View Full Version : Vehicle polycounts

09-18-2005, 01:12 PM
What's a good average polycount for a vehicle?

Is 1136 in the ballpark, or too high?

09-18-2005, 01:54 PM
Depends on a lot of things, but mostly on the type of graphics card you be displaying it on.

GeForce1-2, about right - perhaps up a little if its the "main" vehicle (play car)
GeForce3-4 anywhere from 2k, around 5k depending on importance(how close you'll get to it, how long its on the screen etc... LOD it if you not sure)
GeForce5-7 5-10k. But make LOD's if theres going to be lots of cars rendered at once.

A GeForce 6 or 7 can easily render 1 million polys a frame at 60fps.

So, depends on what your aiming for.

09-18-2005, 02:43 PM
What is the game type, and what is the platform. If you are developing for PC, the issue of the base spec machine that you have to run it on is an issue, and of course the GFX capabilities of that machine.

If you are considering something like a HL2 MOD, then use the spec of the objects used in that game as a guide.

Game objects need to be as low as you can get away with, and often, the size, and number of textures used is of greater importance than pure poly count, as is number of components, and any animation used. It all adds to the burden on the game engine.

You will also need to take into account any FX needed, and the cost of them in the performance, and whether the object is going to use LODs to step down the detail at distance.

You really need an overall budget for a scene / level / map /track whatever. And this has to take into account everything from the landscape itself, the sky box, shadows, lighting, poly count & texture memory, and so on.

You can save a little by instancing things that are repeated, such as wheels. Which means the engine only needs to load & store one example of the object.

09-19-2005, 10:07 AM
Thats a good point... If your vehicle has expensive shaders, then it'll need to be a fairly low poly count. If its "just" textured with a simple envmap or something, it can get higher....

Also the "overall" draw budget is a good move too. This lets you break down the scene and lets you decide what IS important...

09-20-2005, 02:30 PM
Thanks for all the info.

I haven't decided on a game engine yet. I'm just trying to get a general idea for now. A friend has started playing around with Torque, so I'll ask him.

09-20-2005, 04:17 PM
I know a couple of people that have used that... I wasn't very impressed with it myself. If your not doing anything to actually sell, then remember the Quake3 engine is available now.... its fairly good :)

09-21-2005, 09:06 PM
If your not doing anything to actually sell, then remember the Quake3 engine is available now

Actually you can sell a game based on the Q3 source, as long as the source is released. May not be an attractive option but an option nontheless.

09-21-2005, 10:13 PM
I recall STALKER saying they were aiming for max 500k polys on screen and Unreal3 250k polys on screen (more complex shaders and other stuff I guess). With smart lodding you should easily stay within 150-200k polys on screen at once.

09-22-2005, 08:00 AM
That sounds about right...with "fancy" shaders you have to reduce the poly count quite a bit. if you using "plain" texturing with minor effects, it can go much higher with the newer cards.

But its usually better to reduce the count and make the polys "nicer" rather than just more.

Also, with Quake3, you dont "have" to release the source if you do a deal with ID, but you would have to pay for it then :)