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#1 robostealth  Icon User is offline

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3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:51 AM

Hey guys. This is my first topic on DIC and i'm really not sure if i'm posting this in the right place, or even in the right forum, but i wanted a programmers perspective on this matter. I've been experimenting with 3D modelling lately (using Blender :P) and have been weighing the pros and cons of developing a game using 2D or 3D art. The game I've been working on began in a 2D isometric pixelly form, because i really enjoy doing pixel art, but because i really wanted a game with lots of different customization for armor and whatnot, drawing everything became extremely tedious. Making animated sprite sheets for every single item, and then customizing them by adding a variation to fit all of the different races and stuff, it was just way too much work for my one-man programming sweatshop and it started to feel like another project I'd never finish. so i took up a new hobby and found 3D modelling quite a bit easier than i'd imagined, but I'm stuck. I'm really unsure of how much detail i can add to my base meshes (excluding texture-based detail like bump maps, etc.) without bogging down the system my game is running on. I've tried looking up some kind of documentation of modern-games and their geometry counts but the most recent one i could find was an interview with the lead designer of Morrowind, which is not very modern by any means. So i was wondering, are there any 3D programmers in here that could help me approximate how much detail is too much detail? I'd like my game to run smoothly on an average family computer, but I've also been thinking about giving the user graphical options and make something like a low-poly and a high-poly version of every object, and letting them decide how much detail they can run with. Thanks in advance!

Just some info:

I'm programming my game in XNA, but i posted this in the general area because I'm sure the same limitations apply for a game written in Java or C++, or another language.

My character meshes at the moment are, on average, around 1500 polys, but i'd definitely like to be able to add more detail if it's possible. I'd be really satisfied if i could get between 4-5k polys.

On a side note, does XNA handle 3D graphics as well as other languages? I'm having a lot of fun with 3D and I'm not sure if I'll go back to 2D anytime soon, so if there's a better alternative to XNA (in respect to 3D performance) I wouldn't mind learning another language for future projects.

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#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: 3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

There are so many variables to your question that you won't know the optimal poly count until you are aware of the characteristics of your game engine and targeted platform(s).

It is common for 3D artists to create models with high poly counts and pass them through a exporter tool (which usually adjusts poly counts and other model detail) for integration into the game engine.
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#3 robostealth  Icon User is offline

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Re: 3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

So what sort of questions should i be asking myself in order to get closer to an answer? I'm working on an RPG with possible multiplayer but definitely not on a large scale, MAYBE 4 players in one game at a time. It'll be from a 3rd person perspective. Everything in my game is tile-based and will be randomly generated, everything from the landmasses to dungeons to cities, and the numerous NPC's that occupy the cities. You'll have the ability to start your own town, but you'll also be able to move into an NPC town if you're liked enough there. Combat is still in the planning phases, but i'm positive it's going to be real-time and not turn based. There will be a day-night cycle, and i want lighting to be a big part of the graphical experience even if you're indoors or underground.
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#4 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: 3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

How much of everything will be in the scene at any one time? You are aiming for realism when you should be aiming to balance realism with conserving system resources.
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#5 robostealth  Icon User is offline

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Re: 3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:47 PM

I have a feeling i should probably just start getting my low-poly graphics into the scene and just see how much my computer can handle comfortably. I don't think I'm gonna find a solid answer without putting it into practice first. I suppose fancy graphics can be added after i get some functionality. Thanks anyway though!
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#6 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: 3D geometry count limits?

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

Exactly. Glad you can see that.

No problem. :)
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