Development Update – February 2022

Oi folks,

This month there are many interesting things to come, which range from small updates to entirely new projects that will provide some exciting new things. Let’s start off with going through some of the recent as well as upcoming updates though.

Kappa Shader

As some of you may have already noticed based on the things I’ve recently been showing off on my discord server, a new, slightly more extensive than initially planned, update for Kappa Shader is in the makings. This update will focus on refining the existing palette of features and visuals, as well as introducing some extra “uhmpf” in various places. One of these places is the skybox, which will receive a massive upgrade featuring a lot more cloud layers, improved lighting and even the long awaited anvil-clouds during rain and thunderstorms. Naturally I’m also using this to improve the weather atmospherics to make them feel more dynamic and authentic.

So overall this is going to be quite an exciting update for all those of you who enjoy nice clouds and atmospherics.

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There have been various smaller changes to KappaPT with the versions P13 and P13a (the latter doesn’t have a changelog post on this website as it doesn’t feature a lot of changes). This includes the long-requested settings to give you folks better control over the emission brightness and hardcoded emitter colours. It also features some of the recent atmosphere improvements from Kappa Shader now, mainly the improved cloud lighting and the atmosphere horizon handling as those two were fairly trivial to integrate without affecting other parts of the pack.

Additionally I’ve finally integrated an LPV for emission, which helps with making emission appear a bit less noisy as well as more “area filling” which I’m sure many of you will enjoy as well. There are also settings to control the size of the irradiance cache now, which will come in handy when doing long-distance screenshots. Last but not least, correct intersections for stairs will be in the next update as well.

My current focus is now support for The End as I’ve neglected that for too long by now, so I want to get going on that.

Last but not least, the Youtuber Hodilton has made a quite fancy showcase of KappaPT recently so I thought it’s definitely worthy of being featured here :)

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As I’ve been busy with the other projects there haven’t been many updates on NostalgiaVX this time, although I am still planning to finish adding settings to control the emission colours as well as support for The End.

Aside from that I have been dabbling with a solution to allow sort-of-multibounce global illumination for sunlight, although that seems to need quite a bit of work still. It should be a nice addition regardless though, as it helps with making bounced sunlight appear a lot nicer.


I’ve finally picked up on working on UShader again as I mentioned in last months blogpost, although I am still trying to figure out where I want to bring it visually with the rewrite. That didn’t stop me from trying a few new things regarding its feature palette, which I intend to be a bit slimmed down compared to Kappa Shader for example. It’s still going to feature a few gimmicks though, like a RTAO+SSGI combination to make indirect light a bit nicer as well as TAAU which should give a nice performance uplift. The latter needs a lot of work until it is at the level of quality that I want it to be at though. Once it is at that level it might be a more regular feature of my packs though, as it seems like a nice solution to get some extra performance without having to compromise too much on visuals. On top of that it’s a very handy feature when you’re playing on high-resolution displays.

A yet to be named new project (Soft Voxels)

I’ve had an idea of a pack that’s purely relying on voxels and a rather soft lighting for a while, which I have finally begun working on. I feel like this is going to be quite different from all the other PT packs out there, as I am not only getting rid of the regular shadow map in favour of performance but I am also going for very soft direct sunlight, which comes at a very low performance cost. This is because of how soft the lighting is, which allows me to calculate it in one run with the ambient lighting rather than having to trace, filter and accumulate it separately. This also leads to a very unique outdoor-look compared to other packs, which I find quite pleasing in its own way due to the overall softness of the lighting.

This project still has a long way to go though, as I am also not set on its visual style and I really want it to look and feel unique.

Other stuff

There are a few small updates coming up for Nostalgia Shader, Vanilla Plus as well as Potato Shaders which are intended to fix some 1.17+ wonkiness. They also introduce the rather bad lightleak workaround as an option, given that the issue has gotten so dramatically out of hand with 1.18 and the apparent unlikelihood of it being fixed by OptiFine anytime soon.

Closing words

I want to thank all my patrons yet again, as this month (January at the time of writing this) once again greatly exceeded my expectations. I have no idea how you guys manage to keep going like this so all I can do is just appreciate your staggeringly consistently growing support. I can’t stop repeating how grateful I am for that at this point, since it just keeps going on in the last few months so I’m also very excited to see where this year will lead me thanks to you folks :)

That’s it for this time, I hope you’ll enjoy the upcoming updates :p



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Posted in Blog, Kappa Shader, KappaPT, NostalgiaVX, Soft Voxels, UShader and tagged , , , , .