As some of you might have noticed by reading my cryptic commits, I've been prototyping a new Douglas fir tree. We had some discussions about the state of trees in Rust and decided that they are well overdue for a makeover. The goal is to replace the old trees, which came from the SpeedTree store, with higher quality custom made meshes.
This comes with two major benefits: we can make the tree-farming more interesting, by potentially allowing players to actually cut the trees in half, leaving only the stump. Secondly, the old trees were very unoptimized. I've done some tests over the Christmas period and I was able to reduce the triangle count by roughly 40-50% percent, and cut down the number of drawcalls per model down to one.
What this means for you is that this will allow us either to increase the tree density, or keep it in its current state and potentially improve performance.
Below you will find some first screenshots of the Douglas fir in game. It currently has four variants. Keep in mind that more species will be added over time, and I'd like to increase the variety by adding more deciduous types of trees, such as oak or beech. In addition, adding more foliage to the ground level is something I also have in mind.
Keep in mind that this is a pretty big task, so it might be a while before you see those in game.