September 18, 2009 | Filed under: gratuitous space battles | programming00120
Have you ever bought a game based upon the minimum reqs, and found out it doesn’t run? or it’s a slideshow? have you ever pheared the min reqs, but bought it anyway, and be surprised how well it runs?
Here is the inside track:
WE (the devs) HAVE NO IDEA. WE MAKE IT UP.
Now obviously as an indie dev, I have less ability than Actiblizzard to tell you if the game will run on a 1 Gig RAM, 64 MB video card rig, because quite frankly, I don’t own one. I currently own 3 working PC’s, 1 Sony vaio laptop, 1 ultracheap dell netbook, and my main Mesh uber-dev PC. That’s it.
Now when I release a game, I check it on all 3, then on my mates PC, my brothers PC, and a few other peoples PC’s. (other indie devs mainly). Then I take a rough guess, and we call it the min req. You might be thinking that this means it’s just me making it up, and that big publishers have 100 different PC’s and they can be scientific about it. I call bullshit.Lets laughably assume there are only 10 different video cards on earth, and that there are only 5 different drivers for each of them. lets assume there are 5 different sizes of RAM, and 10 different hard disks, 10 different processors and 5 different flavours of windows. That gives us: 5 X 10 X 10 X 5 = 2,500 combinations. Now lets assume 10 types of soundcard and 10 different configurations of other software running (p2p clients, messenger clients, CD burning stuff, antivirus, firewalls, rootkits, viruses and other malware). Thats 250,000 setups even with these stupidly conservative estimates.
When people ask me if GSB will run on their PC (A very understandable question right now, as there is no demo), I give as honest an answer as I can, and here it is:“My dev PC is a core 2 Duo 6600 2.40ghz with 2 gig of RAM running Vista on an 8800 GTS video card. The game runs silky smooth at 1920×1200 res with all options at Max. If you have a PC that in any way gets close to my spec, it’s a no brainer. The game also ‘runs’ on my sony vaio which has an intel onboard chip, but I have to disable the shaders for it to look right. It also runs well on lots of people’s PC’s with a lower spec, but if you have on-board video and a maximum screen res height of under 768 I really would wait for a demo”.
I’ve heard some surprisingly good things about GSB performance on MACs running emulators, even under WINE, and on very low-spec PCs, but I honestly have no real idea of min spec. So here, as a service to people on the fence considering the pre-order, if you have bought and played GSB, feel free to post your specs, and the games performance in the comments. (Note that its frame-locked to 60FPS so you won’t see it go faster. It uses any spare ‘headroom’ to do a few fancier effects if it has time)