It is once again time to go through some updates again, which should be quite interesting this time thanks to the revival of FastPBR and the recent Iris-exclusive updates of Soft Voxels.
Kappa Shader and KappaPT
These two packs are currently on the backburner as you might already know, but they are receiving a few minor bugfixes and adjustments nonetheless. As they are pretty solid in their current state I’m focusing more on my other packs right now, since the new features that Iris offers allow me to tackle some long-overdue issues and changes there.
KappaPT will eventually receive some bigger updates that leverage Iris’ advantages at a later point though, whereas Kappa Shader doesn’t have a lot of things that could benefit enough to warrant updating it immediately while there are more sensible and urgent things to focus on.
Nostalgia Shader and NostalgiaVX
Nostalgia Shader’s planned rework to include some of the additions of Kappa Shader such as TAAU and general quality of life improvements and bugfixes is still on my to-do list, but the same situation as I’ve just talked about applies here. The pack is simply in a good enough state right now to focus my efforts on other things.
That brings me to NostalgiaVX, which is the pack of mine that’s been plagued by the limitations and issues of OptiFine more than any other shaderpack I have ever worked on, as such it requires some expansive and fundamental reworks using Iris’ wider palette of features. I am currently still spending a good amount of thought on the exact technical details and am also taking the experiences I am making with the recent Soft Voxels changes into account. This is also the more sensible approach to me, as Soft Voxels and NostalgiaVX share a not insignificant amount of technical similarities. In addition to that I am also considering to change the way I am handling the path-traced lighting to be a bit more similar to what KappaPT does, assuming I can still reach the performance target I am aiming for when doing so. Needless to say that the completely messy and all-over-the-place performance should be a thing of the past once I am done overhauling it.
As some of you already know there have been significant updates to Soft Voxels in the last few weeks, which has led to it now requiring Iris 1.5.0 or newer as I announced in last month’s blogpost. This also comes with a significant visual improvement thanks to spherical harmonics and various other new additions such as optional ray guiding. The performance has currently taken a minor hit depending on the scene and hardware configuration though, but this should be only temporary and the improved visual quality and stability seems worth it to me. There are also still a couple other places where I could gain decent extra performance from such as various parts of the post-processing chain that could benefit a lot from compute shaders (such as the bloom tile chain for example).
Most of you should already know by now that I have started to work on a complete overhaul of FastPBR, a pack I was working on over a year ago and that never really got further than a couple previews in the testing channel of my discord server. For those of you who don’t know, this pack is supposed to be a super lightweight and somewhat realistic styled shaderpack that is really all about delivering nice visuals while being extremely easy to run.
I have changed its visual direction quite a bit as those of you who are familiar with the old version should have noticed by now. This is happening for a few reasons, first and foremost the fact that old FastPBR didn’t really have a direction and I was kinda just putting things together without really knowing what I was going for in terms of visuals. Another reason is an idea for a different shaderpack that I had in mind, which was somewhat loosely inspired by the minimalistic yet decent look of some older and more simplistic packs with a realistic aim such as the original SEUS v10.0 and the likes. After spending some thought, it occurred to me that it’d make sense to essentially merge that idea into FastPBR, as it seemed quite fitting and also resulted in the new visual direction which is brighter and bolder as well as more unique than the old version. This also helps with making it something more than “Kappa Light” as it now has its own unique and distinct visual style.
In addition to that its also making good use of various features of Iris, which obviously means that it also requires Iris 1.5.0 or newer and does not support OptiFine (and also will not unless it catches up with Iris’ features) since I am pretty much done with all the limitations and weird performance shenanigans of OptiFine as you should already know by now.
A preview version of the new FastPBR version is already available for all patrons and while its an early preview it should give you a good impression of it.
Vanilla Plus, Simplicissimus and Potato Shaders
These three packs are also receiving some minor updates soon, mainly to ensure functionality Iris’ latest updates as well as more recent Minecraft Versions so this is more of a maintenance thing but I thought it’d make sense to announce this nonetheless as many of you might not the paying close attention to the testing channel in my discord sever, so you might have missed the recent previews I posted there.
As you can see, I am more motivated to tackle some of the long overdue updates and changes now that I no longer have to deal with the frustrating limits and issues of OptiFine, so in the long run I might be dropping OptiFine support across the board unless it gets going and receives some long overdue changes and updates that shaderpack developers have been asking about for years at this point. I’ll eventually also look into Focal Engine and its capabilities once it becomes available and usable for third party developers and perhaps make another switch with some packs at least, as it has a wholly different scope than what Iris does and is explicitly aimed at high-end packs, but until then Iris is already a huge step forward from the development nightmare that OptiFine has become as my packs got more advanced in the last few years.
Last but not least, it’s time for a massive shoutout to my supporters on Patreon, of which there have been more than one thousand last month. This is quite an insane record (in my opinion at least), especially since I’ve never really expected my work to become this popular but y’know, I won’t complain about the awesome support from all of you folks and it is very much appreciated since I wouldn’t be able to make these kinds of advanced and exciting projects without you :)
And that’s it for this month, stay tuned for all the upcoming new stuff!