Max Eliaser of the Alien Arena project wrote to Phoronix with details of this forthcoming update in an email entitled "Alien Arena 7.65 coming soon."
The next release will be versioned 7.65 instead of 7.61. We're pretty much done with new features for it, so expect it soon.This is quite enticing with the claims that their CRX engine (a distant derivative of the id Tech 2 engine) is now faster than Qfusion (as used in the Warsow game) and other open-source engines. The developers have also reported that some major bottlenecks have been removed and items like player models render 3x faster while maps can render as much as 2~3x faster.
Version 7.65 has been a tour de force of engine tech, with changes to nearly every aspect of our renderer. The addition of GPU-accelerated model animation, an overhaul of BSP rendering, and even a once-over of our particle system should put Alien Arena within reach of more low-end hardware than ever before. All things being equal, with each engine set to the fastest possible settings, and on the same map, our CRX engine now outperforms Qfusion, Quake2World, and QTE.
7.65 hasn't just been about chasing low-end performance either. We've increased the resolution of our lightmaps, resulting in crisper, cleaner lighting. We've overhauled our shadowing system. We've added several new mesh rendering effects. And the optimizations we've made mean that even if you don't have a firebreathing liquid-cooled gaming rig, all these settings are actually usable.
We even had time for some new content, like a brand new armor model and new simple item sprites.
We think you're going to be pleased with this release. We're very proud of it. But we're already looking ahead to bigger and better things...
Below are some screenshots highlighting some of the renderer improvements to the forthcoming Alien Arena 7.65 update.