For the past couple of days Mike Dailly has been working on improving the speed of 3D rendering in GameMaker.
Speed improvements have been tested on a benchmarking GameMaker file provided by Martin Crownover (.zip). Modifying that file so that 1000 trees instead of 100 were added to a game room resulted in a room speed of 14 frames per second using the current GameMaker 8.1 Delphi runner, whereas “the C++ one with some 3D optimisation” returned the significantly better 45fps.
This speed increase is not likely to be seen in the short term however as the 45fps figure made use the C++ GameMaker runner which is not due to be publicly released in the near future. Posting on Twitter Mike wrote that if he can get an optimised version of D3D working in the Delphi runner it should enable 3D to be rendered “quite a bit faster” than is currently possible.