The new engine has one great advantage over the old one. It can run in a 64 bit process. It is not bound by 2GB memory limit that each 32 bit process has.
Lack of virtual address space was the factor limiting visibility range in previous versions. In the new one, I can enable truly monstrous visibility ranges.
This is not for the phones of course, which run 32 bit hardware anyway. Plus their GPUs would totally choke even if they had the memory to run it. It’s just for my test desktop version.
1024 blocks visibility range in Survivalcraft (click to enlarge)
I am quite proud of what Survivalcraft engine can do. At 1024 blocks I am still frame locked at 60 FPS! Although this is on nVidia 970 GTX, which is a poweful GPU.
There is an insane amount of geometry out there. 512,000,000 blocks in total, although most of them underground or behind, and thus invisible.
To compare, the biggest visibility range setting Minecraft has is 32 chunks (each chunk is 16 blocks), so 512 blocks. And it is completely unplayable, even on my powerful PC. Although Minecraft was never optimized for the phones, so it can be forgiven that it is slow.
If you look closely you can just spot the ship, miles away on the right :-)
I think with the default visibility range (128) you would not see a single block from this high vantage point of view (150 blocks)
Two more screenshots: