I added creature shadows. They are subtle but add more depth to the scene. Unfortunately they also cost performance, mostly because they are non-trivially projected onto the terrain, so I added an option to disable them in the settings. Drawing shadows in the worst case (30 creatures) takes about 4ms on a 1st gen phone.
Here’s how they look: http://youtu.be/nyHmCW2uerM
I think shadows will be the last thing for 1.17. I am now starting testing for submission. There has been a lot of internal changes and optimizations since 1.16, due to the Big Thing. These will not visible for the users yet in 1.17, but have a nasty habit of producing new bugs. For example I completely refactored drawing of inventory blocks. They no longer require a separate drawcall per block, all the blocks on screen are drawn as one.
I really would like to give you a hint, but cannot think of anything good. The Big Thing is very much unlike anything else I’ve done to the game before.
Since the mishap with loading of old worlds in one of the previous releases, my first testing step is to check loading of a bunch of old worlds (I have a set of them in my Dropbox going all the way back to 1.9) and see if they work properly :-)
Btw. did you know that Survivalcraft should be able to successfully load worlds from old versions, going all the way back to 1.0, even though there has been insane amount of changes since then? One day I must test it, I can get 1.0 sources back from the source control, build it, and save a world.