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OP 6/02/12 3:35:16 PM#1
With the terrain system solid, I've started working out hardware requirements. Goal is to keep the game super efficient and backwards compatible as far as possible, within reason.
The furthest back I've tested is a Celeron 1.5ghz laptop from 2002. Video is onboard (intel) doing DX9 compatibility in software (there isn't GPU hardware, all the graphics processing is offloaded on the CPU). I had to tweak some of the Direct3D to get it working, but that was minor. 128 megs of VRAM (shared) was no problem. For the moment, code is reading the PS version and adjusting quality settings to save memory. I did have an issue with FSAA because cards this old can't handle it and crash. New code checks the PS version and if an old card tries to start FSAA it silently overrides.
Why stay compatible with ancient hardware? One word. Efficiency. By forcing development to support old hardware, a side effect is that modern hardware should have excellent performance even under heavy load. This is one large advantage of TGEA because it was designed on old hardware (the engine started development in 2003 or so). Other than a few weak areas (I've fixed a couple) it's quite fast.
Fast engine means more performance on both old and new hardware. More performance allows more things on screen, such as large scale battles *hint*