I'll use this forum topic to record my progress, so people can see what their donations are funding and hopefully get a vaguely interesting view into the development process. Detailed technical discussions should probably go in separate topics to keep things organised, but comments are generally welcome here
My current (but quite flexible) plan of tasks to focus on is:
- Saved game support - particularly to allow players to reconnect to a multiplayer game after a crash or network failure, since large gameplay testing sessions are often annoyingly interrupted by dropped players. Saving single-player matches is also a frequently requested feature.
- Better tools for measuring the game's performance. We want to optimise various aspects of performance - overall framerate, consistency of framerate (i.e. avoiding occasional pauses that make the game feel jerky), better utilisation of multi-core CPUs, etc - and I think it's worth investing in new ways of recording and analysing performance so we can improve it more effectively.
- Better engine support for AI scripts - mainly to increase performance in various ways, and to fix some other areas that cause pain for AI scripters.
- More efficient pathfinder - one of the current algorithms can perform particularly badly with large numbers of units in a small area (e.g. melee battles), and needs to be redesigned to provide much better performance in those cases.