Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on the gears and a few other random bits and pieces.
I’ve now finished tuning the gear masses to have more reasonable values. They’re no longer crazily heavy but still work well in the situations I tested. Due to the lower mass values the gear’s “teeth” physics constraints can no longer handle as much torque loading as before. However I found this not to be such a problem because for example, vehicles are
now much lighter (requiring less motor torque to accelerate them) so things tend to balance out OK.
Gear model improvements
I’ve also made some improvements to the gear models themselves and added additional axle attachment points to them, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. These modifications serve two purposes, firstly it makes it easier to actually see the gears rotating, and secondly it allows for greater flexibility with what you can do with the gears.
Here’s an example, the red hand of this stopwatch (indicating seconds) is rigidly attached to an axle “passing through” the central gear via a rotary bearing, while the white hand (showing minutes) is attached to another short axle rigidly attached to one of the gear’s new attachment points.
Other possibilities with these extra attachments include using the gear as a crank, attaching a structure such as a rotating platform to the gear, or even attaching other gears to the gear!
Other random non-gear related stuff
In order to try and improve performance for constructions with a large number of lights, I’ve made a first stab at a simple distance based culling for lights. I also plan on adding a settings option to disable shadows cast from them (separate from sun shadows), as this helps performance dramatically when you have a lot of lights.
Another quick change was to make the seat fabrics be paintable to add a bit more variety to the seats!