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Figuring out system requirements

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I'm justing wondering how to figure out system requirements for a game. I know that my game will probably run on most machines with Windows (the game isn't finished yet), but I have no idea how to figure out the system requirements. I assume it's just a matter of giving the game to people and see if it runs on there machines, but is there another way?

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The best way to do it is, as you've figured out, try it on a few different systems and see if it is playable or not. I don't think there is any other reliable way.

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Actually, the way it's typically done, is to plan for it up front.

First, figure out what the machines are of the people who are as far "back" on the curve as you want to sell.

Second, figure out what the machines are where you know that you can deliver most of the experience you want.

Third, figure out what the super-cool new feature is that will be out in graphics cards once you're done with the game.

Now, during development your testing lab has one of each of these machines. You have to make sure that:

1) You can play through the game from end to end on the first machine and actually win the game. It doesn't have to be enjoyable, just physically possible. It helps if the game detects the specifics of the machine and turns off anything that might make it run slower than it has to. This is your "minimum spec" as usually found on game boxes. (I'm only being vaguely sarcastic here!)

2) When playing through the game on machine 2, make sure the player gets "the whole experience" and that the game is actually enjoyable. This is your "recommended system".

3) When playing the game on machine 3, make sure it runs as well as on machine 2, and also make sure that whatever ultra-cool feature you want to show off (HDR, motion blur, depth-of-field, etc) turns up in absolutely every screen shot, ideally with the intensity set to 11.

Yes, I'm poking fun at typical PC game development houses -- but it's only funny because it's true!

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
3) When playing the game on machine 3, make sure it runs as well as on machine 2, and also make sure that whatever ultra-cool feature you want to show off (HDR, motion blur, depth-of-field, etc) turns up in absolutely every screen shot, ideally with the intensity set to 11.


I love that.

There's nothing better than playing in a fun game (not some realistic simulation), and at some point having your 10 point scale offer an 11.

Mega ultra death ray, I'm talking about you!

frob.

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