Summer has arrived.

Focal Engine

Work on Focal VK and the 1.19.4 update for Focal OGL (the currently available version of Focal), has continued (with dot himself working on the latter as well, out of necessity). Instead of hearing what’s been going on from me though, here’s an update from our lead dev, dotModded:

1.19.4 has taken a long time to get moving, between our DevOps person being unavailable to update our workflow, and both Minecraft and Optifine making a number of changes that have been substantial blockers for us. We have had to come up with solutions to keep all features as they were, while also balancing trying to not delay Focal VK any longer.

On that note, Focal VK has made significant progress relating to the OpenGL state communication. Getting Vulkan thread managing OpenGL objects without locking or any read on free errors has been a test of our sanity. Focal Engine is simultaneously synchronizing a Vulkan and OpenGL instance’s resources, including textures, semaphores, and buffers. This is the foundation of Focal Engines compatibility, and is a requirement for mod support. We believe trying to translate OpenGL calls into Vulkan to be an uphill battle, full of potentially far worse challenges. The solution of running both and synchronizing them together is a far better way to handle the inherent randomness of rendering. We have built a proper message bus for handing OpenGL state changes in Rust in a thread safe way, having up to 3 frames in flight for both Vulkan and OpenGL at the same time introduces numerous issues when resizing specifically without locking either side. At this point we’re moving to the final stages of this system allowing us to focus on getting Minecraft piped into Focal for an initial test.

At the same time much of the Lua system has been flushed out for shader developers to actually start registering shaders, resources, and more. This will be the system that shader developers will most interact with, and will likely be the portion of the project that will require the most planning and communication, not just within our team, but externally as well. We will be soon reaching out to developers who we believe may have inherent issues with Focal Engine, and come up with solutions to make sure they run together as seamlessly as possible. Thank you again for the continued support, and we can’t wait to get this into everyone’s hands!

Before we move on, a reminder; work on a Minecraft 1.20.X update for Focal Engine will not begin until Optifine has exited Preview. We have this stance because of past experiences with the bugs Previews can have, and working around them, when they will likely be fixed by the end of the Preview stage anyway, is not something we feel is a good use of our limited development resources at this time.

Support Focal Engine with a Continuum RT Early Access Subscription

Continuum 2.1

2.1 got a small update this month, fixing another community reported issue, this time with a setting carried over from Alpha builds of 2.1; High Quality Skylight. This setting used to provide higher quality lighting, mostly for our Volumetric Clouds. With the release of Focal versions of 2.1 however, it became depreciated, due to the increase in quality of the base Skylight from the Focal rewrite. Enabling it after Build 13 not only caused some visual artefacts during some times of day, it also resulted in an overall degradation in cloud lighting quality. A user brought it to our attention early last month, and as such, that toggle has been removed.

We also added more steps to the Sun Path Rotation slider, by community request. Please keep your bug reports and requests coming, and we will continue to squash bugs and tweak options where we can/where appropriate!


We had another productive month for Stratum this month, this time focusing on further fleshing out caves, and cleaning up a few rough edges from last months update.

See the changelog below for detailed update notes.

Stratum Build 38 Changelog


  • Hanging Roots
  • Cave Vines (including Glow Berries)
  • Rooted Dirt
  • Azalea Leaves
  • Flowering Azalea Leaves


  • Improved the look of the Enchanting Table Book
  • Improved the effective texture resolution of various complex blocks, such as Chests and the Minecart

Click an image to enlarge and enable gallery view

Before we go...

For those of you that haven’t seen our announcement on social media, or just need a reminder, we are in the middle of another Screenshot Contest!

It’s currently set to end on Tuesday, July 11th at 11:59 PM EST (4:59 AM GMT on the 12th), so if you’re interested in submitting an entry, head over to our Discord server (link in nav bar), and read #contest-rules-and-info for all the details, including the prizes up for grabs!

As always, thanks for joining us for another progress update and for the continued support!