Monday, 23 April 2012

Task 17: Elements of game design, part six: documentation

Documentation is crucial in creating assets/levels because if you miss out the planning phase you can go completely off topic, create something that is too memory intensive. Documentation also helps in the development pipeline as is it covers; Concepts, Character profiles, Narrative, Scripts and others.
I have been looking on the internet to find some technical specifications for poly counts on current and prior titles, here are a couple of URLS.

A rough outline for various platforms:

 “DS can render 2000 triangles per frame max as it runs at 60fps and the system is capable of 120,000 per second.

So in order to get everything you need in game from 2000 triangles characters are generally limited to 300ish triangles but can be anything up to 2000 if all you want on screen is a character

PSP has a bit more power triangle wise but is limited to a maximum texture size of 128x128, so characters in PSP can be up to 900 triangles I would say.

The Xbox and Wii can do perhaps a few thousand triangles for a model

and PS3 360 and PC development will be something around the region as this quote from

We build renderable meshes with 3,000-12,000 triangles, based on the expectation of 5-20 visible characters in a game scene.”

From looking around in multiple forums I have found out the weapons in first person games are normally 10k and in third person roughly 5000k. This is surprising to me I had always thought they would be a lot lower. I have also noticed that texture budgets are a lot smaller than I initially thought this is because textures take up more memory.

Over summer I am going to produce a small level in udk here is my Project Brief. 

I have not come up with a concept as of yet but I know my specifications and my limitations. I will be working to current Xbox 360/PS3 standards. I will be using 3DsMax to create my assets, Zbrush and crazy bump to create and enhance my normal maps and use the unreal engine 3 (udk) to present my level in engine. I will be creating low/medium and efficient density models. In the udk I will be using kismet and creating lighting setups.

There will be several stages in the production process:

·         Concepting, mood boards and research
·         White boxing
·         Concepting
·         Asset List
·         Tile able textures
·         First lighting pass
·         Hero assets
·         Secondary assets
·         Second lighting pass
·         Kismet implanted
·         Minor assets
·         Final Passes

I will aim to stick to these limitations;

·  My scene should be under 25,000 triangles.
·  Total texture budget, (for all your maps, diffuse,normal, specular etc) is under 25mb.
• All objects, cameras, maps and materials in the scene must be uniquely named to enable the assessor to navigate the scene comfortably.
• Assets should be textured using maximum 1024x1024 textures. Prioritise detail and reuse texture space wherever possible. Maximise the use of your texture sheets.
• Texture maps should be in .tga format.
• Save all related maps together in un-flattened .PSD documents
I’m leaning towards a gig venue for my summer project as I really like going to see live music in smaller venues and I think I could make a very well made scene. I think I would also like to create a character as from the way the character will look you should be able to tell what kind of music they play.

If I am going to create a character here are my limitations:

       ·      I will be setting myself a limit of 10,000 tris

Colour diffuse maps

·         2 x 1024 x 1024 (diffuse no alpha) 24 bit
·         1 x 512 x 512 (diffuse with alpha) 32 bit

Specular Maps

·         2 x 1024 x 1024 (specular maps) greyscale
·         2 x 1024 x 1024 (colour specular) 24 bit

Normal Maps

·         2 x 1024 x 1024 (Normal maps) 24 bit

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