• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Tutorial Doctor

Optimization in Games

15 posts in this topic

One of my favorite sub-subjects of a Calculus course I took once was "Optimization."

 

What it basically means is to "use the least amount of resources to get the largest outcome."

 

Ever since, I have learned how to do things the hard way to gain experience, and then I optimize. In other words, I break things down to the most basic components and then I optimize from there. 

 

Here is my philosophy on drawing shapes:

 

"A square is a circle with 4 sides. An equilateral triangle is a circle with 3 sides. An octagon is a circle with 8 sides."

 

Some of my favorite shapes are the tetrahedron, the icosahedron and the octahedron. I love Geodesic domes.  

 

I see a lot of optimization in games. Modelers optimize their models, and programmers optimize their code. Producers optimize their resources. The financial team optimizes their spending. 

 

It is in our nature to optimize, because we live in a world where resources can be scarce. 

 

Question: What are some techniques you use to optimize, whether it be your models or your code or your game budget? I could use some tips in all areas. 

 

The reason I posted this in game design, because I am talking about the design of the game from programming to modeling. For instance, you don't make a sphere that has a million polygons, you make an octahedron, subdivide it once and adjust the smoothing groups. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd never intentionally include anything that won't be useful during the actual development, but it's not always avoidable and it's a total waste.

 

Everything devised during the initial design stage ends up getting done, or halfway done. Things get thrown out and you find what the best parts were and it's revised.

 

A pre-development step is time consuming, it would include all research you should ever need to create the prototype design. The purpose is to establish goals and avoid a bloated initial design, fewer ideas are thrown out (this could be anywhere between one and a zillion ideas).

 

Although I presented the steps backwards from problem to solution, this is loosely related to the Systems Development Life Cycle, which some programmers might know about:  Planning, analysis, design, implementation, maintenance, and this repeats.

 

A bad practice is to jump right to the design step, and then go back to analysis and planning, only to redesign.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What benefit is there to thinking about an octagon as a circle with 8 sides?

 

It matters more when thinking about optimization. If I wanted to give something the appearance of a sphere, but the sphere were somewhere in the background, and I really didn't need it to be high-poly, I could take an octahedron and subdivide it once and change the smoothing groups. This saves memory when rendering. There are a lot of things one could do in post-processing as well. 

 

I see a lot of optimization in level design. I think GTA is the best example of optimization in ever aspect of the design of the game. I have also seen optimization in the programming of the game assets. 

 

I think both the programming and artistic side both go into the design of the game, so that is why I posted here. The programmers are trying to keep things running smoothly and quickly, but if they are trying to make up memory lost because someone wanted to put a million-poly sphere in the background that is hardly noticeable, then that would be a bad thing. 

 

Say for instance the level designer keeps subdividing a sphere over and over til the point that when you run the game, it crashes automatically from the high poly count. So first one might assume there is a problem in the code, but further investigation would reveal that high poly sphere. I think the design of the code should match the design of the game

 

I have to see both sides at the same time, because right now, I am doing the modeling, UV-unwrapping, texturing, rigging, animation, programming, etc myself. My code style will change based on what I am creating. So optimization and a speedy workflow are important to me, and at least for me, they go hand in hand. 

 

BTW, good advice, and it does help! Thanks. 

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone just made a post about how to make a character rig with only 5 bones. They also use the optimize word in it. This is the type of stuff I am thinking about, but not just in the rigging area:

[url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/graphics-programming-and-theory/5-bone-fully-rigged-humanoid-character-r3583"]http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/graphics-programming-and-theory/5-bone-fully-rigged-humanoid-character-r3583[/url]

Yes frob, those "plans to reduce..." Are all under the umbrella of optimization- getting the most something.

Those are the plans I am talking about, like in the post above. The article talks about optimizing a rig. I have seen some pretty complicated rigs, usually for main characters, but for NPCs, you don't need so many bones. They use LOD for character modeling. Low poly for things in the background.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny you should mention optimization, I recently saw a talk by Doris Chen from MSDN on optimizing code. Here are the slides:

 

http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/27262164#

 

A couple of things of note:

1. This is JavaScript-specific (but it would be interesting if someone knowledgeable in many coding languages could chime in on how much might apply to others).

2. This specifically optimizes speed and processor use/battery life. File-size was not tested.

3. As mentioned, this is specifically coding optimization, and not design optimization.

4. FYI in case anyone was wondering why the heck Microsoft cares about JavaScript, apparently the code is easily portable to Windows 8 apps (almost a straight copy/paste).

Edited by Nightgaunt
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0