GameGuru MAX - March update released!

Welcome to 2024 and the first of four quarterly updates of the year!  Naturally, you have access to the constant updating of the Experimental Build via the Steam Beta tab, but for those who want their updates to be solid and free of experiments of any kind, here is your 3-monthly round-up of all the fixes and improvements since December 2023. 

The last update saw the bug count go down to practically zero and, since then, we have kept the number low, as bugs remain high on our list of priorities.  As of writing, we have 25 awaiting the squashing hammer, soon to be single digits!

With the massive effort in 2023 to reduce the hundreds of bugs we had in the issues board, we have freed up time and resources to tackle the second of our targets; performance.  We mentioned early optimization progress last time, and this work has continued to deliver improvements to the overall speed of your game projects.  As we approached the deadline for this update, we also had a sudden boost in help from Preben, via his new Patreon page, as he tackled loading times, terrain render speeds, and even occlusion!  A very nice surprise and no doubt a useful boost to everyone's FPS score!

We remain vigilant on bugs and will fix them as they come in to keep the bug count low, and the rest of the time we will be working on performance, then stability, and finally compatibility. We are eventually aiming for around 90% of Steam user hardware compatibility, and the test is that all our Hub demos run at least 60 fps without any visual or gameplay issues.

For those interested in the blow by blow change lot, here it is, fresh from GitHub repository since December 2023:

* Fixed issue with new internal LUA commands relating to music playback (t.m)
* Added ScreenToggleByKey LUA command
* Improved/Fixed VR session
* Disables active weapons that are in shop/chests/off-level
* HUD dampening for VR usage
* Added extra debug logging info for the free trial version (issue with old laptops)
* Replaced with working WINZONE script
* Fix crash with some scripts in BEHED
* Added correct sound4/5/6 in developer settings
* Mouse clip now disables when ALT pressed to allow ALT+TAB navigation
* Modified logic from GAME WON to WIN LEVEL in the storyboard to allow the level to connect to the screen
* Added support for MSI RX 5500 cards and similar matching ones
* Added code to profile performance with OPTICK
* Restored old CUSTOM MUSIC COMMANDS for forthcoming cinematics
* Ensured VSYNC is obeyed globally when set in SETUP.INI
* Removed MUSIC.LUA as no longer needed, and commands moved to GLOBAL.LUA
* Aligned sound 5 and 6 throughout code, now ignores sound 4 completely
* SCRIPTBANK and TITLESBANK are now under source control
* Engine now passes in a relative path to script via _init_file function for scripts
* The above feature allows the replacement of all absolute BYC paths to now use relative pathing
* Other small script fixes and tweaks added into new script source control system
* New Script Source Control system added to reduce human error creeping in
* Fixed ADD FX script to ensure legacy param order intact
* Removed work-in-progress script SENSE_NPC
* Script update from workshop TARGET and RANGE_SENSOR
* Some interest from schools in MAX so created an EDU build to test the water
* Valid changes from Workshop Items on 190124
* Automation improvements
* Behavior Guide update added to wizbang automatic script updater
* Added new Max Collection Misc folder to automagic winbang auto-updated updater
* Updated workshop item scripts
* Updated information about GetEntityString command
* Fixed the issue of object and marker selection not working when too close.
* Fixed the issue of shadow disappearing for spotlights with high radius.
* All audiobank\user contents are now included in standalone exports.
* Fixed PromptDuration and LoadImages LUA commands.
* Added 'Slot Not Used' to weapon preferences
* Fixed weapon slot assigner so cannot use invalid slot 10
* Added changes to the build system (drives)
* Improved the workshop items update system with more prompts and a faster update process
* Added new performance viewer for ten slowest scripts running snapshot
* Added new module_misclib to handle common script functionality
* Added changes to the build system (drives)
* Script fixes for new pinpoint functionality inside module_misclib
* Added Exclude Mesh to Import Model
* New materialindex 99999 allows DBO to carry material index values per mesh
* Cyberpunk Script Fix added to scriptbank\objects
* Emissive and Patrol Fix added
* Added IMAGEBANK to code control
* Added debug logging to Workshop
* Fixed the issue of SAVEGAMES appearing inside the Storyboard SAVE GAME screen
* Fixed FreezePlayer and Stand and Speak More scripts
* Optimized the object selection and release via the collection list calculation
* Added more optimization markers for the editor itself
* Fixed issue with the game asset store not authenticating properly
* Added extra logging for the graphics card being used and the AMD detector
* Improved clone entity so it can be triggered directly when assigned to its own zone
* Performance improvements from the mighty Preben!

Also, remember our end-of-month live broadcast is a great place to get a look at some of these fixes, so if you want to join in on these extended hour-long Q&A sessions, we host them on the last Saturday of every month at 7 PM GMT on our YouTube channel - see you there :-)