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View Full Version : I don't get why Dreamcast developers resorted to making shoe-box buildings



Yharnamresident
02-09-2014, 04:30 AM
I made this whole window sill with only 34 triangles:

http://i.imgur.com/AcdSYzQ.png
http://i.imgur.com/b2QunV1.png

Every detail counts!!!!

tomaitheous
02-09-2014, 04:35 AM
Because it was the polygon that broke the gpu's back :P

Yharnamresident
02-09-2014, 04:53 AM
Because it was the polygon that broke the gpu's back :P
http://www.medicarephd.com/75.-it-all-makes-sense-now.jpg

Chibisteven
02-09-2014, 07:01 AM
So, it was the norm around the late 90's? The practices was made up for it with a good texture. I think you can make that window sill with a lot less and just use a good realistic looking texture.

tomaitheous
02-09-2014, 11:41 AM
On a more serious note, I know what you mean. I remember thinking along these lines, when I first learned to code for the PCE. I was surprised by how easy it was to show sooo much color, and yet soo many games just didn't take advantage of it. It probably has to do with 'cusp' systems like this. The same thing happened with 360; lot of early games didn't show much improvement (compared to what it was capable of).

EclecticGroove
02-09-2014, 11:44 AM
You used entirely too many there for no reason as well. There is no reason the entire back portion of that would need to be more than 2 triangles. The "window" there is still just a flat section, you can easily recreate the same effect with 2 triangles and a texture map. That has halved your poly count right there.

And when working on systems with very limited capabilities like that, that is the name of the game. Shave off any you can from places that don't matter so much so that you can push more where they do.

And when you are stacking up the objects in a scene, even something as low poly as those window sills, when compared with more detail on an enemy or on one of the playable characters... yeah, they would get axed.

GreyFox
02-09-2014, 12:50 PM
Time and money and balancing the benefit of adding these things. In something like ShenMue adding more detail makes sense but not so much in say a flight sim :)

Standard practices of the time and maybe re-using assets across different versions?

Yharnamresident
02-09-2014, 07:18 PM
You used entirely too many there for no reason as well. There is no reason the entire back portion of that would need to be more than 2 triangles. The "window" there is still just a flat section, you can easily recreate the same effect with 2 triangles and a texture map. That has halved your poly count right there.

And when working on systems with very limited capabilities like that, that is the name of the game. Shave off any you can from places that don't matter so much so that you can push more where they do.

And when you are stacking up the objects in a scene, even something as low poly as those window sills, when compared with more detail on an enemy or on one of the playable characters... yeah, they would get axed.

So the window sill should just levitate there? I assume you'd get glitches from not having all that stuff connected.

EclecticGroove
02-09-2014, 07:49 PM
no, it would be up against the surface with no distance between it and the plane it sat on.

But more likely you would just have a texture map (or bump maps and the like if supported) that give the false appearance of depth. For a system where every poly is crucial, such details are not really given more complexity.

Yharnamresident
02-09-2014, 09:14 PM
But we're talking a system that can render 50,000 a frame, and your un-joined window sill would be like 10 polygons.

EclecticGroove
02-09-2014, 09:33 PM
But we're talking a system that can render 50,000 a frame, and your un-joined window sill would be like 10 polygons.

depends how it is done. 2 triangles for the back, and if the camera isn't going to move that freely/close you can get away with dropping a few (the ledge could just be a top/front with 4 triangles total for instance). Or it would be the shoebox with only 2 total triangles. For a single house that isn't a big deal. But you can also take that entire row of houses and make them ALL 2 triangles total, and slap one texture on the whole thing... so an entire row of houses on either side becomes a total of 4 triangles + texture map(s) instead of however many total.

There's a hell of a lot of geometry you can shave off if you look around. And for a game like sonic, which is generally meant to be played moving fast, it's even less important from a design standpoint to fill in some of the peripheral details.

These days those details are coming back, and they absolutely make a difference, but the systems now are far more powerful than the DC was, and the engines moving these games tend to be a lot better and more efficient at their jobs too.