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Another day and another blog on the development of skyline.
We have decided after working closely with our users that the current material system is not efficient enough and requires too much work in order to get your assets into skyline and ready to use in the game. This is caused by material files containing multiple materials inside them which ends up with duplicate resources when sharing meshes with the same material names.
We now are going to make all material files only hold one set of material data (for example, metal, dirt, wood, etc....). This will make materials reusable to improve performance by reducing draw calls and share across lods and other meshes. On another plus note, the "Asset Manager" will look much better instead of green material icons everywhere as all materials will be viewable.
It is going to take a little time to rewrite the material system and make it stable but we feel it is worth it in the long run.
You will be able to apply any material to any sub mesh which can be shared across multiple entities. It should allow some really nice material sets and libraries to be created and potentially sold or given on the store.
In order to edit these sub meshes, we are building a new hidden panel into the properties panel that will display all the submeshes of an entity and show the material they have applied to them. Then simply drag another material onto a slot or the all slot to apply that material onto the mesh.
We will keep you all updated of the progress and how its going.