View Full Version : Goblin Chimney Sweep
01-02-2010, 01:57 PM
Hey all. I've been working on a game for the past few months, and have been having some trouble adjusting my high-res character modeling skills for lower poly stuff. (You can see examples of my high poly work here (www.psycosmworlds.com)). I've been trying to find some clear numbers on what games of various quality-levels tend to have in terms of polycount and all I've found is a vague "modern games have anywhere from 1000-9000 polygons." It also seems to me that a 1000 poly character would probably use different edgeflow than a 9000 one, and I'm having trouble finding good reference for that.
The main character of the game is a chimney sweep. Concept art looks like this:
Currently she clocks in at 1995 polys (2200 when you include her broom, although I think I can significantly cut down on the broom geometry).
So, any advice specific to the edge flow of this character, and does anyone have a link to a site with generically good advice for designing game characters? The game runs fine with her at 2000 polygons on my computer, but chugs on my 5 year old iMac (I think that has more to do with lighting than polygons but I suspect I could cut back more and still have it look fine). I'm also having trouble getting the weights to work right. On higher res models I naturally had a lot of geometry in the shoulders/legs to give it room to deform and I don't know how to make it work without the geometry looking really ugly and inconsistent.
01-02-2010, 11:29 PM
First off I like your concept idea, I'm so used to seeing WoW style orcs/goblins and such. This character is more like a childeren's storybook character, very refreshing.
About the topology of the character, sorry I'm not a character artist so I can't say much but here's a link to a discussion about knees, elbows, and shoulders that might help.
I'm sure there are a lot of character topology threads here on Polycount. Just do a google search with site:boards.polycount.net before your search terms. As Polycount's internal search function doesn't work so well.
As to your triangle count question, we need to have more information.
What engine will you be using for your game?
What is the target platform you intend to release your game on? DS? Wii? iPhone? PC? XBox360? PS3? Other?
If it's PC then what is the target specs for a PC for minimum and optimum performance? You mention a 5 year old iMac...
How many characters or dynamic objects will be on screen at once?
How large will the character appear on screen?
How much resources will be going into your environment/level?
Generally these are the kinds of things your programmer should help you iron out before you begin building your game models.
Another good way to figure out the answer to this question is to find a simlar game to the one you are making and disect it's tech/specs.
In the end you may have to just go ahead and test your game with test characters and environments made at different triangle counts/texture resolutions/shader complexities to find the right balance. This is probably what you should be doing.
Hope that helps.
01-03-2010, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the help. I was actually a little worried I hadn't done enough to distinguish it from WoW, so that was good to hear.
I'm doing the game in the Unity engine (Unity3d.com), by myself. I'm trying to complete a short demo for the primary purpose of teaching myself game workflow and improving my graphics skills. Getting an actual finished game done is a secondary concern. The computer I'm working on is a two year old Macbook pro. I don't have an official lower-limit on technology, but I know a lot of people with fairly old computers and if it's possible for it to run smoothly on the 5 year old iMac I'd like to. (It starts out running fairly smoothly and then gets hideously laggy as the player leaves the starting area.) But regardless of how old a machine I'm getting it to run on, I'm pretty sure the character just doesn't need that many polygons, and I'd just like a sense of what good geometry looks like at lower poly limits (for my knowledge in general). I've looked somewhat around the site and part of the problem was that it was hard to tell what was, for lack of a better word, GOOD low poly objects. There's a wide range of skill level here and I wanted to make sure I was copying someone who was close to professional.
Below is a screenshot at what is currently the densest part of the game (I don't think I can expect this section to run without creating an alternate, simpler geometry). That stats that the editor gives me at this point are 34k tris, 41k Verts, 54 textures at 18 MB, with 470 Draw Calls. I don't know exactly how many objects are visible.
The simpler areas of the level have 15k tris, 209 draw calls and 43 textures.
01-03-2010, 07:39 AM
Hmm at this point I'm not too sure what the bottleneck is. I'd like to say it's the draw calls or the number of textures, but the truth is I really don't know.
Have you made your environment with 1 one object = 1 texture? If so you might want to look at texture atlas techniques which aim to reuse one texture/material on multiple objects.
I know that with previous generation tech one way to optimise was to combine smaller objects that are near each other into one object.
Check out the Environment Modeling FAQ & Resources MEGATHREAD (http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=53002) there might be some useful info for you in there. There is a great example of building texturing on the first post of that thread.
Maybe some of the more technical people with Unity experience can chime in on this.
From an art perspective your level looks nice, but I think your buildings need more variation in their textures, things like grime, water stains, etc... Maybe a bit more baked ambient occlusion here and there. Possibly some more trims on the corners of buildings and under the roofs. Though I suppose all that depends on the direction of what style you are shooting for with your art. I'm too used normal mapped gears of war gritty realistic stuff.
Here's (http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=63989) a great character made by HntrLuc (http://boards.polycount.net/member.php?u=14543) I remembered seeing awhile back around 2000ish triangles.
01-03-2010, 08:26 AM
Thanks a bunch. That character is exactly the sort of example I was looking for.
I don't consider any of the textures finished (with the possible exception of the boiler). I definitely will be adding grime and whatnot. I'm know that I'm stretching myself rather thin trying to do every piece of the game at once. I keep trying to pick one element and focus on that till it looks great and I keep distracting myself with other pieces.
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