most likely be a while until you see reflections that leverage the voxel volume in KappaPT.

Nostalgia Shader

Version 3.0 of Nostalgia Shader has finally been released last month and has been well recieved so far, although it also has some quirks left which I intend to iron out with a refactoring pass that also leverages some of the new OptiFine features.

This version might also incorporate SSPT emission as you know it from Kappa 4.0, since the performance impact of it is less bad than I expected and should be more reasonable with some more corner cutting, as Nostalgia Shader is by no means about shading accuracy. I have also thought about a version relying on voxels for lighting (most likely through floodfill lighting) but the drawbacks of having a voxel volume don’t seem worth it, especially when trying to achieve a certain performance goal and SSPT has proven to be a reasonable middle ground as can be seen in Kappa 4.0. I haven’t started on refactoring it as of now, since it just recieved an update and I want to take care of my more outdated packs now that both Kappa and Nostalgia Shader are in a reasonably robust spot.

Vanilla Plus

I have finally started to work on the long overdue revamp of Vanilla Plus, although it’s a bit difficult to fit into my schedule among the big projects like Kappa 4.0 and PT, but thankfully the former is now nearing its release which frees up some time.

There are no big visual changes planned on Vanilla Plus, which means the revamp will mostly be of internal nature to improve performance and/or quality of its visuals through better code and new OptiFine features. Overall it should make the pack more robust as a whole as well as iron out some of the quirks of its rather outdated codebase (as its pretty much stuck at the internal revision that Kappa v2 used, so almost a year behind).

Potato Shaders

This pack has also entered public testing in the last month, with a release being imminent once I get around setting up its project pages here and on curseforge, as well as coming up with a logo for it.

It has not recieved many noteworthy updates aside from support for “The End” as the other changes were of rather minor nature (new settings and bugfixes).

What’s planned?

Currently I am trying to focus more on the projects that haven’t recieved my attention in the last few months, namely Vanilla Plus and UShader as those two desperately need some rather big updates, but also want to maintain the new main projects like KappaPT at the same time. As you might expect this requires some project juggling to get done, but with Kappa v4.0 and Nostalgia v3.0 being pretty much done I am able to divide my time more freely. Sadly I also had to put some smaller projects on the backburner for now due to the same reasons, which includes FastPBR and the Kappa Toaster Edition as well as one or two projects that are to be officially announced.

Last but not least, a big shoutout to the dozens of new patrons that have joined in the last month. It is legitimately getting a bit difficult to keep track of at this point, but I’m not complaining about so many people enjoying my work. Big thanks to y’all!

Thats it for this months development blog, enjoy the updates!

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Posted in Blog, Kappa Shader, KappaPT, Nostalgia Shader, Potato Shaders, Vanilla Plus Shader and tagged , , .