working title: MOLD

working title: MOLD

production blog

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size DOES matter….

December 12, 2013 ,

…oh yes, you can quote me on that ;) especially when it comes to story, drawings, renderings, game resolution or even genitalia. But let’s start with one of the easier, PG-rated points. :)

game resolution…

the base resolution is maybe one of the earliest decisions a game developer has to make (well sometimes the platform makes this choice for you ;) ),…. almost everything depends on it, and many influencing factors have to be considered.

but first, lets talk about basic math ;)

the expression to calculate the  memory consumption of an image is:
X * Y * (bitdepth / 8)

in case of Visionaire the bitdepth in memory is always 32 even if you save a 24bit PNG (due to memory fragmentation issues with different bit depths, when i understood the developers correctly)

130712_resolution

so for one background image of a game in 1280*720
(referred as 720p, or “small”HD)  we get:
1280*720*(32/8)) = 3.686.400 (3.6mb)

and for one background in 1920*1080
(HD, or 1080p) we get:
1920*1080*(32/8) = 8.294.400 (8.1mb)

(1080p has a higher pixel-density by a ratio of 2.25)

(with no texture compression (it was announced for the next release of Visionaire though) if you want to know more, I can recommend Unitys online manual (“Texture2D” scroll down 3/4).

an alerting example when you used to work in “3D Animation”:

to put these numbers into perspective,

background

lets say your entire background consists of a beach scene with an animated ocean.  Two thirds are static, but one-third needs some moving water. soo the scene including a 2 seconds animation (lets say at (stuttering) 15 frames per second) gets us:

  • 1 static BG           (1920* 720) =                                                    5,4 mb
  • 1 animated clip  (1920*360) =   2.7mb * 30 (frames) =     81.0 mb

now, these numbers are very alerting when you think that some PCs (especially of “aged” adventure gamers :) no offense) are running with 256mb or even less video memory (I can imagine how “128mb-ers” feel to read this :) ), because we are still missing the player character, NPCs, and interface with inventory (and items).

Loading times are another factor to consider. Older harddrives peak at 30mb/s, so our example scene already takes at least 3 seconds to load, let’s keep that in mind.

lets add the rest:

the main character ( 8 angles, [walk, run, idle, talk, pickup] base animations) and lets use 200*600 as resolution
  • WALK: for 10 frames:                                                                         = 36mb
    (holy crap! i had to check it several times (200 * 600 *(32/8))/1024) = 469kb/frm ->  * (10 * 8) , because this number even baffled me! and it’s only 10 frames, 8 angles and a pretty small resolution!!)
  • RUN:         8 frames (8 angles):                                                          = 30mb
  • IDLE:        8 frames (2 angles):                                                          =    8mb
  • TALK:       6 frames (3 angles):                                                          =    8mb
  • PICKUP:  6 frames (4 angles):                                                         =  11mb

resulting in about 93 mb just for the basic actions of the main character, double that when we add all pickups, and dozens of special actions (with or without set elements) So for a HD background with just one character you need 256+mb VRAM already, which was quite shocking, to tell you the truth…

at some point, you’ve probably wondered why most adventure backgrounds feel so static, so lifeless? well, granted, it’s primarily because animation is expensive ;) , but memory certainly plays a major role in it aswell…

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