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Level Design Question

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Hello, I have some questions that are very basic in nature. I have never actually made or worked on any game (yet) and my background is in 3D Animation/Modeling and Graphic Design. Since I would like to become part of a game development team I just need some basic information. 1. Using todays computers(ex. PII 300-500 w/128 megs RAM and a 16 meg video card with openGL) what would be the polygon count that would be optimal for a FPS type game using the Quake engine. 2. Using the same computer and engine what would be a good polygon count for the characters in a game. I know these questions are VERY basic. However, since I want to work on a game, I thought the best way to show my modeling and animation skills for the industry would be to design a few levels in 3D Studio Max and animate my character in the enviroment. This way I could show off my modeling skills and demonstrate that I realize the design limitations of game engines. If any of you could give me some pointers in this respect I would be appreciative. Later. Richie The 3D Djinn

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I''m sure someone else can give you better and more recent numbers, but I believe that the original Quake I levels were limited to ~10,000 polys.


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(MadKeith would you move that one to Game Design ?)

When making a level, you have to keep in mind that the graphic engine you are using when playing supports a certain number of polygons on screen before it starts lagging. This is called polycount, or even r_speeds (well in Halflife anyway...)

Level design varies depending on the type of play that is expected.
For instance, a single player level is MUCH more detailed than any deathmatch level, because there is only one player to deal with, and since the game happens on the machine, there is no internet induced lag.
For multiplayer level on the other hand. Polycount becomes of the utmost importance, as the game engine is quite slowed down by all the network traffic going on...
Unfortunately the figures varies greatly depending on games.
Personally, I worked on a low spec machine, so my criteria is "if it runs smooth on my machine, all those 3D cards bastards will be happy..."

Also in terms of architectural design, you must bear in mind that different types of play (single, team fortress, deathmatch, etc) require different of architecture.

For models, it depends again on the type of play, and engine.
Look here for LOTS of informations
For instance, if a model is for single player, you have to take into account how common the monster is. If I have HORDES of rats crawling around, it''s a good thing if they have a very low polycount. On the other hand, a final boss is usually seen alone, hence it can take much more polygons, and you can also take into account the surroundings of the confrontation. For the boss, the attention is generally geared towards it, hence the architecture of the level around is much more simple, giving you even more poly to use on the model itself...

As far as engine specs go, you can do some amazing shit with Quake arena ... I mean, just look at the models they got

Good luck and

youpla :-P

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