I'm working on improving X-Bomber's performance when lots particles, such as missile vapour trail segments, are generated. Until now, the system has made the particles fade out 'on the fly', which means that the Fusion engine has to cycle through every smoke particle, work out its current transparency and add a bit more for every frame that the game displays. The scaling was already baked into each particle's animations; meaning 16 frames in total that already had an alpha channel applied.
I went into my genuine, licensed copy of Photoshop and used the levels function to darken the sprite by the right amount and applying that to the alpha channel to fade the object out without events. This way, the vapour trails can be created and destroyed and the events engine doesn't need to touch the particle objects in the meantime.
Hopefully, this should allow less powerful machines, like tablets to run the game; even on battery power, where the GPU runs at lower voltage.
The next object that needs to have this method applied is the 'dust' object, whose system has gone un-upgraded for quite some time. This should allow the Level 10 final boss to run much faster. That part of the game can get a bit snarly even on a gaming laptop when running on battery.
Dream big and bold and daring.