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SonicSilcion

Lo-res for Lo-mem?

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After watching textures being corrupted on our [cr____] testing computer at school [a PIII 550 w/a three year old gfx card, brand new this semester] an ingeneous idea hit me dumbfounded. __If some games can have mip-mapping engines, and other games detect whether you have enough texture memory to run them, why haven't I seen any games that lower the texture resolution automatically to fit them into memory? __If anyone can show me any game that has done this, I'd love to hear about 'em. It just seemed so obvious to me. Guess that's hind-sight for you ---Sonic Silicon--- Edited by - SonicSilcion on 4/18/00 6:08:45 PM

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I think it just decides wheter to load the regular textures or the S3TC ones.
__Guess I should clarify my question a bit. There are some games where you can change the texture size like UT or Q3:A. But most, especially the RPG''s, don''t even allow this.
__Hmm, I was just thinking. Do UT and Q3:A automatically limit the max texture resolution, or are the horrible frame rates on a Voodoo1 come not from a performance problem but the textures being constantly switched?

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We are doing it for the engine we make at our company (www.davilex.com).

We check the available texture memory and scale our textures at load time depending on the amount of texture mem, the bitdepth of the texture and the priority/scalability the artist assigned to it.

The artists just give us 2048x2048 textures most of the time.

Jaap

Edited by - s9801758 on 4/19/00 8:19:16 AM

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Hmm, personally I prefer the ''texture slider'' method as found in Q2/Q3. Usually you can go over the max. amount of video memory without too much trouble since only little swapping occurs. And a player might prefer to use larger textures to obtain maximal image quality at a performance penalty, or small textures to increase framerate. He might also want to choose the color depth of the textures. Using large textures or 32-bit textures is still way slower than using smaller textures or 16-bit textures. (when shown at mipmap level 0, of course).

The problem gets even more difficult with cards like the 3DLabs Permedia3, which implements a virtual texture memory system (textures are paged in 4k blocks to video memory). And the GeForce can store compiled display lists in local video memory to enhance speed, so you might be better off using more textures than your available texture memory allows, and allow some Mb''s for the compiled display lists.

I would use the available amount of texture memory as an educated guess of where the texture quality slider should be at default, but I would allow the user total control over the texture parameters.

But, discussion is possible about this topic, and everyone is a bit right.

Best regards,
DaBit.

(P.S. Hello Jaap!)

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Yeah, I prefer having a slider myself, but I was looking at the situation from a "casual gamer" standpoint.
EX. My dad was adicted to Heroes of Might and Magic II + III for a while. He usually didn''t have much time to play, so being able to just plop in the disc and launch is great.
__Most of the people who "fund" the industry [read: buy the games at full list] like to do just that. With most games being 3D these days, the largest complaint I here from friends and fellow students is "it sucks" on their computer.
__Sometimes it''s an un-resolvable problem because there is no scalability in the game. But usually the person just doesn''t know how, or just doesn''t know, to lower the settings. To have the game automatically adjust itself [only once at install, and I don''t meen load different textures] would make a lot of games less traumatic for a lot of people.
__In addition to making it easier to use, some games could also be played on older cards, so the player doesn''t feel like they have to get a new one every six months. Unfortunately this leads to the debate of presentation over performace again as some people would say "it''s all blurry." Oh, well. Guess P. T. Barnum will always be right.

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